The E-mail Overnights

RAM-The Email OvernightsE-mail customer database segments delivered in minutes, based on everything customers did for the past year up to midnight last night. Is this a dream? No, it's the pitch of iPost, a start-up with technology that analyzes data feeds from both the e-mail behavior stream and purchase data from sources that can include online and offline sales channels.

"We make use of the torrent of data being generated by customers' own behavior, and figure out what kind of customer you are today. We allow a marketer with very little time to do very efficient and highly targeted e-mail segmentation," says cofounder Stephen Webster.

iPost's extreme data-crunching helps marketers keep up with the speedy rhythms of interactive marketing by using a drag-and-drop interface to create custom segments for the next campaign.

"It lets the markets see with great detail, and very rapidly, how certain kinds of customers responded to certain kinds of outreach. They can see that analysis, do list segmentation and follow-on remarketing based on that information - and do it really, really fast," Webster says.

According to iPost, pilot customer Eastwood, a seller of products for auto restoration, saw an 18 percent increase in orders and a 25 percent boost in profits, while its e-mail opt-out rate fell 20 percent after it learned to keep in touch just enough - and not too much - with each person on its list.

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