DoubleClick rolls out Real Time Messaging

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By Kate Maddox

DoubleClick rolled out a new service this week that lets users deliver e-mail messages in response to customer actions. The new service, called Real Time Messaging, was introduced on Oct. 19 and is an addition to DoubleClick’s DARTmail e-mail system.

Real Time Messaging centralizes all e-mail communications within the marketing department, and lets marketers automatically send e-mail messages such as order confirmations or shipping notifications based on customer actions.

"Unlike traditional triggered messaging, which has been available in DARTmail for several years, RTM provides marketers with ownership of operational and transactional messages, and provides reporting at the transactional level," said Adam Benjamin, VP-general manager of DoubleClick's E-mail Solutions.

He noted that by centralizing all e-mail communications within the marketing department, RTM ensures users receive e-mail with consistent branding, more relevant content and holistically managed contact frequency.

"The biggest issue we’ve seen in the industry with transactional messaging is unused real estate space," Benjamin said. "There are no up-sell or cross-sell opportunities because these transactional messages are being managed by the IT organization. Now, with marketing having control of the messages, companies can find new marketing opportunities with transactional messages."

The real-time messages will be integrated with DARTmail's infrastructure, as well as deployed through dedicated IP addresses that can be used to help ISPs and e-mail recipients identify the messages as transactional in nature.

Benjamin noted that RTM enables marketers to monetize previously untapped communications. DoubleClick's 2004 Consumer E-mail Study, which was released at the DMA Annual Conference this week, found that 95% of survey respondents expect to receive e-mail from merchants for order confirmation.

The survey also found that 90% of respondents expect shipping information e-mails, and 79% expect to receive billing information by -e-mail. Of the respondents who expect to receive shipping and billing notifications by e-mail, 52% said they would find it useful if these e-mails contained related offers.

Also, the survey found that 54% of respondents currently receive account statements by e-mail. Benjamin said the real-time messaging services offer marketers an opportunity to leverage account statements as a marketing vehicle.

While the DoubleClick study focused on consumers, Benjamin said the new service can be used by b-to-b marketers to send automatic shipping, billing and other information on e-mail.

"On the technology side, a large computer company could send out confirmation e-mails of technology products purchased, and office goods would be another application," Benjamin said.

Currently, more than 300 marketing companies, including Procter & Gamble Co., FedEx, J.Crew and Unilever, use DoubleClick’s DARTmail to manage e-mail marketing programs.

A handful of customers, including a publisher and technology company that Benjamin declined to name, have signed up to use RTM, although DoubleClick has just begun to market the new service, he added.

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