EMmetrics leads Grey’s e-mail rush

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Earlier this month, Grey Direct became one of the first ad agency subsidiaries to introduce an e-mail marketing division, Grey E.Mail. The launch showed that Grey Direct was serious about the Internet. What was unclear at the time was how it planned to back up the announcement.

Last month, Grey Direct laid out its plans when it introduced EMmetrics, an e-mail marketing technology and consulting platform. It is the cornerstone of Grey Direct’s e-mail strategy and can be adapted to any client’s account, no matter how much or how little Internet marketing the client has done, said Jeanniey Mullen, general manager of Grey E.Mail and a VP of Grey Direct.

A slew of consulting and technology services comprise EMmetrics. These include response and database analysis, creative and copy work, and segmentation and personalization services. The idea is that a client can use EMmetrics--and nothing else--to build a full e-mail direct marketing program.

Indeed, Grey Direct’s is as inclusive as turnkey platforms come. The question is whether it is enough to allow the unit to compete in the highly specialized b-to-b e-mail space, where direct marketing-only agencies currently own the market.

Larry Kimmel, COO of Grey Direct, said his unit’s ability to call on its parent’s advertising savvy is a plus. ‘‘A benefit of being with Grey is that you’re getting years of experience and history. The things we’ve spent 20 years refining work,’’ he said. ‘‘We’re leveraging what we have learned.’’

Its parent’s experience aside, Grey Direct is no direct marketing lightweight. It is the world’s sixth-largest direct marketing agency, with 1999 billings of more than $900 million.

Grey Direct has invested heavily into developing EMmetrics. The result, Mullen said, is a fully integrated platform. ‘‘We went out and identified every aspect of a marketing cycle, from database to creative to copy to leads, and followed it up with data mining,’’ she said.

The system is built to adapt to a client’s changing needs, especially in terms of fulfillment. ‘‘You’re not committing to one technology alone,’’ Mullen said. ‘‘We’re continually updating it. We built it to be flexible.’’

Mark Marrone, director of marketing for, a b-to-b Internet telephony company, is sanguine about Grey Direct and EMmetrics. ‘‘They have been a complete solution, from creative to consulting,’’ he said.

Deltathree’s focus on return on investment contributed to its choosing EMmetrics. ‘‘In our situation there is not a need for flashy advertising, just the need to contact our customers and get a response,’’ he said.

Kimmel said Grey Direct developed EMmetrics with b-to-b, and its intense focus on ROI, in mind. ‘‘We built this platform with the idea that b-to-b is making e-mail marketing work,’’ he said.

As such, its emphasis is on customization. ‘‘If you’re going to sell something for $100,000, you don’t want to sell it with a traditional ‘yes’ or ‘no’ dynamic. EMmetric’s artificial intelligence allows for a customized dialogue.’’

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