The CRM vendor is adding permission-based outbound messaging to its Email Marketing suite.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

March 4, 2003

1 Min Read

Siebel Systems Inc. acquired the assets of E-marketing vendor BoldFish Inc., which developed a permission-based outbound-messaging product for marketing campaigns. The technology, which is capable of handling 1 million E-mails per hour, has already been integrated into Siebel's Email Marketing product suite, which will be released this summer. The size of the deal was not disclosed.

Siebel also gains BoldFish's bounced-message handler, which automatically categorizes and differentiates rejected E-mails, called bounces. "Hard" bounces, such as an invalid E-mail address, can be automatically removed or flagged in the system and noted so that a salesperson can call and get the proper E-mail address. "Soft" bounces, such as a full mailbox response, can be automatically requeued for later delivery. Siebel Email Marketing will also include response tracking, which lets companies automatically track key metrics such as message open rates, opt-in and opt-out rates, and unique clickthroughs for embedded links within E-mail messages. The overall goal is to allow organizations to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time, synchronized across channels, while respecting customer privacy, the company says.

BoldFish's technology is an interesting addition to the overall Siebel platform, says Rebecca Wettemen, VP of research at Nucleus Research. But she notes that in this age of spam and all the attention being paid to it, customers need to be very careful about how they use E-mail marketing. "While this can be a great tool for building relationships, companies need to be aware of the long-term impact on the customers," Wettemen says. "Even if it's opt-in, you have to be sure that it's a positive experience that drives the relationship in a way that will increase loyalty and revenue, and not risk the relationship."

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