RealTime IT News

Weather.com Taps LifeMinders for E-mail, Wireless Delivery

In its first use of newly acquired wireless messaging technology, Internet direct marketer LifeMinders will deliver messaging for The Weather Channel's weather.com's network of subscribers, the companies announced Wednesday.

The agreement marks LifeMinders' first use of the wireless messaging platform that it gained in last Wednesday's acquisition of wireless messaging player smartRay Networks. The technology enables the delivery of personalized content, and marketing messages, to digital mobile phones, one- and two-way pagers and wireless PDAs.

Under terms of the agreement, LifeMinders' outsource messaging services will deliver localized forecasts and severe weather alerts to weather.com 50,000 members' e-mail accounts and wireless devices, beginning in September. Weather.com officials hope to boost these recipients to 500,000 by year's end.

In addition to the site's subscriber base, weather.com receives more than 14 million unique visitors monthly, who will be offered the opportunity to opt into the distribution.

The deal is advantageous for both. LifeMinders will net a top-tier platform client -- according to recent MediaMetrix rankings, one of the top 25 most-visited Internet properties.

The company also nets an undisclosed transactional fee for each e-mail and wireless message sent to weather.com's subscribers.

Additionally, LifeMinders will be providing weather.com's local forecasts and alerts to its own network of 18 million, with fees based on clickthrough rates from the messages to the site.

On the other hand, LifeMinders chief executive officer Steven Chapin, Jr., said his company's platform would be integral in assisting weather.com to connect with users.

"We're really good at helping companies with large numbers of customers communicate in an individual way, using e-mail and wireless messaging, and this agreement is a great example of what we can do for a world-class company," he said.

"Weather.com is one of the top 20 most-visited sites online, and we can allow them to talk to their [members] in a very individualized way -- in this case, at the zip code level."

Weather.com selected LifeMinders for the company's ability to offer "the personalization capabilities and the kind of scalable technology that will deliver products that our users can rely on," said weather.com president and CEO Debora Wilson.

The deal is the latest in a series of big-name platform clients for LifeMinders. Earlier this year, the company announced that it would be the official distributor of e-mail and wireless updates from the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, also in September.