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May 19, 2000
Article - British Site Preps for Revamps

SUMMARY: No summary available.
Established in January 1999, and live since mid-November, is currently the only service of its kind in the UK – a free online address-change service, aiming to save home movers ‘time, money, and hassle’ by informing all of their service providers of the new address in one 15-minute session. The site is due for a makeover by web design agency Bluewave, and marketing campaigns have been moved up a gear or two to make it all worthwhile...

Affiliates: Having established 200 partner companies already (which pay to receive the digitally updated addresses, and some of which – like PowerGen – sponsor sections of the site) the team have been targeting over 1,500 more in the last couple of weeks with a concentrated telemarketing campaign. The pitch is simple: can save service providers money on call centre costs and postal data processing, whilst offering cross-selling opportunities through links to their own sites.

Users: Thanks to its novelty, has been able to rely largely on PR to gain users – highlights articles in the London dailies, and TV coverage on Sky and CNN. Full-page ads in The Evening Standard last week (the first major paid-for advertising) began an intensive 2-3 month campaign, which will concentrate on offline targeted media. Marketing Director Niko Komninos feels that adverts don’t necessarily have to be huge to work, as long as they’re going to be seen by home movers: a lot of ads are being placed in the Classified sections of newspapers and property magazines, for instance – not just on billboards. Online advertising is confined mostly to complementary services, such as the web sites of estate agents and solicitors, and will rely on simple cross-linking.

Cost: Telephone calls and classified ads are pretty cheap in the grand scale of things. In total, however, intends to spend a ‘large portion’ of the £2.5m raised from investors (including Wired magazine, Continuation Investors NV, Hyundai Corp., Internet Direct and Fidulex Management Inc.) on advertising.

Results: Niko Komninos stresses that these efforts are ‘far from over’, and that advertising so far has been ‘minimal’. So far, however, the number of daily registrations to the site has increased by 35%, and the telemarketers have managed to double the number of partner companies. The team is optimistic: 6 million homeowners move each year, and at least 20,000 new visitors to the site are expected every month.
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