Let the games begin
Constant Contact, Incorporated (NASDAQ ticker symbol: CTCT) is revamping its CRM and email platforms. The company has sought the help of Fanplayr, a company specializing in gamification. The goal for Fanplayr is to incorporate gaming and social media into Constant Contact’s campaigns.
Daily Deal Media has had several discussions regarding the role of gamification in creating a more interactive environment between customers and businesses. Rick Jensen, Senior VP, chief sales and marketing officer at Constant Contact expresses our opinions in a recent statement: “These tools are all proven to help small businesses win customers and build successful relationships with them.”
On a buying spree
Constant Contact has been continuing to position itself as the go to company that can help the small businesses. In the past 16 months, the company has made several acquisitions that should enable it to grow both vertically and horizontally.
- BantamLive Acquired last year. Used in a January launch to help small businesses run social marketing campaigns on Facebook.
- CardStar, Incorporated – Acquired earlier this year. CardStar came with a mobile loyalty platform that aggregates loyalty card numbers for easier in-store use. It had more than 2 million active users at the time of the deal.
- Acquired MobManager – MobManager opened the door for daily dealing and helps businesses handle the back-end administration of daily deals. Acquiring MobManager enabled the company to launch SaveLocal – a couponer.
Constant Contact is based in Waltham, Massachusetts and has accelerated its revenues over the past three years. The company continues to post solid numbers. Although S G & A expenses increased by 17% from 2010, the company reported $214.4 million in revenue in 2011 a 29% increase over 2010. The majority of those revenues came from the company’s core business surrounding group e-mails.
CTCT shares have been on a roller coaster ride the past three years. Of interest to me as a trader is the consistent HIGH price the shares have put in between March and May in each of the past two years. As a matter of fact, last April the shares peaked out at $36.33 before plunging to $14.46 just three months later. Even with the more than stellar yearly report, CTCT only managed to claw back to the $32.18 level and closed Thursday, April 5th at $28.91.
The top five management team pull in about $2 million annually, and my sources reveal that there has been quite a bit more insider selling than buying. The company has over 900 employees and has several (over 50) openings for career minded professionals.
An e mail storm brewing
Many marketers are still relying on email as a way to target consumers. Unfortunately, recent research is suggesting that the venue is rapidly deteriorating from increased ISP filtering, sinking sender reputations and inbox overload. For the first time in three years, inbox placement rates (IPR) declined 6% during the second half of 2011; according to a recent report from email and reputation management firm Return Path.
This is somewhat disturbing to those that rely on email for marketing. The situation is similar globally as worldwide IPRs hit a record low of 76.5%. This compares to 81% in the first half of 2011 and historical IPR’s of 80%. Data shows that one in five marketing emails are either blocked, or delivered to consumers’ spam folders.
According to Matt Blumberg, CEO of Return Path: “clients are having difficulty in getting their emails delivered, ISPs are tightening requirements on reputation metrics and the number of companies using email to market continues to increase.”
Stay with us as at Daily Deal Media as we follow the Constant Contact and other email provider of marketing stories. On the table now is whether or not the gamification play will help to not only solidify but to also increase IPR numbers.
Constant Contact®, Inc. helps small businesses, associations, and nonprofits connect with their customers, clients, and members. Launched in 1998, Constant Contact champions the needs of small organizations and provides them with an easy and affordable way to build successful, lasting customer relationships.
Constant Contact’s leading email marketing. Online survey, event marketing, social media and deal tools—supported by its expert personal coaching and support—help all types of small businesses and organizations create professional-looking email newsletters and insightful online surveys and begin a dialogue with their customers. Today, more than 500,000 customers worldwide trust Constant Contact to help them connect with their audience.
With Constant Contact, small organizations have access to the latest industry information and education to help them learn email marketing and online survey best practices. Plus, they benefit from Constant Contact’s high email deliverability rates due to strong partnerships with ISPs, a no-tolerance spam policy, and a leadership role in organizations such as the ESPC (Email Sender and Provider Coalition).