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Company Teams With LookSmart On Free 411 Service

Staff Writer
Published: 2004-11-04

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UpSNAP! has partnered with LookSmart to offer its customers a new way to extend their reach off-line and directly to consumers via text-enabled cell phones under a pay-per-click/call model.

UpSNAP! recently launched its free 411 service allowing mobile users to access White Pages and Yellow Pages listings directly from a cell phone via text-messaging, without the typical $1.25 charge by most wireless carriers. In addition to free 411, UpSNAP! incorporated a Merchant Call-Back service, which allows users to request a callback from featured merchants at the touch of a button on any text-enabled phone. The UpSNAP! telephony servers then automatically connect a call between the mobile phone user and the merchant. Consumer privacy is protected at all times, and the consumer has total choice to activate a callback, which spares them from having to write down a number while on the go.

"Until today, consumers had to pay to find merchants in the cellular world," said Tony Philipp, President and CEO of UpSNAP!. "UpSNAP! reverses this model. Consumers can contact merchants for free, and local merchants can now take advantage of a performance-driven advertising model even without a web presence. LookSmart, with its large base of advertisers and flexible paid listings platform, was the obvious partner to work with to power this advertising service."

The agreement between UpSNAP! and LookSmart will offer merchants the opportunity to reach more than 160 million mobile consumers. For the first time, advertisers have a performance-based revenue model via text-messaging on cellular telephones. As conventional Yellow Page usage continues to decrease, online "look-ups" have steadily increased by nearly 2 billion since 2001, according to research firm The Kelsey Group. Rather than paying a flat fee for Yellow Page ads, merchants utilizing UpSNAP! now have access to paid listing options with a built-in metric to account for direct responses from mobile consumers using UpSNAP!'s free 411.

"By partnering with UpSNAP!, LookSmart continues to deliver on its mission of delivering highly qualified leads to advertisers at reasonable prices," said Boris Shimanovsky, VP Business Development at LookSmart. "The fast-growing text-messaging industry and UpSNAP!'s text-to-call technology gives LookSmart advertisers an opportunity to reach consumers from key demographics at the time they most need location-specific services. The advertiser's name, address and contact details are stored in the phone of the consumer, who can then place a call to the advertiser at the touch of a button."

The U.S. accounts for more than 160 million mobile consumers and 2.5 billion mobile text messages sent each month, making the cell phone by far the most personal communication device for consumers and the most-coveted media platform for advertisers, according to the Mobile Marketing Association. UpSNAP! plans to introduce many new features, applications and enhanced services over the next several months.

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