Constant Contact: A Radio Success Story

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How would you like to see a 48% increase in business? You’d be dancing with glee, right? I’ll bet that’s what is going on in the offices of Constant Contact right now since their 2009 revenues skyrocketed 48%.

If you have an email account, you are probably familiar with these guys. They are the system behind innumerable mailing lists, especially business and non-profit ones. You have almost certainly gotten mail powered by their service unless you avoid email. What does this established Internet marketing group have a lot of in its advertising mix? Radio.

Via David Goetzl at MediaPost:

In a year when many marketing firms struggled, Constant Contact saw a nearly 50% revenue increase and increased its staff. And the company — which advertises heavily on radio — said the results surprised it.

“During one of the most challenging economic environments for the small business community … (the company) delivered significant revenue growth and profitability that was well ahead of our original expectations,” said CEO Gail Goodman. (The company did post a loss, but it was lower than in 2008.)

Between last September and the end of 2009, Constant Contact went from employing 595 people to employing 625, and the total company growth for the year totalled 169 new staff members. On the external side, Constant Contact is now up to 350,000 clients in 140 countries. That is the type of growth that any business would love to see in its balance sheets!

[…] Goodman indicated Constant Contact, which has employed widespread radio campaigns, bolstered customer acquisition spending in the fourth quarter of 2009.

I find it interesting the way we are seeing trends that close the gap between online and offline. Constant Contact is an online company fueling its growth with offline radio advertising. During the Super Bowl (Go Saints! Who Dat!), Google ran a TV commercial. One thing that occurs to me is that we are starting to see the beginnings of equilibrium, the two forms of media adapting to each other in the same way that radio and TV did in the early days of broadcast media.

I think we will be seeing more of this, and more that uses radio in particular. Even though a huge amount of content is being mirrored online and off (e.g., radio stations that stream their broadcasts), there is still a large gap between those of us online and those who are not. It diminishes every day, but it will be a long time coming before it is gone.

In addition, there are lots of opportunities to build up a synergistic buzz between on and offline efforts. Radio spots that drive people towards the web and its social media installations are a good example. All it takes is creative thinking and a continued eye on the ever shifting ocean of media given to  us in the information age.

Image: Constant Contact Logo / Fair Use: Reporting

Additional Note: I will be on my yearly vacation for the next week celebrating Mardi Gras and the Super Bowl victory of the New Orleans Saints. I’ve got some articles set up to publish while I am away so there will be no break in the blogging, I just won’t have the opportunity to respond to comments or emails until the 18th. Thanks for tuning in!

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