SOURCE: eStara

September 25, 2006 08:30 ET

Cox Newspapers Enhances Online Classifieds With eStara's Click to Call Service

Publisher Offers Advertisers Instant Voice Connections to Buyers Across Its Major Newspaper Properties

RESTON, VA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 25, 2006 -- eStara, a leading provider of proactive conversion solutions for enhancing online sales and support initiatives, today announced with Cox Newspapers that the publisher is leveraging the power of voice across its major newspaper Web sites, embedding click to call technology throughout classified advertising, customer service, and advertising sales pages. Cox Newspapers -- which owns the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Austin American Statesman, among others -- is the first multi-newspaper owner to offer click to call services across its properties.

With newspapers under increased pressure to expand online advertising revenue, while competing with the emergence of online classifieds and local search, Cox Newspapers is taking a major proactive step to deliver high-impact sales leads and prove ROI to its advertisers, plus offer its readers a convenient means to connect with sellers directly from any classified or display listing.

The industry as a whole is developing new online strategies and forming partnerships to increase ad revenue from online newspaper sites. With so many local businesses relying on voice communications to sell their products, click to call becomes a "must have" offering in the local search and classifieds environment.

"Our most recent forecast indicates that performance-based advertising, which includes pay-per-call and click to call services like eStara's, will account for 26 percent of traditional directional ad revenues by 2010," said Matt Booth, senior vice president, Interactive Local Media, The Kelsey Group. "We expect newspaper publishers will play a significant role in the demand for these services, as they look to attract the growing number of advertisers that are interested in performance-based options."

Last year, The Palm Beach Post (another Cox Newspapers property) rolled out its "Talk to Seller" program, which made it the first newspaper to instantly connect buyers to online classifieds advertisers using click to call. Based on the success of that program, the Palm Beach Post won the Newspaper Association of America's Digital Edge Award for "Best Advertising Program, Circulation 100,000 to 249,999."

"Click to call has enabled Cox Newspapers to deliver more meaningful leads to its advertisers and build its brand to these partners," said John Reetz, General Manager of COXnet/Cox Newspapers. "We are also very excited about the power of click to call as a customer service tool. Once we recognized the great value of the service, eStara was clearly the vendor of choice because of its unmatched experience in the field and the robust nature of its technology."

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About eStara

eStara is a leading provider of proactive conversion solutions for enhancing online sales and support initiatives. The world's most recognized brands -- including Apple Computer, Continental Airlines, DaimlerChrysler, Dell Financial Services, and Verizon Superpages.com -- leverage eStara's services to engage customers with the right form of contact at the right time to increase revenue, reduce website abandonment and improve customer satisfaction. eStara is a privately held company headquartered in Reston, VA. For more information, visit www.eStara.com.

About Cox

Cox Newspapers publishes 17 daily and 25 non-daily newspapers and shoppers. Other operations include Valpak (the nation's leader in cooperative direct mail advertising); Cox Custom Media (publishers of customized newsletters); PAGAS (direct mail advertisers); and a one-third ownership interest in SP Newsprint (with newsprint mills in Dublin, Georgia, and Newberg, Oregon). Cox Newspapers is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, Inc., one of the nation's leading media companies and providers of automotive services.

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