This past week, Facebook introduced a new small business “channel” in its broader marketing partner program. AdRoll and Constant Contact are the first two announced providers. Each will gain the ability to use an official Facebook partner badge as part of their marketing.
AdRoll offers retargeting, while Constant Contact provides email marketing as its core product. The two companies will offer their respective solutions and Facebook integrations to their small business (SMB) customers. Facebook’s Steve Irvine, who runs the Facebook Marketing Partner program, indicated during a phone interview that there will be more SMB badge partners in the future.
He told us that there were specific criteria involved in becoming a part of the program. Among them, the partners must have significant SMB customer relationships already, they must be technology-driven (and not merely sales channels) and they must have an SMB support infrastructure in place.
I spoke to Constant Contact’s Joel Hughes last week about the program to hear his company’s perspective. He felt that this was great validation for Constant Contact, which has done an API integration with Facebook that allows customer email campaigns to be easily converted into Facebook ads. The company generates a default ad from a given campaign that then can be edited.
Hughes said that during a beta period, both SMB adoption and ad performance were “quite effective.” Right now, Constant Contact is utilizing Facebook’s Custom Audiences and “lookalike” audiences targeting. In the future, more ad types will be integrated into the program.
Hughes told me that “thousands of customers” already were using Facebook ads as of Q3. Paraphrasing, the pitch to the customer is something like “Reuse your email to find new customers on Facebook, or use your email list to target your best customers on Facebook.”
There are three pricing options: $50, $100 and $250 per month. Those price points correspond to reach 5,000, 10,000 or 25,000 uniques. The company is reporting reach and CTRs to its customers.
Facebook not long ago announced that it had 2.5 million active advertisers, the majority of which are SMBs. Beyond this, it has 45 million active SMB Facebook Pages. While Facebook has a tremendous opportunity to directly convert a meaningful percentage of those 45 million into paying advertisers, it cannot more fully penetrate the SMB market without partnerships like the ones announced with AdRoll and Constant Contact.