October 12, 2007, 12:00 AM

E-mail management tool helps eMusic play in new audio books market

The online seller of digital music says a marketing campaign is bringing in more subscribers to its new audio books service than initially projected, thanks in part to an e-mail management tool that helps it focus on the relevance of marketing messages.

EMusic.com Inc., a retailer of digital music, says the marketing campaign for its new audio books service is bringing in more subscribers than initially projected, thanks in part to an e-mail management tool that helps it focus on the relevance of marketing messages. “We’re happy with the conversion rates, which are beating industry averages and improving over time,” says Chris McBride, director of retention marketing.

EMusic, which launched its audio books service last month with a catalog of more than 1,000 downloadable titles, is using the new Relevance Trajectory methodology from its e-mail services provider, e-Dialog, to better monitor the performance of the key characteristics of e-mail marketing campaigns that make them relevant to recipients, McBride says.

“One of e-mail marketers’ favorite metrics is revenue generated per e-mail sent, but even if they see great improvement, they often can’t decide what produced the improvement,” says John Rizzi, CEO of e-Dialog.

The Relevance Trajectory methodology, which is built into e-Dialog’s e-mail management tools, is designed to help marketers focus on six areas that affect e-mail relevance: segmentation, lifecycle management, message triggers, personalization, interactivity and testing/measurement.

“This gives us a way to look at our entire e-mail marketing program systematically,” McBride says. “It helps us to identify areas where we need to improve things.”

In e-mail promotions for its music service, for instance, eMusic was able to better focus on segmentation. After identifying groups of customers segmented by music download history, such as for classical or jazz music, it e-mailed those groups with offers geared to their favorite musical genre. “We have seen higher conversion rates when segmenting by music preference,” McBride says.

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