BTB Site Makes Its Pitch Via E-Mail

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Huddle247.com plans to roll out an e-mail campaign to promote its expected launch today.


The site, which allows workgroups to share information on the Web, will target industries it believes are best suited to use the service.


Accountants will be the first group targeted. Huddle247 will send out 75,000 e-mails to lists compiled by AccountingWeb.com and 24/7 Media. The e-mail messages will explain the site and will offer 60 days of free service. The service normally costs $20 per month.


The site also will advertise in Pro2Net.com's weekly newsletter, which goes out to 65,000 accountants. In addition, it is providing the Tip of the Week for AccountingWeb.com's 15,000-person e-mail newsletter.


Banner ads will run on a number of targeted sites, including About.com, Pro2Net.com and AccountingWeb.com.


The benefits of e-mail marketing are the speed and measurability of the medium, said Katherine Fotch, vice president of database marketing at Huddle247, Santa Anna, CA. "[In addition to] responders and converters, you get those who opened the offer, which gives you another valuable metric. Especially when you look at different lists. I'd never know that in terms of direct mail."


The problem, however, is that you sacrifice accuracy, Fotch said. "E-mail marketing is in its infancy. It hasn't gotten to the point where the compilation methods are as stringent and rigorous as they are offline. Offline, the lists are a lot more seasoned with a lot more data behind them. It's to be expected."


The site plans to launch a direct mail campaign in the fall to reach those missed through the online marketing campaign. "If you can't catch them with a banner or an e-mail, you can't tell them the story as well as you can with a direct mail piece," Fotch said.


The site will run a second campaign next month targeting 75,000 architects, engineers and contractors. The offer will be reduced to a 30-day free trial, but project tools for architects will be offered.


In the fourth quarter, Huddle247 will target the film and entertainment industry with its e-mail marketing efforts.


It also plans to introduce print and radio in the fourth quarter. However, "being a dot-com, with our method of delivery being the Internet, the crux of our marketing is going to be online," Fotch said.


Other online elements will be added in the fourth quarter to target small businesses as a whole. The site plans to advertise with Office.com, Inc.com and Entrepreneur.com.


Huddle247.com offers custom-designed Internet business solutions that enable work team members to manage projects, documents and processes online from any geographic location.
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