Engage Business Media to Offer Publishers Opt-In E-Mail

Engage‘s B2B ad network Engage Business Media expanded its product offerings through an alliance with fellow CMGI company yesmail.com, an opt-in email services provider.

The deal, which was announced Monday, enables EBM to offer an opt-in email package to publishers on its network, who then can sell the names and email addresses of site visitors who are willing to receive marketing messages.

“For our Web publishers, building opt-in email lists will provide them with a new advertising revenue stream, in addition to banner and email newsletter advertising,” said EBM general manager Joanne Currie.

From the marketing perspective, “Engage will be able to generate a very targeted group of B2B yesmail members who have volunteered to receive industry-specific information,” she said.

Engage Business Media will act as the intermediary between yesmail.com and EBM’s network of sites. Yesmail.com will manage publishers’ email lists and handle direct email campaigns using the lists.

Opt-in email can be a lucrative proposition for both advertisers and publishers. Recent analyst reports have put clickthrough rates for opt-in email as high as 5 to 15 percent.

Traditional on-site banner ads’ clickthroughs average about 0.45 percent.

EBM’s deal with yesmail thus gives it a product-offerings edge over chief rival B2BWorks, the companies involved in Monday’s deal said.

“Permission-based email marketing is a critical component of B2B online advertising,” said yesmail.com chief executive officer Dave Tolmie.

“We can now offer our advertisers a direct, highly effective means to reach their precise customer online,” he added.

While lacking a direct email product, the privately held B2BWorks recently announced a deal with CBS’s Web directory services company Switchboard to offer B2BWorks’ more than 300 affiliates entry into a yet-to-be-created B2B site directory.

B2BWorks will hold exclusive ad-selling rights for the directory, which, the companies say, will eventually integrate e-business services such as request for proposal and request for quote.

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