Men’s Wearhouse launched www.virtualprom.com only five weeks ago, but it appears that the mini-site has already worked wonders for the company’s program called ‘Prom Representative,’ a traditionally offline brand.
The program works like this: The retailer gives teen prom reps who sign up at the site an identification number and then offers a 10 percent discount for every referral that produces a tuxedo rental. If the reps bring in 10 referrals, they get a free rental. The referral customers themselves get $20 off of their rental if they provide their prom rep’s ID number.
Matt Schow, director of online marketing at Men’s Wearhouse, Houston, said the site has resulted in a 689 percent week-over week improvement compared to 2008 for registered prom rep sign ups. “This was a big goal that we were trying to achieve.”
Schow pointed out that the mini-site connected social media with local stores. When the rep finishes a permission-based registration, he said, the closest store gets notified that it’s gained another lead generator to keep on file. At that juncture, the store contacts the new rep and invites them in to pick up their prom rep materials.
“We’ve had the prom rep program for many years,” Schow said. “But it’s never been front and center in terms of our promotions. In this day and age, I was looking for something that could go viral, something that could break through with the high-school community, and it felt like I discovered an already existing sleeping giant in our program that fits with the social marketing model.”
The mini-site has been pushed via banner and content-based ads at teen-centric sites like myYearbook.com, Gaia.com, Teen.com, uTURF.com and Ellegirl.com, he said, as well as receiving a full print panel in a “significant” direct mail drop.
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