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Marketing Machine | When Push Comes to Shove (Web Techniques, Apr 2000)

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Spam-Free Options

Opt-In Email

Also called permission marketing, opt-in email allows Internet denizens to state that they want to receive marketing materials by email. In most cases, they choose specific categories of interest, determining the types of news and advertisements sent. Permission marketing systems usually provide something to compensate for the marketing, such as a free email account or targeted news.

Permission marketing isn't spam, because you don't get email unless you ask for it. Since you've specified the topics you want to read about, presumably you won't be annoyed when you receive the mail.

Combining names from multiple opt-in email newsletters or mailing lists, this service can reach over 15 million readers.

eGroups, ONElist, Topica
Generic mailing-list service providers let anyone set up a mailing list, on any topic, then attach banner ads to any emails sent to list members.

Advertising broker for product-notification and other general interest mailing lists.

Opt-In Email
Offers 500 targeted email mailing lists. Select an email list of interest, and then receive targeted news along with advertisements.

Receive a free Web site, free inbound faxes, and other products in exchange for accepting email advertising.

List management service lets organizations set up targeted email lists, then sells banner space on outbound emails to advertisers. Advertising revenue is shared with the email list owner.

Email Newsletters

Email newsletters are a variation of opt-in marketing. Opt-in marketing asks you to specify the types of marketing you respond to, but there are no content quality guarantees. In most opt-in mailing list systems, you are signing up for an uncontrolled information source under a particular subject name.

Email newsletters focus on the content first, usually with decent editorial. They employ a professional sales force to explain the branding value of including advertisements in a respected venue. Newsletters are usually an effective way to reach busy professionals.

Many successful email newsletters are associated with Web or paper publications, such as Web Review, Iconocast, InternetWeek, and so on.

Personalized Email Services

Some sites establish profiles for individual membersgathered from responses to interest and demographic surveys, or from measuring behavior on a Web site. Using this profile, marketers can tailor outbound emails to the likely interests of the recipient. Common techniques include targeting, collaborative filtering, and market basket analysis. (See my article on data mining in Web Techniques, January 2000, for more details.)

Many marketers prefer to outsource personalized email to service providers, such as Post Communications or Digital Impact. These organizations design email campaigns, download profile information from online marketers, and target, personalize, and send email, then measure, record, and report on responses to embedded advertisements or hyperlinks. This is cost effective for organizations that send a moderate amount of marketing email.

For organizations that want to manage their own outbound email campaigns, personalized email software is the way to go. Delano has extended this model throughout the enterprise, providing software to coordinate an email-driven business in addition to personalized email marketing. Messagemedia provides personalized email marketing as either a service or software. The software choice is most effective for organizations with a large amount of marketing email.

Email business management software includes personalized email. Works with Macromedia LikeMinds collaborative filtering software.

Digital Impact
Personalized email service provider.

Personalized email services provider. Also sells UnityMail, email marketing software that is installed on a marketer's site.

Post Communications
Provides personalized, targeted, and timed email delivery services.

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