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An Internet marketer's connecting hub?

Apr. 15, 2008

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Internet marketing company Lyris has launched a new Web portal designed to connect various online marketers together and will enable them to learn from one another.

Lyris said it will officially launch its new Lyris HQ portal at the Ad:tech conference in San Francisco tomorrow. But Lyris said that the site is already live, and that it offers content and interactivity around such topics such as online marketing best practices and how to increase overall ROI.

Dave Dabbah, Lyris's vice president of marketing said "we saw a definite need in the online marketing industry for a place where thought leadership could be fostered and ideas shared among its various members."

Lyris' new website will be updated at least once a day and will feature blog posts on marketing, content devoted to specific online marketing channels, including e-mail marketing, Web analytics, site optimization, guest editorials from industry leaders and an opportunity for Internet marketing professionals to post comments in response to the content they read on the site.

It will also include an article on the five biggest e-mail brand killers, a piece on the quality of Web site landing pages and a white paper on specific key metrics to consider before designing and evaluating PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns.

In addition to becoming a gathering spot for online marketers, the portal also stands to help raise the profile of Lyris, which is best known for managing large-scale e-mail campaigns for a group of large companies, including Visa, McAfee, Intuit and Alibaba.com.

Through acquisition and in-house expansion, it has added Internet-based offerings such as analytics and Web site content management.

"Moving into new areas and broadening offerings is a key for many e-mail marketing firms, many of which offer similar services and pricing," said Forrester Research analyst Shar VanBoskirk.

"Today, email marketing is a mature but crowded space and there isn't as much differentiation among the players as in some other areas of interactive marketing," Shar added. "Smaller companies in particular are eager to find one-stop solutions that enable them to see across multiple types of campaigns and quickly analyze what's working and what isn't."

He added "we are looking to aggregate best practices from a variety of sources, and to give Web marketers a forum to share with each other their experience in using the menu of online marketing tools."

By moving into pay-per-click and Web content areas, Lyris is aiming for the same targets as many of the major Internet advertising players, including Google and Yahoo. LyrisHQ is also the name of the firm's Web-based integrated marketing platform, which it launched last year as a one-stop shop for clients to track e-mail, pay-per-click and Web content management.

While email marketing remains a cost-effective way to reach consumers, and while spending on the channel is still growing, it isn't expanding nearly as rapidly as other forms of online marketing, eMarketer analyst David Hallerman said.

"E-mail marketing is already nearly ubiquitous, and though somewhat mature, spending on the channel will nearly double in three years to US $616 million. Other areas will see much more dramatic growth and are where marketing firms are funneling the bulk of their resources," added Hallerman.

Founded fourteen years ago, in 2005 Lyris dramatically expanded when former parent company J.L Halsey rolled it up with other email and Web marketing firms into a single company.

Right now, Lyris is in a growth mode with the company recently saying it would hire seventy more employees and set a target of doubling revenue as it continues to attract blue-chip clients for its services, most recently signing American Apparel on to use its ListManager product.

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Source: Lyris.

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