BMG Music Service Names SmartTalk for Automated Telephony

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Multichannel messaging service SmartTalk Inc., Boulder, CO, will handle the automated telephone component of BMG Music Service's new direct marketing effort, which is designed to obtain additional business from existing customers.

Starting later this month, the campaign will offer BMG Music Service members a chance to buy one CD and get three free. BMG hasn't disclosed how many of its 10 million members it will call for the new personalized offer.

"In the past, they principally used live operators to call to extend this sort of offer to its members, and the automated telephony option enables them to contact more people more quickly and less expensively," said Greg Ellenoff, vice president of marketing at SmartTalk.

SmartTalk's SmartDelivery service will automatically dial telephone numbers on BMG's membership list and convey a prerecorded personalized message. This message offers the consumer the option of either transferring to a BMG call center to talk to an operator, or make a selection over the phone and receive credits for the balance of the three CD titles.

BMG will give SmartTalk a cut of transaction fees for every order placed via this campaign, which is expected to run for a month.

German-owned BMG Music Service, a division of BMG Direct, is the world's largest music membership service. It offers more than 12,000 titles in a range of genres, including classical, Latin, rock, pop, alternative and jazz. BMG reaches customers and prospects through the telephone, direct mail, e-mail and the Internet.

"We're equally excited about the possibilities to complement BMG's other nontelephony messaging efforts in direct mail and viral communications," Ellenoff said.

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