The role of paid search is changing as a marketing tool at multi-channel retailer Auntie’s Beads Inc., where instead of just increasing sales it’s also building segmented customer lists for customized newsletters, CEO Ron Henderson tells InternetRetailer.com.
“We cut our teeth on paid search and it helped us launch the business on a rapid growth path several years ago,” Henderson says. But now that paid search has become more costly with competition driving up keyword prices, Henderson is broadening its use as a marketing tool.
When consumers search on Google for the Swarovski brand of beads and pendants, for example, AuntiesBeads.com is typically among the top listings. Clicking on the AuntiesBeads.com listing takes consumers to a landing page that entices them to join a Swarovski club and enter an e-mail address to receive a regular newsletter or other form of e-mail communication or a mailing address to receive a paper catalog or other direct mail materials. Incentives to join may include coupons or just language that lets consumers know the club offers unique purchasing opportunities, Henderson says.
Although the effort is still in its early stages, it’s beginning to show improved conversion rates on marketing materials and lowering overall marketing spend, Henderson says. “The No. 1 goal of paid search is to create opt-ins to these lists, though we still get reasonably good conversions to direct sales as well,” he says.
Auntie’s Beads is No. 366 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites.