The opt-in email marketing company Email Impact has struck a partnership with the free ISP freenet.
The companies say freenet will actively promote Email Impact's Opt-In NZ to its customers - of which freenet now claims 50,000 - and give them the opportunity to "opt-in" and receive commercial email messages - rather than suffer unsolicited junk email.
When Opt-In NZ users register for a mailing list, they check off "interest boxes" next to a series of categories, such as clothing, travel, entertainment, music and business services (some familiar spam categories, such as adult sexual material and get-rich-quick schemes, are banned). Members can opt back out or modify their interests at any time.
Email Impact's managing director, Tom Skotidas says the deal is an indication that the local Internet market is maturing.
"In giving its customers the chance to be selective in receiving marketing information via the Internet, freenet is also giving direct marketers the ability to deliver highly targeted messages to potential customers. It is the kind of relationship the Internet is made for," says Skotidas.
"Everyone is a winner. Consumers are only receiving the information they want and companies are able to direct their marketing specifically to those potential customers."
Julio Coelho, general manager of freenet, describes Opt-In NZ as "a great solution that is family-friendly, saves a lot of time spent on surfing, and is entirely optional, as are all our free services." He says freenet's customers "spend $100,000 annually on products and are more than twice as likely as the average Internet user to buy products online."