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E-mail Not the Only Method

December 9, 2000

Your recent special report on list options (Treat them with respect and it shall be returned, PM November 6), proved to be both informative and thought-provoking. However, I would like to clarify my views on the role of the list manager in the e-commerce environment, as what was reported could possibly be misconstrued. The reason why does not use a list manager is because its business is based around data collection for direct marketing applications, much the same as companies such as Claritas and Experian in the offline world. List owners like Auto Traders and talk21 from BT use a list manager to contribute additional revenue from the marketing of the list to prospective (e-)mailers. List rental in these areas is not core business and allows the list owners to focus on core activity, while at the same time reaping financial reward. The principles of whether or not to use a list manager are the same for both e-mail and postal addresses. In the online world, however, it has little to do with the level of permission and opt-in - this is controlled either by the list owner, or the list manager and the business type. As far as we are concerned, the Auto Trader and talk21 lists have certainly proved the potential of e-mail lists. Whether they "have potential to ultimately surpass direct mail as a medium", as your report suggests, is quite another matter. As always, the opening up of a new route to market does not necessarily mean another route becomes redundant, merely complementary.

© 2000 Centaur Communications Ltd


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