OneNest.com plans to mark the beginning of spring tomorrow with its “Something's Blooming on oneNest” guerilla marketing campaign that will feature the distribution of 15,000 daffodils each tagged with the oneNest logo and an invitation to “Buy, Sell or Browse for handmade objects from around the world.”
The site, which launched at the end of last month, is an e-commerce community that brings together artists looking to sell their handiwork and buyers looking for original pieces of art.
To reach consumers with a taste for art, the site has taken an “anti-Gap” marketing approach, according to Victor Morgan, COO of oneNest.com, New York. For example, next month the site plans to distribute logoed coffee coasters at select locations as well as hand out goody bags at art-related benefits.
Ads have appeared in local print weeklies in Boston, New York and San Francisco. The site has also partnered with Healthy Living, Gardener Magazine and Rebecca's Garden magazine. These publications showcase featured items from the site in their respective editorial sections.
Online, banners bearing cryptic messages such as “the king owned it, his mistress stole it and now you can own it” are perking the interest of consumers, yielding click-through rates nearly double the average rate of 0.5 percent. Banners are being distributed by the Flycast Network and have appeared on sites such as NYTimes.com and Boston.com. OneNest.com has signed on for seven million impressions running from the end of February through the first week of April.
To encourage repeat visits, the site offers weekly giveaways. Prizes have included Pashmina shawls and Moroccan perfume bottles.
Aside from reaching consumers interested in purchasing handmade crafts, the site is also faced with the challenge of reaching artists to supply the inventory for the site. To get through to this iconoclastic audience, oneNest.com is relying heavily on creating strong ties with artist-friendly organizations and non-profit organizations.
The site currently has relationships with the Asia Society, Peoplink, CARE and the San Francisco Craft and Folk Museum. Through these partnerships and others, the site has collected a database of 30,000 artists.
To reach its A-list artists, the site dropped 3,000 direct mail pieces earlier this year. The offer let artists know that they can set up a free online catalog at the site for a limited period of time. An additional 500 direct mail pieces are being dropped every two to three weeks.
To hit its B-list artists, oneNest.com has been sending out the same offer via e-mail. At press time it had sent out 5,000 e-mails. It plans to send out an additional 10,000 e-mails by month's end.
“To appeal to top-notch artisans, you really have to invest in communications,” said Morgan. He estimates that these efforts have enabled the site sign up each individual artist for about $15.
Online, the site's artist referral program has been effective, according to Morgan. Artists can earn up to $10,000 by helping their friends sell their items on the site, he said. OneNest.com pays $2.50 for every person referred to the site, $1 secondary referrals and 50 cents for tertiary referrals.
At press time, the site had registered 2,000 artists and shoppers. It offered more than 1,000 products and was receiving 200,000 hits per day.
OneNest.com expects to raise $10 million in financing next month.