RealTime IT News

MyPoints Picks Up a Client

Incentive marketing company MyPoints.com Inc., which was acquired by the interactive unit of airline company UAL Corp. during summer, signed a marketing agreement with flower and gift seller FTD.com.

San Francisco-based MyPoints, which claims to have an opt-in database of more than 10 million members and provides advertisers with a suite of "rewarded media products," said it will use its targeted marketing products to promote FTD.com products and services to its members.

Financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed. The agreement builds upon several previous MyPoints campaigns for FTD.com, including Mother's Day and Valentine's Day promotions.

In this campaign MyPoints will launch an e-mail promotion and place an FTD link in the shopping channel at the MyPoints Web site.

Founded by FTD itself, FTD.com which competes with 1-800-Flowers.com and other flower and gift operations online, uses independent FTD florists across the nation and was profitable for its recently reported first quarter, posting earnings of 4 cents per share (excluding a one-time gain) on $4.3 million in net income.

Like several of its competitors, MyPoints has found airlines and travel companies to be some of the most receptive to its offerings, which provide incentives to users for purchasing from advertisers or for opting-in to receive special offers via e-mail.

United Airlines' United New Ventures picked up MyPoints in a stock deal at a time when the Internet advertising economy was already headed into a major slump. The company had been losing money.

In fact, business has not been good for many companies in the online incentives business. CyberGold is out of business and flooz.com is gone.

The remains of the failed Beenz.com, which had sought to make its Internet currency the foundation for rewards-based loyalty programs, are being purchased by Carlson Marketing -- a unit of Minneapolis-based travel, leisure and restaurant giant Carlson Companies - which will gain the firm's infrastructure and currency to supplement Carlson's own Gold Points incentive marketing programs.