VerticalResponse, Inc. Has Huge Year Despite Recession

Leading Provider of On-Demand Email Marketing, Surveys and Direct Mail for Small Business Grows Revenue and Customer Base by More Than 50%

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – March 31, 2009VerticalResponse Inc., a leading provider of on-demand email marketing, surveys and direct mail solutions, today announced strong growth across the board in 2008. The company invested heavily in product development leading to several significant launches; formed strategic partnerships; won a series of prestigious awards and honors; and continued to build out its stellar management team. The combined efforts led to a dramatic surge in customer base, revenue, partnerships and the VerticalResponse team. Growth highlights include*:

  • More than 50% increase in revenue
  • Over 40% jump in the number of VerticalResponse employees
  • More than a 40% increase in customers, bringing the total number of paying customers to more than 51,000

Profitable since 2005, this rapid growth reflects VerticalResponse's continued commitment to small business. In spite of the sharp economic downturn, VerticalResponse projects continued growth for 2009.

"We make it a priority to continually enhance our product and services so customers can run their businesses effectively and efficiently," said Janine Popick, founder and CEO of VerticalResponse. "This past year's growth shows that we've succeeded in making VerticalResponse an essential element of small business marketing -- for a growing number of companies -- and every department of the team should be proud. We have big plans for 2009 to help even more small businesses weather this storm with cost-effective tools that continue to improve."

Products & Services

At the core of VerticalResponse's growth is rapid development that keeps its products and services at the cutting edge. Starting with an active customer feedback loop, the entire VerticalResponse team contributes to product development, which this year included:

  • Implementation of DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM). Exceptional email deliverability has always been a hallmark of VerticalResponse's solution and now all emails sent through the system include a DKIM signature. Recognized as the gold standard for email authentication, DKIM has been adopted by some of the largest Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and corporate domains as a way to screen incoming emails to identify legitimate senders. VerticalResponse successfully rolled out DKIM across its entire network so all customers automatically receive the benefits of this cutting edge technology.
  • Improved and expanded Reporting and Tracking Tools. The new reporting dashboard allows users to further optimize their marketing dollars with precise measurement.
  • Released VerticalResponse for Non-Profits, which grants approved organizations 10,000 free emails per month.
  • Launched VerticalResponse Surveys, which allows users to create an open dialogue with customers, and allows small businesses to analyze real-time reports and take action on those results.
  • Creation of dozens of themed Pre-designed email layouts, and upgraded account management tools.
  • Launched the VerticalResponse Marketing Lounge, our community of small businesses helping each other grow.
  • Added Pay-per-Month Pricing, in addition to its popular Pay-as-you-go pricing to ensure that its effective marketing tools are available to businesses with a range of flexible pricing needs.

The Company

Part of VerticalResponse's continued success can be credited to Popick's commitment to maintaining and building a stellar team who shares her vision of being the one-stop resource for small business marketing. While the team grew across the board, the promotion of Dave Shiba to Chief Operating Officer (in addition to his role as Chief Financial Officer) led to the streamlining of operations to which much of VerticalResponse's growth can be credited. Dave is responsible for engineering, business development, finance, accounting, and administration, including legal, human resources and facilities.

Specific departments saw significant growth as well, allowing improvement across the board, including:

  • New partnerships, including Duct Tape Marketing and StartUpNation.
  • Increased marketing efforts, with both an expansion of the "Get Vertical," Workshops, launched last year to help small businesses grow through hands-on demonstrations, best practices and practical tips; and a heightened focus on new media, with the building of the VR Lounge, a new Facebook group, and customer outreach on Twitter.
  • A complete, award-winning Site design.

Awards

VerticalResponse's rapid growth, attention to development, and commitment to customers and communication also led to a series of prestigious awards and accolades, including:

  • Stevie(R) Award for Best Entrepreneur of the Year in 2008
  • Named Finalist: 2008 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards in the "Emerging Growth" category
  • DNCC Names VerticalResponse Official Subscription E-Mail Provider For 2008 Democratic National Convention
  • Named to Deloitte's Technology Fast 500 as one of the fastest growing technology companies in North America as well as Fast 50 in Silicon Valley
  • Won 2008 Web Marketing Award for Outstanding Achievement in Website Development, and received a Small Business Standard of Excellence Award
  • Ranked #1188 on the 2008 Inc. 5000 List of Fastest Growing Private Companies
  • Ranked #22 on the 2008 San Francisco Business Times' list of Best Places to Work in the Bay Area
  • Named Finalist in the 2008 CODiE Awards for Best Communication Solution and Best Corporate Blog

VerticalResponse launched after the dot.com bust in 2001 and is familiar with the challenges a down economy presents small businesses. This experience, combined with its deep commitment to leveling the playing field for its customers and quick product development based off of customer feedback, have continued to propel VerticalResponse forward.

*Based on unaudited financial statements

About VerticalResponse

VerticalResponse, Inc. is a leading provider of self-service email marketing and direct mail services empowering businesses of all sizes to create, manage and analyze their own direct marketing campaigns. VerticalResponse's flagship product, which allows customers to deliver sophisticated yet easily deployed email campaigns, is the most intuitive and affordable Web-based direct marketing solution available. VerticalResponse is headquartered in San Francisco, California. For additional information, please visit www.verticalresponse.com.

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