The latest version of the company's mass e-mail "toolkit" is designed "to get an auto manufacturer up and running with an automated solution within two days," said Michael Della Penna, vice president for marketing at Bigfoot.
The New York-based company has created industry-specific mass e-mail systems for the financial services and publishing industries, and is developing others for market segments such as pharmaceutical, retail and non-profit.
It has provided various e-mail services to automotive clients including American Honda Motor Co.'s Honda and Acura divisions, Hyundai North America and Isuzu Motors America. The latest offering combines and streamlines those functions into an integrated Web-based package specifically for car dealers.
Manipulate dealer database
According to Bigfoot's communications director, Ari Osur, the latest digital service uses Web-based software to connect an auto marketer's databases with Bigfoot's mass e-mail-sending servers. The system enables a client auto dealer to upload and then manage, analyze and segment their customer e-mail lists according to whatever historical or demographic data is contained in their databases.
The system supports simple plain-text messages as well as slick rich-media communications. After uploading their customer lists to Bigfoot's servers via the Web, users then upload text, standard graphics, digital animations and even streaming video elements to create an appropriate e-mail message.
New-vehicle launch announcements
The system allows dealers to assemble the final format of the digital messages and then use the Web site as a control board to send out the waves of e-mails to their existing customer lists. >p> The product is designed to send out new-vehicle launches, service reminders and other local dealer announcements.
"Automotive companies can take some of the same video they're using in commercials on TV and incorporate it as a streaming attachment in an e-mail message," said Mr. Osur. "We take their video and 'e-mailize' it into an online video format. At the other end, the customers see something that echoes what they're also seeing on regional cable and broadcast outlets. Our new system makes this kind of thing easier for the dealer to do."