2014’s Fastest-Growing and Most Valuable Email Marketing Companies

Over the past two years, I have attempted to break email out of its box a bit by showcasing the success many email sector companies have had. The most tangible way is through the public stock markets and Inc. 5000 listings. This is not meant to be comprehensive, but accurate when it comes to publicly accessible data.

With the recent release of the 2014 Inc. 5000 list, it is time for the third annual review of the email-related companies making big things happen (including creating jobs and wealth) in the private sector and public markets.

In order to qualify for the Inc. 500|5000, companies must have generated revenues of at least $100,000 in 2010 and at least $2 million in 2013. They must also be for-profit, independent, and privately owned companies based in the U.S. Inc. Magazine, the publisher of the namesake list, says this is the most competitive crop in the list’s history. The average company honored this year achieved three-year growth of 516 percent. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue is $211 billion, generating 505,000 jobs over the past three years.

Email marketing has had a major role in the economy the last few years, generating results for marketers and some staggering transactions on the mergers and acquisitions front (with Responsys, ExactTarget, and Eloqua as the headliners of this dance). The 2014 list of the email marketing companies that made this year’s Inc. 5000 list is below. I define an email marketing company as one that primarily sells email marketing products and/or services.

This leaves us with nine companies that cover a wide range of the email marketing ecosystem. (Disclosure: My company, BrightWave, is on the list.)

  1. SendGrid – Boulder, Colorado #233
  2. Act-On Software – Beaverton, Oregon #245
  3. HubSpot – Cambridge, Massachusetts #1,100
  4. Infusionsoft – Chandler, Arizona #1,835
  5. Mad Mimi – New York, New York #1,928
  6. Listrak – Lititz, Pennsylvania #2,362
  7. Bronto Software – Durham, North Carolina #2,575
  8. BrightWave – Atlanta, Georgia #3,053
  9. ClickMail Marketing – San Mateo, California #4,704

These nine companies had approximately $243.7 million in combined 2013 revenue and created approximately 1,443 jobs during the previous three years (according to Inc. statistics). Yes, I would say email is very healthy once again despite the decade-plus taunts of email’s imminent death.

Below are three publicly held companies that rely extensively on selling email marketing. Marketo, as a marketing automation company, places a large emphasis on email – and from my opinion, email is the central marketing piece to marketing automation, so therefore I included it. There are several large email companies that are smaller subsidiaries of their parent company – they are not included because they don’t break out email-specific revenue in their filings.

Constant Contact: The longtime defending champion of the small business side of the email marketing landscape has a market cap of $970.64 million and 1,235 employees.

Lyris: The email service provider (ESP) has 150 employees with a market cap of almost $11.86 million despite annual revenue of more than $30 million.

Marketo: The largest independent marketing automation company, Marketo has a $1.21 billion market cap and 519 employees.

(Market caps are as of September 2, 2014 and public company data from Yahoo Finance.)

These companies are innovators and some have even carved out new categories of marketing with their rise. Notably, HubSpot has created “inbound” marketing, while I humbly think BrightWave has defined what an email marketing agency should be. Additionally, these companies are job creators and have executed impressive growth, some with substantial scale. The email marketing and marketing automation landscape continues to be remarkable in creating long-lasting and impactful companies. It’s no wonder the industry has been enjoying a renaissance and these companies seem built to last.

Congrats to these 12 companies helping pave the way to bigger and better things for all involved in the email marketing world. The employees, clients, shareholders, and partners should all be proud of their many successes.

Image via Shutterstock.

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