RealTime IT News

AOL Turning to Direct Marketing

Determined to increase its member base of 15 million, America Online Inc. is turning to direct marketing.

The online giant this week signed an agreement with Monument Communications Inc., a Virginia-based marketer of technology products and services. Monument will lead the new initiative, dubbed AOL Select.

Monument said AOL Select will be a network marketing and e-commerce effort that will be formally unveiled over the next few weeks. The deal gives Monument the rights to market the AOL service in a campaign using AOL's name and logo.

The drive will target individuals who are new to the online world as well as those who may have resisted going online, fearing the process is too complicated.

"A person-to-person demonstration of this product will plow through the most common barriers and make it even more clear to people why AOL is the leader," said Richard Warren, Monument's president and co-founder.

Monument will use the Internet to enroll and train its marketing representatives for the venture. AOL Select will also be promoted on AOL and through a special Web site that will be formally launched in February.

The campaign will be styled after others used by telecommunications carrier Excel Communications as well as long distance giants Sprint and MCI.

AOL Select representatives will also market other products and services, including personal computers, wireless e-mail and paging and satellite TV.