Millard Group Enters the E-Mail Business

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List management firm Millard Group Inc. has entered into a strategic alliance with First Virtual Holdings Inc. to offer e-mail storage, development, delivery and response analysis.

"We want to be part of the e-mail list management and brokerage community, and the first thing you need is a good service bureau," said Paul Forringer, manager, new venture marketing for Millard Group, Peterborough, NH. "[E-mail] is an area that we've been looking at for a year and a half."

Millard plans to have several e-mail lists in the 100,000- to 200,000-name range under management "in the near future," Forringer said, but he declined to name any. He added that Millard will only manage opt-in e-mail lists or those on which recipients have specifically requested to be placed.

"I'm glad that more list brokers are getting into [e-mail]," said Roy Schwedelson, CEO of hi-tech list management company Worldata, Boca Raton, FL. "It means there's a market and it means that the rules of the traditional list industry, which we've all done very well under, are going to apply. I expect to find all the usual suspects in there eventually."

As for First Virtual, San Diego, this deal is part of a major overhaul that began early this summer. First Virtual's main business was Internet payment processing until the company announced in July that it was getting out of that business and handing its accounts over to CyberCash Inc., Reston, VA, in a deal of unspecified terms.

First Virtual, which is part of Softbank, then announced last month that it had agreed to acquire e-mail lettershop Email Publishing Inc., Boulder, CO. Email Publishing's client base includes CMP Media, PennWell Publishing, Miller Freeman and Cahners Publishing.

Millard manages 125 lists, including those of publishers Conde Nast, Time Inc. and The Times Mirror Co. and catalog firms such as Land's End and L.L. Bean.

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