Warming Up to E-mail Marketing (1,004 words)
Next, Music Boulevard took its acquisition offer to outside lists. The company turned to Acxiom/Direct Media, which provides e-mail list management, brokerage and campaign management. Music Boulevard continued its success using the $10-off control, but experienced a few glitches due to immaturity in the e-mail list market.
Says Regina Brady, vice president, interactive services at Acxiom/Direct Media, "How many e-mail lists are really out there depends on your definition of a list." While datacard systems may include hundreds of lists, Brady says many of them are really subsets of other lists based on different selects.
Despite limitations on the availability of lists, the attractiveness of the offer opened up some lists that weren't officially on the market. Brady says that the $10-off deal was so appealing that some list owners were willing to co-brand the offer as a benefit to their members.
While costs for an e-mail campaign are lower, the savings earned by eliminating printing and postage is offset by the high price of e-mail lists, most of which start at $200/M without any additional selections.
Brady doesn't think that the high prices will hold, saying, "There is going to be pressure to drop those prices, but right now these lists are the only game in town. Eventually, marketers are going to demand lower pricing and more consolidated, streamlined mailing methods."
As e-mail marketing proves successful, the options for direct marketers will increase, but to what extent is difficult to say. The postal list industry developed in a different decade, and today's controversies over data privacy muddy the waters, discouraging some list owners from putting e-mail lists on the market.
"I don't think the same sort of marketplace will develop for e-mail as for postal mail," predicts Bill Herp, president of E-Dialog. Instead, he suggests that the affinity marketing model used by Music Boulevard will be the dominant model for e-mail customer acquisition programs.