Responsys Acquires Marketing Services Firm

E-mail marketing services provider Responsys has acquired marketing services firm Inbox Marketing.

The acquisition will increase Responsys’ professional and account services capabilities, especially in email marketing strategy. Inbox Marketing’s president, Jerome McLaughlin and chief strategist Barry Stamos will take on leadership roles in Responsys’ professional services organization, with McLaughlin becoming VP of professional services and Stamos becoming senior director of strategy for Responsys.

“Despite our success, there was an area where we’ve increasingly felt there was an opportunity where we could improve: working more closely with our clients to improve ways they use our software,” Dan Springer, CEO of Responsys, told ClickZ News. “When we met the guys at Inbox, we saw that we had a shared vision of where great customer communication should go.”

Inbox does not have an email delivery platform of its own, but took on a strategic consulting role for clients. According to Scott Olrich, CMO of Responsys, Inbox has increasingly found themselves recommending Responsys’ platform to clients who wanted to conduct more advanced campaigns. The majority of Inbox’s clients are expected to begin using Responsys’ platform, but a few with existing direct relationships with other providers will continue as consulting-only clients, he said.

“Typically, we haven’t provided strategic marketing services for clients who didn’t use our platform. We’ll be very selective with clients that we do that with, since most of the things we’d be recommending need a sophisticated platform like ours to run,” Olrich said.

Responsys and Inbox offer some similar services, falling under broad categories of campaign building and optimization, data integration, and marketing strategy. Where Responsys was previously strong on the data integration and technical side, Inbox brings more depth in marketing strategy, and complements its existing optimization services with new tools and approaches, Springer said.

Responsys’ platform has been recognized by both Forrester Research and JupiterResearch in the past year. The company hopes adding this expertise in consulting services will further set Responsys apart from other ESPs.

“We feel like we’ve innovated, and will continue to innovate with our product. But in the marketing arena, there’s some art and science that goes beyond a software platform. A lot of the ESPs provide a decent platform, but they don’t really have the marketing and technical expertise to help their clients get to the next level. We absolutely think that’s crucial,” Olrich said.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. The company expects to retain Inbox Marketing’s entire 14-person team.

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