Constant Contact Buys CardStar for SMB Mobile Loyalty Platform

Constant Contact, which has reinvented itself as an all-purpose marketing platform/tool for SMBs, this morning announced the acquisition of mobile app CardStar:

The acquisition marks the latest milestone in Constant Contact’s evolution from an email marketing company to the leading provider of online marketing tools that help small businesses create and grow customer relationships. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

CardStar started in 2009 as a convenient way to store all your existing loyalty cards in a mobile app. It then tried to extend into deals/coupons and envisioned itself also as a loyalty app for SMBs who otherwise did not have a loyalty program.

When CardStar launched it was relatively unique. However the app was totally overshadowed by the rise of Groupon and daily deals on the one hand and, in a different way, the growth of Foursquare on the other. To some degree CardStar got lost in a sea of deals sites and loyalty apps.

Constant Contact says that CardStar founders Andy Miller and Danny Espinoza will join and help build out its mobile initiatives. CardStar will continue to exist as a mobile app. But Constant Contact can really push the SMB loyalty vision that Miller had early on but couldn’t really execute.

Indeed, CardStar could become a rival to Foursquare and a preeminent SMB mobile loyalty tool over time. The combination of email, mobile loyalty and deals/coupons is potentially very potent.

Previous posts about CardStar:

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