After $250M Injection, Campaign Monitor Gets Acquisitive

alexbardWatch out, Constant Contact and SurveyMonkey. A 10-year-old email marketing platform from down under is moving in.

A few months after raising $250 million from Insight Venture Partners – its first fundraising since the company was founded in 2004 – Campaign Monitor revealed Tuesday that it has acquired online survey startup GetFeedback.

It’s a homecoming for GetFeedback’s CEO Kraig Swensrud, who served as chief marketing officer for Salesforce.com for six years. Campaign Monitor itself poached Salesforce.com exec Alex Bard as its CEO in September.

You might call Bard something of a celebrity in enterprise and tech circles. After selling cloud customer service startup Assistly to Salesforce.com for $50 million cash in 2011, Bard went on to lead the CRM giant’s $1 billion-plus Service Cloud business as EVP and GM.

Among Bard’s immediate focuses at Campaign Monitor is “aggressively” expanding into North America with the opening of the Sydney company’s US operations in San Francisco. When combined with GetFeedback, Campaign Monitor will have 100 employees total with “plans to double that this year,” according to Bard.

“The more data you’re able to gather and the more behaviors you’re able to collect, the more you see email become this CRM [platform], which is an area that’s really interesting for us,” Bard said.

“For companies, we want to deliver personal, interactive [communications] with integration into their existing CRMs and modern APIs so they can programmatically interact with new systems.”

About 50% of Campaign Monitor emails are opened on a mobile client, which underscored its development of Canvas, an email marketing tool designed to make branded content look great on any device.

Similarly, spurring Campaign Monitor’s acquisition of GetFeedback was the recognition that marketers wanted to embed dynamic survey tools into mobile apps and experiences, going beyond pages with black text on white backgrounds typical of desktop interfaces, said Swensrud.

“They were the original data-collection tools that came out of market research, and we thought, ‘Why can’t these be used for branded marketing [messages] that [don’t shrink or blow out] when you open them on a smartphone?’” he added.

Bard doesn’t seem fazed about the crowded email marketing solution marketplace – one dominated by Constant Contact and CheetahMail, which was acquired by Experian Marketing Services in 2004.

The consolidation of email-centric tools such as ExactTarget, Eloqua and Responsys “really cleared the deck for a company like ours,” said Bard. “Depending on who you talk to, the email platform market alone is about $3-$5 billion and the survey market is north of $2 billion, so we see a lot of opportunity here.”

However, other independent email platforms have been stepping up their games, raising the bar for Campaign Monitor. Companies like AgilOne and TellApart are tying together various touch points like e-commerce, site optimization and personalized email. And LiveIntent adds programmatic ad placements into email newsletters.

But Bard’s not backing down. Via the Insight Venture investment, Campaign Monitor and GetFeedback have “joint gunpowder” now to identify new opportunities for expansion, whether that’s “in the form of additional acquisitions [or expanding] internally and growing our talent,” he said. Though Campaign Monitor is Australian, he added, most of its clients are in North America and Europe.

 

 

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