Harte-Hanks provides Ultimate e-mail

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Consumer electronics retailer Ultimate Electronics tapped Harte-Hanks to manage its e-mail and direct mail database marketing efforts.

Ultimate Electronics uses its customer database of 2.5 million names to manage its campaigns, which are sent out to acquire customers.

"The most important part of our business is the growth segment, because new customers spend four times more," said David Smith, senior vice president at Ultimate Electronics, Denver.

The Web site at www.ultimateelectronics.com sells a host of consumer electronics products such as Sony flat screen high-definition television sets, GoVideo's portable DVD players, Whistler's portable GPS navigation and Motorola Q handsets.

To grow the business, the retailer uses e-mail and direct mail. E-mails are typically sent out twice a month to the 135,000 customers from the larger mailing database. However, the holidays saw a boost with once-a-week e-mails being sent out offering deals, technology tips and invitations to events.

Harte-Hanks, San Antonio, TX, was recently featured in Jupiter Research's E-mail Marketing Buyer's Guide, 2006, which evaluated the merits of 28 vendors. The report examined overall value, suitability and breadth on the distinct needs of service-oriented, small- and mid-sized businesses and large enterprises. Harte-Hanks' e-mail platform Postfuture was cited as a "highly valuable and suitable leader" among "large-enterprise-oriented e-mail service providers."

Mr. Smith agreed, saying the system has helped the retailer manage its customer lists better than it did previously through an in-house Oracle application. And according to Mr. Smith, better list management leads to better customer retention.

"Our stance as a specialty retailer is to provide a value experience to our customers," Mr. Smith said. "This means being the first to show them the latest in technology and new products."

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