Mail Monitoring Firm Adds Utility Category to Database

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With widespread utility deregulation on the horizon, direct mail-package archiving firm marketIQ Inc. is busy scanning in the contents of two years' worth of utility mailings in the hope that a newly competitive marketplace will drive companies into monitoring their rivals' efforts.


"With literally hundreds of utilities within every state who will soon be competing against each other, just about every one will be interested in watching what's going on as deregulation happens from one state to the next," said Marcia Waite, vice president of marketing at marketIQ, Fair Haven, NJ. "This is a tremendous opportunity for us."


The company says its DirectIQ database includes scanned images and analysis of more than 10,000 credit-card or loan solicitations, 10,000 insurance mailings and 5,000 financial-services offers available for viewing at www.marketiq.com.


Other categories include telecommunications, bank-card insurance, pharmaceuticals, child-oriented mail and order clubs. Waite said the database goes back about three years. "We don't delete," she said. "We try to cover a few key categories very deeply."


She estimated that the utility database, slated for a June launch, will also include about 10,000 mailings from all types of utilities.


Waite said marketIQ will pitch the service by mail to "in the hundreds" of utility marketing managers nationally by the end of May and will attend utilities trade shows. She declined to say how much of a boost in subscribers the company expects.


About 7,500 people have access to the DirectIQ database through corporate subscriptions which cost $25,000 annually for one category and $15,000 for each additional category. marketIQ culls mailings from 800 participating households in the top 25 markets in the U.S. who agree to turn over all their unsolicited correspondence twice a month.
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