Yahoo Plugs Birthday Club

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Search engine Yahoo, Santa Clara, CA, this week launched Yahoo Birthday Club, a direct marketing program that will enable advertisers to reach its more than 40 million registered users via e-mail on their birthdays with special discounted offers.


The personalized birthday e-mail greetings will only be sent to registered Yahoo users who have opted in to receive the offers.


"For advertisers this is a targeted, offer-driven merchandising vehicle," said Seth Godin, vice president of direct marketing at Yahoo. "Yahoo now has the ability to do a direct marketing program and allow advertisers to reach people on a special moment or day. And we are giving these advertisers the chance to do it in a message that is personal."


Currently only four sponsors -- Eddie Bauer, Lowestfare.com, mammothgolf.com, and Bluefly.com -- are taking part in the program. Godin said as the program expands, it will be increase the number of sponsors, "but for now there is only room for four."


The e-mail messages will contain a personal happy birthday message followed by four coupons from the participating sponsors. A detailed description of the offer will be listed next to the coupon followed by a link to the sponsor's home page.


The offers will not be tailored to the interests of the users initially.


"Once the program grows," Godin said, "and we learn more about our users, as well as increase the number of sponsors, the messages will become more personalized and geared towards our users' interests."


Advertisers interested in the program must provide Yahoo members with an offer that is exclusive to the Yahoo Birthday Club program, which is valid for a minimum of 30 days from the date the e-mails are sent. Sponsors must have the ability to handle redeemable coupons or promotional transactions.


Godin would not disclose the number of users who have signed up for the program as of late last week.
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