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Site Pronounces Newsletter, Bridal Registry

WeddingChannel.com, Los Angeles, is hoping to strengthen its relationship with bridal registrants and newlyweds with the launch of an electronic newsletter and bridal registry.

The newsletter, the result of a recent agreement with Bride’s magazine, is one of several direct marketing communication vehicles the company will employ. It will be sent monthly to those who have indicated an interest in it at the company’s Web site. It will be compiled using resources from both WeddingChannel.com and Bride’s magazine, a publication of Condé Nast, New York, which already provides content at the site.

Anne Boris, director of direct marketing at WeddingChannel.com, said the newsletter would not carry any advertising at first. She declined to reveal how many people are registered to receive it when distribution beings later this year.

“We’re using [the newsletter] as a value-added tool for the bride,” she said. “It will have things that will interest her and hopefully draw her back to the site. Bride’s is an expert in wedding planning, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to tap into their expertise and make that available to our customer base.”

The partnership with Bride’s magazine follows on the heels of an agreement earlier this month with Federated Department Stores Inc., Cincinnati, to incorporate the bridal registries of Federated’s department stores, including Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, into the online wedding-planning site.

The alliance, which also will include a “significant investment” by Federated in the online wedding-plan site, allows Federated to provide content to its database of registered couples, and allows WeddingChannel to leverage that database when it seeks to forge partnerships with other goods-and-services providers.

Federated, which earlier this year made an aggressive move into the direct marketing world with the acquisition of cataloger Fingerhut Cos. Inc., Minneapolis, also will be able to begin communicating with customers earlier in the wedding-planning process, according to Boris, from four months to 14 months, the average engagement period.

WeddingChannel offers online planning tools for customers preparing for their wedding, including a customizable Web site that couples can create to compile information about the event.

To promote the site to Federated’s database, which totals 330,000 registered couples, WeddingChannel recently mailed a letter to recent registrants and newlyweds, hoping to get the latter group to take advantage of the site’s “after-the-wedding” services, which include advice on travel and finance. The company hopes to use the information it obtains from its brides as they go through the wedding planning process to market additional products and services to them after the wedding.

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