eBay's New Newsletter Program Targets Buyers in 50 Regions

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Online auction firm eBay, San Jose, CA, said this week that it's beginning a targeted e-mail newsletter program next month aimed at people who have registered with eBay's regional sites. It is an effort to offer heightened convenience to buyers and sellers.

For sellers, selecting a region for their items expands exposure for their listing. And for buyers, shopping locally provides a way to easily locate items near them and buy products on eBay that are too heavy to mail such as cars and furniture.

People who have registered with the more than 50 major cities highlighted in the regional program will receive e-mail newsletters based on their region and based on their particular category of interest, said Kim Weins, vice president of product marketing at Annuncio Software, Mountain View, CA. Annuncio provided the e-mail marketing software for eBay's program. "People with an interest in antiques in Florida, for example, will get a different newsletter than people with an interest in antiques in New Jersey," Weins said.

The program, also being developed with FusiosnDM, San Francisco, a direct response agency with a focus on Internet marketing, is using Annuncio's Annuncio Live e-mail marketing software. Overall, it's designed to enhance and build customer relationships with the eBay community. eBay uses Annuncio Live for a series of personalized daily and monthly e-mail marketing programs targeted to people who have registered with eBay - either for bidding or selling purposes. The targeted marketing messages offer updates on upcoming special events as well as preferenced sale items.

eBay selected Annuncio Live for all of these programs because it offered the functionality needed to handle more than just simple e-mail interactions and click-though tracking offered by service bureaus. Annuncio Live, for example, allows marketers to create and automate high-volume e-marketing campaigns that also involve Web interaction, view real-time results and build a live profile database for use in personalization and permission-based marketing.

One of the first campaigns Annuncio worked on with eBay last August was designed to enable eBay to identify people who were newly registered for its site but had not yet bid on it. eBay would send registrants an e-mail 24 to 72 hours after they had signed up, providing them with targeted information about the site. In addition, patrons would be linked to a mini-Web teaching-tool site because research showed that a key barrier to bidding was in understanding how to bid.

Annuncio gathered the targeted data necessary for all of its e-mail marketing programs by selecting e-mail names and other basic contact information - such as names, ZIP codes, states, regions and interests - from eBay's massive operational database.

"We are continually looking for new ways to keep our passionate, worldwide community of traders up-to-date with all that's happening at eBay, and Annuncio is helping us do just that," said Jim Davis, eBay's vice president of marketing.

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