Rocket15's Downloadable Utilities Take Off

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An e-mail campaign last month to 12 million people promoting Rocket15's first two Web-based products has resulted in more than 105,000 downloads of the items.


Rocket15 is a start-up that plans to roll out novelty sites monthly and make money through partnerships with other online marketers. Products it will typically offer include computer tools and utilities, but with a twist.


Last month's products, for example, were a calculator and a screensaver. But the Funcalculator comes in two versions, the Orgasmic Calculator and the Farting Calculator. Every time a button is pressed, the calculator makes a noise related to its name. Screenbobbers is a screensaver that mimics the popular toys of baseball players with bobbing heads. Celebrities used in the screensaver include Elvis Presley and Jennifer Lopez.


The recipients for last month's campaign came from Emazing, an e-mail publishing company. In return, e-mail recipients who downloaded one of the products were required to subscribe to one of Emazing's newsletters. Rocket15 receives an undisclosed amount for each recipient who signs up for a newsletter.


"We plan to launch sites like Funcalculator and Screenbobbers every two to three weeks," said Chaz Rough, chief flight officer at Rocket15, Louisville, KY. "They are simple, so it doesn't take a long time to go back in and design them. I believe they will all have a long shelf life, but the initial push and popularity for each of them will be high and then it will level out in time for the debut of our next site."


Rocket15 promoted the products with Emazing in several ways.


They were touted in a cross-promotional e-mail sent to all 12 million of Emazing's registered members. More than 988,000 of the e-mails were opened, with more than 10,700 of those people clicking through to either Funcalculator or Screenbobbers.


The products also were promoted in targeted Emazing e-mails known as Download of the Day and Web Site of the Day. Those two e-mails have a subscription base of 762,000 and 405,000, respectively. More than 2 million e-mails were sent to these subscribers, with more than 1 million people opening the messages and 67 percent of those clicking through to the sites.


All e-mails contained a forwarding capability, which was used 20 percent of the time, Rough said.


The company expects to spend upward of $500,000 to promote Rocket15 products and sites over the next 12 months, Rough said.


Rocket15 will collect the names and e-mail addresses of all recipients who download a product and will ask whether they would like to receive the Rocket15 newsletter, which will be issued every time it launches a new product.


Upcoming products that the company has planned include rpsdeathmatch.com, Shootthehoop.com and funkyclocks.com. The company expects to have eight to 10 sites live by November.


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