In return, ThirdAge can offer the digital couponing service to its members. “Members will get targeted deals, discounts and opportunities that are automatically created when they sign up,” said Bryan Preston, director of strategic alliances for ThirdAge.
In addition, the three-year-old site can use e-centives to craft unique promotions with its own merchants, creating a potential commerce-driven revenue source beyond existing advertising. “It will be more than just a banner buy,” Preston said.
E-centives pairs a pool of more than 100 merchants with a list of qualified buyers. Customers who sign up for the service receive lifestyle-specific online offers, deals, or digital or printable coupons from merchants, such as Santa Monica, Calif. toy e-tailer eToys and Emeryville, Calif. online pet source Petstore.com. In exchange, subscribers provide e-centives with information about their purchasing decisions.
The ThirdAge partnership represents e-centives’ move from the horizontal to vertical online community. “We started at portals,” said Dadi Akhavan, e-centives president and co-founder. “Now people go to more targeted sites geared to their interests.”
Starting last summer with its agreement with ZDNet, a San Francisco technology site, e-centives has tried to partner with other leading niche sites, in an attempt to capture serious cyber-shoppers. The niche agreements will build on e-centives’ partnerships with more general sites, such as portal Excite, Redwood City, Calif.
E-centives hopes to entice ThirdAge’s audience, an over-40 crowd with expendable income. E-centives takes home about 1 cent to 2 1/2 cents per incentive delivered.
Because this group spends so much time online, said Preston, “anything we can do to get more targeted information to them is of value.” n
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