Given the deluge of spam and attempts from ISPs and individual consumers to block it, securing clear permission is more important than ever in e-mail marketing-particularly when e-mail is being used for customer acquisition. That trend is making e-mail lead generation the fastest-growing business at CoolSavings Inc.
“We believe you need primary permission from consumers. It’s not an opt-out e-mail world, and most companies are going the route of finding a way to ask consumers to join their list,” says Matt Moog, CEO.
CoolSavings’ program does that by working to get consumers to opt into the e-mail lists of partners ranging from Wal-Mart to Sears. For example, if a consumer wants to register at publisher BGH.com to search recipes, during the registration process she might be presented with a list of offers, such as joining the Wal-Mart e-mail list to get a free trial subscription to Scholastic Book Club, for instance. Signing up for the Wal-Mart list requires consumers to clearly indicate their permission to receive e-mails from Wal-Mart in exchange for getting the trial book club subscription.
Moog says the program is generating about 4 million new leads across the databases of several major advertisers CoolSavings works with. “It’s not unusual for us to work with a retailer and be able to tell them on a cost-per-lead basis that we can add a million consumers to their database the course of a year,” says Moog.
Moog adds that concerns over ensuring the deliverability of permission based e-mail also have sparked another trend, that of reputation and authentication services for e-mail senders, which are being adopted by ISPs. CoolSavings currently belongs to Bonded Sender, one such program. The reputation and authentication programs are beginning to supplant white listing, an earlier effort to ensure e-mail deliverability, in which CoolSavings also participates.
“ISPs are struggling with whom to accept e-mail from. They may look at the content of the e-mails, the use of graphics, who the sender is, any variety of things. These programs make it easier for the ISPs to distinguish on an automated basis between legitimate senders and scam artists,” Moog says.