Last week Constant Contact announced that they were acquiring Bantam Live - a little known newcomer on a social CRM scene (according to their site Bantam Live was started in 2009). This is an interesting development and I can think of a couple of possible explanations:
- Constant Contacts feels that bulk email is becoming commoditized and wants to protect their position and margins
- Constant Contact feels that their customers (small businesses) are not well served by integrations with existing CRMs (Constant Contact integrates with most CRMs like SalesForce, Microsoft Dynamics, Zoho, etc.) and is doing what's right for the customer.
Be it as it may, it's a pretty bold step for Constant Contact, likely to make other CRM players nervous and rushing to develop their own bulk email capabilities (especially since cloud-based services that support bulk email like AWS bulk email and Google App engine Email are now becoming readily available), but I think their customers are going to be happy with new functionality. If CC's stock wasn't already at sky-high valuation (310 P/E ratio) I'd consider investing.