Company Plugs RSS as Alternate to E-Mail Marketing

MessageCast is working on technologies to help businesses conduct legitimate marketing campaigns that differentiate themselves from spam in the eyes of both customers and spam filters.

MessageCast Inc. is developing technologies designed to help enterprises conduct legitimate marketing campaigns that differentiate themselves from spam in the eyes of both customers and spam filters.

The companys LiveMessage message delivery technologies use alternatives to SMTP, the spam-prone protocol used by e-mail, to enable enterprises to contact prospective customers on an opt-in basis and with the sender fully authenticated.

The Redwood City, Calif., company this quarter will release a version of LiveMessage that lets users send messages via RSS feeds. LiveMessage, released earlier this year, uses public instant messaging networks to send communications not only via IM but also via e-mail, SMS (Short Message Service) and desktop alerts.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here for a story on how Apples embrace of RSS could speed its adoption.

LiveMessage will provide triggers for sending alerts that would be much easier and less costly than building data triggers into an e-mail broadcast system, said MessageCast officials. This could have implications not only for marketing and communications but also for sending alerts from a business intelligence or inventory management system, they said.

RSS primer

  • Stands for Really Simple Syndication, Resource Description Framework Site Summary or Rich Site Summary
  • XML-based technology used mostly to let Web sites describe and syndicate content and metadata
  • In the works is technology using RSS to send fully authenticated messages to willing recipients, a Web site run by Aardwork Software Ltd., uses LiveMessage to inform subscribers of new PC game patches via .Net alerts sent over Microsoft Corp.s MSN Messenger network. "Our customer base is looking for information quickly, and theyre savvy enough to be using MSN Messenger this way," said Aardwork CEO Tony Treadwell in Oxfordshire, England. "The blasts we send out are very concise. This is really the quickest way to get them to our customer base."

Treadwell said that he was not aware of MessageCasts RSS plans but that he believed the technology could be helpful in GameShadow.coms plans to add new content subscription services. With RSS, every time content is updated on the Web site, a message would be sent automatically to subscribers based on their interests, he said.

The e-mail industry is developing the SenderID standard to add authentication to SMTP for e-mail traffic, which is designed to defeat spam. But MessageCast CEO Royal Farros said the existing IM networks that LiveMessage uses already provide authentication. ยด

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