RealTime IT News

24/7 Media Expands Wireless Messaging Capabilities

Ad serving and technology firm 24/7 Media Wednesday announced a deal through which it will begin sending wireless messages to opt-in recipients.

Via a partnership with wireless and Internet messaging firm Alerts.com, 24/7 will begin offering clients the ability to send their customers personalized news and information, by way of PCs, fax, and SMS and WAP-enabled cell phones and wireless devices.

"As 24/7 Media focuses on helping our clients acquire, retain and grow customer relationships, Alerts.com gives Internet sites another way to help drive traffic and keep their customers loyal," said Cindy Brown, senior vice president and general manager of 24/7 Exactis, the company's e-mail unit, which will oversee the offering.

Alerts.com's service notifies customers as news and information is changed or updated on customer-selected Web sites. Once a customer signs up for the service, the Alerts.com system continuously checks the Web site for content changes. When new information is found that matches the user's criteria, Alerts sends a message notifying the user of the new information, including a URL link for immediate access to the site, setting the stage for continued communications with a potential customer.

"For example, a customer might ask an online merchant to alert her by e-mail when a particular item goes on sale," Brown said. "When the item is put on sale, the Alerts service would immediately notify the customer on behalf of the merchant and provide a convenient link back to the merchant's site."

Raleigh-based Alerts.com said this ability enables companies to develop a stronger connection with consumers. By alerting users to content changes, the companies say the service generates qualified repeat visits to clients' sites.

"Clients choosing to use Alerts.com have the opportunity to add significant value to their Web sites," Brown said. "As customers continually receive content and information updates, we believe our clients will see an increase in traffic and site loyalty."

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The deal continues 24/7 Media's efforts to distance itself from the media business on which it and several competitors -- including DoubleClick and CMGI's Engage -- built their names.

In November, the company missed expected third-quarter earnings by $0.12 per share and announced staff cuts of about 200, which ultimately included several executives. At the time, spokespeople said the company would renew efforts at focusing on e-mail marketing and technology sales, higher-margin businesses than media, which makes up the bulk of the company's revenues.