Why CallFire Wants to Keep Their EzTexting Acquisition A Secret

The following is a guest post by Derek Johnson, Founder & CEO of  Tatango, an SMS provider.  You can find him on Twitter @thederekjohnson. Yesterday we broke the news …

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The following is a guest post by Derek Johnson, Founder & CEO of  Tatango, an SMS provider.  You can find him on Twitter @thederekjohnson.

Yesterday we broke the news on our blog about CallFire acquiring EzTexting, but there was still the lingering question as to why CallFire was keeping their acquisition such a secret. While there may be many reasons why CallFire wants to keep the acquisition a secret, there’s one that if exposed would most certainly impact the value of their acquisition of EzTexting.

How is this possible you ask? Let me explain…

The one thing EzTexting did a good job of was creating a handful of brands to confuse consumers about the market. EzTexting created brands like GroupTexting, ClubTexting, MoboMix, TellMyCell and NightlifeTexting (maybe even more that I don’t even know about), which where almost identical services, with almost identical pricing, features, etc.

EzTexting Logos

This resulted in the consumer feeling like they had a variety of choices when it came to selecting an SMS provider, when really the deck was stacked in favor of EzTexting, and the consumer wasn’t the wiser. Don’t believe me? Try searching “Mass Text Messaging” in Google search, and look at the results you get (see below for both organic and non-organic results including both CallFire and EzTexting). Essentially they’ve been able to take over the first page of any Google search result regarding SMS marketing.

EzTexting SMS Marketing acquired by Callfire

Not only does this tactic misleads the consumer about their choices in the market, it also violates Google’s Adwords policy on what they like to call “double serving”. This policy was put in place to protect the value and diversity of the ads people see on Google, and discourages advertisers from running ads for the same or similar businesses that have common ownership, common product offerings and similar pricing triggered by the same or similar keywords.

As a workaround, EzTexting created different business entities to manage each of their brands. For example, EzTexting was managed by Ez Texting, Inc. and ClubTexting was managed by Club Texting, Inc.

Can you now see why CallFire wanted to keep their new ownership in EzTexting and the other affiliated brands a secret? If someone were to expose this type of secret, CallFire would have to stop double serving their Google ads, as all the brands are now under a common ownership (see below for the new EzTexting terms of use).

EzTexting Terms of Use

Stopping this practice would significantly decrease the amount of  traffic each recently acquired brand receives, as they would only be able to display one brand per search result. This would no doubt have a significant impact on the value of EzTexting and their associated brands, which is why I think CallFire wanted to keep their acquisition of EzTexting a secret.

What do you think? Is this the reason why CallFire has tried to keep their acquisition of EzTexting a secret? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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8 comments

  1.    Reply

    If not him then who? Although you do often chastise your competition I certainly enjoy reading it and I find Derek is very knowledgeable and informed. Lets just say I'm glad I'm not Textmarks.com!

    1.    Reply

      Thanks for the comment. You know though that I'm the first person to congratulate my competitors when they do something good though. Case in point http://www.tatango.com/blog/eprize-acquires-mobil… For some reason though, our competitors keep doing things that are the opposite of good.

  2.    Reply

    Derek, thanks for bringing your passion. Although it feels a bit uncomfortable to read one company calling out another company in this fashion, it also feels good to hear attributed sources speak their minds.

    1.    Reply

      Thanks for the comment. Yea, it's extremely frustrating why no one in the industry has the balls to tell it like it is, especially when the actions of other companies are hurting everyone in the industry. While the CTIA continues to police if we're not bolding the word "STOP" in our call-to-actions, I feel like someone else has to step up and really expose all the shady things happening in our industry.

  3.    Reply

    Derek I follow your blog as I did your reporting of this story. We'll done although I will put to you this, previous to the 'acquisition' so-to-speak, or if they were the same ownership prior, what was the point of this aquisition in the first place? Was there any merit to it OTHER than acquiring the (as you call them above) double dipping ad word accounts and sub-companies?

    1.    Reply

      Sorry for the confusion Paul, most acquisitions in our space are due to the following; customer base, messaging volumes, monthly recurring revenues or inbound traffic. While inbound traffic is only one of the variables here, it makes the most sense that this one specific variable is why CallFire didn't announce their acquisition of EzTexting.

  4.    Reply

    That was a waste of my reading time. An article written in jealousy. So contact Google and let them know what's up. This is the business world where big boys play.

    With all the lying and cheating that the dirt bag squatting in the White House is doing to destroy business and this country, there is much more to be concerned about.

  5.    Reply

    this is very exclusive post, thank you for your good information.