Cross Media Shifts LifeMinders From Ad Model to Commerce

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Direct marketing concern Cross Media Marketing Corp. announced Friday that it has restructured LifeMinders in an effort to turn the e-mail division from a largely advertising-driven property to a commerce-oriented one.


Cross Media acquired LifeMinders -- a company that sends people e-mail reminders and other content based on personal interests -- for $68.1 million in cash and stock in October.


As part of the LifeMinders redesign, Cross Media trimmed the interest categories members can opt into from 22 to three -- health and wellness, home, and travel -- to match better with the product offerings on Cross Media's other marketing channels.


Among those channels are three online continuity clubs:


· Discount travel and leisure Web site www.destinations-direct.com


· Health and wellness site www.wellshore-direct.com


· Consumer products and services site www.premia-network.com


"LifeMinders really serves as a front door [to the clubs]," said Steve Gerber, vice president of marketing, Cross Media, New York.


The company will use LifeMinders' regular e-mail blasts to drive customers to the clubs.


"[The restructuring] is a migration from an advertising-driven model to one that's more commerce driven," Gerber said.


The advertising-driven LifeMinders, for example, had pet ownership as a category.


"It's a combination of a reflection of where the advertising market was at the time, and where they thought they could provide the most value to consumers," Gerber said.


The database was built to capitalize on a market where business-to-consumer e-mail lists were commanding $300 cost-per-thousand rates, he said.


"Once that collapsed, their reason for being ... kind of faded away," he said.


LifeMinders has 20 million people in its database, about half of whom interact with the product regularly.


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