Constant Contact Gets Social, Buys NutshellMail

SMB e-mail provider Constant Contact has augmented its social-media-related services – for Facebook, in particular – by purchasing NutshellMail. Financial terms were not disclosed in today’s announcement.

Waltham, MA-based Constant Contact’s 370,000 small business and nonprofit clients will now have the option of monitoring their social media interactions and campaigns in a single e-mail account. It will also allow them to reply directly through e-mail on information streams to update status, comment on posts, share newsletter items, and write on walls.

“You can monitor as people forward your e-mail newsletters in their social media networks,” said Constant Contact spokesperson Christopher Nahil. “You can double up your reach.”

For Twitter, the Atherton, CA-based NutshellMail’s system will let SMBs and organizations tweet via e-mail, manage lists, as well as track search phrases to help ensure they do not miss customer-related tweets.

Time-strapped operators who cannot hire a social media staffer on a full-time basis would appear to be the likely targets of the program, dubbed “NutshellMail from Constant Contact.” They can utilize the system to manage social media interactions without visiting the five sites NutshellMail’s service focuses on – Facebook, Twitter,, LinkedIn, and Ning.

While NutshellMail has been largely marketed to consumers since being launched in 2007, Nahil said that it was a “great fit” for Constant Contact’s target audience. “Given that 70 percent of Constant Contact’s current customer base has fewer than 10 employees – and 50 percent has two or fewer – we find they do often act like a consumer market,” he said.

In 2009, NutshellMail was one of 20 startups incubated within the fbFund REV, Facebook’s joint program with Accel Partners and Founders Fund designed to cultivate applications on the social site.

Follow Christopher Heine on Twitter at @ChrisClickZ.

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