Founder’s Story: The Origins of Customers.ai

For most of us, heading into a new year means taking a look back. While somewhat counterintuitive, looking back often allows us to move forward. 

So, as we kick off a new year, I thought I’d take a look back and share with you the origins of Customers.ai. I’ll tell you how we got here, who we are, and of course, where we are going.

How Customers.ai Came to Be

As the founder of WordStream, the world’s largest PPC advertising software company, I’ve had the privilege of managing approximately a billion dollars in annual ad spend for companies worldwide.

Our journey at WordStream, mastering Facebook and Google Ad campaigns for countless companies, revealed a critical gap: the traditional ad spend model was not serving millions of businesses effectively.

Companies were (and still are) spending way too much money on paid advertising and not seeing an efficient return. Paid platforms like Google and Meta prioritized profits over performance. Costs were skyrocketing and continuous platform changes made it really difficult to reach the right people in a cost-efficient manner. 

Following WordStream’s 2018 acquisition, I was inspired to change this. I was inspired to innovate in the field of lead generation.

Thus, Customers.ai was born, aiming to revolutionize this domain.

What is Customers.ai?

If you were to look at our website, you’d see that we talk about Customers.ai as a sales automation platform; a tool to help you expand and grow your top-of-the-funnel leads, nurture and engage prospects, and drive revenue through better targeting.

Fundamentally, we’re working on solving these key use cases:

Website Visitor Identification

97% of the people who visit your website are anonymous and with third-party cookies going away, the ability to reach these people is shrinking. 

We launched our Website Visitor ID X-Ray pixel to identify who those website visitors are and turn them into first-party contacts. 

The goal? Transform site traffic into actionable leads (email + contact info) while enhancing the user experience.

By knowing who your visitors are, you can market to them in an efficient, personalized, and cost-effective way.

Comprehensive Contact Enrichment

Contact enrichment used to be a nice-to-have. Now, it’s a must. 

People want personalization. They want companies to speak directly to them. They don’t want their time wasted. The more you know about your customers and prospects, the better. Better advertising, better outreach, better customer experience. 

Between X-Ray and Consumer Directory, we can provide real-time, in-depth insights for B2C and B2B lead enrichment. It’s not just names or emails, we’re talking business data, demographic data, interest data, and more.

This means personalized ads, targeted outreach emails, refined lead nurturing, and improved time to sale.

Ad Audience Restoration

The iOS 14 update was a killer for remarketing, iOS 17 didn’t make things better, and Chrome is officially killing cookies as we speak.

If you were to take that for face value, you’d think the days of successful remarketing were over.

Thankfully they aren’t. Customers.ai helps you adapt your remarketing strategies to a privacy-first world and navigate through these ad platform constraints.

Website visitor identification gives you a way to populate your remarketing audiences without relying on cookie data. It allows you to get back to those pre-iOS 14 days. 

We can also use these website visitor contacts to generate lookalike audiences and build more complete website visitor lists than Google and Meta can provide on their own.

With Customers.ai, remarketing is not dead. It’s very much alive and well. 

What Else Does Customers.ai Do?

Customers.ai is more than just identifying visitors – it’s a complete ecosystem and that ecosystem continues to grow. To date, we have:

  • Email Deliverability Tools: Privacy updates, spam filter changes, consumer preferences, etc. are all making email deliverability more complicated. Our system helps you reach the inbox.
  • Email Automation Builder: You don’t want to miss out on high-value prospects. Our email automation builder lets you create email campaigns for timely and relevant follow-ups.
  • Generative AI for Tailored Emails: We already touched on the fact people want personalized messaging. Unfortunately, crafting personalized content at scale is difficult. Our AI email writer takes the data you have about your contacts and builds tailored messages. 
  • Email Service Provider (ESP) Integrations: We don’t want you wasting time building new campaigns if you already have existing automations in place. Customers.ai integrates with a number of ESPs Including Klaiyo, SendGrid, Mailchimp, Google Workspaces, Microsoft Office 360, and more.
  • CRM Integrations: Send contact enrichment data directly to your CRM with Klaviyo, Mailchimp, Google Sheets, Zapier, and more.

Where is Customers.ai Going?

Customers.ai is just getting started. 

We ended 2023 with record-breaking customer growth, new products (hello B2B!), new technology integrations (Semrush, Sendlane, Salesforce, and more!), new pricing models, and continued product improvements across the board.

We are far from done. Our goal is to continue to innovate and continue to build the best platform out there. 

I am happy to be able to look back to see how far we’ve come and looking forward, I know 2024 will be even better.

Want to see how Customers.ai can help you? Check out our website analyzer and see how many visitors you could be capturing right now.

Convert Website Visitors into Real Contacts!

Identify who is visiting your site with name, email and more. Get 500 contacts for free!

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