Email’s Place in the Emerging Entrepreneurial Economy

Email as I have written about several times has certainly cemented its place as the digital marketing backbone. Sometimes many professionals living the email marketing “dream” aren’t aware of the role their sector is playing in the larger economy. Too many email marketers get defensive in the “we are not spammers” mindset and forget to wake up and smell the ROI. The same goes for other marketers who largely ignore or take for granted email’s role in acquiring, monetizing, and retaining customers.

With that in mind, I wanted to take a look at the companies recently recognized for their high growth and job creation, as cited by the prestigious Inc.500|5000 list.

The 5,000 companies on this year’s list report having created over 400,000 jobs in the past three years, and aggregate revenue among the honorees reached $299 billion. So I took a look at the email-related companies on this list, at least determined by me as their primary focus of business, which is very subjective and maybe not 100 percent accurate.

There are certainly other recognizable technology/marketing hybrids like Pardot (no. 172) and HubSpot (no. 314) that have email as an offering but again, I went with email as their primary line of business. I found six email-centric firms in the mix (including my own company, BrightWave Marketing).

The company and their Inc.500|5000 listing:

BrightWave Marketing – no. 1335

Emailvision – no. 1397

ExactTarget – no. 1576

ClickMail Marketing – no. 1992

EmailDirect – no. 2370

VerticalResponse – no. 2802

These six companies had approximately $332,100,000 in combined 2011 sales and created almost 1,300 jobs during the previous three years (according to Inc. statistics).

There are also several email-focused public companies that deserve significant recognition. Many may paint themselves as multi-channel and cloud computing firms but the ones I listed are most known for their email platforms. ExactTarget, like Facebook, finds itself on the Inc. list and a newly minted publicly traded company.

ExactTarget: Employs over 1,100 and is worth $1.42 billion.

Responsys: With almost 800 employees, the California company has a market cap of approximately $462,740,000.

Constant Contact: Has over 900 employees and a market cap of just over $600 million.

Lyris: Listed on the over the counter market (also known as “pink sheets”), the company has a market cap just under $26 million, which surely is much less substantial than many of its privately held peers in the email marketing world.

(Note: All market caps listed as of Sept. 4, 2012.)

So what is the takeaway here? Well, for any of the doubters still questioning email’s longevity and greater influence in the economy, I hope this list provides real numbers and a real place among the digital elite for its job and wealth creation not to mention larger impact in the communities and businesses it serves.

If I missed any companies that should be listed, please include them in the comments below.

Related reading