SMEs Continue Embracing e-Newsletters

Most of us get a lot of e-newsletters every week. Most of them are powered by Constant Contact. But, given the alternative means that local businesses have to communicate (blogs, RSS, videos, podcasts, etc.), is the era of the e-newsletter fading?

Constant Contact doesn’t think so. The 250-person, Mass.-based company has 100,000+ accounts. “We’re continuing to move up significantly,” says Senior VP Eric Groves. The majority of accounts are in the lower tier client base, paying $15 or $30 per month.

It would seem the company’s highly diversified customer base would be an early warning system for any big shift to other media. “It looks like a pie chart of the U.S. economy,” Groves notes – with a slightly higher dose of key small business and organizational accounts, including retail, business consultants, marketing consultants, non-profits and religious organizations. Eighty percent have 25 or fewer employees. Fifty percent have five or fewer employees.

But Groves says he hasn’t seen organic demand for video “or other bells and whistles” from his customer base. “Why does the average day spa need a blog?” he says. “One really good email per month causes a dramatic increase in their business.” To that end, the company provides regularly scheduled Webinars around the country to teach small businesses how to produce more effective newsletters.

Groves adds that the majority of Constant Contact’s customers come from referrals, but its partner program also contributes to the base. Among its top partners are AOL, Network Solutions, and American Express. “Plus thousands of designers.”