To Earn Rewards, Just Hit The Site

ONCE, CYBERSPACE WAS A refreshing break from the physical world. But junk mail, that annoying reality of paper communication, increasingly intrudes. On the World Wide Web, junk E-mail is beginning to become an unwelcome fact of life for many Net surfers. Yet there may be a way to satisfy online mass marketers and still protect consumers from being inundated with junk E-mail.

Maritz Inc., a marketing company that specializes in incentive programs, started a Web site called Goldmail (www.goldmail.com) at the beginning of June. The site hopes to attract Web surfers to its ads with an awards program. It works like this: After registering with Goldmail, visitors are asked to fill out a short profile, including their real name and home address. The Web site will then give them a special E-mail box that Maritz fills with ads from vendors. For each piece of E-mail members open, Maritz will award them "points" good toward merchandise or gift certificates. If members take further action--say, clicking onto an advertiser's Web site through the ad--they get additional points. Maritz, based in Fenton, Mo., says it will not give a member's personal information to advertisers but will share general demographics with its advertisers.

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