IAR Bits and Bytes

Silverpop Scoops Up Epigraphx

E-mail marketing company Silverpop has completed the acquisition of fellow email marketer Epigraphx, an early entrant in the space.

The deal, which was struck earlier this month, will bring Siliverpop an analytics platform for segmentation and modeling. Atlanta-based Silverpop plans to move customers over to its technology platform on a case-by-case basis, while integrating the two companies support structures.

Epigraphx provides a unique combination of services and technology to Silverpop clients,” said Bill Nussey, the chief executive of Silverpop. “Their customer loyalty is second-to-none, and the solutions they provide are forward-thinking and revolutionary in the marketplace today.”

Redwood City, Calif.-based Epigraphx was founded in 1992. The company specializes in targeted email, scoring such clients as Apple Computer, AutoNation, and Mercury Interactive.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Jumpstart Powers Auto Comparison Ad Program

Auto-focused media sales shop Jumpstart Digital and auto site NADAguides.com have teamed up to launch a comparison tool that allows an advertiser to present a competing car to users comparing two similar models.

NADAguides.com developed the Comparison Conquest Tool, while Jumpstart will handle the sales effort. If, for example, a visitor to the site is comparing sedans from Volkswagon and Honda, General Motors could purchase an ad on the page to offer a targeted ad to the consumer for a competing sedan, with similar features and in a similar price range.

“It goes from side-by-side comparison to three sides,” said Jumpstart chief executive Mitch Lowe. “This is a great opportunity for the carmakers to say, wait a minute, what about me.”

San Francisco-based Jumpstart hopes more of the auto industry, is on track to spend over $14 billion on advertising this year, will take to the Internet. Founded in 2000, Jumpstart has hitched itself to the vertical, handling national and local media sales for auto-related Web sites. In addition to NADAguides.com, the company has sewn up deals with Vehix.com, CarandDriver.com, and Road&Track.com.

According to a recent study by DoubleClick, the auto industry spent just 1 percent of its ad dollars online last year. This is despite a survey by J.D. Powers and Associates that 82 percent of new car buyers used third-party sites this year.

Of auto information sites, J.D. Powers ranks NADAguides.com as the eighth most used site.

eUniverse Ups Guidance

Coming off a profitable second quarter, Web publisher eUniverse bumped up its third quarter guidance earlier this week.

The company now expects revenue to come in at $19.5 million, up substantially from the $15.2 million it had forecast in October. Net income, which was $2 million last quarter, was also revised higher, up 11 percent to $3 million.

“We are executing extremely well across each of our business segments,” eUniverse’s chairman and chief executive. “Our planned investments are beginning to provide returns right on schedule and are enabling us to rapidly build our customer base.”

Los Angeles-based eUniverse has decided to spend freely on building its infrastructure and launching new products, including the August launch of a new unit to push ads from its clients to smallish Web publishers, in return for a cut of the revenues. In September, the company scooped up ResponseBase, a permission-based email list broker.

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