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Excite@Home's MatchLogic Forges Alliance with Dynamics Direct

In a deal that gives a boost to start-up Dynamics Direct, the rich media e-mail personalization player has forged an alliance with Excite@Home's MatchLogic database marketing division, under which the larger company will market the smaller's products to its client base.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The deal marries MatchLogic's extensive database with Dynamics Direct's rich media technology, allowing the two to offer e-mail marketing services that are customized using information that MatchLogic has gathered about the recipient. A young single woman executive living in New York, for example, would receive different audio, video, and graphics than an elderly middle-aged man living in Minneapolis.

"Knowing what the personalization aspects are of that database, said Russell Gillam, president and chief executive officer of Dynamics Direct, "we're able to deliver something to an individual that leverages the fact that they have a certain purchase history, live in a certain part of the country, or have certain interests."

The agreement calls for Dynamics Direct's e-mail delivery platform to be incorporated into the MatchLogic opt-in e-mail database system of more than 10 million profiles. MatchLogic gathers its information through sweepstakes, promotions, newsletter subscriptions, games, and content on Excite. When consumers agree to participate in these programs, they can input personal information and opt-in to receive marketing messages.

"As a leader in the personalized e-mail industry, rich media e-mail is the next logical step for us as businesses need every opportunity to distinguish themselves when they embark on an e-mail campaign," said Tim Prunk, president of MatchLogic.

For little Dynamics Direct, the most powerful part of the deal is the sales relationship with MatchLogic, which boasts 40 salespeople of its own, 200 to 300 salespeople at Excite, and a number of agency broker relationships. Since Dynamics Direct is just getting started in this business of rich media e-mail, having a well-established player to introduce it to potential clients could be a big help.

Although this is not an exclusive relationship - Dynamics Direct is free to forge other partnerships - Gillam stressed that, "we are a small company and have a very focused on attention to the partnerships to we develop," seeming to indicate that Dynamics Direct would work on this relationship before seeking another partner.

Initially, the two companies will focus on using the Dynamics Direct product on its own opt-in lists, with an objective of customer acquisition. Eventually, they plan to offer it to MatchLogic clients for use in customer relationship management, in which case the clients' own house database would be used.