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Permission Email Marketing Gathers Pace


Permission Email Marketing Gathers Pace with Atlantis Deal

A new form of direct marketing – ‘Permission Email’ – has just given hundreds of New Zealand’s top companies a new distribution channel.

Atlantis, New Zealand’s largest owner and broker of lists, has signed an exclusive deal with SmileCity, New Zealand’s leading online offers and rewards website. The ‘preferred partner’ agreement gives Atlantis the right to resell and manage permission email campaigns to the country’s leading corporates and agencies, utilising the growing SmileCity database of 75,000 consumers who have ‘opted-in’ to receive these offers.

“Agencies and corporates are looking to reach individuals where they know the age, gender, and something about the income and interests of those people,” says Tony Bozzard, director of sales and marketing for Atlantis. “SmileCity provides this information in an appropriate way, to consumers who have willingly given their permission. This partnership will enable us to offer a service that the New Zealand market is demanding. We’ve stayed out of email marketing until the opportunity arose to deliver ethical, appropriate email communications at a fair price.”

Both Atlantis and SmileCity believe the deal is the first of its type in New Zealand. The partnership launched between the two is known as eAtlantis.

‘Permission Email’ is relatively new in New Zealand but widely used overseas. SmileCity (www.smilecity.co.nz) works by attracting consumers to sign up on line, using the industry-prescribed “double opt-in” methodology. The ‘opt-in’ community is then invited to read their email, participate in surveys and games, and shop on line. In return, the relationship is incentivised with points that are redeemable for cash, charity donations or purchases with online shopping partners. There is no compulsion to participate at any set level, and all SmileCity members are free to ‘opt-out’at any time.

SmileCity Ltd. is owned by Emailcash Marketing Pty Ltd., Australia’s leading online offers and rewards site and the number one permission email provider. EmailCash is one of Australia’s fastest growing companies and was ranked 40th in the BRW Fast 100 index for 2004.

SmileCity’s offering is regarded as a marketer’s holy grail. It provides the facility for advertisers to conduct direct mail campaigns in real time, reaching members directly and enabling a 1-1 conversation. Monitoring and tracking of campaigns is undertaken by SmileCity in real time, and registrations and sales are measured.

“While permission email doesn’t do away with traditional post, it certainly provides another important channel,” says Mr Bozzard. “Most organisations don’t have access to permission-based email prospect databases. They’re not prospecting through email. Instead they use email to communicate with their current customers. Now it’s possible for them to prospect cost effectively.”

“A further useful aspect is that permission email provides direct contact with otherwise ‘hard to contact’ targets. Young people, for instance, are traditionally hard to market to. Direct mail or phone can reach their mums or dads, but not usually a youth audience. Here’s a way to reach them, and also to reach discerning, business and computer literate, higher income New Zealanders who are part of the SmileCity database.”

Atlantis is a subsidiary of Visible Results Asia Pacific Limited. With offices in the USA, Sydney, Singapore and London, and with value added resellers globally, Visible Results is the largest NZ based data driven solutions company. The New Zealand head office retains corporate clients such as ANZ National Bank NZ Cards, Pumpkin Patch, Progressive Enterprises Limited and Blockbuster.

SmileCity Ltd, established in 2003, rates itself as the ‘seventh largest city’ in New Zealand, with a growing online community of 75,000. The company provides access to its database for agencies and corporate customers throughout New Zealand.

Both organisations believe that New Zealand is poised on embracing email marketing, as Australia, the USA, England and Europe have. Soon-to-be implemented consumer legislation protecting consumers from unsolicited email will only reinforce the trend they say. “Permission email is privacy compliant, and is already targeted at customers who want to receive communications,” says Mr Bozzard.

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