October 15, 2008

MerchantCircle Revolutionizes ‘Feet on the Street’ Sales Force By Tapping Current Business Members

LOS ALTOS, Calif., Oct. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- MerchantCircle, the largest online network of local business owners in the nation, today announces the launch of the 'Marketing Advisor' program. The program gives merchants the opportunity to become an advisor for local zip codes and help local merchants find more customers online. In addition, Marketing Advisors will be paid commissions when merchants sign up for MerchantCircle or purchase online advertising packages.

"Yellow Page companies pay millions of dollars to manufacture and deliver phone books. Instead of spending money on making books, MerchantCircle takes an eco-friendly approach and helps merchants find customers online through search engine marketing packages on sites like Google," says Walt Duflock, Senior Director of Channel Development. "By recruiting Marketing Advisors from our nationwide merchant base of over 630,000 merchants, we've eliminated the need to spend millions of dollars recruiting and paying salaries for an expensive 'feet on the street' sales force."

Marketing Advisors sign up online and can choose up to 5 zip codes for their local territory. They get access to online training and marketing materials, and they get to offer a great message to local merchants - "cancel that Yellow Pages ad and start finding customers online with MerchantCircle." The program launched in August, and already over 700 Marketing Advisors have signed up and provided help for local merchants in over 2,000 zip codes.

"We sign every one of our small business clients up for a MerchantCircle account to bring them more online visibility and better leads from search engines," says Lynnea Bylund, President of AdMax, a merchant media and marketing agency and MerchantCircle Marketing Advisor, in Dana Point, CA. "Our business is presently the fastest growing company in its field in Southern California thanks largely to MerchantCircle - it's something I was already recommending to business owners. It has quickly become the cornerstone of our local merchant advertising service. MerchantCircle is a great way for my clients to make sure customers can easily find them on search engines like Google and Yahoo!."

MerchantCircle's Marketing Advisors are currently in small towns from Mountain Grove, MO (population 4,500), to big cities including, Atlanta, GA. 1,500 Marketing Advisors are expected by the end of the year.

About MerchantCircle

Founded in 2005, MerchantCircle is the largest online network of local business owners in the nation, combining social networking features with a customizable web listing that allows local merchants to attract new customers. More than 15 million MerchantCircle business listings across the country are easily accessed on major search engines.

Currently, over 630,000 merchants on the MerchantCircle network upload pictures, blog, create coupons and newsletters, and connect with other merchants. In addition to its free services, MerchantCircle offers a portfolio of online advertising services including Search Engine Marketing, Website Directory Submission, Web Content Creation, and Business Verification. MerchantCircle has attracted thousands of paying customers since launching a suite of advertising services in December.

MerchantCircle is located on Main St. in downtown Los Altos, Calif., and is funded by Rustic Canyon Partners, Scale Venture Partners, Disney's Steamboat Ventures, and IAC. Learn more at http://www.merchantcircle.com/


CONTACT: Kevin Leu of MerchantCircle, +1-858-361-4407,[email protected]

Web site: http://www.merchantcircle.com/