Survey Shows Marketers Not Optimizing The Full Use Of Automation Systems

Most companies have received a passing grade when it comes to the basic curriculum for marketing automation deployment, but the advanced classes of the technology are proving to be difficult. A new survey by DemandGen Report found a wide majority are successfully utilizing email marketing, web forms and landing page tools, but are struggling to successfully deploy more advanced tools such as lead nurturing and lead scoring are taking more time to master.

The Marketing Automation Growth Curve survey, conducted in March and April of this year, targeted firms that have already deployed a marketing automation system. The survey found most marketers are starting with the basic tools and then graduating over time to more sophisticated functionality, such as lead nurturing and lead scoring.

Following Successful IPO Responsys Posts 56% Revenue Gain In Q1

One month after filing an IPO that raised closed to $80 million, Responsys announced first quarter revenues were up 56% to $30.1 million, from $19.4 million in the same period last year.

The provider of email and cross-channel marketing solutions saw significant gains from its professional services division, with revenue for the first quarter of 2011 reaching $9.2 million, up 102% from $4.5 million in the first quarter of 2010.

Subscription revenue for the first quarter of 2011 was $21.0 million, up 41% from $14.9 million in the first quarter of 2010.

iContact Intros Free Edition Of Email Marketing Platform

iContact Corp
., an email marketing and social marketing company, today announced the launch of iContact Free Edition. The no-cost version of its flagship email marketing and social marketing tool is designed as introductory solution for SMBs to communicate with subscribers and “fans” via email, Facebook and Twitter.

iContact Free Edition is designed to enable anyone to easily manage a contact database, select a professionally designed template, send out an email and social network message and track the opens, clicks and social views.

Constant Contact Adds Social CRM Capabilities With Acquisition of Bantam Live

Constant Contact, Inc. announced the acquisition of Bantam Live, a contact management and social CRM provider owned and operated by privately held Bantam Networks, LLC. Under the terms of the deal, which closed on February 15, 2011, Constant Contact acquired substantially all of the assets and assumed certain liabilities of Bantam Networks for a cash purchase price of $15 million, subject to certain post-closing adjustments.

New York-based Bantam Live will provide Constant Contact a social CRM platform built on a Ruby on Rails® platform. Bantam Live's social CRM technology is focused on offering a unified repository of data across all channels, including clicks, email opens, survey responses, event participation and social media interactions. It will play a crucial role in how data is captured, reported and analyzed for Constant Contact's more than 400,000 small business customers, helping them better track, measure and increase customer engagement, according to a company release.

New Metrics Show Video Emerging As Star Player In BtoB Campaigns

As BtoB marketers turn to interactive tools and tactics to engage prospects and optimize lead generation campaigns, research shows that video is becoming an increasingly viable source for engagement and enhanced response.

According to Forrester Research, video in email campaigns can increase click-through rates by as much as 2-3 times. In a recent webinar titled “How to Increase B2B Leads 200% By Using Video,” Joe Eldridge, VP & Co-Founder at Visible Gains, offered a BtoB take on how marketers can integrate video into campaigns for effective customer engagement throughout the sales cycle.

While YouTube is the common starting point for many videos, Eldridge said there are many more opportunities to integrate video into emails, landing pages and product demos. According to a 2009 video marketing benchmark report, online video is second only to word of mouth for its ability to influence decision makers in every stage of the purchase lifecycle. Video can drive awareness of a brand’s product and/or service, leads, customer acquisition and loyalty.

New “Freemium” Models Turn Up Heat In Marketing Automation Space

While free trials of marketing automation software are a relatively common practice to give prospective clients a feel for the features and benefits of a solution, several vendors are now exploring a new “freemium” pricing model to compel prospective customers with a “limited access” complementary version.

The “Freemium” concept has caused a stir in the marketing automation space as Loopfuse launched its FreeView offering in June, and last week Genius unveiled a no-cost version of its Demand Generation product.

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Predictions Of Email’s Death Exaggerated, As Channel Serves As Bridge To Social Tools

The Wall Street Journal ran an article last month with the headline, “Why Email No Longer Rules...,” which read like an obituary for email marketing. “Email has had a good run as king of communications. But its reign is over,” the Journal article stated. “In its place, a new generation of services is starting to take hold—services like Twitter and Facebook and countless others vying for a piece of the new world.” Finds Remedy For Online Sales With Content-Driven Email Strategy, one of the top 10 online pet Web sites, according to Nielsen NetRatings, launched its ecommerce platform in 2008. With its launch, the company established a goal of offering a single Web site for recommended pet products ranging from healthcare items to toys, in addition to the company’s core offering of more than 10,000 veterinarian-approved pet health articles. The ecommerce site, which has more than 1 million monthly visitors, is hosted at

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