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MSN weighs up the opt-ins

Following on from requests from local advertisers and in an effort to replicate the success of parent ninemsn’s opt-in email initiatives, MSN New Zealand has released a new service called Hotmail Featured Offers that allows advertisers to promote their wares to local Windows Live Hotmail users.

Brand owners with giveaways, discounts or free trials are now able to promote their offers via email to Hotmail account holders who opt-in to a subscriber database (NZ Post just launched a similar opt-in scheme called iTry).

There are currently 1.2 million active Hotmail account users (and 552,000 for Windows Live Messenger) in New Zealand and MSN says the total number of opt-ins in the New Zealand database is 942,000 (this number is based on the fact that each user can select up to 25 categories including music, books, clothing, electronics, automotive, finance and travel). The de-duped number is not currently available.

MSN New Zealand business manager Liz Fraser says the Hotmail targeting provides further refinement according to gender and age.

“Our advertisers were asking, so we got busy, and with a little help from our friendly techies we’re good to go. We know our audience is young and willing to hear from advertisers. In any case, who doesn’t like free stuff?” Fraser says. “Offers will be targeted to user interest areas, keeping things relevant, and emails will be capped at one per week, per interest area, which will keep everyone keen.”

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