News & Analysis

Campaign Monitor’s acquisition of GetFeedback may have just changed the email marketing game

- November 19, 2014 3 MIN READ

Campaign Monitor has announced today that it has acquired San Francisco based survey startup, GetFeedback.

The startup, based out of beachside suburb Cronulla, has become a global leader in the email marketing space. Founders Ben Richardson and Dave Greiner embarked on their business journey back in 1999 while they were studying in university. At the time, they were the owners of a design agency. A primary task within their line of work was designing and managing email-based campaigns for their clients – hard to do when the platforms available at that time were sub-par and the templates not as beautiful. The pair took matters into their own hands and created Campaign Monitor – a tool that would assist them in streamlining their own business processes.

Within six months time, Campaign Monitor revenue matched the consulting revenue; and by the 12-month mark it became the main focus for the team. No capital was ever needed to help the business grow, but in April this year, Campaign Monitor had closed USD$250 million in its first ever funding round led by Insight Venture Partners, making it one of the largest capital injections experienced by an Australian tech startup.

Founded by Kraig Swensrud and Sean Whiteley and launched in December 2013, GetFeedback is Campaign Monitor’s first acquisition since the capital raise.

For Swensrud adnd Whiteley, GetFeedback is their second startup and second acquisition. Their first startup Keiden, an add-on for Salesforce.com users that allowed them to create and control Google Adword campaigns, was acquired by Salesforce in 2006. Both gentlemen went to work for Salesforce  following the acquisition and then left to start GetFeedback last year.

There are a few things about this acquisition that make the deal genius. in my opinion The first and most obvious is that immediately Campaign Monitor will have a permanent base in the United States, taking over the GetFeedback San Francisco office. The staff will also be moving across as part of the deal. Transition is basically going to be minimal and that is a good thing for a company that will be operating across two timezones. Already this year, Campaign Monitor appointed a new CEO, Alex Bard (also ex-Salesforce); and Co-Founder of GetFeedback Swensrud has been immediately appointed as Campaign Monitor’s CMO, a position he also held when he was at Salesforce.

“We couldn’t be more excited to bring GetFeedback into the Campaign Monitor family,” said Bard. “In addition to acquiring a market-leading survey product and a phenomenal set of customers, GetFeedback brings a deep bench of world-class talent.  The GetFeedback team will add horsepower to Campaign Monitor as we aggressively invest in growth and open our new U.S. based headquarters in San Francisco.”

The second thing about this deal that is brilliant is that it presents a major opportunity for Campaign Monitor to further monetise its customer base. The company has 120,000 paid customers – but the total amount of people actually using the Campaign Monitor system is more in the vicinity of 800,000 plus. Even converting a small portion of that user base to using additional services via GetFeedback’s technology, even on an ad hoc basis, would mean a very significant revenue increase for the business.

A user view of GetFeedback | Source: Provided

A user view of GetFeedback | Source: Provided

Aside from the fact that GetFeedback has been labelled by Silicon Valley media outlets as one of the fastest growing survey tools on the market, the aspect that sets it apart from competitors is that it has, from the very beginning, been designed as a mobile-first solution. Engaging, branded and mobile ready surveys is the business it’s in. The reason this is important is because, according to multiple reports and white papers, statistics show us that almost 65 percent of people open their emails first via a mobile device – a statistic that good marketers are learning to integrate into campaign strategies.

Campaign Monitor already makes sure that all its ‘house’ templates cater for a great user experience on mobile, keeping users engaged and allowing open rates the best chance to remain high for users. With the ability to integrate surveys into emails, which according to a statement from the company will be the intended play that Campaign Monitor will be going for with this acquisition, it allows engagement levels to increase at a whole new level – especially since GetFeedback is known for allowing users to create visual-based surveys with a great UI/UX.

Swensrud indicated that he was excited to be able to be part of creating a unique product offering in the email marketing and online survey space, an industry worth about $5 billion.

“I am thrilled to be teaming up again with Alex and the incredible folks at Campaign Monitor,” says Swensrud. “By joining forces, we have a unique opportunity to create a world-class integrated product offering that will supercharge Campaign Monitor’s growth in this multi-billion dollar industry.”

Greiner echoed the same sentiment in reference to his new colleague, saying that the two products can be used together almost immediately with deeper integration and evolution of the products to be seen over the next year.

“Campaign Monitor and GetFeedback are a match made in heaven. We share a deep passion for customer success through amazingly intuitive, design-oriented products. The combined product offering establishes Campaign Monitor as a clear leader in the new way companies communicate with their customers” he said.

The terms of the deal have not been revealed.