RealTime IT News

Cross Media Relaunches LifeMinders

Cross Media Marketing Corp. has taken the wraps off a redesigned LifeMinders service, eight months after purchasing the company in a dot-com firesale.

As in its previous incarnation, the LifeMinders service delivers opt-in e-mail newsletters on a variety of topics. Of the original's 22 e-mail categories, only a handful remain, however: health, home, travel and "daily," which incorporates features like horoscopes, news and weather. As before, the service also offers a feature to remind users via e-mail about important dates, like birthdays.

LifeMinders also plans to roll out e-mail newsletters on entertainment and personal finance.

The new version will face lower operational costs, due the cutbacks in content, its parent said. Additionally, the new categories all have immediate tie-ins to other efforts by Cross Media, which sells magazine subscriptions and memberships to travel, health and general consumer goods discount clubs.

Earlier this year, the company acquired direct marketing and print advertising firm National Syndications, which also could boost ad sales in LifeMinders' newsletters.

Additionally, Cross Media said LifeMinders would help it expand its consumer profile database, which contains information on the company's roughly 30 million customers.

"We are always seeking ways to leverage our assets and increase shareholder value," said Cross Media Chairman and Chief Executive Ronald Altbach. "Cross Media has significantly restructured and expanded LifeMinders to make LifeMinders a profitable brand through the creation of a revenue-driven data and commerce business model. We believe LifeMinders will be a more highly valued partner for marketers, a more engaging brand for consumers and a more valuable contributor to Cross Media's bottom line. It now better fits the Company's multi-product, multi-channel strategies and takes advantage of revenue-generating opportunities in the marketplace."

"The acquisition of LifeMinders has been a major success and ultimately given Cross Media another powerful channel through which to reach consumers," Altbach added. "LifeMinders enables us to establish and maintain diverse, lucrative relationships through what must currently be the direct-marketing industry's most powerful emergent channel."

The move marks the latest chapter in LifeMinders' troubled history. Last year, the firm abandoned its money-losing wireless division, which it had bought only months earlier for $32.5 million in cash and stock.

In May, the company began feeling the debilitating effects of the dot-com and advertising slump in earnest, reporting a 50 percent sequential decline in quarterly revenues in its core newsletter and e-mail distribution technology businesses -- prompting executives to begin shopping the Herndon, Va.-based group to prospective buyers.