Dynamics Direct Debuts Talking E-Mail

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NEW YORK -- Dynamics Direct took one-to-one advertising to a new level with the release of a rich media e-mail solution that calls out the names of recipients.

CEO Russ Gillam calls it Dynamic Individualization, and he unveiled it at the Jupiter Communications Online Advertising Forum held here Tuesday.

It marked the official launch of the company, even though Gillam said Dynamics Direct has been working below the radar for the past five months.

The company also announced agreements with Calico Commerce, ChipShot.com, Columbia TriStar Interactive, eCrush, Promotions.com, Stamps.com, Uproar.com and zDegree.

Dynamics Direct, West Hills, CA, tested the program in June by sending 1.2 million e-mail messages in an incentive-based customer acquisition and retention campaign for Stamps.com.

The messages contained audio and text with a recipient's first name. The application is able to recognize the spellings of different names and translate keyboard strikes and profiling information into spoken words.

Campaign research conducted by Dynamics Direct revealed 25 percent of users who received the individualized rich media versions of the message clicked through. Response rates were more impressive than in previous e-mail campaigns sent out to the Stamps.com house list, and the per-customer acquisition cost was lower than in previous direct mail campaigns, Dynamics Direct said.

Dynamics Direct was not at liberty to release the actual per-customer acquisition cost statistics, "but we would love to brag about them. It's the biggest testament to the fact that our service is working," Gillam said.

Gillam attributes the improved response rates to the nature of rich media. "It catches their attention and increases the likelihood that they'll click through," he said.

The messages also inform recipients about what they will find on the Web site they are being lured toward, so click-through and conversion rates are increased.

Gillam said Dynamics Direct used a control-based experiment to test this theory.

In a campaign for golf portal ChipShot.com, Dynamics Direct sent out 150,000 newsletters with Dynamic Individualization and 150,000 without it.

The rich media newsletters sent to ChipShot.com members generated twice the amount of revenue per message sent and 30 percent more revenue per order compared to the newsletters without the rich media, Gillam said.

Campaign research revealed recipients of the rich media messages were 200 percent more likely to make purchases from the Web site.

Dynamic Individualization also can incorporate database elements such as hometowns and purchase histories and integrate them with streaming rich media that includes animation, voice narration and graphics.

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