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RealTIME Media, e-Dialog on Same Team

Online promotions firm RealTIME Media and e-Dialog, a provider of precision e-mail marketing services, are set to announce a partnership this week.

The companies decided to team up after working together on a project for NFL.com. Apparently they liked what they saw.

During the 1999 NFL season, e-Dialog took over NFL.com's e-mail newsletter, which consisted of 100,000 subscribers. However, there was little profile information gathered about these subscribers other than their e-mail addresses.

RealTIME and its Instant Win scratch-off technology were brought on board to help. Consumers could play the game only if they provided additional profile information. Once they supplied this data, they could scratch to win hats and other merchandise with NFL logos.

More than 25,000 consumers coughed up profile information as a result of the promotion.

The realization was that by coupling e-Dialog's highly targeted e-mail marketing expertise with RealTIME's patent-pending instant win technologies and other services, the companies could produce compelling promotions, said Eric Ruth, senior vice president of sales and marketing at RealTIME Media, Wynnewood, PA.

“We'd been using e-Dialog for a while on a case-by-case basis,” he said. “We developed a relationship and realized how powerful we could be. Promotions and interactive games along with what they're doing [are] a natural extension.”

The two will develop joint products. Currently, e-Dialog will deliver links to RealTIME promotions. The companies probably will work together, however, to create an HTML e-mail version of RealTIME's promotions, according to Doug Atkinson, vice president for strategic alliances at e-Dialog, Lexington, MA.

Neither company would disclose details of the agreement, other than to say it is “a very contractually strong relationship” in which the two will share leads, research and development, as well as develop new products.

While it seems that promotions houses and other service providers are being gobbled up left and right — DoubleClick Inc. acquired Flashbase Inc. and 24/7 Media acquired iPromotions this year — e-Dialog and RealTIME see partnerships as the way of the future.

“There's no reason to go out and spend 'x' number of dollars to do something someone else is already doing so well,” Ruth said. “Our long-term goal in this thing is to be the strongest promotional technology provider on the Web, which means in many areas we'll be working with many other people, too.”

RealTIME Media can create contests, surveys, tell-a-friend viral programs, sweepstakes and loyalty programs. All aspects of these programs have a full tracking system for reporting and analysis.

e-Dialog also has a solid database marketing backbone behind all of its e-mail marketing efforts. Its E-Direct Response Marketing solutions enable marketers to deliver precision-focused messages and foster two-way dialogue with their audiences. The solutions support numerous marketing needs, ranging from e-commerce to market research.

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