24/7 Media Adds Personalization Product to Lineup

New York-based ad network 24/7 Media Monday unveiled a new product that automates the creation and delivery of personalized email newsletters.

The company’s new Select Messaging product expands on its opt-in email offerings to allow online marketers to tailor emails to recipients on a one-to-one basis — which create more targeted content, and ideally, boosting advertiser value.

The product uses information formatted in Extensible Markup Language (XML) to cull content automatically from clients’ Web sites. The product then periodically sends out scheduled, branded emails incorporating that content and the client’s marketing messages or offers.

The content of those emails are targeted to particular users, who previously detailed their preferences. For instance, EMusic, a current client of the product, uses SelectMessaging in its RollingStone.com Web site to send news and alerts to subscribers based on the artists they specify. Once the subscriber defines the content they want to receive, personalized information is automatically inserted into periodic email newsletters.

In addition to offering users’ personalized information, SelectMessaging can also collect up to 30 types of information from consumers who register for the service.

The product can also use non-personally identifiable transactional, demographic and other kinds of user-specific data to target specific content.

“As email communication increasingly becomes the means for reaching subscribers and potential customers, the ability to provide users with personalized, branded information will become increasingly important to marketers and publishers,” said Mark Danchak, senior vice president for product marketing at 24/7 Media. “We’re helping companies maximize the potential of online marketing efforts by taking advantage of SelectMessage’s personalization and customization features.”

24/7 Media said it is planning an add-on feature that will segment users by location or interests, as determined through their requests for particular SelectMessaging information.

The move comes in the wake of DoubleClick’s announced intention to acquire Toronto-based email marketer FloNetworks last month — a move that would boost the industry leader’s capabilities in email marketing, one of the more stable areas in the troubled online marketing space.

24/7’s move also comes as the major ad networks are all debuting new products, amid continued softness in the ad spending market. L90 recently debuted a keyword-search network that allows smaller Web marketers to buy keyword-based inventory across a range of sites; CMGI’s ad network Engage recently took the wraps off several digital asset management products.

DoubleClick recently has been focusing on building up its Research business, announcing a partnership with online metrics and measurement firm comScore Networks to jointly develop and market products.

24/7 Media meanwhile has been concentrating on building support for its fledgling — but high-margin — broadband services and consulting business. It also has rolled out several products aimed at smaller online marketers.

However, efforts by the ad networks, as well as those by cash-strapped publishers and sympathetic industry groups like the Internet Advertising Bureau, come as the outlook for online advertising appears to be worsening. Last week, Merrill Lynch’s longtime industry supporter Henry Blodget said he now predicts Web ad revenue will decline 25 percent in 2001 from last year, to about $5.9 billion.

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