CoolSavings, ePrize Link Up

CoolSavings stands to gain through a deal with Web sweepstake firm ePrize, in a move that could help the cash-strapped online incentive marketer see dollars from traditional clients.

Through the arrangement, Farmington Hills, Mich.’s ePrize will begin selling its clients on promotions aimed at Chicago-based CoolSavings’ nearly 15 million members, who have opted-in to receive mailings from marketers.

Additionally, CoolSavings can both track and target marketing messages to its users, so that ePrize clients can send directed mailings to members expected to have a high probability of conversion. That’s a plus for ePrize, which can pass on the benefits of targeting and tracking to its clients.

“CoolSavings’ integrated e-marketing services and large base of active shoppers are a perfect complement to ePrize’s promotions,” said ePrize chief executive Josh Linkner. “Customers looking for a complete marketing solution that builds consumer relationships and drives response will have the unique ability to create, market and track the effectiveness of their promotions through CoolSavings.”

While not terribly glamorous, online sweepstakes have proven to be one of the more reliable areas of the Web marketing industry. Long used by companies as a relatively inexpensive way to boost house files and collect consumer data, sweepstakes and contests can be produced for even less on the Internet, since the medium avoids costs associated with printing and publishing — one of the reasons that firms like ePrize have won large clients like Hewlett Packard and MasterCard.

And those are just the sorts of big-budget marketers that CoolSavings is looking to attract — and fast.

In March, CoolSavings announced layoffs and other expense reductions throughout the company, in an effort to cut it’s $8 million-per-quarter burn rate. With about $8.9 million on the balance sheets — more than half of which is money outstanding from its dot-com-heavy client base — CoolSavings is looking for a way out.

The company hopes that adding a sales channel via ePrize could be one way.

“ePrize delivers a leading promotions infrastructure that helps to extend the suite of products and services CoolSavings can deliver for our clients,” said CoolSavings’ chairman and CEO, Steven Golden. “Working together, ePrize and CoolSavings are uniquely positioned to capitalize” on what he said is a “fast-growing online promotional trend.”

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