Monday, November 3, 2008

This week's column: Gail Goodman and Constant Contact

When I went to see Gail Goodman recently, she remembered the last time we'd bumped into one another: at a Mass eComm mixer somewhere in the 'burbs, five or seven years ago. She was running Roving Software (the company that evolved into Constant Contact.) At the time, it was a tiny e-mail marketing firm, not really distinguished or differentiated in any way. No significant revenues, either.

Now, Constant Contact is public, the industry leader in e-mail marketing for small businesses, and continuing to hire even in the midst of a recession. They were also one of the last firms to get public, last October, before the window slammed shut. They've got $100 million in cash on their balance sheet, and are spending heavily to scoop up more customers. Expected to bring in about $125 million in revenues next year.

Goodman talks about what she learned at her previous company, Open Market, the pioneer of e-commerce, where she was a division GM. “Our #1 mistake at Open Market was trying to do everything – be a great e-commerce platform, do Web security, content management, and on and on,” she says. At Constant Contact, the goal was to make it easy companies communicate with customers via e-mail -- and that was it.

Here's the column, and the video is below. In it, Goodman shares some tips for successful e-mail marketing.

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