Email marketing provider Constant Contact and Pontiflex, a company that specializes in mobile sign-up ads, have joined forces in a new partnership. Announced today, the integration will allow small businesses to acquire customers on mobile devices through Pontiflex's AdLeads self-serve platform and follow up with them in real time through email, social, and Web marketing channels via Constant Contact's platform.
Pontiflex and Constant Contact's partnership comes at a time when the use of smartphones and other mobile devices is becoming increasingly common. Slightly more than half (50.4 percent) of mobile subscribers owned a smartphone in March, up from 47.8 percent last December, reported Nielsen. This was the first time that smartphones outsold feature phones since the research firm began tracking such statistics several years ago.
While more consumers are using mobile devices, the nascent mobile advertising market has yet to catch up. Mobile advertising receives only 1 percent of total U.S. ad spend, whereas print pulls in 25 percent, according to a report by Mary Meeker, a partner at venture capitalist firm Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers.
"The biggest mismatch that we have between media consumption and advertisers right now is on mobile. That's particularly true for a small business because it's not easy to buy mobile ads," observes Zephrin Lasker, cofounder and CEO of Pontiflex.
Through its integration with Constant Contact, business owners will be able to use Pontiflex's AdLeads platform to purchase and design a mobile ad, starting at $100, through which interested customers can provide their email addresses to receive more information or coupons from the company.
The email addresses that business owners collect via the mobile ads they created through Pontiflex are then directed to Constant Contact's marketing platform, through which they can manage their communications with customers. Users that do not have an account with Constant Contact have the option of signing up for a free 60-day trial of Constant Contact's platform.
"The point is the advertiser doesn't have to create a whole mobile Web site," Lasker says. "Everyone's drowning in new platforms and new initiatives, and for us to bring something that doesn't require new engineering or a new Web site is important."