Vocus acquires iContact, adds email to suite

BELTSVILLE, MD: Vocus has acquired iContact, a cloud-based email and social marketing software provider, for $169 million including cash and stock options.

BELTSVILLE, MD: Vocus has acquired iContact, a cloud-based email and social marketing software provider, for $169 million including cash and stock options. 

The acquisition, which closed February 24, will allow Vocus to add email to its marketing suite.

Prices for the marketing suite will rise between 20% and 70% in the second quarter, said Bill Wagner, COO of Vocus. For small businesses, the price of the platform will jump around 20% to $3,000 a year, whereas the price for mid-sized businesses will rise to about $12,000 a year.

The cause for the price increases is a larger-than-expected demand from companies in the mid-sized market, he said.

IContact's email marketing software, which is integrated with Facebook and Twitter, is designed to help small and mid-sized businesses conduct email campaigns across social networks. The software also includes a reporting dashboard that allows customers to monitor campaign effectiveness and track metrics such as clicks, likes, and follows.

Customers of Vocus and iContact will not immediately experience a change to their products or services. Once the iContact platform is integrated with Vocus later this year, iContact customers will have the option of using the product on its own or upgrading to the Vocus marketing suite.

“We expect the products to be completely integrated and launched as an integrated suite in Q4 2012,” said Rick Rudman, CEO at Vocus. “In the meantime, we will continue to sell both products separately. Probably in Q2, we will also begin selling [iContact] as a standalone offering, even before they are integrated.”

Vocus' marketing suite, which launched last October, includes a dashboard setting. The product helps organizations reach and influence consumers online and on social networks.

Other Vocus marketing suite services include media monitoring, social media analytics, press-release distribution through PRWeb, and media opportunities through Help A Reporter Out. It also helps businesses manage their presence on social media channels.

“Historically, Vocus has been a leader in cloud-based PR,” Rudman said. “The strategy is to build upon our success in publicity and social media and add email marketing, and provide all that in an integrated suite for people who have more of a focus on marketing.”

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