Ex-Yesmail Chief Joins Vertical Response Board

Former Yesmail president Ed Henrich has joined Vertical Response as a director on the board of the e-mail and direct marketing services firm.

VerticalResponse adds Mr. Henrich as it looks to tackle the small to midsize business market.

“Ed knows the business and the key players in the space,” said Janine Popick, CEO of VerticalResponse, San Francisco, whose long acquaintanceship with Mr. Henrich brought him aboard. “He also has a marketing and a technology background. We got the best of everything with his background skills.”

These skills include a resume of building up companies. Mr. Henrich is currently president of his online marketing firm, Henrich Enterprises. He is most recognized for his role as president of Yesmail, one of the early e-mail marketing firms and now owned by database giant infoUSA.

Mr. Henrich joined Yesmail in 1997 when it was Post Communications. As vice president of client services, he was responsible for designing the company’s analytics reporting system. This platform was used for e-mail marketing by the likes of Hewlett-Packard, Macy’s, Hotwire and E*Trade.

Ms. Popick said that she hopes his experience with big firms gives him an advantage when targeting the SMB market.

Vertical Response hosts 19,000 clients including wineries, real estate agents and travel agents. Clients include both business-to-business and business-to-consumer brands. Retail is the main client base, but the firm sells in other segments as well.

The VerticalResponse platform can be used directly on Salesforce.com. Users can download a VerticalResponse tool and contact its leads directly through the Salesforce site. The marketer then can track who clicks and opens its e-mail.

VerticalResponse claims that deliverability is not usually an issue as most of its campaigns go to 2,500 to 3,000 people, a small number in terms of spam-blocking issues.

The VerticalResponse  platform lets users create personalized e-mail campaigns from templates that can be sent to anywhere from 50 to hundreds of thousands of prospects.

The service also includes a direct mail postcard feature. Though most clients are small to midsize businesses on the Web, the mail feature aims to drive traffic to customers’ Web sites through offline advertising. Campaigns are charged on a pay-per-use basis. Users can host as much data as they like without paying a fee.

Constant Contact and Got Marketing are competitors in the space.

Mr. Henrich said that he chose the move from Yesmail’s large-firm dealings to Vertical Response’s smaller targets to have a new challenge. He called it an exciting opportunity to be a key player in a new territory.

“By the end of the decade, every small business will have a Web site and use Google searches,” he said. “I think that by the end of the decade every small business will use e-mail to communicate.”

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