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Dealers Can Now Text-Enable Existing Landlines and Toll Free Numbers With Autobytel's TextShield(R)

IRVINE, Calif., April 15, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Autobytel (Nasdaq:ABTL), pioneer of the automotive Internet and the company dedicated to connecting automotive consumers with dealers, today announced it has enhanced its texting platform, TextShield, by providing dealers with the ability to text-enable existing landlines and toll free phone numbers at their dealerships versus having to promote separate phone numbers that are dedicated to texting. The company says that while the overall TextShield platform offers many benefits, including assisting dealers with regulatory requirements related to consumer consents to text marketing, this latest enhancement increases consumer engagement opportunities for dealers.



Any phone number that is currently in operation at a dealership, including existing main phone numbers, special vanity numbers, service numbers, and call tracking numbers, can now be text-enabled while still handling voice calls. Dealers can text-enable any number they wish using their existing carrier, and all text communications between dealers and their customers are routed into the TextShield platform for lead management, follow up, and quality assurance purposes.

For the full TextShield video, visit http://mobile.autobytel.com.

"Transforming an existing phone number into a text-enabled communications line is a great marketing tool," said Jeff Coats, President and CEO of Autobytel Inc. "Simply adding the words 'Text or Call' to existing phone numbers featured on signs, ads, and other marketing materials opens new engagement opportunities with consumers by enabling them to communicate with dealers in the manner they prefer. The best part is that all communications are logged and stored within the TextShield lead management system and can be delivered to a dealer's CRM tool."

Here's how the enhanced TextShield platform works:

1) Consumers see a marketing message that directs them to 'text or call' one of a dealership's publicized phone numbers. These numbers can be any landline or toll free number, including call tracking numbers.

2) When a text comes in from any of these numbers, TextShield automatically identifies the contact as a text and routes the customer into the TextShield lead management platform. The customer is immediately provided with an opt-in message.

3) Once the customer opts-in, dealership sales staff members are immediately sent an alert in the form of a text message and an email.

4) The dealer's staff can now begin a text conversation with the customer from either their desktop computer or mobile phone within the TextShield platform. All texts are logged and stored and can be delivered to a dealership's CRM.

5) If the customer wants pricing information, or has questions about vehicle specs or service, staff members can text directly to the customer, quickly and easily.

Coats says TextShield offers dealers plenty of features and benefits to help grow sales and service opportunities, including ease of interaction from either a desktop or mobile device; complete texting records to ensure interactions are tracked and conform to quality standards; the ability to submit text leads to a CRM system to monitor the lead from the first text through the sales process; and features such as opt-in and opt-out to help address compliance issues.

Visit http://dealer.autobytel.com and http://mobile.autobytel.com to learn about the company's leading industry products. Visit http://autobytel.com/ for leading automotive information; watch exclusive new car videos, test drives and car reviews at Autobytel's YouTube channel; or join the conversation at the Autobytel Facebook Fan Page.

About Autobytel Inc.

Autobytel Inc. provides high quality consumer leads and associated marketing services to automotive dealers and manufacturers throughout the United States and offers consumers robust and original online automotive content to help them make informed car-buying decisions. The company pioneered the automotive internet in 1995 with its flagship website http://www.autobytel.com/ and has since helped tens of millions of automotive consumers research vehicles; connected thousands of dealers nationwide with motivated car buyers; and helped every major automaker market its brand online.

Investors and other interested parties can receive Autobytel news releases and invitations to special events by accessing the online registration form at investor.autobytel.com/alerts.cfm.

CONTACT: Autobytel Inc. Media Relations Splash Media Jennifer Lange 949-916-4820 jlange@getsplashmedia.com or Autobytel Inc. Investor Relations Kim Boren Chief Financial Officer 949-862-1396 kimb@autobytel.com or Cody Slach or Sean Mansouri Liolios Group, Inc. 949-574-3860 abtl@liolios.com

Source:Autobytel Inc.