Infusionsoft, a marketing automation vendor, has announced it raised US $54 million from investment firm Goldman Sachs. The company will use the cash to continue focusing on small businesses with up to 25 employees.

Infusionsoft is designed as a combination of ecommerce, marketing and CRM systems, and as such, is one member of a particularly hot software category. Digital marketing companies are indeed being targeted by larger companies like Oracle (who snapped up segment leader Eloqua just before the new year).

Record Sales at Infusionsoft Tell the Tale

How hot are marketing automation companies? Even vendors not focused on the enterprise are netting huge investments, just like the Infusionsoft deal. The company disclosed it now has more than 12,000 customers in 70 countries, and it processed US $1.5 billion in ecommerce through the Infusionsoft shopping cart.

The company targets owner operated small businesses that don't have big budget IT departments. Companies like Eloqua and Marketo, the two biggest players in marketing automation, are not necessarily going after those same companies. 

Nevertheless, as more and more companies, even small ones, turn to digital marketing to help retain and grow their customer base, companies like Infusionsoft will have a steadily growing pool of potential clients.


Infusionsoft includes tools for campaign building, segmenting targeted messages and automating follow up emails.

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Even Small Businesses Get the Marketing Blues

We talk quite a bit about enterprise level IT at CMSWire, and we know there is really an overload of available products circling the Web in 2013. But for small businesses, that swirling stream of software can sometimes look like a whirlwind.

For many of those companies, a product like Infusionsoft can be really helpful, and it even gets the thumbs up from New York Times small business columnist Melinda Emerson. Emerson explicitly recommended Infusionsoft and a couple of other products that double as both email marketing and CRM systems.

Too many small businesses buy more tech than they need, Emerson says, and she recommends any new buys be put on hold for six months to see if they are truly indispensable. Infusionsoft may or may not be the next Salesforce, but the marketing automation space will stay hot through a good portion of the year and has only been intensified by the Oracle buy of Eloqua. 

Eloqua was the definitive leader in this space, and now that it's been acquired, the floodgates may be open for other big buys. Not only that, but medium and smaller sized firms may now be a bit more free to try new things and take bigger risks.