*Mailnet Bridges Direct Mail Campaigns

Mailnet Services will officially make its entrance into the crowded outbound e-mail marketing arena in December with its MailnetExpress product. The company believes, however, that its roots in offline direct mail will help preclude it from becoming an also-ran.

Mailnet spun off from DataMarketing Network Inc., a full-service mail fulfillment company, in April. Its flagship product, which has been up and running since 1996, is listcleanup.com.

This site allows companies to upload their databases to be cleaned. Here a database can have duplicates removed, missing information appended and changes of address updated. Mailnet, at www.mailnetservices.com, accomplishes this by using top data providers such as infoUSA, Polk and Experian. The process is completed within hours.

Since the reason most companies clean up their lists is to do a mailing, offering direct mail and e-mail capabilities was the next logical step, said Don Leyrer, CEO of Mailnet Services Inc., Nashville, TN. “We thought why don't we do the mailing for them. They can upload their creative or select it from our creative library. We will then take care of the printing and mailing or the e-mailing or faxing of the message. It's a multichannel product.”

The direct mail campaigns are handled by DNI, which is located in the same building as Mailnet. “We have the core competency under our roof,” said Leyrer.

The company created its outbound e-mail infrastructure from scratch. It will be beta testing this service next month with about a dozen companies.

Bringing all of these services together can save a marketer time and money, said Leyrer. “The direct marketing process is very disjointed. You have to get an agency to come up with the concept, go to the printer and go to the letter shop. It's costly. We can give them all of the pieces as one vendor who can send e-mail, direct mail and fax. We have all of those capabilities. It's an automated process.”

One advantage, according to Leyrer, is that marketers can ensure they get their messages out. “If an e-mail doesn't get through they have another channel. We have built that process in so they can go to direct mail or fax if they choose.”

Additionally, Mailnet will allow companies to do small runs, which can often be a problem with the larger direct mail houses, said Leyrer. “They can't mess around with a small run or turn it around as quickly as customer would like. We'll do 500 this month and 500 next month. This way you can test creative and copy and more than likely, get better response rates.”

Since its inception, listcleanup.com has processed more than 1 billion records. It plans to do 600 million in 2000. Mailnet's clients have included Cisco and DaimlerChrysler.

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