Responsys, Scene7 Join for Visual Personalization

E-mail player Responsys and rich media player Scene7 teamed to provide joint clients with highly personalized, dynamic email campaigns that don’t require a lot of individual creatives.

“E-mail marketers have been limited,” said Douglas Mack, CEO of Scene7. “If you have to create separate images for separate segments, it’s very time consuming.”

To use the Scene7 technology, marketers create one master template, and the system renders personalized text in the appropriate visual style. It can also re-render existing visual images, such as products from a retailer’s catalog, to fit into the campaign template. Marketers can deliver individualized email, tailored based on an person’s previous purchases, for example, without incurring increased production costs.

The company says marketers can set 16 to more than 50 variables tailored to an individual. The idea, of course, is to make offers more attractive to email recipients.

“On early campaigns we’ve run, we tend to see that people are 50 percent more likely to open and read their email,” said Mack.

Responsys’ systems then tracks responses to email campaigns. Direct marketers accustomed to testing a variety of creative approaches can test the basic email framework, or template.

“You have to think of it as one order of magnitude higher,” said Mack. “You’re going to refine the template rather than just one segment.”

Responsys and Scene7 intend to jointly sell and market the email product, but it’s not an exclusive relationship for either party. It’s being launched at the eTail 2005 conference, reflecting the companies’ initial focus on retailers.

“I think it appeals to anyone who wants to be more relevant — retailers, manufacturers, travel companies,” said Scott Olrich, CMO of Responsys. “Our primary go-to market strategy will be to go after retail and e-commerce companies, but we’re certainly not going to limit it.”

So far, technology retailer CDW has signed up to use the joint offering.

Though the companies intend to eventually integrate their sales functions more fully, for now clients will have to negotiate with each party separately to take advantage of the combined offering.

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