Who uses Constant Contact anymore? Someone does. Would you believe they actually still have about 350,000 accounts. What a sad statement for a company that's been around since 1995, making it one of the early innovators of online marketing. Too bad they still run their company like it's 1995.
There was a time when Constant Contact was the be-all for small businesses who wanted to reach customers via eNewsletter to thier inbox. The tool to build a newsletter was simple and a starter account was free (all of which is still true).
It's not so much that Constant Contact lost its way (although there have been periods of time when customers complained of slow load-up time due to over burdened servers). It's just seems like they have been militantly unaware of how much the web has changed in 15 years.
Where was Constant Contact:
- when everyone figured out they needed a spam filter to boot out things like, oh, unwanted (and even wanted) newsletters?
- when people started shifting away from e-mail to texting and twittering, instead?
- when Salesforce.com rose to fame and didn't jump on board as a strategic partner?
Constant Contact's stock was recently downgraded to "sell" by analysts. There's a cautionary tale in here somewhere for the emerging company. That lesson being; grow or die, emerge or die, be aware of the business landscape you operate in or die. evolve your products or die. This isn't Bluebell Ice Cream, where there is honor in using the same Homemade Vanilla recipe from the horse and buggy days. You don't see IBM still marketing Selectrics.
Last updated: May 4, 2010
RENEE ORICCHIO is a technology writer and former supervising news producer for CNN Financial News. She has been covering the computer industry since 1987. @oricchio