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Acxiom Adds Site Optimization

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NEW YORK Acxiom Digital bolstered its marketing services with the purchase of Web site optimization company Kefta.

Kefta, a 20-person firm in San Francisco, makes software that customizes Web sites for visitors based on their prior behavior and audience profile. It works with clients like Overstock, Verizon and Palm to improve sales conversions by providing information and offers most likely to elicit a response from visitors.

The purchase price was not disclosed. Kefta will become part of Acxiom Digital.

The addition of Kefta pushes Acxiom Digital beyond its current core of search and e-mail campaigns. Parent company, database marketing giant Acxiom, formed the digital marketing unit after the acquisition of e-mail and search shop Digital Impact in 2005.

"One of the missing links is what happens after the e-mail is sent or after that search campaign runs," said Kevin Johnson, leader of Acxiom Digital.

Marketers are paying increasing attention to tailoring their Web sites to user interest to bump up conversion rates, particularly as they focus more media dollars to acquire leads through search engines and other online ad campaigns. Kefta competes with similar services from independently held companies X+1, Optimost and Offermatica. Last month, analytics company Omniture agreed to pay up to $51.5 million for Touch Clarity, which provides behavior-based site optimization.

"Everybody's looking at improving conversion rates," said Philippe Suchet, CEO of Kefta.