Mansell Group acquires e-mail shop WhatCounts

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Mansell Group, an Atlanta-based technology marketing services company, has acquired Seattle-based e-mail marketing firm WhatCounts. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

WhatCounts' product line includes rich media e-mail delivery tools, a video e-mail platform, and tools for integrating social media with e-mail. Its clients include Alaska Airlines, Amazon.com, Costco, Fox News, MSNBC, REI and Ziff Davis.

“As we look at the market and trends towards increased analytics-driven processes across channels, this combination makes synergistic sense for both parties, strengthening their offerings,” said Bruce Biegel, managing director at consultancy The Winterberry Group. “The addition of rich media e-mail aligns well with the growth of rich media for digital marketing that we have seen in the display segment, and provides marketers the opportunity to repurpose creative assets and touch their customers across channels.”

David Daniels, CEO of The Relevancy Group, an e-mail consultancy firm, said the acquisition “will further strengthen [WhatCounts'] presence in the marketplace.”

The acquisition is reminiscent of similar deals the industry saw a few years ago. In 2005, database company Acxiom bought e-mail company Digital Impact, while Epsilon purchased Bigfoot Interactive. In 2004, Experian also bought CheetahMail.

“This continues the trend of integrating e-mail with analytics, segmentation and database services begun in the earlier part of the last decade with the transactions by Acxiom, Infogroup and Epsilon,” Biegel said, via e-mail.

Daniels said the industry will likely to see more acquisitions.

"I think we'll continue to see further consolidation of [e-mail service providers] in 2011, particularly as tenured vendors seek to recoup their long-term investments,” he said.

Calls to Mansell Group and WhatCounts were not immediately returned.

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