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Self-Service E-Mail Marketing

2004-10-19 13:52:00

Today's self-service craze began when gasoline station operators tried (futilely as it turns out) to hold gas prices down by eliminating the pump jockeys who used to wipe your windshield and check your oil while they filled your tank up. Today it's everywhere from hardware stores to supermarkets, and now you can even do self-service e-mail marketing using Makesbridge Technologies Bridgemail system.

Makesbridge CEO Jay Adams founded the company and its self-service e-mail marketing system on a bed of frustration. "It just took forever to get a campaign out the door the way I was doing it before," he said, "and you had to use complicated tools to create the message and ship it out. I wanted something that a receptionist could use so I could get on with the rest of my work."

Bridgemail is the result. It is a web-based e-mail marketing service that is designed for use by non-technical people. "Essentially anyone who can access the web can sign up and use the product," says Adams.

Makesbridge sells the product both to small and medium businesses and to enterprise customers. Adams claims that there are no volume limits that would restrict customers from using the product for very large e-mail marketing products.

"I'm basically illiterate about computers," says Cheryl LeBlanc of Avanstar Communications, "but Bridgemail works just fine for me." LeBlanc handles all mailings from the publishing giant's TechLearn events group, including weekly marketing messages and a twice monthly newsletter. Mailing lists for these projects average around 50,000 names.

The only expertise required is in creating the HTML content for the marketing message, and there is any number of tools to make that chore easy. In addition the company provides a publishing tool to help users with their HTML creations. The tool is template-based, and Makesbridge supplies several templates, "But users can easily upload their own."

Adams says the company avoids getting its e-mail trapped by spam filters by being vigilant about who it sells Bridgemail to. The company also advises users on their content. "It's not a formal thing," says Adams, "but we require membership in all their lists and look at what they are sending. If there's potential for a problem we let them know." The company also provides guidelines for users.

There is a basic subscription fee of $150 per month for Bridgemail which is credited against actual usage in month's that the service is used. Actual usage fees are based on a cost per thousand (CPM) arrangement starting at $30 per thousand and ranging down to $1.00 per thousand for a million piece mailing.

For kore information visit makesbridge.com.

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