Given that the overall number of e-mail messages will total 1.8 trillion this year and increase to 2.7 trillion as soon as 2007, it’s clear that Internet retailers are exchanging a virtual sea of information with their customers.
Information can be power to web merchants, particularly if they can take e-mail data and use analytics and business intelligence to glean information on customers and their upcoming buying behavior. That’s why a number of e-mail marketing companies are marrying analytics to e-mail. The latest is EchoMail, a Cambridge, MA, e-mail marketing services provider that is launching EchoMail Business Intelligence, a web analytics tool that analyzes in-bound and out-bound e-mail and helps retailers identify key customer metrics such as their attitude towards merchandise, price points and other shopping behavior. Once the business intelligence tool is set up to categorize e-mails and calculate or send targeted responses, retailers can better integrate and categorize e-mail with other customer data, automatically route leads to different departments and perform more targeted outbound mailings.
The product is also designed to act as a stand-alone application for monitoring all inbound and outbound e-mail to spot and analyze ongoing customer behavior trends. "Determining attitudinal insight is a step toward developing differentiated messaging based on segmentation and to understanding customers and their preferences,” says EchoMail CEO V.A. Shiva.
The price of the application varies per number of users but ranges from $50,000 to $2 million, says EchoMail. Among the early users of EchoMail Business Intelligence are the Los Angles Times, Tremor, a teen audience marketing service operated by Procter & Gamble Co., and a large undisclosed retailer.