Alerts to Desktops, Cell Phones Get High Response

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Some advertisers are getting 10 times the response rate of traditional e-mails with Alert Engine Marketing, which sends messages to a subscriber's desktop, e-mail or cell phone -- whichever medium the user signed up for.


MessageCast Inc. developed Alert Engine Marketing, a technology that detects when a user is online and sends him one of the real-time messages he signed up for to one of the three locations.


"Spam is getting worse and worse, and response rates are just dwindling," MessageCast CEO Royal Farros said. "With this, I would know you're you, whether you are online or not, and it is 100 percent opt in."


Microsoft is using Alert Engine Marketing across several of its divisions, including MSN Video, MSN Sports and MSN Messenger, to support marketing campaigns. For example, a set of users asked to be alerted when a new version of MSN Messenger is available.


"That [Alert] got us a 30 percent response rate, and most click-through rates are in the 20 [percent] and 30 percent range," said Mindy Leffler, vendor for Billy Fez, a Microsoft vendor.


Leffler attributes the high response to that the company isn't sending people information they don't want to receive.


"If there is an upcoming version of a product, and there is buzz around it already, we tend to get really high click-through rates because it's not spam," she said. "People are signing in."


Music retailer MusicLand, Minneapolis, began testing the alerts during the 2004 holiday season. Executives would not give specific results on campaigns but said this type of marketing garners higher response rates than e-mail blasts.


Christine Blank covers online marketing and advertising, including e-mail marketing and paid search, for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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