Expression Engines, Bigfoot Interactive to Merge

Silicon Alley-based email marketers Expression Engines and Bigfoot Interactive are pooling their core competencies in a bid to provide an all-in-one shop for clients.

The merger, of which terms were not disclosed, will combine Expression Engines’ email technology — ASP-based profiling, segmenting and delivery — with Bigfoot Interactive’s strategy, creative services and data integration. Once the merger is complete, the new company will be called Bigfoot Interactive, although Expression Engines chief executive Al DiGuido will head the firm.

“With the combination of our expert teams, renowned strategy and execution, and industry-leading technology, the new company is uniquely positioned to provide clients with the most comprehensive solutions to maximize their customer relationships through highly targeted email marketing programs,” DiGuido said in a statement.

Bigfoot Interactive co-founder and CEO Jim Hoffman will serve as chief strategy officer for the Alley-based company.

Joining DiGuido and Hoffman on the company’s board of directors are Expression Engines investors Flatiron Partners (managing partner Fred Wilson will serve as chairman), J.P. Morgan Partners principal Gil Fuchsberg, Axalon Ventures principal Gil Fuchsberg, and Lance Maerov, senior vice president of Grey Ventures, the venture capital arm of ad agency Grey Global Group.

“The marketplace is currently witnessing a massive surge in demand for the focused, results-driven method of marketing in which Expression Engines and Bigfoot Interactive excel,” Wilson said. “Based on both companies’ exemplary track records, the combined company is an instant leader in the direct email marketing category and will continue to drive the industry through its next phase of growth.”

Bigfoot’s investors will be represented on the board by Dathan Gaskill of Acxiom Corporation.

The merger, executives say, will create “a new standard” in email marketing by offering a unified product suite of strategy, design and technology.

At any rate, the merger puts the new firm squarely in competition with industry leader DoubleClick — which recently announced its acquisition of FloNetworks to boost the email delivery and technology side of its email practice.

Indeed, email is one of the safer online marketing businesses at the moment — and other firms including 24/7 Media are also working to roll out new email products.

Yet despite larger competition, the new partners appear nonplussed.

“Expression Engines shares our belief that effective email marketing solutions build powerful and profitable customer relationships over time,” Hoffman said. “As a combined company, we look forward to continuing to provide clients with the foremost email messaging solutions.”

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