@Once Putting on E-Mail for Ritz Interactive

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Ritz Interactive Inc. named @Once, Portland, OR, as its e-mail marketing services provider for the RitzCamera.com, WolfCamera.com, CameraWorld.com and BoatersWorld.com sites.

The company looked at seven other firms, including CheetahMail, Responsys and YesMail. First Media Works, San Clemente, CA, previously distributed e-mails, but there was no incumbent.

"We were looking for a company that can help us grow our list and that can help us refine the look and feel of our lists, but also to really help us with our data mining efforts," said Joe Nardolilli, senior marketing manager at Ritz, Irvine, CA.

@Once will handle targeting, deployment, mailing list management and reporting for Ritz's photography, boating and fishing sites. Emphasis will be paid on Ritz's e-mail newsletters to about 1 million consumers who registered on the sites or are customers.

E-mail accounts for 5 percent to 10 percent of Ritz's revenue. Much of the rest comes from traffic driven by offline partners like Ritz Camera and Wolf Camera and ads on television, radio, ROP and freestanding inserts.

In addition, contests, sweepstakes and giveaways as well as deals with AOL, MSN and Yahoo contribute. Ritz also uses shopping bots and search engines like Google and Overture to drive traffic.

@Once's main challenge is to optimize Ritz's current database.

"E-mail did not represent a substantial percentage of our overall business, and that's one of the reasons for us to focus on that," said Andre Brysha, vice president and chief marketing officer of Ritz. "We feel there is a lot of potential, and we hope to get it to a more substantial level."

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