E-mail Marketing Could Fail in the Long Term

Company that invented e-mail list management software launches into UK with stern warning

London, 7 June, 2001 – L-Soft, creators of the first and most widely used software for e-mail list management, announced the opening of its new office in the UK today with a warning for the majority of companies running e-marketing campaigns. L-Soft claims that companies favouring the purchasing or rental of mass e-mail lists over developing their own, in-house, were at serious risk of missing out on the potential of e-marketing to win and retain customers.

L-Soft offers e-mail list management software and outsourced hosting services, as well as software for mail delivery. L-Soft's CEO Eric Thomas said: "The fastest, and currently the most popular, way for UK companies to execute e-mail marketing campaigns is to buy or rent mass lists. While there is no doubt that this lets them communicate with a large number of people, it is absolutely not the way to win and retain customers or to develop consumer loyalty. That is a Holy Grail that you can only get to by building your own lists."

Harvard Business School recently found that companies can boost profits by more than 25% if they simply reduce customer defections by 5%. Thomas believes this cannot be achieved by impersonal mass mailings: "It may take a little more time and effort to build your own lists, but the payback is a more discerning and more interested potential customer - and it is also cheaper in the long run. Given that it is estimated that 9 out of 10 customer interactions are not transactions, companies need to understand what information their customers want."

The ways of successfully building targeted list are surprisingly simple. Companies can offer something compelling on their web site to entice consumers to sign up; take out adverts on billboards or buses; or place adverts in complementary e-mail newsletters. All these methods are effective ways to ensure that consumers want to be part of lists. This means that rather than getting just one hit from one e-mail or piece of spam, vendors can build ongoing relationships with customers - particularly compelling given that Bain and Co. recently found that it costs five times as much to win a new customer as it does to retain an existing one.

Among other companies in the UK, L-Soft has worked with British Airways, British Telecom, beeb.com and Carlton Interactive. L-Soft began working with Carlton in August 2000. Consumers visiting the www.carltoninteractive.com site can click on a link to the film web site www.popcorn.co.uk, from where they can sign up to receive weekly, localised newsletters with news on films being screened in their area. L-Soft's LISTSERV® software and LSMTP® mail delivery software are used to manage and distribute these newsletters, now received by 50,000 subscribers and available in HTML or plain text.

Carlton Interactive has recently set up a similar newsletter for the popular TV programme Survivor. It anticipates having 500,000 subscribers in the next month.

Simon Groombridge-Wright, Project Manager, Carlton Interactive: "Working with L-Soft to build our own lists has allowed us to be confident that we're providing consumers with the information they want, when they want it. That has a broader business implication. By giving consumers what they want, rather than bombarding them with unsolicited e-mails, we are building trust and loyalty. We simply wouldn't have been able to do that by using mass lists."

British Airways has used L-Soft technology to build stronger relationships with both consumers and business partners. Its e-Commerce division selected L-Soft technology for the management of discussion groups and the distribution of newsletters detailing personalised offers and promotions. BA now has 70 lists.

Eilish Gorse, E-mail Operations Lead, said: "Getting the right information to the right people at the right time is what it is all about. E-mail marketing is becoming more and more significant for customers as they are using the Internet to communicate with us through mailing lists. This makes tools like LISTSERV software more and more essential to a company like British Airways."

L-Soft's software and services provide organisations with an effective means of distributing useful, relevant and up-to-date information to large numbers of customers, either through newsletters or discussion forums. It offers:

  • LISTSERV® software was introduced in 1986 and is the de facto e-mail list management software. It supports all types of e-mail lists: personalised direct e-mail marketing campaigns, newsletters and discussion groups.
  • LSMTP® is L-Soft's e-mail delivery software that distributes messages at high speed. This software is aimed at organisations with large e-mail workloads. It can also be used on mainstream personal computers.
  • ListPlex®, L-Soft's high-end hosting service allows customers to outsource their e-mail lists or personalised e-mail services under a virtual domain name for seamless integration with the rest of their Internet presence.

About L-Soft

L-Soft specialises in the development of services for professional e-mail communication management. Since 1994, L-Soft has been the pioneer of the e-mail communication industry with LISTSERV®, the premier software for e-mail list management. L-Soft's technology is tailored for commercial usage, offering outstanding performance, reliability and scalability. Having serviced more than 2000 customers, L-Soft's comprehensive outsourcing services and software applications facilitate the administration of e-mail lists, newsletters and discussion groups. Launched in 1986, LISTSERV® delivers 30 million messages on an average weekday to the 100 million subscriptions of over 160,000 LISTSERV® lists worldwide.

L-Soft UK Press Contact

Outi Tuomaala
+44 (0)203-7555117 or +46-8-50709911

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