Act-On Software vs. Cision Communications Cloud

Overview
ProductRatingMost Used ByProduct SummaryStarting Price
Act-On
Score 8.2 out of 10
Mid-Size Companies (51-1,000 employees)
Act-On is an adaptive marketing platform designed to drive personal and purposeful multi-channel marketing. Its foci are inbound and outbound marketing, for enabling a tighter alignment with sales and turning data into actionable insights.
$900
per month (starts at 2,500 active contacts)
Cision Communications Cloud
Score 7.4 out of 10
N/A
CIsion Communications Cloud is used for identifying key media and influencers, connecting with audiences, monitoring traditional and social media, and analyzing outcomes.N/A
Pricing
Act-On SoftwareCision Communications Cloud
Editions & Modules
Professional
$900
per month (starts at 2,500 active contacts)
Enterprise
$2,000
per month ( starts at 2,500 active contacts)
No answers on this topic
Offerings
Pricing Offerings
Act-OnCision Communications Cloud
Free Trial
NoNo
Free/Freemium Version
NoNo
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
YesNo
Entry-level Setup FeeRequiredNo setup fee
Additional DetailsThe Professional package starts at 2,500 active contacts, 3 marketing users, 50 sales users and 30,000 API calls per day. The Enterprise package starts at 2,500 active contacts, 6 marketing users, 100 sales users and 30,000 API calls per day. Annual contract required.
More Pricing Information
Community Pulse
Act-On SoftwareCision Communications Cloud
Considered Both Products
Act-On
Chose Act-On Software
We used to use a combination of SugarCRM and INBOX25, but we moved to a Microsoft platform and had to go to a compatible platform. Act-On was the perfect fit since it was compatible with both Sugar CRM and Dynamics CRM, which made our change over and integration relatively …
Cision Communications Cloud

