Blockbuster Entertainment launched an e-mail newsletter this month at its Web site that will target offers based on member preferences and communicate new releases and store-specific promotions.
Visitors to the site (www.blockbuster.com) sign up for the @Blockbuster newsletter through a data capture system hosted by Admail.net, the e-mail marketing division of list firm DM Group, Aurora, OH.
Admail.net will manage and profile the Blockbuster database, which includes e-mail addresses collected from previous online promotions and in-store membership registration, and handle bulk e-mail newsletter distribution.
Blockbuster has no plans to share or sell its database for marketing purposes. However, the database gives the company a new communications link to its 4,000 video stores in the United States. Users indicate what type of information they wish to receive — from release dates of new titles to new store openings — and how often they want to receive it by filling out a survey that asks questions such as their favorite movie and video game categories and whether they own a DVD player.
“Our research shows that movie fans are hungry for that information,” said Liz Greene, spokeswoman for Blockbuster.
Coupons are not yet available by e-mail, but the company is working on a number of benefits for @Blockbuster, Greene said. Members can opt to receive direct mail offers when they register in stores and will eventually be able to request them via e-mail.
The system set up by Admail.net places @Blockbuster subscriber information directly into Blockbuster’s database. The data is cleaned to eliminate unusable e-mail addresses and available for use in 48 to 72 hours, said Robert Hicks, DM Group president.
Admail.net maintains a proprietary database with four years worth of good and bad e-mail addresses that it matches against all newly captured information.
Admail.net has provided e-mail services for direct marketing clients for three years. Blockbuster is its largest retail client and is a symbol, Hicks said, of the growing acceptance of e-mail as a marketing medium.