Engage Will Sell Yesmail's E-Mail Services

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CMGI companies Engage Inc. and yesmail.com this week announced a partnership in which Engage will sell yesmail's e-mail marketing services to its clients and prospects.

The deal gives e-mail marketing firm yesmail, Chicago, a significantly larger sales force to push its lists throughout the industry. Prior to the agreement, yesmail had about 60 sales representatives, while interactive marketer Engage, Andover, MA, had upward of 200 sales agents, according to Anthony Priore, senior vice president of marketing at yesmail.

"There's a lot of overlap between Engage and yesmail in terms of the kinds of companies we call on, and that's a good thing," Priore said. "This gives us more coverage for selling permission-based e-mail." Yesmail also has a series of smaller reseller agreements with brokers and agents.

Even though Engage reps may be the ones pitching yesmail to their clients and closing the deals, a yesmail team will be responsible for executing e-mail campaigns and managing the lists. Priore said that as a business-to-consumer operation, yesmail had to maintain tight security and privacy policies.

For its part, Engage gains another add-on service to offer its clients and prospects. "We didn't have an acquisition e-mail solution," said Paul Schaut, president/CEO of Engage. "And this helps us to expand the set of solutions that we can offer to marketers."

E-mail was an important but missing part of Engage's products and services, Priore said.

"One of the things Engage has been wrestling with over and over again is that their marketing-oriented clients and prospects are asking about permission e-mail," he said. "They don't just want to buy one product in a vacuum. They are looking for integrated approaches, and this gives Engage more things to sell."

CMGI, which of late has implored its units to identify more synergies among one another, played a key role in bringing the two firms together.

"They were very much the driver in this deal," Schaut said. "This was a direct result of us executing on CMGI's leveraging strategy." Over the next couple of weeks, the two companies said they would hold joint training sessions.

Interestingly, Engage and yesmail announced their reseller partnership only eight days after DoubleClick Inc. agreed to purchase yesmail.com rival NetCreations. One of the main effects of that merger is DoubleClick's plan to have its 200-person sales staff sell NetCreations' PostMasterDirect lists and e-mail services.

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