Constant Contact, a marketing advisor to more than 450,000 small organizations worldwide, has acquired privately owned CardStar, a loyalty platform that helps shoppers stay connected to their favorite merchants. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
With more than 2 million users, Boston-based CardStar is a developer of mobile applications that extend the use of loyalty cards and mobile coupons among consumers. The acquisition marks the latest milestone in Constant Contact's evolution from an email marketing company to a provider of online marketing tools that help small businesses create and grow customer relationships.
"The CardStar loyalty platform takes advantage of the anytime, anywhere nature of mobile, making it an excellent complement to our growing suite of engagement marketing tools for small businesses. CardStar's unique mobile application is a natural extension of our brand, bringing consumers and merchants together before, during, and after the sale to help drive repeat business," said Gail Goodman, CEO of Constant Contact, in a statement.
Constant Contact will continue to operate CardStar's free mobile loyalty application, which is available on major mobile platforms, including iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry. The CardStar application consolidates membership and rewards cards on smartphones, letting consumers use a single application rather than a series of physical cards and enabling merchants to tailor mobile deals and information to their customers. Merchants can track purchase behavior to reward loyalty.
"For small businesses, it's all about finding and connecting with their next customer, whether that customer is returning or brand new," Goodman added. "Today's consumers don't just want but expect to access information and make decisions on the go, and they want to be rewarded for their support and loyalty. The CardStar mobile loyalty application lives at the intersection of these needs, letting consumers engage with businesses on the go and providing businesses with expanded opportunities for the kind of customer engagement that drives business results."
CardStar's employees will join the Constant Contact team, including CEO and founder Andy Miller and chief technology officer and founder Danny Espinoza. Miller will serve as director of mobile products, reporting to Joel Hughes, senior vice president of strategy and corporate development. Espinoza will join Miller's team to lead future product direction.
"We're thrilled to have Andy, Danny, and the CardStar team join us here at Constant Contact," Goodman said. "The CardStar team brings us fantastic experience, and our shared innovation vision will surely support small business success."
"We share a common goal of supporting businesses' ability to grow by connecting with their customers," Miller said in a statement. "We are so pleased with CardStar's success so far. Joining forces with Constant Contact accelerates our growth path and opens up new opportunities for small businesses to take advantage of our innovations in mobile, loyalty, and consumer technology."