October 31, 2005, 12:00 AM

Getting Personal

(Page 2 of 2)

To develop the most -relevant content, retailers need -technology that can gather and analyze customer information -generated by opt-in pages, web site -behavior and other methods. Then -retailers must learn how to use the data, something many have not -mastered. "I see retailers with a rich set of data at their disposal and yet not use it in their targeting and their -messaging," says Dave Lewis, StrongMail Systems Inc.`s vice president of marketing.

Retailers also have to be able to create e-mail templates for -different messages. That requires time and money, both of which often are in short supply for many online merchants. "A lot of the second tier just don`t have the resources," says Loren McDonald, vice president of marketing for EmailLabs.

But retailers will have to find those resources if they want their e-mail campaigns to succeed. With consumers` e-mail inboxes flooded with messages, they are less -forgiving of untargeted e-mail. "Despite the extra costs, it more than pays for itself," Hotz says.

linda@verticalwebmedia.com

Click Here for the Guide to E-Mail Marketing Products & Services
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