Bislr, a startup that's officially launching today, was built to solve one of the problems that CEO Michael Sharkey said that he himself faced in his past startups — the need to quickly build a website that integrates the different applications that marketers use. So Bislr integrates with existing marketing automation (MA) and customer relationship management (CRM) tools, layering on a drag-and-drop website builder and additional analytics. The idea is to allow marketers to launch new campaign websites without having to consult a developer, and those sites collect relevant customer data and be easily edited based on that data. The company is also announcing that it has raised $3.5 million in Series A funding led by Southern Cross Venture Partners, with participation by Tim Draper and Terry and Katrina Garnett. Sharkey gave me a quick demo covering a number of the major features. The basic building blocks of a Bislr websites include the company's "social apps", which allow marketers to easily embed content from your social networking accounts onto the company website — so if they come up with a brilliant promotional video, they're not driving traffic to YouTube, but to their own site. And the websites are automatically optimized for mobile and other Behind the scenes, Bislr also creates a profile of each visitor and "everything they're doing when they're touching the site," Sharkey said. When possible, it also pulls social data from around the web about each visitor — so businesses can see in real-time tweets and Facebook updates from people visiting their site. And the service makes it easy to act on that data, too. For example, if a business wants to test out different wording or different designs, Bislr can run A/B tests on a small group of users, then automatically select the version that's better. Sharkey founded the company with his two brothers. They've been testing out the system with a few small businesses, he said, but now they've opened up and are ready to serve larger customers.
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