VerticalResponse, a provider of Web-based self-service marketing tools for small businesses, has acquired social network marketing technology company Roost, the companies announced today.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Both companies are based in San Francisco, which helped the two "get to know each other" and realize they had similar audiences, Roost said in an announcement to users.

Roost was founded in 2007 as a property search portal. In September 2010, the company changed its business model to focus on helping real estate agents and brokers gain referral business through social networking on Facebook.

In late March 2011, Roost unveiled its social marketing platform and simultaneously expanded its business model beyond real estate professionals to other small-business owners, such as lawyers, accountants and restaurateurs. 

VerticalResponse’s offerings include email marketing, online surveys, event marketing, and direct-mail marketing. This is the company’s first acquisition in the nearly 11 years it’s been in business, said Janine Popick, the company’s CEO, in a statement.

"The number of our customers who share their email marketing campaigns with their social networks has increased over 1,400 percent since the beginning of 2011, so it’s clear that small businesses understand the power of social media. Now with Roost’s social media marketing tools, they can take their customer engagement efforts to the next level," Popick said.

Roost had 10 employees at the time of the deal and all will make the transition to VerticalResponse, the company said.

"We built Roost with the simple goal of making social media marketing easy for small businesses. VerticalResponse is all about helping small businesses succeed through smart, affordable marketing.

By joining forces, we aim to provide the most comprehensive suite of marketing tools that they can start using right away,” said Alex Chang, formerly Roost’s CEO, in a statement. Chang will now serve as vice president of a newly created social platform business team at VerticalResponse.

Chang "will lead a new team responsible for both integrating Roost’s current technology with VerticalResponse’s email marketing product and building out the social media marketing feature set," VerticalResponse spokeswoman Connie Sung Moyle told Inman News.

VerticalResponse users can now sign up on the VerticalResponse site to use Roost’s free tools to manage their social media marketing campaigns. Roost’s current offerings will not change in the near term, Moyle said.

"Over the next few quarters, we’ll focus on building lots of integration points between social and VR’s email marketing product, developing new features to listen and respond to social conversations, and bringing in more social networks.

"We will likely introduce a paid model at some point, but haven’t worked out the details yet. We’re very aware that it needs to remain affordable for independent contractors and small businesses," Moyle said.

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