21st Century Appends E-Mail Names

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Mailing list management and brokerage company 21st Century Marketing, Farmingdale, NY, is expected to unveil its e-mail appending service this week at the Direct Marketing Association's annual convention in Toronto.

The service, Epend, uses a sort of hi-tech guessing game to marry e-mail names to postal addresses. The service is one of several initiatives to provide a means for businesses to obtain the e-mail addresses of their customers. It uses technology called spidering, which involves transmitting several permutations of possible e-mail addresses based on each customer's name and business - jsmith@acme.com and john@acme.com, for example - hoping that one of the variations finds its mark.

In trials, the system identified e-mail addresses for an average of 30 percent of customers on a file, said president David Schwartz. The service also includes permission verification, and it's offered only for business customer files.

Meanwhile, Acxiom Corp., Conway, AR, despite the pending sale of its Direct Media list operations and the recent departure of a top manager for the project, continues to develop its EB@SE product that also can be used to append e-mail names to business customer files, according to Diane Vulcano, who heads the EB@SE initiative from the Acxiom/Direct Media offices in Greenwich, CT.

The co-op database obtains its e-mail addresses from businesses that contribute their house files anonymously. Other businesses then can match addresses in their house files with those in the database and append the e-mail names.

Mailers have been able to match e-mail names for about 8 percent to 10 percent of their files for business customers but only about 2 percent to 4 percent of consumer names, Vulcano said.

EB@SE has about 12 million e-mail addresses in its database from nine contributors. About 70 percent of the database consists of business customers.

Vulcano took over EB@SE this month after the departure of Regina Brady, who left to join Media Synergy Inc., Toronto.

The merger between Abacus Direct Corp., Broomfield, CO, and DoubleClick Inc., New York, also promises to create a massive database that marries not only e-mail and physical addresses, but also the purchasing behavior contained in the Abacus Alliance database. That merger is expected to close this year.

MyPoints.com, San Francisco, also recently acquired database technology from Experian, Orange, CA. According to MyPoints, the acquisition will enable it to match consumers' physical addresses from Experian's database to its own file of online consumer data.

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