This is the latest in our series on SMB website builders. See the whole series here.
The SMB bundle continues to grow. Following its mid-September launch of a website builder, email marketing powerhouse Constant Contact last week launched a set of marketing and discovery tools. This also follows our prediction that more customer acquisition tools are coming to Constant Contact.
So what are the new tools? Constant Contact now offers ad creation and distribution tools across Facebook, Instagram, Google My Business and Google Ads. It also has SEO tools. All of these are a natural addition to the recent website offering. Presence goes hand in hand with promotion, etc…
“Once a small business has built an online presence, getting found online and driving customers to their business is an essential next step as they look to compete in a world where 87% of shoppers begin product searches on digital channels,” said CEO of Endurance International, Jeff Fox in a statement.
The new tools are available in an all-in-one dashboard where website building and the core email marketing product can be accessed. These components comprise a growing suite of tools where the clear message from Constant Contact is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
As expected from such a toolset, there’s support for ad creation, distribution social monitoring and analytics. The latter includes audience insights, demographics, and interest data surrounding ad engagements. Follow-up email marketing (constant contact’s core business) can be incorporated.
Bundling SMB Marketing
This follows our recent analysis of the website builder competitive field,. But more importantly, the move by Constant Contacts aligns with an ongoing trend that we’re tracking (including an upcoming report): the continually growing and diversifying product bundles in SMB SaaS tools.
The thought is that a larger bundle boosts revenue per user (ARPU) and retention. The latter is all about having more tentacles that reach into business operations, thus anchoring a given vendor in SMB operational support. That in turn creates a sort of lock-in effect and greater SMB switching cost.
This move towards a bundle is also supported by LSA’s Modern Commerce Monitor (MCM). Fielded by Thrive Analytics, the survey indicates that SMBs increasingly prefer “one-stop-shop” providers for various operational needs. That’s everything from marketing to back-office functions.
But notably, there’s a disparity between SMBs’ behavior and their aspirational sentiments in the MCM survey. Specifically, 38 percent of SMBs use 1-2 services, but 79 percent prefer to work with a single source for everything. This gap signals an opportunity for vendors who can fill it in valuable ways.
For more on the new ad bundle, here’s how it’s positioned by the company:
Facebook and Instagram ads simplify the process of creating and monitoring the impact of social marketing ad campaigns. From their Constant Contact account, small businesses can easily create ads that generate brand awareness, drive traffic to their website, and generate leads for their business. They also have easy access to information that helps them understand how their ads perform over time, including audience insights, demographic, and interest data on the people who engage with the ad. Customer conversations can be extended with the use of Constant Contact’s industry-leading email marketing to engage contacts the minute they connect with their business.
Social posting & monitoring provides one central place to create, post and schedule content to Facebook and Instagram. The ease of monitoring and responding to comments and questions on these social networks, and engaging with their social community all in one place, can help small business owners save valuable time.
Google My Business generates a business listing right from the Constant Contact interface, enabling small businesses to strengthen their online presence and get found by potential customers searching for goods and services locally. Their business profile will pop up right on the Google search results page and on Google maps, and potential customers can view and interact with the information. Additionally, business owners can manage their Google business profile inside the interface and view analytics about their business listing performance.
AI-powered Google Ads tool enables small business owners to “set it and forget it,” by automating and optimizing keyword planning, bidding and spending for Google search ads. With this automated pay-per-click tool, it is easy to create, target and showcase Google Ads to potential customers searching for businesses online, while continuously optimizing keywords based on ad performance.
SEO tool scans and analyzes a small business’s website and provides a recommendations dashboard, complete with easy-to-follow tips on how to make the changes needed to optimize pages, and achieve higher search rankings, generate more traffic and increase popularity.
Landing pages that promote a single call-to-action to potential customers. Small businesses can encourage visitors to subscribe to a newsletter, receive coupons, share sales or promotions or giveaways in exchange for providing their contact information.
Expect more bundling and feature expansion from Constant Contact and others that target SMBs. We’ll report back as we see that unfold across the SMB SaaS landscape.
Be the first to hear news about Local, events, and research. Click here to subscribe for updates from the LSA.