May 28, 2003, 12:00 AM

E-mail newsletters star in a campaign to drive offline sales

(Page 2 of 2)

Blockbuster also plans to use e-mail to promote new stores and as an easy way to step up marketing in competitive areas. “The turnaround time with e-mail is about half the time as in a direct-mail campaign,” Malish says. “We have fully integrated e-mail into our CRM and marketing efforts.”

While Blockbuster sells videos online, right now online rentals are limited to a test of a service similar to that of NetFlix Inc. and WalMart.com, whereby consumers pay a monthly fee to rent unlimited movies on DVD, with no due dates, but no more than three movies out at a time. Blockbuster last year bought DVD Rental Central and renamed it FilmCaddy.com. While it said at the time that it had no plans to make online rentals a major channel, Malish says she expects Blockbuster will use its e-mail promotion if it develops that service. If that happens, Blockbuster’s multi-channel distribution points will have caught up with its multi-channel marketing.

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