SOURCE: WhatCounts

May 12, 2005 09:20 ET

WhatCounts Adds to Permission Email Offerings, Introduces First Integrated Blog/RSS Feed Capabilities

WhatCounts Creates Blogging Software, Allowing Customers to Utilize Blogs for Fully Integrated Marketing Programs

SEATTLE, WA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 12, 2005 -- WhatCounts, a leader in corporate e-communications, today announced the introduction of the industry's first integrated blog and RSS feed software for permission email distribution.

The new software gives companies the ability to automatically generate a blog posting and RSS feed to accompany a permission email distribution, thus enabling them to effectively distribute content to the growing number of RSS users, and increasing the reach of their message.

"It's no secret that blogs and RSS feeds are becoming an increasingly powerful business tool, which many corporations are embracing," said David Geller, CEO and co-founder of WhatCounts. "Our new software helps companies avoid the traditional challenges of permission email marketing, such as inbox filters, out-of-date email addresses or distribution of large files, which will help to maximize ROI for all their communications."

WhatCounts has also created software for the design and implementation of blogs, enabling users to capitalize on the growing popularity of blogs and RSS feeds as business tools used to deliver content through multiple channels.

By blending blog and RSS capabilities into permission email technology, WhatCounts has expanded the scope and scale of how companies can communicate with their key audiences. When a company distributes a permission email to its customer list, WhatCounts' new program automatically publishes that content to a blog and generates an RSS feed to distribute content to customers that have subscribed to the blog's feed. The feed then links back to the blog, where customers can read the content at their leisure.

"Newsreaders for RSS feeds automatically alert subscribers when new content is available, and this model represents the purest form of permission-oriented communication, drawing readers back to a company's Web site and giving a distinct marketing advantage to companies that are able to use them," Geller said. "And with our technology, it is automatic."

The company's customers, which include leading publishers, retailers, travel and tourism companies, and political campaigns, have been very pleased with the Beta tests of initial integration capabilities for the new software.

"We love that WhatCounts has seamlessly incorporated blogging into their email platform," said Mark Belanger, manager, marketing analysis and interactive development, Cruise West. "Our guests are sophisticated consumers, and now they'll have multiple ways to receive our 'high-touch' communications in a way that is convenient for them -- email, web blog or RSS. We're experimenting with external and internal blogs to give our guests the opportunity to learn more from our onboard staff about daily wildlife sightings, cultural and historical interactions, and other interesting events from the field."

The email marketing industry is expected to be a $6.1 billion industry by 2006, according to Jupiter research. WhatCounts has provided permission email services to national and international clients since 2000. Earlier this year, WhatCounts introduced BlogUnit, the first technology appliance designed to address the growing need for corporate blogging.

In addition to offering the new service to its customers, WhatCounts will also license its software for use by other e-communications providers that would like to utilize the new offering to serve their own clients, Geller said.

About WhatCounts, Inc.

WhatCounts (www.whatcounts.com) is a leader in corporate e-communications that develops powerful, flexible and easy-to-use communications solutions for Global 2000 corporations.

Since it was founded in 2000, WhatCounts has established itself as a leader in permission-based email marketing, providing reliable ASP and enterprise platforms for corporations in the United States, Canada and Europe. With the introduction of the BlogUnit Series in 2005, the company has positioned itself at the communications intersection of email marketing and the growing trend of corporate blogging.

WhatCounts is a private company headquartered in Seattle.

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