TECH TALK

YOU’VE GOT MAIL: Patagonia, the outdoor apparel retailer based in Ventura, Calif., is outsourcing its e-mail communications with customers.
The company said using a third-party firm will help deliver customized e-mail to Web visitors who want it. The company already sends e-mail only to customers who have said they want it, but using an outside firm will allow Patagonia to send different e-mail to different customers who may be interested in its environmental activities or other outdoor events. The company is outsourcing the service to ClickAction, Palo Alto, Calif.
Patagonia said that customized e-mail will also help it get a better understanding of what its customers are interested in.
“We want to make sure that they’re still passionate about the same things we are,” said Craig Wilson, Web Manager at Patagonia.

BANNER ADS: Reebok is using customized targeted advertising to make quick sales on the Web without forcing consumers to travel to its site. The sneaker and athleticwear manufacturer is using a third-party service, called Cybuy, New York, to post banner ads that offer a customized product to consumers who click on it. The product offering is customized based on consumers’ previous site visits, which are ascertained when Cybuy exchanges “cookies” with the user. A cookie is information deposited on a user’s hard drive when it visits a Web site.
Reebok is offering 10 basic moderate-priced products through the banner ads. The transaction is made through Cybuy and the user never leaves the site where the banner ad was posted.

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