iContact has just been acquired by Vocus and John Hayes, iContact EMEA Business Development Executive, tells the story of how a college drop out built the multi-million dollar business from start to acquisition:
It’s the stuff dot-com dreams are made of. In little more than eight-years, iContact has grown from a bootstrap start-up, located above a sandwich shop where its college drop-out founder also slept, to becoming a leading provider of email and social media marketing solutions for small and medium-sized businesses. Last week the company was acquired for $169million by Vocus, a provider of cloud-based Marketing and PR services.
As the person who helped launch iContact in the UK, a little over a year ago, I couldn’t be prouder of our achievements. Perhaps the most common question I have been asked by our customers since the acquisition is – what is going to change at iContact? iContact will continue to operate as a standalone product offering the very best in email and social media marketing technology for SME-type business.
Over the coming year, iContact’s service will also be made available to Vocus clients as it is integrated into their all-in-one software suite which includes technology to monitor social media activity, facilitate PR opportunities, distribute news, build social influence and track results from a single interface.
While readers of Tamebay might not yet be familiar with the Vocus brand, I’m sure many will be familiar with some of the technologies already integrated in into the Vocus Marketing Suite. These services complement iContact’s technology perfectly and create numerous marketing opportunities for small business owners. I have personally used and have long recommended two Vocus services (even prior to my knowledge of the acquisition) in the form of PRWeb and Help a Reporter Out (HARO). Needless to say I’m very excited about using them together in a fully integrated suite.
PRWeb distributes content in the form of press releases to the major search engines, news sites, thousands of traditional and online news outlets, and 30,000+ journalists and bloggers. PRWeb is not just a great way to distribute news about product launches, new hires, events, etc. etc. It is also an amazing SEO tool. Just think of all those links from major news organisations pointing back at your site and what it could do to your search engine rankings.
HARO (Help A Reporter Out) can be used in two ways. The first is to help you connect your business with journalists and media production companies seeking quotes, interviews, product reviews or just about anything else that goes into writing great content or producing television or radio shows. The second is to solicit copy or content for use on your own site. This will be useful for content marketers who use carefully crafted blogs to drive traffic to their e-commerce or content driven sites.
You can learn more about Vocus or request a demo of their all-in-one marketing suite via the Vocus Website. Or if you want to learn more about iContact’s email and social media marketing solution drop me a line.