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E*Trade does marketing deals

The online investing service expands its marketing and commerce pact with Yahoo and others.

In an attempt to increase the number of users in an increasingly competitive arena, E*Trade Group, an online investing service, today announced that it has expanded its marketing and commerce agreement with Web portal Yahoo and has also signed an exclusive marketing and content agreement with ZDNet, Ziff-Davis's Internet site.

E*Trade hopes that the agreement with Yahoo will increase its visibility within Yahoo's finance area. The agreement calls for extensive advertising, sponsorship, and promotional programs throughout Yahoo. The deal includes targeted marketing and promotional programs created for E*Trade to directly reach Yahoo Finance's registered users.

Currently, there are already buttons for six online brokers on Yahoo's finance site, including DLJ Direct, Web Street, Datek Online, AmeriTrade, E*Trade, and Quick & Reilly.

"We are not likely to see E*Trade being the only one promoted there but [E*Trade] will pop up more as you go through the different pages," said Michael Graham, an Internet analyst at the investment banking firm Raymond James. "E*Trade might also have the sole slot in new content areas."

The agreement with ZDNet will make E*Trade the exclusive provider of online investment tools to ZDNet's customer base.

"These relationships demonstrate E*Trade's major commitment to convert a significant portion of the 9 million plus individual investors who use the Web to do investment research, but have not yet opened Internet investing accounts," Christos M. Cotsakos, E*Trade's president and CEO, said in a statement announcing the agreement.

"We will fully leverage the unique and targeted marketing agreements we have developed with Yahoo and ZDNet to reach their millions of users of financial information."

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"Working with Yahoo and ZDNet will help us achieve our goal of becoming a leading branded, bookmarked financial destination site on the Web," added Cotsakos.

In June, Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette's DLJ Direct, E*Trade Group, and Toronto-Dominion Bank's Waterhouse Securities signed a deal with American Online for $25 million each to be displayed on the Internet company's popular personal finance site for two years. The deals are expected to attract at least 50,000 new accounts each per year from the deal, analysts have said.

In July, AmeriTrade also cut a two-year $25 million deal with AOL to be displayed on its financial site. Ameritrade had hoped to be displayed with better visibility than its competitors but AOL said the deal would give it no advantage.

"E*Trade has its destination E*Trade promotion going and they have announced that they are going to be spending very aggressively to capture market share," Graham said. "This deal with Yahoo is just a step along that path."