New Orleans, LA - January 29, 2005 - Autobytel Inc. (Nasdaq: ABTLE), the Internet's most visited automotive destination,1 today announced the launch of AutobytelDirect, a fully integrated, multimedia direct marketing product that targets in-market car buyers during the pivotal window between submission of a website vehicle Purchase Request and offline purchase. AutobytelDirect enables auto marketers to tap into one of the largest databases of serious, active automotive consumers - two-thirds of whom will buy a vehicle in the near-term2 - with comprehensive tools to influence make/model purchase decisions and build customer relationships.
"AutobytelDirect extends the marketing cycle for auto marketers - putting them in touch with millions of online car buyers whose decision process is longer," said Autobytel Inc. President and CEO Jeffrey Schwartz. "This opens up fertile territory for automotive marketers in the marketing 'sweet spot' - the golden moments when this consolidated, self-selecting audience of serious shoppers is making its final brand decisions. The shopping process supported by our websites means that we know who they are, where they are, what they want - and the brands they'd be likely to consider."
AutobytelDirect provides consistent touch points with these car buyers (nearly half of whom will switch brands3) via triggered communications powered by its customer segmentation technology. Auto marketers can target several hundred thousand new intenders each month through AutobytelDirect, which has a total available database of approximately 10 million opted-in customers. These customers can be segmented according to their age, gender, income, ethnicity, geography, estimated buying timeframe, desired vehicle category and/or make, and other factors. AutobytelDirect supports a range of marketing initiatives, including product launches, sales events, test drive events, and general brand marketing.
In addition, AutobytelDirect's MarketShare, which is designed to run in conjunction with Autobytel's manufacturer Purchase Request programs, can drive conversion and sales through systematic communications customized for each automaker client. For example, automakers can hone in on "hot" consumer segments, including consumers interested in particular brands.
"As Autobytel marks ten years of innovating ahead of the Internet curve, it is particularly fitting that we launch AutobytelDirect," continued Schwartz. "With 20 million car buyers, billions of dollars in dealer car sales and an average of 9 million unique visitors a month, we continue to provide one of the most cost-efficient and effective ways to reach car shoppers in each phase of the purchase process."
1 comScore Media Metrix, Q4 2004
2 67% of consumers who submitted a new vehicle Purchase Request through Autobytel purchased a vehicle (R.L. Polk & Co. Automotive Intelligence study, February 2004). While one-third of the Autobytel buyers tracked during the study purchased a vehicle within 30 days, the crucial decision phase for many online consumers can extend beyond the initial Purchase Request submission.
3 52% of new car buyers studied bought their intended make; 48% switched brands (R.L. Polk & Co. Automotive Intelligence study, February 2004)
About Autobytel Inc.
Autobytel Inc. (Nasdaq: ABTLE), a leading Internet automotive marketing services company, helps retailers sell cars and manufacturers build brands through marketing, advertising, data and CRM (customer relationship management) products and programs. The Company owns and operates the automotive websites Autobytel.com, Autoweb.com, Car.com, Carsmart.com and AutoSite.com, as well as AIC (Automotive Information Center), a trusted industry source of automotive marketing data and technology for over 20 years. Autobytel is also a leader in dealership lead management and CRM solutions and owns and operates AVV, Inc., a top provider of dealership CRM and sales management products, and Retention Performance Marketing, Inc. (RPMâ), which powers dealerships with cutting-edge customer loyalty and retention marketing programs. As the Internet's largest new car buying service, Autobytel generates over a billion dollars a month in car sales for dealers through its services and was the most visited new car buying and research destination in 2004, reaching millions of car shoppers as they made their vehicle buying decisions. Autobytel's car-selling sites and lead management products are used by more of the nation's top-100 e-dealers than any other program.
Autobytel Inc. Media Relations
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