COMPUTERWORLD EXPO: Mass-email package vendor says bad press unwarranted

Anyone who willingly hands over their address to a business should expect email from it, according to the head of a New Zealand company that sells mail email software.

Wellington company 121 Agent dot Com's last trade show was Comdex in Las Vegas, where holding a conversation was "like trying to talk to someone in a Hong Kong subway".

Company head Brian Rowe is at Computerworld Expo selling the mass-email package 121agent.

Rowe is conscious that the market he's selling to sometimes suffers bad press, through the indiscriminate use of email by some organisations. But he's a defender of email marketing. "The difference between spam and email marketing is where the email addresses came from." Anyone who willingly handed over their address to a business can expect email from it, in the same way that he receives email from companies he made contact with at Comdex.

"It's part of the internet," says Rowe, who counts among his customers the Wellington-based Employers and Manufacturers Association.

121agent is a $99 package that works with Microsoft Outlook to manage contact lists. Rowe and partners received a "six-figure" sum from investors last year to develop the software. About $50,000 of the total was spent attending Comdex.

Computerworld Expo, which is on at the Expo Centre in Greenlane, Auckland, is open until 4pm today.

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