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Competition in the opt-in e-mail category begins to simmer today when ad management company MatchLogic introduces e-mail promotions service DeliverE.

DeliverE ( already has 500,000 people registered to receive promotional e-mails, a number MatchLogic expects to grow to 5.1 million users by yearend, according to Ben Addoms, VP-sales.

"People give us this detailed personal information and we find advertisers who want to make offers and match them up," said Mr. Addoms. "We're in the business to match buyers and sellers."


DeliverE went into beta testing in December, collecting e-mail addresses through contests, sweepstakes and polls that required users to fill out in-depth surveys ranging from intent to buy a car to age, gender, ZIP code and profession.

MatchLogic, Louisville, Colo., said it's been testing the service with a half-dozen clients and has contracts with four clients from telecommunications, financial services, automotive and magazine publishing areas. In addition, Rodale Press' Men's Health and Ziff-Davis' ZDNet have agreed to test the service.

General Motors Corp. is MatchLogic's biggest client, and encouraged MatchLogic to develop TrueCount, a service that tracks and manages ads, including those cached on proxy servers.


Mr. Addoms stressed consumers' information will be kept confidential, it will be easy to unsubscribe to DeliverE and e-mails will be limited to three a week or fewer, depending on a member's preferences.

"We're trying to control burnout," Mr. Addoms said, noting new incentives will be offered to keep members.


MatchLogic is billing DeliverE as a faster, more targeted form of direct mail. A typical cost per thousand for e-mails delivered is $300, a rate that's comparable to direct mail, said Mark Glasco, product and channel manager for DeliverE.

Within 24 hours after the launch of a campaign, DeliverE will be able to generate client reports, detailing how many e-mails were delivered, how many people responded to an offer and analysis on users who passed on the offer, Mr. Addoms said.


By comparison, a postal direct mail campaign typically takes between 22 and 25 days on average to generate response from consumers.

Bill Doyle, director of the money and technology strategies service at Forrester Research, said he likes MatchLogic's established database infrastructure and the idea of permission e-mail or "consensual marketing," as Forrester calls it.

Direct marketing is also the thing that will be propelling the Web in the next few years, he said. Forrester estimates that in the year 2000, $3.1 billion direct-marketing dollars will be spent online, compared to $1 billion on brand advertising.

"Direct marketing is going to be big here," Mr Doyle said. Those who will succeed are the "people who can figure out how to make the offers respectively, analyze the data, optimize the returns and be able to do quick turn-around analysis."

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