No answer on this topic

Top Pros
Top Cons
Features
Act-On SoftwareCision Communications Cloud
Email & Online Marketing
Comparison of Email & Online Marketing features of Product A and Product B
Act-On Software
7.8
113 Ratings
0% above category average
Cision Communications Cloud
-
Ratings
WYSIWYG email editor8.1112 Ratings00 Ratings
Dynamic content8.192 Ratings00 Ratings
Ability to test dynamic content7.292 Ratings00 Ratings
Landing pages8.1108 Ratings00 Ratings
A/B testing8.195 Ratings00 Ratings
Mobile optimization7.2103 Ratings00 Ratings
Email deliverability reporting8.1112 Ratings00 Ratings
List management8.1111 Ratings00 Ratings
Triggered drip sequences7.187 Ratings00 Ratings
Lead Management
Comparison of Lead Management features of Product A and Product B
Act-On Software
8.1
113 Ratings
5% above category average
Cision Communications Cloud
-
Ratings
Lead nurturing automation8.1104 Ratings00 Ratings
Lead scoring and grading8.1104 Ratings00 Ratings
Data quality management8.1102 Ratings00 Ratings
Automated sales alerts and tasks8.195 Ratings00 Ratings
Campaign Management
Comparison of Campaign Management features of Product A and Product B
Act-On Software
7.5
77 Ratings
1% below category average
Cision Communications Cloud
-
Ratings
Calendaring6.88 Ratings00 Ratings
Event/webinar marketing8.176 Ratings00 Ratings
Social Media Marketing
Comparison of Social Media Marketing features of Product A and Product B
Act-On Software
8.1
71 Ratings
8% above category average
Cision Communications Cloud
-
Ratings
Social sharing and campaigns8.169 Ratings00 Ratings
Social profile integration8.163 Ratings00 Ratings
Reporting & Analytics
Comparison of Reporting & Analytics features of Product A and Product B
Act-On Software
8.1
114 Ratings
8% above category average
Cision Communications Cloud
-
Ratings
Dashboards8.1109 Ratings00 Ratings
Standard reports8.1112 Ratings00 Ratings
Custom reports8.184 Ratings00 Ratings
Platform & Infrastructure
Comparison of Platform & Infrastructure features of Product A and Product B
Act-On Software
7.9
107 Ratings
4% above category average
Cision Communications Cloud
-
Ratings
API8.167 Ratings00 Ratings
Role-based workflow & approvals8.171 Ratings00 Ratings
Customizability8.189 Ratings00 Ratings
Integration with Salesforce.com8.165 Ratings00 Ratings
Integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM8.136 Ratings00 Ratings
Integration with SugarCRM7.129 Ratings00 Ratings
Best Alternatives
Act-On SoftwareCision Communications Cloud
Small Businesses
Vbout
Vbout
Score 9.6 out of 10
Newswire
Newswire
Score 8.3 out of 10
Medium-sized Companies
PFL Direct Mail Platform
PFL Direct Mail Platform
Score 9.3 out of 10
Newswire
Newswire
Score 8.3 out of 10
Enterprises
PFL Direct Mail Platform
PFL Direct Mail Platform
Score 9.3 out of 10
Meltwater
Meltwater
Score 6.5 out of 10
All AlternativesView all alternativesView all alternatives
User Ratings
Act-On SoftwareCision Communications Cloud
Likelihood to Recommend
8.1
(219 ratings)
8.5
(279 ratings)
Likelihood to Renew
8.9
(112 ratings)
7.0
(17 ratings)
Usability
9.1
(32 ratings)
7.0
(53 ratings)
Availability
9.1
(14 ratings)
9.1
(2 ratings)
Performance
8.2
(13 ratings)
9.1
(2 ratings)
Support Rating
7.3
(39 ratings)
9.0
(192 ratings)
In-Person Training
8.7
(4 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Online Training
9.3
(16 ratings)
8.0
(3 ratings)
Implementation Rating
8.6
(22 ratings)
10.0
(3 ratings)
Configurability
9.1
(1 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Ease of integration
6.4
(2 ratings)
-
(0 ratings)
Product Scalability
9.1
(1 ratings)
7.3
(1 ratings)
Vendor post-sale
8.2
(2 ratings)
9.1
(1 ratings)
Vendor pre-sale
9.1
(2 ratings)
9.1
(1 ratings)
User Testimonials
Act-On SoftwareCision Communications Cloud
Likelihood to Recommend
Act-On
Act-On simplifies the creation of landing pages, web forms, email campaigns, and other types of marketing automation. Designing a customer journey using the workflow builder (a nurturing flow) is possible. It is used in various ways and in a variety of contexts. Tactical's knowledgeable support team helped us unlock Act-On's potential for complex integrations and marketing campaigns. In some areas, it would be beneficial to improve functionality.
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Cision
For a small start-up, the cost-benefit to add lift to press releases [and] particular milestone accomplishments is definitely there with the Cision [Communications] Cloud. Much of what we do, by necessity, is done internally without the benefit of outsourced press folks, so the Cision [Communications] Cloud ease of use and reporting is very important.
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Pros
Act-On
  • Establishes a simple but very decisive way of how to perform specialized marketing work.
  • It includes the monitoring of advertising networks or account management on digital platforms and social networks.
  • The support is solid; it takes all the suggestions and doubts I have regarding the software.
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Cision
  • Their upgraded press release templates and ability [to] pull in an entire, completed release makes the [process] faster and easier, and allows for more graphics, such as company mastheads, [are done well].
  • The media tracking offers the ability to find relevant placements across the entire country.
  • The journalist database streamlines the process of finding relevant reporters to directly connect [to] on news releases that are relevant to their beats.
  • The process of setting up, creating, and distributing a release is seamless, easy to use, and not labor-intensive.
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Cons
Act-On
  • The designer tools, especially for emails, were often difficult to use. The formatting of the text would be all over the place and change / refuse to change at random. Moving boxes around was shifty and sometimes nearly impossible. It just wasn't customizeable enough. No "undo" functionality either.
