CDNow Brings E-Mail Marketing Inhouse

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LOS ANGELES -- Online music retailer CDNow Inc. is about to bring its e-mail marketing chores inhouse.


The Fort Washington, PA, company inked a deal on Monday to buy Accucast Enterprise e-mail marketing software from Accucast, Atlanta.


Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though CDNow probably paid on the higher end of the software's $40,000 to $110,000 price range. Accucast charges clients based on their size.


"CDNow wants to do a better job of e-mail marketing," said Michael Pridemore, president/CEO of Accucast. "They've done e-mail marketing in the past, but now they want to bring it inhouse."


Pridemore said he could not recall the name of the outsourced provider that used to handle CDNow's e-mail effort.


"I believe the reason for the decision was cost and database integration and customization," Pridemore said. "If you use an outsourcing solution, you're going to be charged per e-mail."


He said synchronization was also an issue. Besides the security benefit, CDNow will have e-mail campaign data on premises.


"Their own marketing people will be able to do their campaigns," Pridemore said.


CDNow was bought in September by German media and music giant Bertelsmann AG and is now part of Bertelsmann e-Commerce Group. CDNow.com sells more than 500,000 products, including CDs, digital downloads, and movies on tape and DVD.


The CDNow account follows other recent client wins for 4-year-old Accucast. Cyber Dialog and RealAge.com, a health and wellness lifestyle site promoted by talk show host Oprah Winfrey's doctor, recently bought e-mail marketing software from Accucast.


Other Accucast clients include Delta Air Lines, Swissotel, OurHouse.com and General Electric Co.


Though Accucast launched in 1997, the privately held company launched its first product in February 1999. It is exhibiting at @d:Tech Los Angeles, a May 2-4 event for Internet advertising and marketing professionals.


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