Real Media in Deal with Mailround

Ad rep and serving company Real Media Thursday said it will serve and manage banner ads for permission e-mail marketer Mailround.

UK-based Mailround offers monthly rewards to users for sending and receiving small advertising banners in their e-mail. Users’ chances of winning increase with the frequency of e-mails sent.

If that idea sounds familiar, it’s because several U.S. companies tried that model and fell flat on their faces. One of these, Epidemic Marketing, went out of business this summer, after having made a splash with Super Bowl advertising in January. Another, FaveMail, has changed its business model and its name, after the idea apparently failed to catch on.

Through terms of the deal with Mailround, Real Media will serve and target 125 x 250 “stamps” into e-mails sent and received by London-based Mailround’s opt-in membership.

The stamps are targeted based on personal details given by members on sign-up.

“Our permission e-mail marketing service is basically a ready-made viral marketing program,” said Mailround co-founder Eldar Tuvey. “Each of our members has opted-in to receive targeted advertising messages and uses our service to pass on relevant offers to friends and contacts.”

Mailround said that an added advantage of the service is that recipients of e-mails carrying stamps are more likely to respond to the advertising contained within it since it comes from a personal trusted source, and not from a marketer.

“Mailround offers great advantages for advertising because the user chooses to receive [advertisements], and willingly discloses information about his or her interests in exchange for targeted offers delivered in a personal, trustworthy manner,” said Richard Smith, head of sales for Real Media UK. “This means ads are never sent as irritating and unwanted spam.”

“The viral capacity of the service, together with data capture, enables Mailround to establish a comprehensive, rapidly expanding user database,” Smith said. “As usership grows, Mailround’s appeal as an … advertising tool will increase.”

The companies hinted that they will work together to develop additional products based on Mailround’s core business of embedding ads in e-mails and incentivizing their senders — but declined to disclose details.

Mailround’s “proposition — using regular e-mail as a customized advertising platform — is a resourceful use of such a popular communication medium,” Smith said.

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