ShopNBC Leverages Its Video To Take It From TV To Net

On the fourth day of Christmas, I received: an e-mail from alerting me to a deal on a diamond necklace!!!

At least that's the reaction the company is hoping for with a new e-mail marketing campaign, the 12 Days of ShopNBC. Since the middle of last week, the company has been sending an e-mail a day to its customer base with a video link featuring one of the channel's on-air hosts with a special offer, valid only for that day. The idea, a first for the company, was to leverage the television shopping network's core competency of video onto the Internet, according to company executives.

"We've been making money on video for years," Loran Gutt, ShopNBC's director of customer marketing, tells Marketing Daily. "But [this is] a matter of how do we do it online."

The idea was to take advantage of the holiday shopping period without being too invasive, says Kelly Morgan, manager of online programs for ShopNBC. "We wanted to engage [our customers] for the holiday season, but we didn't want to be annoying," she says.

The television shopping network, which reaches nearly 70 million homes, has an "almost fanatically loyal customer base," says Gutt. The average customer places an order 26 times a year--roughly once every two weeks, he says.

To ensure that the e-mails get opened for all 12 days, the company has used a technology that guarantees the next day's e-mail will be sent only if the previous day's e-mail was opened. Anyone who opens all 12 e-mails will receive a discount coupon for their next purchase.

"They see that there's something different for them every day," says Tom Kraus, the company's director of online merchandise and programming. "It's not something I see our competitors doing. They're having 12 Days of Christmas specials, but there's no reason for customers to engage with them every day."

In its first three days, the company has seen an "incredible" response rate, Kraus says. More than half of the people who have received the e-mails had opened all three of them, generating hundreds of sales, he says. "It's by far the best campaign we've had so far," Gutt says.



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