Cambridge, Mass.-based Litmus thinks email plays a pivotal role in the marketing toolbox. Today, the email creation, testing and analytics company put its money behind those beliefs through the acquisition of Curated, a content curation tool that helps subject matter experts collect, curate and publish newsletters. 

It's the first acquisition since Spectrum Equity invested $49 million with Litmus six months ago. 

Through the acquisition, email marketers gain a tool for delivering content to their subscribers, which Litmus thinks will improve email engagement and increase lifetime value.

'Amazing Email'

“Our entire focus is to give marketers the tools they need to create the next generation of amazing email,” Paul Farnell, CEO of Litmus, said in a statement. “This acquisition is important because it gives us the ability to marry great design with great content — a critical combination to ensuring email is consistently engaging.”

Marketers will also be able to bring content workflow and email creation workflow closer together, they promised.

“Email subscribers are often a brand’s biggest advocates,” David Verwer, founder of Curated, said. “This is a great opportunity to combine Curated’s content workflow and publishing tools with Litmus’ email marketing expertise. Together we can deliver more value to content creators, email marketers and most importantly email subscribers.”

Curated users will still be able to use their platform as they did prior to the acquisition. The newly-merged companies plan to integrate Curated capabilities alongside Litmus’ email service provider partners and enable Litmus users to more easily use Curated.

The acquisition follows a major update to Litmus’ platform that allowed marketers to view email compatibility in real-time with instant previews alongside interactive checklists to catch broken links, missing images and spam issues.

Long Live Electronic Messages

Despite the naysayers message over email in general, investors were in a giving mood last year with email marketing platforms. Spectrum's investment into Litmus dwarfs most of them: Boomtrain got $12 million. Mailjet collected $11 million. Iterable raised $1.2 million. LiveIntent came close to Litmus with FTV Capital's $32.5 million investment in June.

The Radicati Group, a technology market research firm, reported that the number of business and consumer emails sent and received per day will total more than 215.3 billion this year. It's expected to grow at an average annual rate of 4.6 percent over the next four years, reaching over 257.7 billion by the end of 2020.

Email use worldwide continues to grow. In 2016, there will be more than 2.6 billion email users worldwide. By the end of 2020 the number of email users worldwide will top 3.0 billion. Nearly half of the worldwide population will be using email by year-end 2020.