April 10, 2008, 12:00 AM

How K&L Wine Merchants uncorks more value out of its e-mail marketing

By switching its e-mail marketing to an on-premise application, K&L Wine Merchants has sharply cut the cost of sending e-mail while gaining more control over how it sends targeted messages to customers, chief technology officer Brian Zucker says.

By bringing its e-mail marketing in-house on an on-premise application, e-retailer K&L; Wine Merchants has sharply cut the cost of sending e-mail while gaining more control over how it sends targeted messages to segments of customers, co-owner and chief technology officer Brian Zucker says.

K&L;, which specializes in selling a quickly changing inventory of rare and unusual wines, switched from an e-mail service provider earlier this year to an application from StrongMail Systems Inc. that sits on K&L;’s network infrastructure. The on-premise application more tightly integrates with K&L;’s database system, giving the retailer more control in managing e-mail in a way that matches the different tastes of customers with its wine offerings, Zucker says. For example, K&L; no longer must continuously upload new customer lists and product content to a third-party provider, he adds.

"As an online retailer specializing in the world`s finest wines, K&L; relies heavily on e-mail to send highly targeted messages to match the diverse tastes of our customers, and StrongMail enables us to do that in an effective and efficient way that scales with our business," Zucker says. "Getting up and running on StrongMail was the most painless implementation process we have ever had, and the end result is huge-better control, streamlined processes and a fixed cost to support our rapid growth. If I send a mailing to 1,000 or 100,000 people, I’m charged the same amount."

K&L;, which implemented the StrongMail system in less than a week, also uses it to preview e-mail campaigns across multiple Internet service providers and e-mail readers, monitor deliverability into inboxes, and automate the processing of bounced e-mail. The system handles transactional as well as marketing e-mail.

K&L;, located on the web at KLWines.com, is No. 327 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

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