Responsys Signs Five Rich Media Partners

Responsys, a firm that develops email campaigns for over 260 companies, including Lands End and, is the latest company to make a rich media announcement. The company announced yesterday that it has partnered with five rich media vendors and will begin selling their services to its clients.

The company signed co-marketing agreements with Beema, Inc., Dynamics Direct, Radical Communication, Talkway Communications and Viewpoint Communication. A comarketing agreement means the companies will share revenue from the business each of them brings to the table. If a Responsys customer decides to use rich media, Responsys gets a share of the rich media fee. And if a rich media company sends a client to Responsys, it gets a share of the Responsys fee.

Responsys selected five different rich media vendors because it wants to be able to offer its customers a wide variety of formats.

"We signed on partners with something different so we can offer the gamut," says Amanda Barber, VP of business development. She notes that each of the rich media partners offers something different: Radical Communications and Talkway provide streaming audio and video and Radical Communications offers a strong viral tool; Dynamics Direct provides flash media that can be personalized; Viewpoint provides zooming options that enable users to get close up views of advertisers' products; Beema provides customizable animation like a stock photo house, which makes it a low cost solution.



The fact that Responsys is offering rich media solutions to its customers demonstrates the importance of rich media in email. Companies stream TV commercials into their email now and the email opens quickly because it is hosted by the rich mail provider so there is nothing attached to the email to slow it down. Rich media can also play a strong role in transactional email, which sells products directly from the email without having to go to a separate Web site page. Radical Communications offers transactional email that Responsys will be able to use.

Responsys just made its announcement about the signings yesterday, so it doesn't have any rich media clients yet. Barber predicts consumer oriented companies will use it first because they send out far more emails than B2B companies--ten to a hundred times more--so they'll be able to justify the expense, which ranges from $15,000 to $20,000 for most of the rich media products. "The ROI is much higher if you send it out to a large number, so consumer companies will be the first users," Barber says. She thinks companies with highly visual products and different types of consumer products will most benefit from rich media.

To get customers to use rich media, Responsys will work with the companies and their agencies. "We'll identify what they want to achieve and how rich media can supplement it," she says.

Responsys is a three-year-old company in Palo Alto, CA.

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