TargetSmart, Experian Enter Small-Business List Market

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TargetSmart, Denver, CO, a software company focused on customer acquisition, has joined the growing ranks of nontraditional list suppliers to the small-business market with the introduction of its ProspectSmart! CD-ROM application. In doing so, it has established a channel into that market for data provider Experian.


ProspectSmart enables marketers on small budgets to build targeted mailing lists from Experian's Insource consumer database that covers 95 percent of U.S. households. Experian, Orange, CA, is a partial investor in TargetSmart and receives a percentage of order revenue.


"We like to partner with companies that have the distribution vehicles to put our data into more hands, whether it be online or through software," said Gary Laben, Experian's vice president of marketing and business development. "TargetSmart gives us a wonderful channel to penetrate the small business market."


ProspectSmart compresses the Insource database into two CD-ROMs updated quarterly. Once a list of names is selected, the software provides a turnkey direct-marketing solution at the desktop. It uses mail merge and creative "wizards" to help develop personalized marketing messages, then provides a link to the PitneyBowes DirectNet Web site for printing and fulfillment.


The software can purge prospect names contained on a user's house file and perform other deduping based on parameters set by the user. A program can be set, for example, to cut out names mailed during a defined period, such as the last 30 or 90 days.


"It's like having your own direct marketing department, but without the overhead," said Mike Kennedy, TargetSmart President and CEO, in a prepared statement.


Like other CD-ROM and Web-based list providers that have sprung up as an alternative for marketers which cannot afford or don't mail enough to go through a list broker, ProspectSmart does not impose minimum orders. ProspectSmart charges 10 cents per name, but unlike some competitors, provides unlimited geographic and demographic selections for free.


For a limited time, TargetSmart is offering the first 1,000 names free to purchasers of the software. The offer could be extended indefinitely, according to TargetSmart spokesperson Robbie Herzig, who said the firm receives a supply of names free from Experian, which it passes on to the consumer.


ProspectSmart is compatible with TargetSmart!, the company's customer loyalty and growth application software. It is available online at www.targetsmart.com or by phone. It is also being marketed through small-business channels, such as trade associations of vertical retail industries and telecommunications firms, as a value-added service to their members and customers.


The software retails for $199 with quarterly data updates available for an additional $79. It can run on Windows 95, 98 and NT platforms.
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