DURHAM, N.C. – Keith Moore, a former executive at Charlotte-based LendingTree, is the new chief marketing officer at e-mail marketing firm

Moore’s hiring is the latest in iContact’s continued expansion of its management team and workforce. The venture capital-backed firm now has 185 employees and more than 51,000 customers. It closed on $5 million in new venture capital last October.

He wasted little time in tackling an aggressive new agenda for iContact, joining the Durham-based startup three days after leaving his job in Charlotte.

“I felt a sense of urgency to get in here to understand what is going on and to make some quick changes,” Moore told Local Tech Wire.

First on his priority list is rebranding. iContact’s slogan is “Email Marketing Simplified,” and Moore said he wants prospective as well as current customers to better understand the capabilities the iContact product suite offers.

“A lot of people don’t truly understand the value we offer as a software-as-a-service,” Moore said. “We are a retention tool, an education tool, a communication tool, not just a new acquisition tool.”

Moore intends to draw on his experience at LendingTree, which is rooted in the Internet as a provider of online services for the home mortgage industry. Most recently, Moore served as general manager and senior vice president of the short form mortgage and emerging business divisions at Tree.com. Tree is the parent firm of LendingTree.

iContact customers include several with strong links to the real estate industry such as Bank of America, ReMax and Centex Homes. Other notable clients include Ford, Intuit, Vonage, Symantec, International Paper and LG Electronics.

Despite the global recession, iContact has continued to grow, and Moore said iContact’s versatility is an essential reason.

“As companies started to make cutbacks and looked at margins more, this is the best return on investment as a marketing platform,” he said. “I look at it as an enhanced communications tool, not solely a marketing tool.”

Moore had talked with iContact’s co-founders Ryan Allis and Aaron Houghton for several months before deciding to take the position. He met them through LinkedIn.

“Keith has a strong leadership background and an outstanding experience in driving marketing initiatives to great heights,” said Allis, the chief executive officer. “He will truly be a beneficial factor in attaining new customers and helping iContact as it continues to flourish.”

Added Houghton, iContact’s chairman: “Keith’s experience in online customer acquisition and retention will service our company well. His management and people skills, key to this position, are second to none. We are fortune to have him as part of our executive team.

Moore is a graduate of Appalachian State University and grew up in Hickory.