Autobytel sells RPM business to CallCommand

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Autobytel Inc. has sold its Retention Performance Marketing business to CallCommand for $7.6 million.

RPM was Autobytel's multichannel customer relationship management system. The business, including its 53 employees, has been acquired by CallCommand. CallCommand will continue to provide customer service to all current RPM customers.

RPM integrates customer segmentation with personal communication, including e-mail, telephone, Web site and print media. Automotive dealers currently use RPM to deliver automatically welcome letters or e-mails for new-car buyers and service customers and to send service reminders and tailored campaigns on a regular basis based on each customer's specific spending, purchase and visitation habits. RPM also offers customers reporting and analysis capabilities.

Irvine, CA-based Autobytel president/CEO Jim Riesenbach said in a statement that the transaction "is an important step toward the execution of its stated media-centric strategy and our goal of delivering enhanced long-term value to our shareholders."

As part of this strategy, Autobytel's next-generation consumer Web site, MyRide.com, was launched in a beta version on June 26. As the first vertical search engine for the automotive marketplace, MyRide.com delivers search results from across the Web, integrated with multimedia and user-generated content on topics ranging from purchasing and aftermarket to ownership and enthusiasm.

CallCommand is a Cincinnati-based provider of integrated and automated, personalized communications. Its online LifeCycle Management Solutions has voice messaging, mobile messaging, e-mail marketing, live call center services, direct mail and other two-way communication streams open to customers.

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