Lyris, a provider of on-demand marketing solutions, announced today the launch of its integrated solution, Lyris HQ. With this launch, the company says it intends to achieve its goals of "Simplify, Unify, ROI." Lyris HQ is designed with the marketer in mind, company executives say, bringing together the functionalities of the company�s once-disparate solutions: EmailLabs, ClickTracks, HotBanana, EmailAdvisor, BidHero. Lyris had aggregated many of these offerings over the last several years through acquisition.
Many customers of Lyris HQ are likely customers of these acquisitions,says Laurie McCabe, vice president for SMB insights and business solutions at Access Markets International (AMI) Partners. This integration, she adds, will provide them with greater value for resolving interactive and Web-based marketing problems that are -- or should be -- very much tied together. Lyris says that in a recent survey conducted on its behalf, 62 percent of its customers were using two or more marketing solutions, with 72 percent intending to use three or more. Therefore, instead of having its customers juggle a mix of point solutions, the integration will give customers "one number to call, one account to manage, and one support line to deal with," says Blaine Mathieu, chief marketing officer of Lyris.
Perhaps the most appealing factor of this integration, especially given Lyris' focus on the small and midsize business (SMB), is its unique seat-based pricing: $299 for the first seat, and $189, or less, for any incremental seating. In contrast to other pricing models, Mathieu explains, Lyris HQ doesn't depend on how much bandwidth a company requires. In addition, the company has a solution specifically designed for agencies (aptly named Lyris HQ for Agencies) that serves the advertising and marketing needs for multiple clients.
Lyris HQ also features a redesigned user interface that promotes the aura of integration, much like the similar look and feel among Microsoft Office tools (e.g. Word, Excel, PowerPoint). This unified interface streamlines usability, Mathieu says, adding that the solution also boasts features such as expandable dashboard panels and new drop-down menus that help users fine-tune their application needs.
According to McCabe, Lyris HQ is one of the few currently available solutions that caters to the SMB market. With regard to the other solutions, she says, "it's just hard to figure out what's where and what they're calling what. It's all in there, but just finding it you want to throw your hands up and say 'Ugh, forget it.' " Lyris HQ, however, appears to be "one of the few players making it integrated and really something that SMBs can use, afford, and digest," McCabe adds.
The enhanced capabilities of Lyris HQ, adds J.D. Peterson, director and product manager at Lyris, is attributable in part to the fact that the family of solutions are joined together through acquisitions, rather than partnerships. In 2005, Lyris Technologies itself was acquired by J.L. Halsey, which in 2007 changed its own name to Lyris, Inc. According to an interview given by Luis Rivera, who was the chief executive officer of J.L. Halsey at the time of the name change and who continues today as the CEO of Lyris, the new branding reflected the company's commitment to delivering integrated marketing solutions.
The list of solutions that make up the Lyris HQ launch include:
While really small companies may not have as intense a need for this level of integration, as companies get bigger, integration becomes increasingly critical. "You need more visibility into what's going on," McCabe says. "If you don't have the information connected, you're going to have blind spots." Fortunately, the industry shift toward on-demand software is giving rise to new solutions that are not only easier to get up and running, but easier to integrate with each other.
- EmailLabs (acquired, 2005): create, send, and track email newsletters and campaigns;
- ClickTracks (2006): tracks behaviors of site users;
- HotBanana (2006): Web content management platform that allows marketers to create, manage, publish, and optimize their Web sites;
- EmailAdvisor (2004): provides email-deliverability analytics;
- BidHero (developed in-house): an online, pay-per-click management solution;
- Online Marketing Calendar (developed in-house); and
- Message Board (developed in-house).