Lyris Acquires SparkLIST

E-mail list and newsletter ASP has been fully acquired by its software provider and partial owner, Lyris Technologies.

The deal will see Berkeley, Calif.-based Lyris taking over the smaller firm’s e-mail list hosting operations. Milwaukee-based SparkLIST, meanwhile, will become its own division and maintain its offering under its own brand.

Terms were not disclosed.

From a technology perspective, the move is a consolidation of sorts: SparkLIST has used Lyris’ ListManager software as its e-mail list hosting platform since 1998, a service it paid for by giving Lyris a 20 percent stake in the company.

Now, through the acquisition of the rest of the company, Lyris is looking to beef up its client base. Lyris, which operates its own ListHosting service, will add about 850 additional companies to its roster of clients. (INT Media Group, the publisher of this site, uses SparkLIST for its distribution.)

“SparkLIST’s hosting business is an ideal match for us,” said Lyris Chief Executive John Buckman. “SparkLIST clients are very comfortable with our software’s speed and flexibility. As a result, the integration of our operations will be quite streamlined for current SparkLIST customers.”

Lyris plans to move SparkLIST’s network infrastructure over to its own, faster machines. Eight-year-old SparkLIST also said it would soon offer new services through its closer relationship with Lyris, which will include better e-mail tracking options, a graphical interface more suited to marketing industry clients, and built-in refer-a-colleague capabilities.

SparkLIST also said it would move from quarterly billing to monthly, consolidated bills covering both subscriptions and delivery overages, which had been delivered separately.

“Lyris has long experience providing its own software as a high-performance e-mail list hosting service, and they recently added a number of major e-mail marketing features to their hosting platform,” said SparkLIST CEO Christopher Knight. “With this purchase, SparkLIST customers will have much greater access to these powerful, one-to-one marketing capabilities.”

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