VerticalResponse acquires social marketing firm Roost

Marketing company Vertical Response moves into the world of social networking

Financial trends and news by Nathan Pensky
December 15, 2011
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VerticalResponse, a marketing company for small businesses, has made its way into the social networking marketing game. 

The company has acquired social networking marketing platform, Roost. VerticalResponse had specialized in email marketing, online surveys, event marketing, and direct mail marketing solutions for small businesses, and now will be expanding its services into the realm of social networking, after acquiring Roost.

"We will be announcing new product features and enhancements in the coming months as we build out our social media marketing offering, including deeper integrations between social media and VerticalResponse's hallmark email marketing product," said a spokesperson for VerticalResponse to VatorNews.

Also as a result of the acquisition, Roost CEO Alex Chang will join VerticalResponse as Vice-President, social Platform. Other Roost employees will be incorporated into "various positions" in VerticalPlatform's organization, growing their new social media marketing wing.

Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Founded and based in San Francisco, VerticalResponse also has offices in Boston. While they serve many businesses, big and small, their representative partners include, Intuit, BigContacts, Duct Tape Marketing and PaloAlto Software.

"We currently have more than 100,000 customers," said VerticalResponse's rep. "From a general company perspective, we've been in business since 2001 and profitable since 2005."

VerticalResponse has a freemium payment model set up on their website for social networking services, to add to their email, event, and mail marketing services. Signing up for Roost through VerticalResponse is free, though it's possible that costs for social networking services will be added later.

"Right now the entire 'Roost by VerticalResponse' social media marketing tool is free," said VerticalResponse's spokesperson. "As we build out the current Roost service with new features and offerings, we will probably introduce a paid model at some point... But we are very aware that it needs to remain affordable for small businesses."

The company's other pricing does not run on a freemium payment plan. Email marketing solutions run at $8.50 per month, though because they also advertise "over 700 free email templates," there seem to be additional costs once signed up, as well. Their online survey services run at $11.48 per month, event marketing costing 2.5% of the ticket price plus a $0.99 fee, and their ad postcards running at $0.75 apiece.

All of VerticalResponse's services offer free "return on investment" reporting.

Roost had started as a real estate search engine in 2007, then switched to social media software in 2010. Roost has received $13.5 million in funding from investors like General Catalyst Partners, The Cross Country Group, and Geolo Capital, among other.

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