First-time parents make terrific prospects (875 words)
BabyCenter acquires—usually through online advertising—members who are in their first trimester of pregnancy, says Hoyem. The site offers customized educational content, bulletin boards and e-mailed newsletters—all in an effort to hold those members until their third trimesters when they're ready to start buying.
How They Buy
Direct mail remains the primary vehicle for reaching new parents, says Ray Schneeberger, senior vice president for list management, List Services Corp. Space ads in targeted publications and online marketing, especially for today's younger new parents, he says, seem to work well, too.
Debra Goldstein, divisional manager of LH Management Division of Leon Henry Inc., says alternative media, such as package inserts, catalog blow-ins, statement stuffers and ride-alongs, also attract new parents. Other marketers cite coupons and product samples as good promotional methods to test.
One trend to watch is prospecting to working and college-educated mothers. A learned demographic, say experts, may find education-oriented marketing messages particularly appealing. Indeed, Hoyem notes, promotions wrapped around informative content seem to attract today's new parents to the BabyCenter.com site. She offers an example from BabyCenter.com: A company that markets baby shoes sponsored a feature article on how to help toddlers learn to walk. Two pages of the site were devoted to content; the third page to the sponsor's promotional message.
New parents, Kantor says, tend not to see ads as traditional ads, but as information sources. "And they're spending this time picking their new favorite brands," he says.
• New Baby Database: Tap into this list of 3.5 million families with newborns, and 1 million expectant parents. The list, compiled from 3,200 sources, targets two-career families with large disposable incomes. Price: $100/M prenatal; $80/M postnatal. Contact: Dunhill Int'l List Co., (800) 386-4455.
n Parents magazine has 1.4 million subscribers; 94 percent of readers are in the 18-to-49 age range. Price: $85/M. Also available is a list of the nearly 650,000 subscribers to Child magazine. Price: $90/M. Contact for both lists: List Services Corp., (203) 791-4148.