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ColdFusion Authors: Yakov Fain, Jeremy Geelan, Maureen O'Gara, Nancy Y. Nee, Tad Anderson

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CMS: Article

Hot Banana Is First To Add Web Site Optimization, Marketing Automation To Its Web CMS

The company also made significant changes to its SaaS and licensed pricing

Hot Banana Software, Inc. (www.hotbanana.com), a leader in Web content management for marketing, today announced that it has launched Version 5.5, which takes Web CMS to the next level by integrating Web site optimization and marketing automation features. The company also made significant changes to its SaaS and licensed pricing, squarely focusing on small-to-midsize marketers.

"Hot Banana is throwing down the gauntlet and claiming the mid-market Web content management space," said Krista LaRiviere, general manager, Hot Banana. "We're now giving midsize marketers advanced tools and controls for creating Web sites that are designed from the ground up to generate and convert leads and to handle complex online marketing campaigns. And we're giving it to them at a price they can afford, in an off-the-shelf SaaS or licensed package that they can implement with or without IT assistance."

As part of its re-positioning strategy, Hot Banana has re-launched its own corporate Web site using Version 5.5, at www.hotbanana.com.

The company's innovative new release, Hot Banana Version 5.5, is first to focus on three areas: (1) Web content management, empowering marketers to build Web sites and take control of their content, (2) Web site optimization, giving marketers the tools they need to fine-tune the marketing performance of their sites, and (3) marketing automation tools for capturing Web site visitors, turning them into qualified leads and transferring the leads to CRM systems.

The one-of-a-kind Web CMS integrates best-of-breed, third-party Web analytics, email marketing and CRM solutions. It also consolidates all the capabilities from Hot Banana's formerly optional Active Marketing Suite into one core product.

At the same time that the company has increased product functionality, it has also made its pricing structure more affordable. The company created a three-tier model based on usage: one to five users, six to 25 users and unlimited users. Hot Banana SaaS, the company's hosted offering, starts at only $329 per month, while Hot Banana Licensed Software starts at $4,999.

The most expensive package is a licensed-software offering that handles an unlimited number of users and URLs for only $27,999.

Pioneering Web Content Management for Marketing

Version 5.5 builds Web site optimization tools and marketing automation processes directly into the core product. This approach empowers marketers to maximize inbound Web site traffic, launch email campaigns, leverage landing pages with A/B testing and Web forms, and transfer leads to CRM systems like salesforce.com.

"We're the only Web CMS vendor with this laser focus on giving marketers total control," said LaRiviere. "Our approach lets marketers focus all their energy on making sure the Web site content is fully optimized and automated, so their marketing campaigns can perform and outperform.

Among the most innovative features are

  • An industry-first "Analytics Center" that integrates several leading Web analytics tools, including ClickTracks, Google Analytics, IndexTools and WebTrends. Hot Banana automatically adds the proper tags to each Web page, based on the user's preferred analytics vendor. Users can easily add additional Web analytics vendors.
  • Email marketing capabilities that transfer Web form data to the email marketing provider of choice, so this data can be leveraged in the next campaign. Best-practice design templates are included, so users can create emails, landing pages and corporate sites, all with the same consistent look and feel. For example, email HTML pages can be created in Hot Banana and exported to any email-marketing software, such as EmailLabs, for delivery.
  • The ability to transfer Web form data to CRM systems, such as Salesforce.com. Hot Banana's landing pages enable users to build sophisticated Web forms that track lead sources and conversions. All the data captured in the Web form can be transferred to CRM, database or email-marketing software of choice.
  • A new "SEO Center" that consolidates Hot Banana's numerous built-in SEO tools and controls. Enhancements include 301 redirect and automated title attributes in hyperlinks. Users can also automatically create XML standards-compliant sitemaps, such as Google Site Maps, and register them with Google, Yahoo! and MSN.
  • An improved Rich Text Editor that enables users to quickly and cleanly cut, paste and filter documents and tables from Microsoft Office and other programs.
  • A "Dynamic Content Engine" that borrows tagging tricks from social networking sites - so content authors can categorize and tag their own content. This feature is ideal for managing large volumes of content for online publications and publishers. Web site visitors can search content by tag, categories, title, author and abstract.

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ColdFusion News 03/07/07 05:12:32 PM EST

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