March 1, 2007, 12:00 AM

Direct response TV drives more multi-channel sales for Drs. Foster & Smith

Pet supplies retailer Drs. Foster & Smith is using direct response TV to promote its brand and spur more e-commerce and catalog sales. It has been purchasing direct response advertising on various channels, including Discovery and Animal Plant.

For the past year, pet supplies retailer Drs. Foster & Smith, No 83 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, has been using direct response television to promote its brand and spur more e-commerce and catalog sales.

The company has been purchasing direct response advertising on various channels, including Discovery and Animal Plant, says Internet marketing and analysis manager Gordon Magee.

The direct marketer of pet supplies and pet medicines also set up a separate web site, FosterandSmith.com, to track leads generated by the 30-second commercials. While Drs. Foster & Smith isn’t breaking out specific numbers, Magee says that the number of visitors to FosterandSmith.com has grown by 400% in the last year while sales conversions have increased by 13%.

The TV ads feature the company’s toll-free phone number and URL. “Unlike traditional television advertising which just builds up the brand, direct response television does that and generates motivated visitors and shoppers,” Magee says.

Direct response television marketing, combined with the company’s other traditional and online marketing programs, helped Drs. Foster & Smith grow its web sales by 16% in 2006 to $133 million. “Direct response TV helped us get out our message and tap into a motivated pool of catalog and web shoppers,” says Magee, who will speak at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition, June 4-7 in San Jose in a session entitled New Age Marketing Tools: Is Today`s Hype Tomorrow`s Help? .

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