Constant Contact Waterloo office

Ontario, Canada’s academic and R&D capacity, paired with its collaborative tech ecosystem, attracted the tech company to Waterloo for expansion

Since the advent of the internet, Constant Contact has been delivering the tools for businesses to connect with their customers meaningfully.

For over 25 years, Constant Contact’s platform has been a leader in email marketing—allowing users to create professional-grade campaigns, grow their customer bases and track their analytics—while expanding to other offerings, such as SMS and social media tools, on its way to becoming a full-service digital marketing platform. Its abundance of features has allowed small businesses and non-profit organizations to have a competitive edge in the market and easily grow their audiences.

Last fall, Constant Contact established its first Canadian office in the Kitchener-Waterloo region in collaboration with Waterloo EDC. Its new innovation lab is located at the Communitech Hub in downtown Kitchener, with a goal to conduct research and development in areas such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.

I can confidently say that the technical talent we’ve seen from Waterloo University students is on par with, and often surpasses, the talent we find in other tech hubs.

– Frank Vella, Constant Contact CEO

Helping small businesses stand tall

Constant Contact was founded in Brookline, Massachusetts, in 1995, with an aim to enable smaller businesses to compete against larger companies. Since then, the company has helped millions of small businesses achieve that goal. Frank Vella, Constant Contact CEO, says their objective since the early years has remained much of the same: “We exist to help the small stand tall, and we do that by delivering marketing solutions and world-class technology to help them attract the right people to their businesses, engage their customers and grow.”

Throughout its history, Constant Contact has been set apart from its competitors in many ways, but chief among them is their reliability. Businesses can depend on their marketing emails, avoiding spam filters and reaching their customers on time. “Our customers need to have confidence that their messages will be delivered as soon as they click ‘send,’ and with a best-in-class deliverability rate of about 97%, Constant Contact helps ensure that happens,” says Vella.

Vella also credits Constant Contact’s support team as a major appeal to customers, who can reach an actual human whenever they need assistance. “Whether it’s troubleshooting a quirk or getting advice about a specific industry, we have experts ready to assist—and unlike many other companies in our space, our support team is available to every customer free of charge.”

But they aren’t avoiding automation where it counts: artificial intelligence has become a competitive feature on their platform. Earlier this spring, they launched their first AI content generator, allowing customers to write and design professional marketing emails and SMS messages at a keystroke.

Finding talent in Ontario

With the establishment of its new innovation lab in the Waterloo region, Constant Contact is making the most of Ontario’s top tech talent to help it take its platform and features to new levels.

As one of the leading tech hotspots in North America, the Waterloo region was an obvious choice for the Constant Contact team, who were hoping to recruit from the area’s flourishing student population. And sure enough, they have found a wealth of talent in the region since their expansion: “I can confidently say that the technical talent we’ve seen from Waterloo University students is on par with, and often surpasses, the talent we find in other tech hubs,” says Vella. “Every candidate we have selected from the Waterloo-Kitchener area has exceeded our expectations, whether in front or back-end development or in management roles.”

In the long term, Vella wants to further integrate AI and marketing automation into their platform, making it faster and more intuitive for their customers. He sees Waterloo and Toronto as key to their future success as they continue to hire engineers, developers and other professionals in the region to help reach those goals.

“We are committed to growing in Waterloo and expanding our involvement in Canada in the coming years, and I am excited for the opportunities we see in that market,” says Vella.

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