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Married Well

When a "Knot Box" arrives with a thud on the doorsteps of some 400,000 brides-to-be this year, it will be coming from New York—based online wedding resource company The Knot, which has successfully married its online brand to an offline promotion.

The weighty box contains, among other things, a binder and insert folders that help couples plan everything from vows to a reception. Each insert is linked to corresponding pages on the Knot's Website. But why a binder? CEO David Liu says the dot-coms' research found that most fiancées buy one to organize and collect information.

Advertisers completely underwrote the campaign, and were "dying to get into the box," according to Liu. "We created very specific content." The box carries brochures from the Knot's biggest advertisers, such as Sandals' Resorts, plus assorted goodies such as a pocket calculator from PointPathBank.com and a ring sizer from jeweler Mondara.com. The strategy has been so successful that Liu says he expects to distribute more boxes next year.

"It's a good idea these days to sniff out crazy expenditures," says Forrester Research analyst Mary Modahl, who notes the box could have fallen into that category. But she adds, "When it's advertiser-supported, then that's a pretty innovative way to reach customers."

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