Be Free, Inc. Continues to Expand in Europe: Signs Lastminute.com as Newest European Performance Marketing Customer
MARLBOROUGH, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–July 31, 2000
Provider of Last Minute Solutions on the Internet to Develop an Affiliate Sales Channel Powered by Be Free’s Full-Service Performance
Marketing Infrastructure & Services
Be Free, Inc. (Nasdaq:BFRE), the leader in performance marketing, today announced that it has partnered with lastminute.com plc (Nasdaq:LMIN), Europe’s leading provider of last-minute solutions on the Internet. Through this partnership, lastminute.com will launch a pan-European performance-based affiliate marketing program enabled by Be Free, driving traffic and sales to its localized web sites in the UK, Germany, France and Sweden.
“lastminute.com recognizes Be Free’s leadership in the area of performance marketing and the power performance marketing has to lower customer acquisition costs and extend brand reach across the global web,” said Gordon Hoffstein, chairman and CEO of Be Free, Inc. “Performance marketing is the most cost-effective way to drive qualified traffic to a web business and increase sales, and Be Free is leading the way for companies in Europe to adopt this valuable marketing tool.”
“Be Free not only offers best-of-breed performance marketing technology and services, but also has in-depth expertise in European e-commerce and affiliate marketing,” said Martha Lane Fox, COO and Co-Founder of lastminute.com. “For lastminute.com, Be Free was the natural partner to power its affiliate program.”
About Performance Marketing
Performance marketing allows online marketers to increase sales, drive traffic, generate qualified leads and extend brand reach through relationships with online selling partners. These partners provide meaningful context for a marketer’s link and allow the marketer to target consumers with particular interests, knowledge and spending habits, while paying only for the performance of their promotions. By paying only for results, marketers lower their customer acquisition costs and increase the power of their marketing budgets. Be Free offers a truly customer-focused approach to performance marketing, producing superior overall results and enabling cross-promotions and cooperative marketing. Be Free also offers an entire suite of performance marketing services, from scaleable infrastructure and tracking technology, to industry knowledge and value added services.
The lastminute.com web site (www.lastminute.com) was launched in the UK in October 1998.
Based on the idea of matching supply and demand at the last minute via the Internet, lastminute.com works with a range of suppliers in the travel, entertainment, restaurant and gift industries and is dedicated to bringing its customers attractive products and services. lastminute.com aims to provide solutions and inspiration to its customers at short notice.
Following the success of the UK site, localized versions of the web site have since been launched in France, Germany and Sweden in September, October and December 1999 respectively. Joint venture agreements were signed for operations in Australia and South Africa in March and May 2000 respectively.
At 31 March 2000, lastminute.com had approximately 1.4 million registered subscribers and relationships with approximately 2,500 key suppliers, including international scheduled airlines, hotels, package tour operators, theatre, sports and entertainment promoters, restaurants, speciality service providers and gift suppliers, both in the UK and internationally. In the quarter ended 31 March 2000, 45% of goods sold were non-travel related. Supplier relationships include British Airways, British Midland, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Bass Hotels and Resorts, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, English National Ballet, The Royal Albert Hall, Conran Restaurants, One for the Road and SFX.
About Be Free, Inc.
Be Free, Inc. (Nasdaq: BFRE) is a leader in performance marketing – the next generation of online marketing. Be Free helps its customers build and manage uniquely branded online sales channels, enabling these sites to capture revenue by driving site traffic, generating qualified leads and selling products in context on locations throughout the Web. Be Free’s customers include some of the Internet’s leading merchants, online services and portals such as IBM (NYSE: IBM), America Online, Inc. (NYSE: AOL), barnesandnoble.com (Nasdaq: BNBN), GoTo.com (Nasdaq: GOTO), Mercata, C|Net (Nasdaq: CNET), Garden.com (Nasdaq: GDEN), PC Connection (Nasdaq: PCCC), Lycos (Nasdaq: LCOS), About.com (Nasdaq: BOUT) and Yahoo!(R)GeoCities (Nasdaq: YHOO). Affiliates can enroll in performance marketing programs using Be Free’s technology with a streamlined application form called FastApp, located at http://www.reporting.net/networks/affiliates/bf_fast_app.
Founded in 1996, Be Free has offices in Marlborough, MA, Pittsburgh, PA, Atlanta, GA, Chicago, IL, Los Angeles, CA, Campbell, CA, Austin, TX and New York, NY. For more information, visit http://www.befree.com.
Statements in this news release about Be Free, Inc. may be considered forward-looking statements as defined by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on the Company’s current expectations, hopes, beliefs and estimates. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated or projected. Further information about the risk factors that could affect the Company’s performance are contained in the Company’s filings with the Securities Exchange Commission, including but not limited to its S-1 dated November 3, 1999 and March 29, 2000.
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