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MYPOINTS

Published on .

Background: MotivationNet, Schaumburg, Ill., is backed by direct marketing giant Direct Marketing Technology. MyPoints, Universal Rewards Currency (www.mypoints.com) went into beta last October and is planning a full launch this January.

How it works: Consumers register for the service and are sent e-mail promotions based on their preferences. They can also earn points by clicking on ad banners labeled with a MyPoints U.R.C. code, or by participating in offline loyalty and incentive programs. Consumers can cash in MyPoints online or offline for prizes offered by redemption partners.

Advertisers pay $16,000 for every million points they buy to issue to consumers.

Advertisers: Alexa Internet, Go 2 What's New, Meals.com, Hello Direct*, Cool Savings*, International Gaming Network*. (*Is also a redemption partner.)

Redemption Partners: American Airlines, Carnival Cruise Lines, Corporate Sports Incentives, Edmund Scientific, Marriott Hotels, Overton's and United Airlines.

Distribution: Online ad campaign to be launched Nov. 16 with some 10 million ad banners on sites including Lycos, GTE, Travelocity and Excite. MyPoints will also be offering its service to 200,000 people on opt-in e-mail lists, including other incentive programs.

Prognosis: While it has a low profile, MotivationNet has multiple ties with the direct marketing industry and has extensive databases that allow users to redeem their MyPoints instantly online. MotivationNet can also earn revenue by running companies' private online incentive programs, or by issuing MyPoints for existing, offline loyalty programs. The challenge will be in getting its name

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