VerticalResponse adds to social media features

Two new capabilities, Coupons and Clipper, make it easier for small businesses to create promotions or share URLs that might be of interest to Facebook fans or Twitter followers.

VerticalResponse is one of the latest integrated SMB email marketing platforms to add extensive social media marketing features.

Earlier this year, the San Francisco-based cloud software company bought the Roost platform, which it added to its services in June. This month, it has introduced two new features that make it simpler to share social content: Coupons, which provides a way to create custom promotions that can be published as a Facebook tab and/or as a standalone Web page; and Clipper; which is a one-button way of "clipping" and saving URLs that can be added to a content library for sharing with fans and followers.

"Small businesses know they need to be more active on social media, but finding time to share content that's engaging and that drives sales is still a huge challenge," said Janine Popick, CEO of VerticalResponse. "Our new Coupons and Clippers tools help solve this problem by making it as easy as possible for small businesses to promote incentives and content, giving new and existing customers a reason to connect with them on social media."

Both of the new features are available free as part of a VerticalResponse Social subscription, which costs $18 per month after a 30-day trial period.

When I spoke with VerticalResponse small business customer Johnny Shelby, owner of Houston area personal fitness company Third Coast Training, he told me that his ability to schedule social campaigns with the VerticalResponse social platform was one of the key reasons he selected the service. This allows him to set aside certain times during the week or month when he can concentrate on creating campaigns to reach his niche audience of athletes.

It also provided him with the feedback and metrics to convince him to decrease the number of email newsletter he was producing every year. Instead of sending them out once per month, he now times them for every 45 days or to specific local events that have relevance for his clients.

"In my business, word of mouth is important. I'm trying to get people that I have not met scheduling appointments through friends of friends, so using social is like having them whisper in someone else's ear," Shelby said.

Alex Chang, vice president of social platforms for VerticalResponse, said his company's focus is on creating templates and services that let SMBs create a "constant stream of engaging conversation."

For now, that means focusing mainly on enabling engagement with Facebook and Twitter, although his company is just one of the cloud marketing software providers watching closely for future ways to integrate with Pinterest. 

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