So, what does the Fox say? Turns out it says, “You can increase user engagement 33% with a smart email marketing automation program.”

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Left to right: Aaron Bell (Founder & CEO, AdRoll), Peter Clark (Co-Founder, userfox), Gregory Fulton (Senior Product Director, AdRoll)

I first had the fortune of meeting Peter Clark, userfox co-founder, when @andrewchen suggested we talk in early 2012. At the time, userfox was a fresh graduate of YCombinator that had just pulled off a successful pivot, and I was impressed by the company’s thoughtful, advanced views on the relationship between marketers and their data.

During our conversation, we quickly realized that userfox (through email) and AdRoll (through ads) were attacking the same problem from different angles. Marketers expend inordinate energy and dollars making prospective customers aware of their brands—but once a visitor knocks on the door of your site/app, how do you get them to convert?

Over the last couple years personalized targeting practices have gone mainstream, and we’ve learned that the classic purchase funnel has an even greater importance in the online world than in the offline world. With TV, magazines, billboards, and pre-programmatic web targeting, it was an immense challenge to move someone from the brand awareness stage to becoming a customer.

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Credit: LUMA Partners, State of the State 2013

The story is different online: techniques like display retargeting and email automation are incredibly efficient and profitable ways of turning prospective shoppers into new customers and, in turn, new customers into repeat customers. The problem is that the tools to execute these practices are opaque, bloated, and siloed, and generally haven’t caught up with the usability and cost-efficiency of modern, cloud-based services.

Since we first met almost two years ago, the userfox team has made fantastic progress developing their ideas. We’ve kept in close touch, and recently decided the time is right to join forces. “Collect, analyze, and act” has become an AdRoll mantra. The modern marketer has their customer data at the center of their universe; we’re beginning to understand that they want tools to collect, analyze, and act in one place, so they can deliver a consistent, sequenced message to customers at each touch point and channel.

Our userfox integration will help us focus on the “collect” phase. This means increasing the number of sources from which our users can pull their customer data, including CRMs, email lists, and mobile IDs for advertisers. Meanwhile, the Bitdeli team (see our acquisition announcement from June) is focused on the “analyze” phase, helping our customers make sense of this customer data, perform smart segmentation, and provide insights to improve the profitability of their marketing programs. As far as “act,” well, that’s where the rubber meets the road: we’ve already brought retargeting to web, Facebook, Twitter, and some mobile environments. Plus, we have other interesting developments in the works, and will be making announcements soon.

And what about userfox.com? It’s still there, and we’ve added some AdRoll cosmetic branding. New signups have been suspended, but if you’re an existing userfox customer, you can still log in to userfox.com to manage your userfox campaigns.

Excited to welcome userfox to the AdRoll team!

-Aaron, Founder/CEO, AdRoll