Digital Impact Acquires Marketleap

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NEW YORK ( -- In a move that combines the technologies and techniques of search engine and e-mail marketing, e-mail marketing firm Digital Impact has acquired Marketleap, a search-engine marketing company.

Headquartered in San Mateo, Calif., Digital Impact's strategy is to offer marketers search-engine advertising directly supported by e-mail marketing in an integrated system, according to Michael Gorman, senior vice president of search and customer acquisition. A major goal of the companies' merger is to use e-mail to establish a stronger connection with the consumer earlier in the buying cycle.

Buying cycle
Mr. Gorman noted that that cycle most often begins when consumers use search engines to begin researching products or services they are interested in buying in the near future.

"If someone is shopping for a new car, we will use the e-mail to establish a marketing relationship," Mr. Gorman said. "It gives [marketers] a way to be more competitive."

Digital Impact's plan is to use various sorts of ads and content on Web sites and microsites to engage consumers and encourage them to sign up for informational e-mails, particularly during the season preceding the winter holidays.

10-employee company
Digital Impact said it is paying $1.5 million plus stock for the 10-employee company Marketleap located in San Francisco, according to the company.

Marketleap, which said it has been profitable, is expected to provide Digital Impact with $1.5 million in additional revenue in the last nine months of the fiscal year. It will add search-engine optimization and paid inclusion skills to Digital Impact's existing paid placement services, the company said.

Digital Impact lists 100 clients, including Marriott, The Gap and Hewlett-Packard. Marketleap has served brands such as Primedia, Tyco Electronics and Kaiser Permanente.

1.5 million e-mail list
Health maintenance organization Kaiser Permanente said it relied on Marketleap for the optimization of its Web site. Kaiser is considering switching to Digital Impact to handle its 1.5 million-member e-mail program.

"When you are managing an online and offline marketing campaign with 8 million members, being able to go to one firm and say here are my interactive needs, will hopefully give me more ROI for the dollars I'm spending," said Debbie Cantu, national brand director for Kaiser.

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