MS adds MyPoints to Outlook Express

Microsoft has added MyPoints BonusMail to Outlook Express featured services -- a coup for IPO-bound Internet direct marketer MyPoints.com.
Written by Joel Deane, Contributor

Under the co-marketing agreement, which will be officially announced today the two companies will work together to promote Outlook Express and MyPoints BonusMail. And the Microsoft and MyPoints.com relationship appears to have kicked off well.

Steve Markowitz, Chairman and CEO of Mypoints.com, said his company ran its first Outlook e-mail campaign in February and March. That one-month campaign, which offered 50 "rewards credits" to respondents who downloaded Outlook Express for free, received a 26 percent response rate. Generally, Markowitz said, response rates were less than 25 percent -- making the Outlook campaign "wildly successful."

"This offer went to hundreds of thousands of consumers and generated ... very substantial downloads [of Outlook Express]," Markowitz said of the campaign. His conclusion: "The most powerful word in the English language is 'free'."

With MyPoints BonusMail, consumers can accrue points, much like frequent flier miles, then cash-in those points for travel awards, gift certificates or prepaid phone cards. Under the co-marketing agreement, Outlook Express, which is packaged with Internet Explorer 5.0, will include a brief description and link to the MyPoints registration site on the Outlook Express Partners Page and from the Outlook Express Welcome Message.

For its part, MyPoints.com is promoting Outlook Express in the MyPoints registration and through MyPoints BonusMail direct e-mail marketing. Currently, MyPoints.com's direct marketing campaigns serve about 2 million consumers and 200 advertisers and partners.

The Outlook deal couldn't come at a better time for MyPoints.com, which, earlier this month, filed plans with the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell $69 million (£43 million) in stock in an initial public offering. No IPO share price has been set. Direct Marketing Technology is MyPoints.com's largest holder, with a 19.9 percent stake.

Markowitz said he was "excited and proud" of the Outlook deal. "It's a partnership that we have been working on for a very long time," he said. "Obviously, anyone in the Internet space views Microsoft as a great partner." "We are pleased that MyPoints.com is offering customers additional offers and opportunities through MyPoints BonusMail's interactive HTML-based e-mail," said Rob Bennett, group product manager of Windows marketing at Microsoft in a statement

Editorial standards