Clinique Uses E-Mail Questionnaires to Reach Consumers

E-Mail Marketing: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (part of our continuing series)

Since its launch in 1968, Clinique Laboratories Inc. has grown into one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of skin care, makeup and fragrance products. Clinique products are available in department and specialty stores such as Macy’s.

Clinique wanted to use its Web site [] to boost sales of its products both online and offline. Clinique’s Web site receives 20,000 to 40,000 visitors per week. The company gathers substantial information about its site’s visitors through a registration form and e-mail questionnaires.

Using the registration information it collected, Clinique formed a database that catalogued its users. Clinique designed the database to separate people who use Clinique products from those who just visited the site and filled out a registration form. Clinique then turned to e-mail with a two-pronged strategy — strengthen the loyalty of those people who use the company’s products and convert those people who don’t use the company’s products.

Clinique sent out an e-mail newsletter entitled “A Shameless Buy From Clinique” to 22,000 people in its database who do not use Clinique products. The e-mail required these people to fill out a questionnaire. The e-mail campaign generated a response from 12,465 people. What accounted for the excellent response rate? Clinique offered a reward for anyone who responded. Specifically, respondents were sent free Clinique products and a small empty bottle. Clinique urged respondents to have the bottled filled with Clinique’s Super Balance foundation for free, which had the added bonus of bringing non-Clinique users to Clinique counters.

Clinique also e-mailed the newsletter to 10,000 randomly selected Clinique users within the United States and Canada. That campaign generated 6,171 responses with the same reward scheme.

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