  • The only way to collect information expansively over time (there's a term Act-On uses for it, I can't recall) where it adds questions to the form each time a user fills it out, is if the person were to fill out the same form multiple times. I know this does happen for some websites/resources, but as a company that wanted to collect new information each time someone filled out any form, regardless of the resource or the URL, that was simply not an option, and that doesn't really make a lot of sense. I know it's not really possible to track someone but if they filled out the first part of the form and then it added new questions to answer, and then they submitted and got through the gating, that would actually be helpful.
  • There was no "trash can" of sorts in case you deleted something by mistake. This could be so stress-inducing if it was a major project. My coworker did this once, contacted Act-On, they couldn't even recover it.
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Cision
  • In the media influencer database, the classic Cision allowed us to do a zip code radius search to really drill down to the neighborhood level. That's because we do localized media advisories and press releases for events at neighborhood schools. One part of a big city like Chicago really doesn't care what's happening in another part of Chicago that's too far away. The zip code radius search was a feature in the classic Cision but not with the current Cision Communications Cloud. We've asked for this to be restored several times, but nothing's happened. In fact, we were told to use DMA — which actually goes wider in a search (bigger than a city), not more narrow as needed. This reflects a basic misunderstanding of what we need.
  • Another missing feature involves a merge field when sending out an email press release through Cision. This is the "select insert field" button in the upper right that's used to personalize a release with the media contact's name and other information. This is key for localization of the release. Many media outlets won't run a release unless it's local. While "county" is a feature in the influencer database when putting together a media list in Cision, "county" is not available to insert into a press release as a merge field. Counties are important because this is how many newspapers and health departments are organized and identify themselves. I've asked for this to be implemented, to no avail. As a workaround, we've had to use "contact city" or "outlet city."
  • After refining a media list in Cision using filters, I've had to download the list and take it offline to see the big picture, screen for duplicates, etc. While there is a button on the bottom left intended to help with this, it doesn't do the trick. That's because there may be multiple contacts with the same email address. In addition, one media contact may represent numerous media outlets, so this same contact could show up several times. It would be nice to have a better way to see the whole list online and eliminate both duplicates as well as those who previously opted out.
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Likelihood to Renew
Act-On
It's my single biggest asset in my current role. With limited resources, its enabled Anachron to punch well above our weight marketing wise and although we're still at the beginning of our journey I know the system can scale with us
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Cision
While I am happy with the product performance overall, TrendKite's recent merger with Cision is cause for concern. When we first signed on with TrendKite, I spoke with several users and the best response I received was that the company was a startup and we could expect there to be hiccups along the way as the company grew and the platform got more robust. That has certainly been the case. However, now that they have merged with Cision — a company that has grown too fast, has not focused on improving its product and has poor customer service — I have concerns that TrendKite will lose some of the qualities that have made it a great company and great product to work with.
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Usability
Act-On
It's good, but not quite brilliant. Some parts of the interface are still a bit outdated. The product has been evolving very fast, though, and I believe in a few months it will be up there with the best of them, interface wise as well.
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Cision
The flexibility and customization of Cision Communications Cloud (TrendKite)* is among its most important features. Changing the dashboards, using keywords in the saved searches to pull out the best stories and the integration with marketing automation tools gives me confidence that I will able to continue using this tool well into the future. The future implementation and integration of the media contact database will complete the suite, making list management and email marketing programs much smoother. *This review was written before Cision acquired TrendKite. TrendKite is now part of Cision Communications Cloud.
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Reliability and Availability
Act-On
I have always found them quick to respond to my query by web inquiry. In those instances when I call, I have always reached help quickly. They are conscientious and skilled in discussing my concern and finding a solution to my problem. Other tech organizations should use Act-On as a model for top-notch customer service.
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Cision
Easily accessible 24/7.
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Performance
Act-On
Great for the most part. Sometimes there are little lags, but that's likely because I'm requesting to see a lot of data at one time.
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Cision
Generally, Cision performs well day to day, but it's got some annoying bugs that slow down usage/require user workarounds which is inefficient. More seriously, a few months ago, as a result of a major system upgrade, certain critical functionality was not working and I was unable to use the service for more than a day when I had time-sensitive work to execute
