HOW DO LIST COMPANIES KEEP THE PACE WITH CHANGE? IS A SNAIL MAIL LIST PURCHASED TODAY OF ANY VALUE TWO WEEKS FROM TODAY? HOW HAVE CANNED-SPAM LAWS CHANGED THE WAY E-MAIL MARKETING IS ACHIEVED?

Knue: To be competitive in today's changing marketplace, and to keep accurate with the number of people who file a change of address with the USPS, list companies that want to provide the most accurate data do so by cleansing their address lists every three to four weeks through National Change of Address (NCOA). As for business lists, the high-quality list compilers actually verify publicly listed company information by calling the business directly. This is performed on an ongoing basis to keep the accuracy of their database as up to date and relevant as possible.

No list can be 100 percent accurate. However, if a list is purchased today and not used until a month later, it is inherently subject to being less accurate than the day it was purchased. The older the list the less accurate it will be. However, through NCOA, the owner of a list is able to keep track of their customer.

E-mail marketing is an ever-growing segment of direct marketing. When a data compiler obtains an e-mail address, it may be sourced from several proprietary sources that provide demographic information relevant to the e-mail recipients in much the same way that a mailing list is verified for accuracy. However, the one major flaw with e-mail marketing is that e-mail addresses change more frequently than snail mail addresses. To further complicate matters, many people have multiple e-mail addresses. So, it may be difficult, at best, to ensure the accuracy of an e-mail database. Also keep in mind that it is much easier to delete an e-mail without regards to its contents than it is to ignore that piece of mail that is addressed to you personally.

Vollman: Clients have responded very positively to the ability to create and execute advertising and marketing campaigns through the sending of "broadcast e-mail" using ListRocket. A lot of our clients are truly surprised by the one-to-one nature of the program. ListRocket can show clients the number of opens, click-throughs etc.

The philosophy is very similar to direct mail with two main differences. E-mail marketing is permission-based, which means the person has opted-in to receive promotions, newsletters etc. This opt-in process can be done via the company's Web site or if they are an existing customer or active prospect. They also have the ability to instantly opt-out of the program as well. Traditional direct mail is unsolicited and is usually sent without the recipient's permission. There is no easy way for someone to opt-out from receiving a promotional postcard.

E-mail marketing is much more interactive than direct mail. Through unique strategies, such as auto-coupon and auto-responding, ListRocket can send very targeted promotions to potential and existing customers based on previous actions such as click-throughs.

HOW HAVE SUPPLIERS TO THE INDUSTRY"”THE PRINTERS, THE PRODUCTION COMPANIES, EVEN THE SPECIALTY ADVERTISING COMPANIES"”ADAPTED TO THE CHANGING MEDIA AND METHODS?

Knue: In lieu of the evolving options for advertising media and considering the multiple ways consumers can filter out advertising, advertisers must be more creative with which means they use to get their message heard. Also, with the vast amount of consumer and business information available, advertisers are able to target their audience more effectively than ever. In addition, advertising campaigns are created and implemented at a much faster pace than in the past.

WHAT NEW FLEXIBILITY DOES NEW MEDIA GIVE YOUR CLIENTS?

Vollmer: In its strictest sense, permission based e-mail marketing is [part of] new media. We are enabling our clients to create rich content in real-time and push that content out to the target audience. The flexibility comes from creating and sending the content when you see fit. You are not bound by deadlines, print schedules, postage requirements, etc.
The dynamic, real-time nature of e-mail marketing can be used to "close the loop" for advertisers. For example, a broadcast commercial can direct you to go to a Web site for more details on a product or service where you sign up for special offers/discounts, product news, etc. An e-mail list is built by this effort and highly targeted messages can be sent directly to the prospect or existing customer.

In the same way, ListRocket can be used to create profile groups by recording the way he is interacting with a specific e-mail message. These profiles can help in determining future marketing and advertising content and directions.
Knue: More and more businesses have web sites. This is a sales tool which, when managed effectively, can increase market share. However businesses need to find ways to drive traffic to their site. To do this they have multiple choices, including e-mail, direct mail, advertise on other web sites and, of course, the traditional methods: TV, radio, outdoor advertisements, etc.

AND HOW DOES THE IMMEDIACY OF ADVERTISING TODAY IMPACT YOUR CLIENTS?

Knue: If a client has a good e-mail list, they can instantaneously send their message to their intended audience. However, when it is an informational message (i.e., newsletter) or a message that needs to arrive timely, often they will follow up with a direct mail piece. The cost to e-mail is exponentially cheaper than direct mail, however, direct mail helps assure their message is received.

IS PRINTED MEDIA ADVERTISING THE SAME WHETHER THE PUBLICATION IS ON PAPER OR ONLINE?

Vollmer: A broadcast e-mail, a blog writing about a new community effort, a banner ad across the top of a radio web site"”all are interactive by nature. The viewer can immediately click on a hyperlink that may take her to a web site community forum where she can ask and respond to questions, fill out an e-commerce order form, etc.
Online advertising allows the recipient to immediately respond to the ad. Traditional print does not.

Knue: We consistently use our logo and key message lines with all advertisement media, however, with printed advertising, space is limited. Information contained on the Web site is much more detailed.

ARE THERE TRENDS DEVELOPING FOR PERMISSION-BASED E-MAILING? WHAT DO YOU FORECAST IN ITS FUTURE?

Vollmer: By the year 2007, 2.7 trillion e-mails will be sent annually. That is up from 1.5 trillion in 2003. The use of e-mail for both personal and business will only continue to grow. At present, 91 percent of adults between the ages of 18-64 are using e-mail as a primary form of communication. As the media landscape continues to fragment, paying attention to your potential and current customers' wants and desires is important and can go a long way in positively affecting the bottom line.