MSN LinkExchange Honors National Small Business Week With Free Online Promotional Services

REDMOND, Wash., May 25, 1999 — MSN TM LinkExchange today announced it will offer one month of free Premium promotional services to new customers in honor of National Small Business Week, May 23-28. During that time, small businesses can sign up for the LinkExchange Premium package of award-winning advertising and promotion services designed to help businesses find new online customers and keep them coming back. More than
1 million small businesses and Web site owners already use LinkExchange services to increase their online traffic and sales. Business owners can sign up for the
“one month free”
special offer at . (See Web site for additional offer details.)

Small businesses and entrepreneurs account for 99 percent of all firms in the United States, and make up 46 percent of U.S. employment and roughly 33 percent of the U.S. GDP * ,”
said Deborah Whitman, vice president of Marketing for MSN LinkExchange.
“The Web makes it possible for smaller businesses to cost effectively grow their sales by reaching new customers they otherwise could not afford to target. LinkExchange Premium services lets smaller businesses realize the potential of the Web by affordably and easily promoting their business online.”

LinkExchange’s Premium Membership typically costs $12.99 per month, in addition to a $30 setup fee. In recognition of National Small Business Week, LinkExchange is waving the $30 setup fee and offering the same package of promotional services at no charge for the first month. The offer expires May 31, 1999, and is available to customers worldwide.**

The LinkExchange Premium package allows small businesses to do the following:

  • Easily list their business with hundreds of Web-based search engines, so customers searching the Web can find them

  • Monitor where their business is ranked on key search engines, so they can alter their site to improve their listings

  • Advertise their business online with a package of 1,000 banner ads each month

  • Keep in touch with their online customers via e-mail newsletters and promotional offers

  • Improve and optimize their Web site by checking it for errors

About LinkExchange Services

MSN LinkExchange ( ) is a leading provider of services that help small businesses and Web site owners increase their online traffic and sales. LinkExchange takes the tools the bigger players have used to be successful on the Web, such as advertising, affiliate programs and e-mail, and makes them available to small businesses and Web site owners. MSN LinkExchange is part of the Microsoft® network of properties.

In addition to the services available in Premium Membership, LinkExchange offers the following services:

  • AdStore. Small businesses can expand their customer base by advertising on some of the leading sites on the Web, including Excite, Yahoo!, BabyCenter and GameSpot, as well as the LinkExchange network.

  • ClickTrade. Small businesses can find new customers through referrals from other Web sites by creating the same kind of affiliate programs that larger companies, such as Inc. and eToys Inc., have used to build online sales successfully.

  • Merchant Planet. Small businesses can easily create an online store and accept credit cards to sell merchandise online.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

*Cahners In-Stat Group estimates derived from historical trend analysis from 1987-97 data from Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics and Cognetics, and from data extrapolated from 1992 Census data, scaled with 1999 Bureau of Economic Analysis data on GDP in the United States.

**To qualify, companies cannot be members of LinkExchange services and must meet all requirements for LinkExchange membership. Pornographic sites or sites that encourage illegal activity, for example, are not allowed on the network (see Web site for complete exceptions). After the first month, members will be charged the standard rate of $12.99 per month unless they cancel through the LinkExchange site. The free month can be applied any time over the next 90 days.

Microsoft and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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