- Salesforce has acquired Rebel, an interactive email services startup, the latter announced on its website. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
- Rebel’s interactive emails allow clients such as Dollar Shave Club, L'Oreal and HelloFresh to enhance their direct marketing, giving recipients the ability to write reviews, shop and perform other actions within the email. The Rebel announcement said it will integrate its API-based services into Salesforce’s Marketing Could.
- Marketing is Salesforce’s smallest division, posting $452 million in revenues for last quarter, behind Sales Cloud at $1 billion, Service Cloud at $892 million and Salesforce Platform at $712 million, according to TechCrunch. The company has made other acquisitions to expand its marketing services, including picking up ExactTarget for $2.5 billion in 2013.
The acquisition of Rebel signals that Salesforce is working to expand its marketing offerings and provide new ways for marketers to deliver personalized and interactive emails to consumers. Marketers see email as an effective way to target consumers with relevant content, and the format remains one of the most powerful tools for building consumer engagement and generating ROI. A recent study by Ascend2 revealed that 46% of marketers embrace email marketing for lead generation and 47% for lead nurturing.
While most marketers, or 60%, think their email marketing efforts are interactive, only 26% of consumers agree, according to an Adobe-commissioned study by Forrester. By integrating Rebel’s interactive elements, Salesforce can allow marketers to deliver messaging that encourages consumers to take an action directly from the email, which will likely help them drive website traffic and sales. Interactive emails could also help marketers meet consumers’ growing expectations for more personalization in marketing messages.
Offering more interactive, experience-focused emails, Salesforce is also looking to more effectively compete with other email services providers, like Adobe, Google and Microsoft, as marketers are investing more in email. Adobe recently acquired Marketo for $4.75 billion. Microsoft and Google have been adding new features to their email products like in-email payments.
Beyond email, Salesforce has been working directly with brands to offer more personalized experiences at other touch points. The company teamed up with Marriott in April on a new customer recognition platform that allows the hotel chain to offer seamless interactions with loyalty members across different channels. Through the partnership, Marriott was able to gain a 360-degree view of guests and provide personalized services and experiences.