Lycos Signs with DoubleClick for Subscription Services

Terra Lycos said on Thursday it would use DoubleClick’s Ensemble campaign-management platform to market its paid services to its users.

The international portal said Ensemble’s data discovery and business analysis features would give it an automated platform for convincing its users to try its premium services. The company has pegged fee-based services as an important avenue for growth as it comes off the prolonged Internet advertising slump that shows signs of abating.

Last quarter, Lycos reported strong growth in its fee-based services, which include Internet access, messaging services, and enhanced e-mail and anti-virus options. Access subscriptions accounted for 33 percent of revenue in the quarter and 22 percent from portal subscriptions and communication services, with advertising and e-commerce accounting for 35 percent. The company ended the year with 5.9 million paying customers versus just 4.7 million a year earlier.

“Our implementation of a robust marketing automation platform will allow us to expand on our success and leverage our tremendous user base to increase the frequency and effectiveness of our direct marketing campaigns,” said Steven Gross, Lycos’ vice president of marketing.

The portal’s strategy is similar to that employed, with great success, by Yahoo!. Yesterday, the portal giant posted its fourth consecutive profitable quarter, cementing a turnaround engineered by CEO Terry Semel’s decision to turn more Yahoo! users into customers. Yahoo! ended the quarter with 2.9 million paying customers, up 31 percent over the quarter.

DoubleClick Ensemble gives companies the opportunity to automate and integrate their marketing campaigns, tapping into DoubleClick’s array of marketing technology offerings, such as its ad serving and e-mail marketing technologies.

Lycos plans to use Ensemble to bump the number of direct marketing campaigns, while using the analytics capabilities to tweak them on the fly for better results.

Ensemble came to DoubleClick via the September 2002 acquisition of Protagona. Last December, the company rolled out its buffed-up version of the campaign management tool, Ensemble 6.0, with a new user interface and more customization options. Ensemble customers include, Capital One and PowerGen.

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