Direct marketing start-up Micronotes teams with Yodlee for online bank push

Source: Micronotes

Micronotes, a Cambridge, Mass.-based direct marketing company, is on a mission to change the online banking and marketing industries. By connecting marketing dollars directly to consumers through the online banking channel, Micronotes will drive revenue to online banking customers and financial institutions while improving the return on third party marketing campaigns through "micro-conversations" leading to highly customized offers. The company emerged today from stealth mode through its partnership with Yodlee, a leader in online personal financial management and revenue-generating payments solutions and services.

"Online financial management services are adding more than 30,000 new users every day, as people recognize the value of these rich interactive tools," said Joseph Polverari, chief marketing & strategy officer at Yodlee. "The Yodlee 10 Platform, which will feature the Micronotes KulaMula FinApp alongside other personalized applications, will deliver a personalized experience that puts cash and savings in customer accounts while giving financial institutions another great way to engage customers online."

Using the free Micronotes KulaMula financial application or "FinApp" consumers participate in 30-second micro-interviews, which are comprised of three questions directed by the brands of their choice. Upon completion of the micro-interview, consumers receive either a cash payment for their time and/or a customized offer for products and services they are likely to purchase. Additionally, participants are assured privacy and security in Micronotes' zero-spam environment. Moreover, since the FinApp is self-contained, core banking functions such as reading online statements remain uncluttered. KulaMula generates cash flow through a revenue share with participating financial institutions while also gaining a powerful cross-sell engine. Consumer brands achieve reach and relevance through direct conversations with customers in this stable and data-rich channel.

"Using the Micronotes technology to develop a series of questions for the consumer, we were able to customize offers to a select market segment resulting in an overall conversion-to-sales rate of 19 percent," said Miguel Suarez from Barnes & Noble, general manager of the MIT Cooperative (COOP) bookstore. "Micronotes enables us to more effectively compete and increase sales through targeted campaigns while also boosting the sales of additional products that result from in-store foot traffic. We plan to continue to rely on Micronotes to increase sales including upcoming special offers."

Micronotes was founded out of a research project at the MIT Sloan School of Management that realized the potential of combining mathematics and behavioral economics to radically change the marketing function and drive revenue. This research, combined with the fact that direct marketing email campaigns currently yield a 1.73 percent conversion rate(1) led to the formation of Micronotes. Micronotes is aligning with financial institutions to serve as its delivery platform based on the growing community of 58 million online banking consumers(2) that closely align online banking with trust and convenience. The company's management team and advisors include MIT Sloan Fellows, professors and alumni.

"Brands spend billions to reach consumers -- who don't want to be interrupted with irrelevant offers. We are on a mission to change the social contract in marketing from interruption to invitation and conversation," said Devon Kinkead, founder and CEO, Micronotes. "Our partnership with Yodlee brings broad reach to our brands, including host financial institutions, while our marketing platform delivers relevance in outbound marketing."

The Micronotes KulaMula FinApp will be available through the Yodlee MoneyCenter in December 2010 and through financial institutions in 2011.

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