Constant Contact: ‘SaveLocal Is Working’

Constant Contact says the SaveLocal product is now generally available. And that they say is evidence of its success.

The company’s pitch is that SaveLocal brings in higher quality more loyal customers than Groupon, etc.

The merchant creates the deal and pays a per coupon fee depending on the value of the deal. Distribution is through the SMB’s Constant Contact mailing list, though customers and prospects can be incentivized to share deals.

The big challenge and issue with the product is that it’s self-service. Typically SMBs, when left on their own, create weak deals that aren’t very interesting to consumers. This is a consistent problem.

Constant Contact is trying to combat that with lots of help and FAQs. In addition there are webinars and telephone support for the product.

Constant Contact made the following statement in an email I received this morning:

[General availability] It shows that our product is working for merchants.  Some very well known companies like Facebook, OpenTable and Yelp, to name a few, never made it this far and became generally available.  We’ve succeeded because Constant Contact knows local businesses better than anyone else and we are truly aligned for THEIR success. 

The integration with the customer database at Constant Contact makes this a potentially effective tool for demand stimulation — if merchants are skillful enough to create good deals.

Beyond this it’s worth noting how Constant Contact, though a number of recent acquisitions, has transformed itself from an email marketing company to a more full-service provider of CRM and marketing services to SMBs.

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4 Responses to “Constant Contact: ‘SaveLocal Is Working’”

  1. Josh Walker says at

    Nice post, Greg although I wish they dished you more detail. It’s impressive how a “big” company like CTCT is moving into the consumer space with their last 12-18 months of acquisitions. Our own experience in self-service deals leads me to believe that ultimately CTCT will have a viable product in savelocal. Your point about “weak deals” is very true for self-service, but when deals are decent, they convert very high (30%+) because loyal customers know they’ll use the deal. 

  2. Greg Sterling says at

    I did it off an email that was largely content-free. Didn’t have time to follow up with them today.

  3. Dave Oremland says at

    Greg:

    Email itself is a very powerful tool.   It’s a clever growth strategy and expansion of services to attempt to do what they Constant Contact is doing.   They will be the first one’s to know if they are both marketing and implementing it well if it results in growth in revenues and profits.

    We use email providers.  I’m not the person who deals directly in its application from various businesses.  I had to go back and see what the email vendor who we use for several different businesses is offering.   Its not as full a plate as Constant Contact is doing…but they have expanded services in a similar manner.

    As I looked through our vendor’s  examples all these things make theoretical sense to me.   Then the vendors such as Constant Contact and their competitors have to do an effective job of spreading the word and getting smb’s to use them.

    But, we’ve learned that email is significantly important and effective.   

    Maybe the “deals” offered by local vendors haven’t been that great to start.  If so…its a great opportunity for a central vendor like Constant Contact to interact with their clients and help the individual businesses improve results over time.

    Frankly there are plenty of deals that don’t work for Groupon or LivingSocial also and not for every smb every time.

    It makes tremendous sense though to keep working with your customer base to upgrade offers/services etc.

    Its a powerful opportunity IMHO

  4. Greg Sterling says at

    Dave: Agree the key is developing skill not around distribution methods but around offer content. That has been the self-service problem. Perhaps CC has developed a support system to partly overcome that.

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