Rapp Collins Acquires E-Mail ASP Innovyx for RappDigital

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Rapp Collins Worldwide, Omnicom Group's direct marketing arm, has entered the e-mail application service provider category with the acquisition of Innovyx Inc. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Innovyx's offerings will become part of the services provided by RappDigital, Rapp Collins' interactive digital marketing services firm. Innovyx will continue to operate under its own name and out of its Seattle office.

"We've been working in the e-mail space on behalf of our clients, but the vendors and partners that we work with, like Message Media and Post Communications, really are broad-based and don't focus e-mail on a one-to-one basis," said J. Gregory Sandom, president/CEO of RappDigital, New York. "They're capable vendors, but increasingly the value in our mind is not about doing e-mail as mass media. It's about targeting effectively. [It's] about quality vs. quantity."

That quest led to the Innovyx acquisition. The company's Dialogue 1to1 Web-based marketing system uses e-mail, database tools and the Internet to automate personalized interaction with consumers. Clients receive real-time analysis of the feedback from such closed-loop e-mail-based direct marketing. Innovyx can track relationships with each consumer, from first outreach to online transaction to any other action by the e-mail recipient.

"For our client base, this kind of development is critical because increasingly their needs are becoming more sophisticated than just e-mail distribution," said David Townsend, who will continue as CEO of Innovyx. "They're increasingly going to be needing to integrate other media like print and call centers, but also equally difficult is going to be the ability to gather customer data, manipulate and analyze it."

Townsend founded Innovyx along with Derek Harding, who stays on as chief technology officer.

"We think we're going to see the start of a very bloody shakedown," he said. "Specific to our area, there are some over-funded companies that are going to either go under or get acquired and there are going to be some under-funded companies that may go under as well. We did not want to be a casualty on either of those fronts."
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