Archive for the ‘direct marketing’ Tag

Post-transaction marketing scandal

Everyone in well aware of the brouhaha around post-transaction marketing in the online direct marketing space. Specifically, the three companies being raked over the coals: WebLoyalty, Vertrue/Adaptive and Affinion. Congress is involved now holding hearings on this (U.S. Senate Commerce committee). Clearly the three companies have helped dozens of retailers make hundreds of millions of dollars with this business model. One of the seemingly bigger issues is the disclosures or lack thereof. However, there are disclosures, often in multiple steps in the process.Are they obvious enough? The “big three” say they are (although they recently announced new, improved marketing practices).

Here is a quote from CNET on this:

Vertrue, Webloyalty, and Affinion generated more than $1.4 billion by “misleading” Web shoppers, said members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, which called the hearing. Lawmakers saved their harshest rebuke for Web retailers that accepted big money–a combined sum of $792 million–to share their customers’ credit-card information with the marketers.

As a direct marketer, I want to hear from anyone else out there, preferably those in this industry. What are your thoughts on this practice–love it, hate it? Have opinions on the disclosure practices? Has PTM worked well for you and your clients (i.e. big $)? Will the Senate hearings, and any resulting blowback, significantly harm the financial results of the Big Three?

Please leave a comment, anonymous if you prefer (no one reading this blog will know who you are if you leave it anonymously). Don’t hold back!

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Lifelock’s new product

I’m sure you’ve heard that Lifelock can no longer offer their product (or actually the service behind the product) any more. That is, they can no longer set fraud alerts for their customers which has been their “product” since Day One.

That leads me to ask the very important question–what the heck is their new service actually going to be?

According to this article, here is a hint,

“After LifeLock lost a preliminary ruling that would eventually would have led to the company being barred from using the alerts, the company rolled out a new version of its service that uses computer algorithms and data mining to do Internet sweeps to spot signs of identity theft.”

Does anyone out there know which vendors or technology Lifelock chose for its product? I doubt they developed it entirely in-house?

It seems clear that anyone in our DM industry that is offering ID theft products better know what is behind Lifelock’s product–they are the biggest competitor and dominate the mainstream broad-based advertising of IDT services.

Please post a comment if you know (or email me).

Direct marketing identity theft protection

I thought I’d jump right in…

Something I’ve been researching lately is unique services for direct marketers that want to launch an identity theft protection product. Credit monitoring is extremely expensive for small and mid-size marketers. We need price competitive services and yet we want something a bit different.

There seems to be a handful of familiar main players and then a second tier that really just resell the top tier’s products. They tend to be expensive (credit monitoring) or breakage-focused (restoration). We want something that is usage-focused: members will use it and be likely to maintain membership.

I came across an interesting company today that I am going to look into. They are called Truston and they seem to have an interesting partner program for direct marketers. It appears it may be a fit for us–they say it is white label, low cost (we’ll see), and easy to integrate (another big deal for us).

Let me know if you’ve worked with these people. I hope to post more about them in the future.