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NEXCOM drafts ExactTarget for its stores’ e-mail efforts

The Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) has partnered with e-mail ser­vices firm ExactTarget to power the e-mail marketing campaigns for all Navy Exchange retail stores worldwide.

NEXCOM, which operates more than 100 Navy Exchanges on Navy bases around the globe, will be replacing its existing home-grown database e-mail marketing sys­tem with ExactTarget’s Enterprise Edition software. The new partnership comes as NEXCOM has outgrown its own in-house e-mail program that it developed about three years ago. NEXCOM plans to integrate with ExactTarget’s e-mail platform in the coming months.

“E-mail is a very important part of our communications strategy with our custom­ers,” said Michael Conner, VP of marketing for NEXCOM. “For many years, we relied on direct mail, but we realized that there were many limitations with just direct mail, and that many of our customers couldn’t get or didn’t want paper and wanted something electronic instead.”

NEXCOM sends out two e-mails a week to about 200,000 recipients. One is an online version of its direct mail pieces. The other e-mail features weekly sales and promo­tions. While the e-mails currently are sent to its entire list, NEXCOM plans to begin segmenting once the Command is up and running on the ExactTarget platform.

“We were looking for a system that had tracking features so that we can do more advanced e-mails, rather than just blasting away,” Conner said.

The demographic is the entire military, which includes 17-year-olds to retirees.

“With ExactTarget we are going to have the ability to segment our list in a much more powerful and expanded way,” said Conner. “We are going to be able to person­alize our e-mail messages, as well as deliver dynamic content that is suitable for a par­ticular customer or segment.”

The two organizations are currently working to transfer NEXCOM’s subscriber lists into ExactTarget’s platform. The move to ExactTarget also will allow the Com­mand’s subscribers to choose how often they want to receive information, as well as enable NEXCOM to clean its list on a regular basis.

“By cleaning our list, we will be able to increase our [e-mail] response rates,” added Conner.

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