Constant Contact To Add SMB Tools - InformationWeek

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5/28/2010
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Constant Contact To Add SMB Tools

NutshellMail acquisition will enable small business email marketers to interact with customers through social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Constant Contact, a developer of email marketing, online surveys, and event marketing tools for small and midsize businesses, this week announced it will acquire NutshellMail, developer of a tool that allows SMBs to monitor and engage with social networks from their email inboxes.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

NutshellMail is a free service that enables users to manage, monitor and interact with customers, friends and fans through social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace, by collecting and organizing the latest messages and activities into an interactive email snapshot that's delivered into users' inboxes. SMB executives may customize the type of content they want to track, pick search terms, and select the frequency of updates they wish to receive.

More than half of respondents to a recent Constant Contact poll stated Facebook was an important tool for marketing their small business or organization; 27% checked LinkedIn, 26% selected Twitter and 16% said YouTube, according to the April 2010 poll.

"We started NutshellMail to help solve the problem of social network overload. As part of the Constant Contact family, we're going to help some of the busiest people on the planet, small business owners, turn what might seem like social media chaos into a smart marketing tool for growing their business. It's like a DVR for your social networking activity," said Mark Schmulen, co-founder of Menlo Park, Calif.-based NutshellMail, who will serve as Constant Contact's general manager of social media in the company's soon-to-open Bay Area office.

Fellow NutshellMail co-founder David Lyman will remain on the West coast as director of software development at Constant Contact.

Publicly held Constant Contact expects to take other social networking steps in the near future, according to the company. Other near-term plans include a share bar that allows newsletter subscribers to share content across social media networks; the ability to tweet events, and the capability to create branded links to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube directly from the authoring environment, Constant Contact said.

"We made email marketing simple for small businesses and nonprofits. Now we're going to make social media marketing simple for them," said Gail Goodman, CEO of Constant Contact, Waltham, Mass.

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