How Gail Goodman Led Constant Contact From Pre-Product to an Over-Billion-Dollar Success Story

Gail Goodman, the former Chief Executive Officer of Constant Contact, is a marketing guru, author, public speaker and accomplished female tech executive with about 30 years of experience in the enterprise software space.

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Gail took leadership of then-startup Constant Contact in 1999, pre-product, pre-revenue and pre-funding, and geared the company to its successful initial public offering in 2007. Eight years later in 2016, the company was acquired by Endurance International Group in a deal worth $1.1 billion. Waltham, MA-based Constant Contact is now one of the leading providers of online marketing tools for small businesses and nonprofits.

Fueled with natural leadership talent and ambition, Gail graduated with a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and went on to receive her M.B.A. from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

In the beginning of her career, Goodman worked with various companies including consulting firm Bain & Co., where she was a manager. Later, she moved to a position as Director of Product Management at Dun & Bradstreet Software, where she left for Progress Software Corp. to serve as its Vice President of Marketing. Before her 16-year-tenure at Constant Contact, Goodman was Vice President of the Commerce Products Group at Open Market Inc.

Before Gail took the helm at Constant Contact, the firm was founded in 1995 as “Roving Software,” a pioneer of the email marketing space at a time when email was still generally looked at as solely a means for online communications between friends. In 2005, six years after Goodman took leadership, Constant Contact broke the 100,000 customer mark, doubling its client list in two years and setting it on a path to launch its second product and hit the public market.

In 2009, the marketing software disruptor launched its third product for event marketing solutions and surpassed 250,000 customers. The company’s second office was then opened in Loveland, CO. With its impressive track record, Constant Contact began to rapidly build out its international presence, opening doors at new locations in San Francisco and the UK and debuting offerings such as Social Campaigns, SaveLocal and SinglePlatform. In 2014, the firm unveiled its game changing all-in-one marketing solution on a new interface.

The firm now operates under the Endurance business unit, alongside portfolio brands such as Bluehost, HostGator and iPage and lists a constantly expanding customer base of five million small businesses.

In February 2016, Hari Ravichandran replaced Goodman as Constant Contact’s CEO.

With decades of experience in the marketing software space, Gail advises customers on effectively interacting with brands through social media. While the spreading interest in business through “word-of-mouth” used to be constricted to face to face interactions, Goodman notes that on social media networks, word-of-mouth referrals can become amplified if businesses employ what she calls the three-part engagement marketing cycle. The executive indicates that after attracting a prospect, businesses should provide a “wow!” experience, entice customers to stay in touch through means such as asking people to “like” a Facebook page or sign up for an e-newsletter, and then must make sure to engage people thoroughly.

“Engagement means sharing content that inspires your fans, followers, email subscribers, blog readers and other online contacts to interact with you,” wrote Goodman in a guest piece on Entrepreneur, suggesting that creating engaging content is limited only by one’s imagination.

Gail is also an advocate for businesses that do good in the world, highlighting the fact that today’s conscious consumers pay attention to companies focused on more than just a bottom line. She urges small and medium-sized business to sponsor a community organization, hold a fundraising event with other businesses, or donate a portion of sales to a charity.

In April 2016, Goodman was appointed to MINDBODY’s Board of Directors, a provider of cloud-based business management software for the wellness services industry. She has sat on the board of startup accelerator MassChallenge since September 2016, and cloud-based commerce platform Shopify since November 2016.

In 2009, the female visionary was named “Executive of the Year” at the American Business Awards. In 2008, she won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in the New England Region. Gail has been awarded various other titles, inducted into the MITX Innovation Hall of Fame and was named one of Boston’s Top 30 Innovators by the Boston Globe in 2011.