CI Host Unveils B2B Campaign

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Web hosting firm CI Host is incorporating direct-mail postcards and telemarketing in its holiday-themed, multi-channel B2B campaign to promote its "e-Business in a Box" product, the company said last week.

The product, offered for $299, includes a year of Web hosting, Web site design, technical support services, Internet tools and a credit-card merchant account.

CI Host said it can help independent business owners get their business online in seven days and is targeting small- to medium-sized businesses owned by individuals ranging in age from 20 to 50.

"We have some people who are making mid-career changes who are starting a business and might not have any online presence yet," said Tami Freedman, marketing direct of CI Host, Bedford, TX. "We tell them that there are people who want what they are selling, and we can help them."

CI Host telemarketers are calling 5,000 prospects per day with the offer. The company has also distributed the offer via postcard to 30,000 business owners.

The campaign also includes unspecified fax advertising. In addition, CI Host has entered into a joint marketing agreement with computer retailer TigerDirect, Miami, to include the "e-Business in a Box" product in TigerDirect's catalog and direct mail campaigns.

CI Host said it had bought more than 10 million online impressions for banner ads at unspecified Web sites for the two weeks prior to Christmas. The company also has bought keyword sponsorships for the words "gift" and "Christmas gift" at Yahoo!, Excite, Alta Vista, Google and MetaCrawler.

The campaign also includes non-direct marketing efforts, including billboard, radio and television advertising. In addition, the company has erected a 23-foot Santa atop is headquarters building as part of the campaign.

Initial results of the campaign were not disclosed. However, CI Host said it had to add capacity to its Web site to handle added traffic generated by its online efforts.

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