XO Group's The Knot—which reportedly has helped plan 25 million weddings—has reached its own big day. The popular wedding-planing hub relaunched its site late Tuesday night, with the goal of presenting a mobile-friendly interface for potential brides and grooms as well as customized features to help brands connect with its users.
"We're proud of the record we have from when we started, but we're looking to stay competitive," XO Group vp of product Chris Steib said.
Realizing more than 60 percent of its traffic came from mobile users, The Knot decided to undergo a "holistic reimagining" of its flagship publication under the new tagline "yours.truly" to better reach ready-to-be-wed millennials, Steib said. With peak wedding marketing season in full swing, the redesign comes just in time. The site was built on XO Group's own CMS and tweaked based on the online media company's lengthy experience and also on the feedback from upward of 200 brides brought in over the past few months to test out the new features.
In addition to the mobile-first approach, users can now create personalized accounts on the My Knot dashboard. Location-based technology and user-inputted information can help connect approximately 250,000 vendors from 30 different categories (including venues, photographers and hotels) with potential clients.
The customization doesn't stop at the profiles; it extends to the advertising, as well. Brands can target consumers based on their preferences, including the style, color and location of the items they are searching for. For example, if a bride is looking for a pink fit-and-flare bridesmaid dress, The Knot will serve native ads that also fit that description. Display ads that appear next to editorial items will scroll alongside the article, meaning they'll always stay viewable. As a reader continues down the page, the ads on the side switch to match relevant content.
Brand partners on board for the relaunch include Cuisinart, Disney, M&Ms and Invisalign. New brands that might not be obviously tied to the wedding space, such as Best Buy, have also reportedly shown interest. XO Group national enterprise group evp Jennifer Garrett explained that with 70 percent of couples living together before they get married, thus changing their registration wish list from basic household goods to more advanced upgrades, electronics retailers are now interested in being part of the conversation. There's also been upped interest from the financial and insurance sectors, creating a more diverse registry pool for The Knot.
"We are talking to couples as they are making decisions about the rest of their lives," Garrett said. "Not only is a bride talking about the wedding dress she has to buy, but the couple is deciding which wireless company they want to work with."