RealTime IT News

Engage Business Media to Offer Publishers Opt-In E-Mail

Engage's B2B ad network Engage Business Media expanded its product offerings through an alliance with fellow CMGI company yesmail.com, an opt-in e-mail services provider.

The deal, which was announced Monday, enables EBM to offer an opt-in e-mail package to publishers on its network, who then can sell the names and e-mail addresses of site visitors who are willing to receive marketing messages.

"For our Web publishers, building opt-in e-mail lists will provide them with a new advertising revenue stream, in addition to banner and e-mail newsletter advertising," said EBM general manager Joanne Currie.

From the marketing perspective, "Engage will be able to generate a very targeted group of B2B yesmail members who have volunteered to receive industry-specific information," she said.

Engage Business Media will act as the intermediary between yesmail.com and EBM's network of sites. Yesmail.com will manage publishers' e-mail lists and handle direct e-mail campaigns using the lists.

Opt-in e-mail can be a lucrative proposition for both advertisers and publishers. Recent analyst reports have put clickthrough rates for opt-in e-mail as high as 5 to 15 percent.

Traditional on-site banner ads' clickthroughs average about 0.45 percent.

EBM's deal with yesmail thus gives it a product-offerings edge over chief rival B2BWorks, the companies involved in Monday's deal said.

"Permission-based e-mail marketing is a critical component of B2B online advertising," said yesmail.com chief executive officer Dave Tolmie.

"We can now offer our advertisers a direct, highly effective means to reach their precise customer online," he added.

While lacking a direct e-mail product, the privately held B2BWorks recently announced a deal with CBS's Web directory services company Switchboard to offer B2BWorks' more than 300 affiliates entry into a yet-to-be-created B2B site directory.

B2BWorks will hold exclusive ad-selling rights for the directory, which, the companies say, will eventually integrate e-business services such as request for proposal and request for quote.