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IQ News: ClickAction, RadicalMail Partner on Rich E-mail

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RadicalMail today announced a partnership with e-mail services provider ClickAction. ClickAction, based in Palo Alto, Calif., will offer new and existing clients a private-label version of RadicalMail's proprietary rich e-mail product. The deal advances the Marina del Rey, Calif., company's evolution into a technology services provider.
RadicalMail, launched last March, originally positioned itself as an e-mail marketing company with proprietary technology that streamed rich media into e-mail and enabled users to buy from within the message.
When someone opens a RadicalMail message, that starts a small Java enabler that calls back to RadicalMail's servers. The servers then stream the content, including audio, video and graphics.
As an e-mail marketing services provider, RadicalMail competed with such companies as ClickAction, which has more than 130 clients including clothier Brooks Bros., specialty foods purveyors Dean & DeLuca and paper products manufacturer Boise Cascade.
"We realized that we were knocking on the same doors that these major e-mail deployment outsourcers were," said Jay Stevens, RadicalMail marketing director. "We quickly realized that we were confusing the end market and that maybe we should go and enable these deployment companies to add our functionality to their offerings."
Jim Williams, vice president of e-mail services for ClickAction, said that even the simpler HTML e-mail has been extremely successful for merchandising his clients' products. "E-mail is a pipeline to the customer," Williams said, "and we want to maximize the customer experience there." He expects RadicalMail to do as well as or better than the 200 to 500 percent ROI he gets from HTML e-mail.
Williams said his company expects to roll out RadicalMail's version of rich e-mail over the next 90 days. "Since our clients spent so much time over the holidays getting used to HTML e-mail," Williams said, "they're probably not going to jump right onto video."
ClickAction will pay RadicalMail an undisclosed sum per thousand e-mails sent. The agreement is nonexclusive, and RadicalMail has similar deals with YesMail, Vernon Hills, Ill., and MessageMedia, Boulder, Colo. "An exclusive relationship is not really feasible," Stevens said. "Our business model is based on getting this tool out to as many companies as possible."