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Email Channel Aims to Help Businesses Respond to Inquiries

The Email Channel, an e-mail delivery company, launched E-responder, a new service designed to help companies deal with e-mail inquiries.

E-responder offers companies an outsourced solution to respond to the growing influx of e-mail questions received daily. The service is designed to enable companies implementing Internet e-commerce solutions to take advantage of e- mail's interactivity and ability to develop a one-to-one relationship with customers.

"The biggest and most pressing problem facing companies today is not 'spam' mail; it is unanswered or inappropriately answered e-mail inquiries," said John Lawlor, president and co-founder of The Email Channel. "Currently, most e-mail requests from customers and potential customers of major corporations seem to fall into an e-mail black-hole."

The E-responder service involves integrating third-party software with proprietary programming but also has a significant "human component," the company said.

"We're marrying technology and human interaction to provide a unique outsourced e-mail customer service solution," said Lawlor.

Unanswered e-mail is increasingly being viewed as a major stumbling block to effective online commerce. A recent article in The New York Times was headlined, "We Got Your E-mail; Just Don't Expect a Reply." The Times article detailed the inability of many major marketers to respond to thousands of e-mail requests sent daily. In one case, a company--not identified by name--conceded that it was able to respond to only 10 percent of the 20,000 e-mails it received each day.

"Consumers deserve answers to their e-mail questions in a timely manner or they will lose interest in the Internet and go somewhere else for answers," said Tim Yero, who recently joined The Email Channel as Director of E- responder Services. Yero has experience in telephone call center design, sales and management and formerly held marketing and development positions with BellSouth and Bellcore.

The Email Channel said the E-responder service delivers an integrated, outsourced solution that: responds to inbound e-mails in a personal and specific manner; captures and analyzes inbound e-mails to detect patterns of customer inquiries; and synchronizes outbound e-mail with inbound requests into a fuller, more responsive database marketing program.

The Email Channel provides responsive e-mail services, targeting high-tech and business-to-business markets. Clients include Sun Microsystems, IDG Publications, Edify and Hewlett-Packard. Pricing for the new service was not disclosed.



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