New Product Delivers Spark to Online Marketing
Geller - May 10, 2000
Responsys Jumpstart is designed to bring the power of Responsys' permission
marketing engine to smaller companies than its typical customers, which
include Verisign, Virgin, eToys and Lands' End. Responsys products, both
the new Jumpstart and the Responsys Insight and Responsys Interact products
targeted to the larger companies, offer complete control of e-mail marketing
campaigns and integration with other corporate data and systems. An important
feature of all products is that they are almost impossible to use as spamming
Responsys builds privacy controls into its products by making them enforce
a strong opt-in model. Every e-mail sent out by the system contains both
the name of the sender and the name and contact information for Responsys
- and offers a one-click unsubscribe option. In addition, the company
requires each of its customers to sign a privacy contract and claims it
will enforce those contracts by spot checks.
For the Jumpstart product, to make privacy simpler for customers and users,
there is an additional restriction: A name gets on a company's e-mail
list only if the surfer opts in from a web page and then responds to a
verification e-mail. As Atri Chatterjee, Vice President for Product Marketing,
points out, "Our whole business depends on us not being identified as
spammers. So we have to enforce permission marketing on all of our customers."
Responsys marketing engine allows companies to create and track e-mail
marketing campaigns that can be integrated with any aspect of their business,
including all e-commerce functions. For example, Lands' End began using
the product only for the purpose of sending e-mail newsletters, but has
since brought it into their order confirmation process as well.
With a family of defined connectors to commerce systems and web traffic
profilers and a native JDBC capability for connecting to any corporate
database, a company can integrate all of the data about which it knows
to create an e-mail campaign with individualized messages, cross sells,
and comprehensive real-time reports.
All of the Responsys products are traditionally offered on an ASP basis
although the company is willing to discuss licensing arrangements. The
Jumpstart product differs from the others in that it is designed to be
especially easy to set up and use. It is entirely template driven so that
a company can design and launch a marketing campaign in as little as 30
minutes. The available campaign templates include web signups, newsletters,
announcements and personalized offers, all of which can be created by
a marketing person without any need for HTML skills.
the beta period customers may send up to 1000 e-mails each month for no
charge; the beta period will extend approximately through the end of June.
Since data from Jumpstart can be moved to Interact, Jumpstart also provides
an excellent way for a larger company to try before buying.
Keeping customers is vitally important for online businesses, because
online customers like to shop around and have no innate loyalty to individual
merchants. Given the high initial cost of the first sale to a given surfer,
drawing customers back is a requirement for most sites, By bringing powerful
capabilities within range of smaller companies Responsys adds a lot of
value to a nascent market.
expect to see this model of offering copied by others. A simple to use,
template oriented system with strong privacy controls is likely to be
an attractive product, and one that will undoubtedly attract imitators.
A company in Responsys' target range that has been looking for a way to
get into e-mail marketing has no excuse for not taking advantage of the
beta offer. Even if 500 e-mails is too small a number to be of significant
value, the offer provides an excellent opportunity to try a campaign management
product. This experience will be invaluable in learning how such campaigns
can work and what kinds of features your company can best use. Product
selection would be a whole lot easier if every product could be tried
out for free with only 30 minutes of setup.