IQ News: E-mail Network Topica Partners With DoubleClick

Advertising network DoubleClick and e-mail network Topica today announced a strategic partnership in which DoubleClick will sell ads on Topica’s e-mail and opt-in lists and Topica will advertise on DoubleClick.
Topica hosts and manages e-mail lists, which are like virtual newsletters, for free in exchange for putting ads in the messages. New York-based DoubleClick, known primarily for its Internet advertising, is venturing into the e-mail advertising arena, and the partnership is a significant step in this direction.
“Topica’s 5 million unique users and targeted reach will benefit DoubleClick, and DoubleClick’s extensive sales force and expertise will benefit Topica,” said Ariel Poler, CEO of San Francisco-based Topica.
Because e-mail lists cater to interest groups such as sailboat enthusiasts or first-time home buyers, the potential for targeted advertising is great. “Topica and DoubleClick will be able to match interested consumers to their advertisers,” Poler said.
The arrangement will help jump-start DARTmail, DoubleClick’s new e-mail advertising offering. DARTmail will manage Topica’s opt-in e-mail lists.
Topica will buy a half-billion impressions on DoubleClick’s Sonar network to promote its opt-in lists. “These impressions help Topica get more subscribers, hence DoubleClick will have more inventory to sell on,” Poler said. Further aligning the two companies’ interests, DoubleClick will take a small equity stake in Topica, according to Poler.
The opt-in lists Topica will be promoting are groups of people who have agreed to receive stand-alone e-mail ads on subjects in which they are interested. When users sign up for e-mail lists about, for example, Golden Retrievers, they are given the option to receive the ads. “They must proactively click on a box asking to receive the messages, and then later must respond positively to a follow-up e-mail. It’s all voluntary,” Poler said.
Eli Chalfin, vice president and general manager of Doubleclick’s DARTmail, said, “We’re thrilled to be working with Topica. It’s a good thing for both sides. For us, it illustrates our ability to craft a number of effective e-mail ad solutions.” n