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Support Rating
Act-On
Since we start using Act-on for ourselves and our clients, we have been supported very well. Often we need to integrate with legacy systems and we find the support team on our side during the whole endeavor. Always asking if they can help us further, always willing to do a better job. The support of Act-On is one of the main differentiators
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Cision
For Cision TrendKite in particilar, support always responded, but it was sometimes slow. For some of our booleans and search queries, we would need help refining and excluding terms/phrases that weren't relevant to our client or campaign. This sometimes took 1-2 days just to get a response back, which sometimes was too late when a last-minute report was due. This was only with the support staff, not necessarily our customer success manager or sales rep.
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In-Person Training
Act-On
Dan D. was great. He took the time to understand how I needed the program to run, and was very flexible to our special CRM setup.
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Cision
No answers on this topic
Online Training
Act-On
Act-On had a lot of resources, and their staff was great at answering any questions I had to make sure we got started on the right foot. Looking back, I would have preferred some additional training sessions since we didn't have any previous experience with Marketing Automation and best practices.
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Cision
The online training sessions available for the Cision Communications Cloud are helpful and informative. There's more than one option - initially, I signed up for the live webinar classes on basic functions and that is what I recommend other new users do as well. If I have specific questions or something I want to learn more about, I can search the online database and find article or online training videos to get the information I need.
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Implementation Rating
Act-On
What impressed me most is that Act-On showed full committment in making our implementation successful, even when it required additional support from their team. This gave me a lot of warm and fuzzy feelings. Most other software software vendors are not anywhere close to being this responsive and effective
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Cision
There is no implementation at the customer's end so this doesn't really apply to my instance of Cision (possibly to all instances of it).
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Alternatives Considered
Act-On
Act-On is easier to use than Marketo, but not as visually appealing and user-friendly as HubSpot. It's much better than Pardot, as Pardot feel clunky every step of the way. SharpSpring is comparable because of its price point but surpasses Act-On in its tools and intuitive interface. We selected Act-On because of the pricing model and thought all things would be close to parity with other options. It depends on the team you have. If you have developers and a marketing team that knows some html/css, you can get by with Act-On.
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Cision
It's a similar product. I think Meltwater sells itself as being a bit more niche, but I have not found many significant differences between Meltwater and Cision. Meltwater's sales process is a very high pressure and their prices are inflated.
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Scalability
Act-On
Before I feel like I need more features, the Act-On customer service reps are contacting me telling about new features as part of my account.
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Cision
Easy to use, but still room for improvement.
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Return on Investment
Act-On
  • With the Automated Series, we were able to put in place campaigns that generated revenue that took no time to continue running once set up. This was a positive feature allowing employees to work on another project while the campaign ran on their own.
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Cision
  • Cision has a net positive impact on time savings for staff so we can be quicker to market
  • Cision has a positive impact on internal savings as it is used internally across multiple accounts and with the internal PR team
  • Cision is extremely useful when it comes to resourcing and conducting outreach in those DMA's where our agency doesn't have a physical presence
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ScreenShots

Act-On Screenshots

Screenshot of List Segmentation - Segmentation using behavioral, demographic and/or firmographic dataScreenshot of the Quickstart PageScreenshot of Landing Page Composer - landing pages are designed with a drag and drop function

Cision Communications Cloud Screenshots

Screenshot of Media Monitoring and Analytics are just part of the complete Comms Cloud. It combines deep data dive with a database of journalists and influencers, and a media relationship management tool.Screenshot of Track brand mentions in real time across the millions of online stories on the internet. Monitor millions of stories and breaking news happening daily across the web. Professional services consultants teams are in place to ensure best practices while setting up a monitoring account.Screenshot of Cision’s media and influencer relationship management tools include audience insights, combined with a pitchable database that enables brands to uncover the best media contacts and social influencers to reach their target audience.Screenshot of Identify the social conversations and influencers that are impacting a brand. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube monitoring capabilities track brand mentions across all major social channels. Analyze results for social mentions or campaigns on the fly with its reporting features.