Looking at the EMAIL MARKETINGscape

We recently published the first ever EMAIL MARKETINGscape. One of the key objectives behind publishing the scape is to demonstrate just how vast and interesting the email marketing landscape has become.

It attempts to make sense of the landscape with the goal of helping the industry and its stakeholders – both internal and external.

The email marketing landscape is bigger than imagined

An exercise like creating the first version and introducing the EMAIL MARKETINGscape proves that the email marketing landscape is much bigger than even most industry insiders imagine. It has received a lot of industry buzz, and we’ve easily received over 100 emails and social posts in the first days after introducing it.

The current version of the EMAIL MARKETINGscape has 66 vendors divided into the following categories: Acquisition, Validation, Deliverability, MTAs, Email Agencies, Email Service Providers (ESPs), Customer Analytics, Recommendation & Remarketing, Real-Time, and Emerging Technologies.

email marketing scape fluent

The idea behind the scape was inspired by the LUMAscapes that boutique investment bank Luma Partners has been publishing. They’ve done a phenomenal job of making sense of the vast ecosystems that exist within the digital media and marketing world.

Luma has recognized a handful of email marketing companies on their broad-based “Marketing Technology” scape, but largely ignored email marketing in their overviews. Despite having created specialized overviews for other sectors and channels like Mobile, Display, Search, and Video, an Email Scape was missing.

The email marketing ecosystem

The email marketing ecosystem was ripe for being reviewed because:

  • Email is the workhorse and biggest moneymaker of any channel in the digital marketing arsenal. It may have lost its “sex appeal” as it’s aged over the years, but in a contest between email and other channels when it comes to producing revenue, email still wins every time.
  • Email marketing does, in fact, have a complex and large ecosystem of its own. The proof is in the chart. Email used to be all about email service providers, but these days there are all sorts of “other” technologies and services out there that marketers can use to take their email campaigns to the next level. And the “emerging” category highlights that all sorts of innovation is still on the way.
  • Email marketing is increasingly a focal point of M&A activity and should be watched closely in 2015. Starting in late 2013 and lasting throughout the course of 2014, the largest acquisitions made by cloud software providers were actually of email marketing companies — e.g., Salesforce’s acquisition of ExactTarget was it’s largest ever at $2.5B. Oracle bought Responsys for $1.5B and Eloqua for ~900MM. IBM purchased Silverpop and Adobe purchased Neolane – both were 9-figure deals. The Fluent EMAILscape highlights the breadth of innovation in an industry that is ripe for more investment, M&A and further consolidation in 2015 and beyond.

Selection of vendors in the Email Marketing Scape

The EMAIL MARKETINGscape version 1 is a best first attempt to make sense of the landscape. The number of ESPs and vendors listed on the chart is intentionally limited. There are hundreds of ESPs out there, so including all of them would require a slide wholly devoted to ESPs and not represent a large and complex ecosystem.

The chart represents a good variety of notable ESPs serving enterprise, mid-market, and small business email marketers. We plan to make this project a perpetual working draft that evolves at the industry does – with version a few important vendors were missed that will be added to next update.

Vendors in other categories besides ESPs made it onto the first draft did so in part through their concerted efforts to “get on the radar.” These companies are out there on a PR offensive – publishing articles (or being written about in them), attending events (and/or speaking at them) and going out of their way to connect the industry’s key influencers.

All additional comments and suggestions are welcome, feel free to make comments below.

Jordan Cohen

About Jordan Cohen

Jordan is a well-known industry veteran and frequent speaker, author, and media spokesman on a wide variety of digital marketing topics. As CMO for Fluent, the industry’s leading customer acquisition platform, he is responsible for all strategic marketing, branding, demand generation, communications, and strategic partnership programs.
Prior to joining Fluent, Jordan served as Vice President of Marketing for real-time email technology innovator Movable Ink, where he rapidly established the company as a well-known entity within the email marketing space, and played a critical role in driving triple-digit revenue growth.

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