The automaker's first foray into e-mail communication is a cautious, soft message, according to James Fabin, Hyundai's manager of Internet marketing. "We're not trying to sell cars [with the e-mail messages], we're just trying to start, very gently, a dialogue with consumers," he said.
The first phase consists of e-mails to 100,000 to 150,000 hand raisers, providing information about a Hyundai sweepstakes with Viacom's MTV and an online game called the "Hyundai Rally Challenge," which consumers can access at hyundaiusa.com.
"The concept of just blasting out e-mail didn't make sense for them," said EchoMail Chairman-CEO V.A. Shiva.
EchoMail has the tools to create and deploy e-mails, but also to track responses and detect moods and attitudes-not merely key words-through automated technology.
"If [respondents] begin dialogue with us, the EchoMail technology will help us determine who's in the market for possible future communications," Mr. Fabin said. "If consumers accept it and like it, we'll continue."