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Marketers find opportunities for better targeting, ROI

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Direct marketers are always looking for better and easier ways to target messages and increase their return on investment.

A series of recent announcements from direct marketing companies focuses on improved technologies, partnerships and research in the off- and online worlds designed to help companies increase campaign effectiveness.

Hanover, N.H.-based NextMark announced it has launched the Mailing Lists Lead Referral Service, a new service that it says will deliver qualified sales leads for mailing lists to list brokers and list managers.

NextMark President Joseph Pych said when he has asked clients, “What else can we do for you?” they often respond with, “Send me more business.” The new service was created to meet that need, he said.

Sales leads delivered through the service originate from a network of sites powered by NextMark, including NextMark’s Mailing List Search Engine, the A+ Lead Finder for salesforce.com, DIRECT magazine’s List Finder and Multichannel Merchant’s ListFinder, which all search NextMark’s database of 60,000-plus mailing lists.

Meanwhile, list manager Direct Media just announced it has partnered with Datran Media’s Datran Direct in order to launch E²M, which it describes as a “new marketing model.”

Direct Media said E²M addresses the importance of the “e-mail to mail relationship” by helping clients develop multichannel acquisition campaigns. Direct Media brings offline marketing expertise to the table, while Datran Direct possesses a large transactional database of more than 100 million members.

In addition, data giant infoUSA announced it is going to sell managed lists and response lists online to small businesses through a new Web site that will bebut next year.

HP announced it will highlight “the real-world benefits of on-demand, personalized color printing” through its exhibit and educational sessions at the Direct Marketing Association’s annual confab, DMA06, in San Francisco, this week.

“Marketing has evolved because of technology,” said Francis McMahon, director of marketing, Graphic Arts Organization, HP Imaging & Printing Group. “Marketers that understand technology, like variable data printing, and take advantage of it are driving results that were impossible to achieve just one year ago.”

Personalization is definitely a hot topic at this year’s show. On Wednesday, Winterberry Group, along with representatives from three direct marketing companies—Mintel International Group, Responsys and Vertis Communications—will be presenting research results about marketers that use personalization in marketing campaigns. Among preliminary findings, the companies said, 44% of marketers are introducing at least one element of personalization in every e-mail campaign they send.

Hallmark Business Expressions is one such company meeting the demand for personalized marketing messages. The b-to-b subsidiary of Hallmark announced it has developed a new service called the Managed Card Program, which it said is designed to make it easy for marketers to personalize business greeting cards, and it will demonstrating the service in its booth at the DMA show.

Research company Yankelovich, which is also exhibiting at the show, announced the launch of Y*Base, a consumer database product for customer research. The product includes more than 150 data points that can be added to a company’s customer or prospect file to help develop marketing programs. The service includes attitudinal as well as demographic data.

Finally, in a look ahead, the Direct Marketing Association will brief members of the media on Tuesday afternoon at the show regarding the DMA’s yearly direct marketing forecast.

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