Alvion Campaign Seeks Leads for Count-and-Order System

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Application service provider Alvion Technologies Inc. began a direct mail campaign this month designed to generate leads for its online count and order system.

Recipients were offered a free report titled "Secrets of Selling Lists on the Internet."

"The Alvion challenge has been to get noticed by the industry," said Vil Ezerins, founder and owner of AccuData America and Alvion Technologies, Cape Coral, FL. "Our goal was to build credibility, and at the same time reset people's expectations to a realistic level about what they can and cannot achieve online."

Several start-up companies attempted to create online count and order systems for the list industry during the past year. The result was generally mixed reviews and skepticism from list professionals.

Both Alistia and the now-defunct Adventa touted their services as tools made especially for the list industry, but neither were list marketers.

Though Ezerins said those firms might have cast some doubt in the industry regarding the viability of online count and order systems, he believes that once marketers' misconceptions are cleared up, they will embrace Alvion's model.

"It's very hard for an outsider to come up with a solution," said Lara Gold, vice president of marketing at AccuData America, speaking on behalf of Alvion. "We have almost 200 people here at AccuData using the system every day. We've gone through the bugs [and] we've gone through the development. It's been designed in and for and around the list industry."

Alvion dropped approximately 20,000 prospecting pieces exactly one month ago. A combination of database information from both compiled and response lists was used.

The direct mail piece allows recipients to order the free report via mail, telephone or the Alvion Web site.

The report is based on Ezerins' experiences selling lists online. He plans to update it and release future editions as needed.

It includes such topics as which lists sell best online; the most important features of online list systems; how to get customers to access lists online; measuring the results of online list sales; pricing strategies; and security issues.

Gold said it was difficult to project a response rate.

Though a 2 percent response rate would be great, she said, Alvion would be satisfied with a few quality leads as opposed to a large number of less qualified leads.

Ezerins founded marketing data provider AccuData America in 1990 and began developing an internal online count and order system in 1996. He formed Alvion Technologies in 1999 as a sister company to AccuData in order to market its count and order application, ListKey, to the list industry.

Ezerins conceived and authored the direct mail piece as well as the report in an attempt to educate the industry about selling lists online while reaching prospects for Alvion's ListKey technology.

"Our goal was to reach multiple decision-makers and influencers within various organizations that sell and/or distribute marketing information," Gold said.

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