FreeShop.com Processes 1 Million Orders in November

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Lead-generation company FreeShop.com, Inc. announced Dec. 3 that it processed 1 million orders in November -- double that of previous months.


The company claims it is now the No. 1 site for third-party customer acquisition and that transaction-wise it has entered the league of eBay and Amazon.com.


Seattle-based FreeShop.com is an online storefront that generates leads -- usually at a fee from 40 cents to $1 -- through more than 1,000 client-sponsored product offers, such as free-trial magazine subscriptions.


Visitors to the site are invited to opt in to receive offer-laden e-mail newsletters by joining Club FreeShop-an initiative that claimed 2 million members as of November.


"Everyone is saying the Internet is about direct marketing, and we all know 90 percent of direct marketing is customer acquisition," said Tim Choate, president/CEO of FreeShop.com.


Fueling FreeShop.com's recent growth in part was the company's June acquisition of lead generation site Wordwide Brochures (www.wwb.com) and its May acquisition of catalog request Web site CatalogSite.com from Commonsite, LLC, Santa Clara, CA, both for undisclosed sums.


Though there are other lead generation sites, Choate said he sees no direct competition on the horizon, mainly because the company has momentum and a several-year lead on would-be competitors, and that its pull business model -- where consumers go to the site for offers -- is hard to build.


"Most of the others who are doing direct marketing on the Net are doing traditional push marketing [where offers are sent to prospects]," said Choate. "Pull has push beat hands down, but much is harder to do because you've got to motivate consumers to do it themselves."
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