Topica Offers Self-Service E-Mail Marketing for Small Business

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Topica Inc., an e-mail marketing and newsletter publisher services provider, yesterday introduced a self-service version of its Email PublisherPro on Dec. 17. The system is aimed at small businesses, associations and nonprofits. It offers a Web-based interface for developing and deploying e-mail marketing campaigns.


Email PublisherPro incorporates e-mail newsletter creation, subscriber management, audience demographics and segmentation, reporting and customer support. Pricing, which depends on the monthly volume of e-mails sent, starts at $14.95 per month for up to 4,000 messages.


"We've been very high end, serving businesses like IBM, IDG and National Geographic and on the free side with e-mail newsletters," said Anna Zornosa, Topica's president/CEO. "There's a huge demand among smaller companies, and now we can address that center segment."


Topica's corporate-level Email Publisher service, used by People magazine, CMP and IDG Publications among others, gives publishers control of creating, managing and serving ads from a single system interface.


The self-service version offers functions that the corporate-level product does not, including some segmentation and filtering capabilities, Zornosa said. Both products let customers gather audience demographics in 15 pre-defined fields, five custom fields and 24 interest fields.


"Database segmentation is very important," she said. "Smaller companies usually have one e-mail list, not 12. It's not an e-mail database, not a direct marketing database. It's one database."


The average monthly bill for companies using the self-service version of Email Publisher is about $200, Zornosa said.


"These small companies are by no means small users of e-mail," she said. "They're very sophisticated users."


Topica, San Francisco, sends more than 350 million e-mails monthly. It has a subscriber base of about 12 million.


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