In this fourth annual review, we observe, compare, and analyze email marketing companies experiencing upward mobility as defined by job availability, profit, and ultimately success.

The fourth edition of this annual review highlights the fastest growing and most valuable email marketing firms. No matter how you slice it, this is an important list. These 10 companies are successfully creating jobs and ROI for their clients.

There are two parts to the 2015 Inc. 5000 list. The first part lists the fastest-growing email companies, firms that primarily focus on email and made the list. Inc. magazine, the list's publisher and namesake, reports that this is the most competitive crop yet. The average company on the list achieved a mind-boggling three-year growth of 490 percent. The Inc. 5000's aggregate revenue is $205 billion, generating 647,000 jobs over the past three years. 

With more mergers and acquisitions in the past year, there are not many independent email companies left in the mix. Only three companies on this list returned in 2014: Act-On, Listrak and the agency I founded, BrightWave. Several of 2014's fastest-growing companies were sold, went public, chose not to be considered, or dropped off the Inc. 5000.

  1. ClickDimensions: Atlanta, #227
  2. Act-On Software: Beaverton, Oregon, #492
  3. Listrak: Lititz, Pennsylvania, #1766
  4. Critical Impact: McLean, Virginia, #2583
  5. Fluent: New York City, #4337
  6. Informz: Saratoga Springs, New York, #4502
  7. BrightWave: Atlanta, #4642 

The second part looks at publicly-traded companies with a focus on email. HubSpot is the addition and the troubled Lyris filed a Completion of Acquisition or Disposition of Assets, as they were absorbed by Aurea.

Constant Contact: The small business email provider has seen its market cap shrink to $794.30 million. It has 1,400 employees.

HubSpot: The one company that went from our 2014 fastest-growing list to most valuable did so (Read more...) a successful initial public offering. The famously transparent company is valued at over $1.6 billion and has 1,000 employees.

Marketo: Marketo has 715 employees and a $1.25 billion market cap. Market caps are as of market close August 17, 2015 and public company data from Yahoo Finance.

As I have said before, marketing automation companies have blurred the line with email firms. Plus, in my opinion, email is the central marketing piece to marketing automation.

Every year, I get comments, tweets, and emails that say, "How can you leave out company X?" or "You didn't include my company; we do email." The explanation is easy. If you are not publicly-traded or didn't make the Inc. 5000, you will not be on this list. Many companies, both public and those listed by Inc. 5000, "do email," but this annual series focuses on companies that primarily concentrate on email. If email is a feature that is buried on your site or not part of your primary focus, you will not make the cut.

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