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DoubleClick to release email marketing products

The Internet advertiser jumps into the email advertising arena, unveiling products aimed at closing the gap with its fleet-footed competitors.

Internet advertiser DoubleClick today jumped into the email advertising arena, unveiling products aimed at closing the gap with its fleet-footed competitors in the fast-growing market.

The new products, Dartmail for Publishers and Dartmail for Advertisers, are scheduled for launch next year.

DoubleClick has been making acquisitions to secure its place at the top of the online advertising game. Last week the company won shareholder approval to merge with market researcher Abacus Direct, a deal estimated to be worth $1.7 billion. In July, the company acquired rival NetGravity in a stock transaction.

But analysts say that DoubleClick is belatedly entering the email advertising business, as other marketers already use email service bureaus and list brokers such as 24/7 Media, YesMail and NetCreations.

Although DoubleClick spokeswoman Amy Shapiro acknowledged that the company is a little behind, she said she expects the new products to be a hit, citing previous success with the non-email service Dart for Advertisers.

"We were 12 months late to market the Dart for Advertisers and currently have the leadership position in that segment," she said.

Dartmail for Advertisers is a service that aims to help marketers target emails to consumers. The advertiser supplies the email addresses and uses DoubleClick to distribute the advertisements.

Shapiro said Dartmail is not the same as spam, however, because users can opt out of the service; marketers must get people's permission to send information and advertisements before the messages are sent.

Dartmail for Publishers is an email delivery and advertising service. It allows DoubleClick to sell advertising space on content-specific newsletters, specializing in areas such as technology or sports information. The newsletters are then distributed via email.

"The email market is growing rapidly," Shapiro said. "DoubleClick worked at building Internet infrastructure. This is the next phase of offering solutions to advertisers and Web publishers."