Bestfoods Uses ClickAction for E-Mail Marketing

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Bestfoods, a leading U.S. food marketer acquired last month by packaged goods giant Unilever, will soon launch an e-mail campaign targeting its end-consumers in nearly 110 markets worldwide.


Bestfoods, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, has signed a deal to use ClickAction Inc.'s e-mail relationship marketing services. Bestfoods will seek to reach consumers of brands, including Hellmann's mayonnaise, Skippy peanut butter, Entenmann's baked goods and Thomas' English muffins.


"Bestfoods' Web site is seeing more and more traffic, like many big brands, and our service enables Bestfoods.com's visitors to not only register, but enables Bestfoods to begin one-to-one dialogue on issues of importance," said Gregory Slayton, CEO of ClickAction, Palo Alto, CA.


A provider of e-mail marketing and messaging services, ClickAction clients include Nabisco, Brooks Brothers, Dean and Deluca, Sara Lee, Boise Cascade Office Products and other traditional marketers. Other users of its service include Vicinity Corp. and Adforce/CMGI.


The ClickAction deal with Bestfoods comes one month after Unilever bought Bestfoods for $20.3 billion and assumed $4 billion in debt. Formerly known as CPC International, Bestfoods reported 1999 revenue of $8.6 billion.


A key task of the e-mail effort is to drive traffic to the flagship online presence at www.bestfoods.com and to the individual sites of the Bestfoods brands. Once there, the marketer hopes to dispense information on new products and brand extensions, healthy cooking, recipes and articles on nutrition.


Using ClickAction technology, Bestfoods will create, segment and deliver targeted e-mails and newsletters to opt-in consumers.


A Bestfoods' database of e-mail addresses collected from previous online visitors to the corporate and brand sites will supply the names for all campaigns.


"We'll host the database, but we'll also assist the marketer with database analytics and compose messages online as well as do test marketing of various messages," Slayton said.
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