While Experian still holds onto the No. 1 position as measured by number of Top 500 e-retailer clients, Responsys is now a very close second.
Experian Marketing Services, a division of Experian Plc, remains an inch ahead of other e-mail marketing services vendors as measured by the number of Top 500-ranked e-retailers that use Experian and its products, such as CheetahMail, for e-mail marketing. The vendor has held the top spot for e-mail marketing among the largest e-retailers in North America since at least 2007, when it had 64 Top 500 clients and the No. 2 competitor in the space, Responsys, that year had 21.
Data tracked in the Top500Guide.com database indicate that the competition today is much, much closer. In the 2014 Top 500 Guide, which publishes data about the vendors retailers used in 2013, 72 of North America’s largest e-retailers said they used Experian for e-mail marketing. 71 said they used Responsys. In the 2013 Top 500 Guide, 71 said they used Experian, and 58 said they used Responsys.
Oracle Corp. late in 2013 bought Responsys for $1.5 billion, and now markets e-mail marketing services under the name Oracle Responsys. Those e-mail services are offered as part of the Oracle Marketing Cloud set of services. Oracle is a familiar vendor to many Top 500 e-retailers. Oracle is among the most popular vendors to Top 500 e-retailers across a slew of e-commerce service categories, with customer service software, site search, content management, e-commerce platforms, personalization and live chat being among the largest. Those rankings reflect Oracle’s many recent acquisitions of companies that serve online retailers, including e-commerce software provider ATG, site search specialist Endeca and marketing technology firm Eloqua.
Salesforce.com too is becoming a stronger competitor in the e-mail marketing space. It acquired ExactTarget last year for $2.5 billion, and 54 Top 500 retailers in the 2014 guide say they use either Salesforce.com or ExactTarget as their e-mail marketing vendor, up from 36 a year earlier.