Litmus Email-Marketing Team: David Smalley (Litmus Managing Director, International & Co-Founder), Paul Farnell (Litmus CEO, Co-Founder), Matthew Brindley (Litmus CTO, Co-Founder)

Some say the days of "batch and blast" digital marketing tactics are done. Some sing the praises of inbound marketing. Others hail the power of personalization.

No matter what you believe, email never leaves the equation — and investors still want in. Spectrum Equity gave Cambridge, Mass.-based email marketing provider Litmus $49 million to build its web-based email creation, testing and analytics platform, the company announced this morning.

Investors are in a giving mood this year with email marketing platforms. Spectrum's investment into Litmus dwarfs most of them: Boomtrain got $12 million. Mailjet collected $11 million. Iterable raised $1.2 million. LiveIntent came close to Litmus with FTV Capital's $32.5 million investment in June.

Litmus was founded by (pictured, left to right) David Smalley (managing director, international), Paul Farnell (CEO) and Matthew Brindley (chief technology officer).

“Through a laser focus on product, Litmus has established itself as the clear leader in the email creation and testing space,” said Pete Jensen, managing director of Spectrum Equity, which is based in San Francisco and Boston. “To have done this as a bootstrapped, profitable company is even more impressive."

'Major' Platform Updates

Fresh off its Email Design Conference in September, Litmus already made what officials call a "major update" to its product. It added a new feature, “instant previews,” that officials claim saves time creating emails. It also added new checklists that address common problems like broken links and missing images before emails get shipped. Litmus claims more than 250,000 marketers and 250 API and agency partners interact with its platform each month. 

CEO Farnell told CMSWire they would use the $49 million for "innovation" and "testing the product without limitations." Specifically, he cited improvements to cut email testing time and embedding a live Twitter feed into email. The investment will also support Litmus' international expansion and service, training and education and additional engineering and sales team members.

"Litmus is excited to be able to fulfill its vision to give every commercial email marketer the ability to send beautiful email everywhere, every time," Farnell told CMSWire.

Farnell founded Litmus in London in 2006 with Brindley and Smalley. The three childhood friends were working as freelance web designers at the time. In 2009, they moved the company to Cambridge, Mass. Their platform now powers more than 1 million email preview tests per day and tracks more than 1 billion email opens per month, according to the company.

What Marketers Want

What are marketers asking for in their email campaigns today? Salesforce Pardot officials reported earlier this year digital marketers rank email content and design, campaign management and contact management as priorities from their email marketing platforms. 

Litmus prides itself on testing, analytics and "beautiful" email designs and templates. Farnell said the company's been profitable "since inception."

“We are, and always have been, a product-led company," Farnell said. "When I look at the talent on our team, and add in this funding, the most exciting thing to me is that it gives us the opportunity to touch the edges of what is possible in our market."

Following the investment, Litmus President David McFarlane and Spectrum’s Pete Jensen and Mike Farrell will join Litmus’ board.

"Email and marketing are growing spaces," Farnell told CMSWire. "Marketers are creative, analytical and innovating their craft every day. Litmus has worked with and for this community to help make email testing and analytics a simple, but powerful process."

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