Likelihood to Recommend
It's great for large field sales organizations that lack the ability to automate email sends that are consistent and on-brand. The idea of templated emails (with the ability to build custom emails) really helps keeps the look-and-feel of each email similar to what the rest of the organization is sending to customers or prospects. This isn't the solution that you'd need if you are looking for an automation tool that easily integrates into other marketing channels. The dynamic content feature is lagging far behind other tools in the space.
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Before we used SmartFocus we had a simple bespoke drag and drop builder, where we could add as many "templates" as we wanted. In SmartFocus, the drag and drop builder is smoother and better, but you can't add your own templates. If you are happy with the provided templates, then building newsletters will be really good experience.
Read full review Pros Sends client confirmations when they subscribe to a newsletter, sign up for a conference, or place an order with our company (SourceMedia). We don't have to hire an agency to send these for us. Manages newsletter subscriptions and allows us to deploy on specific dates/times. Helps us discover and manage the correct audience base per newsletter, and automates the distributions so we don't have to do it manually. Read full review Push newsletters to customers Managing campaigns Drag and drop builder Read full review Cons (Lack of) Web Tracking - it offers minimal tracking capabilities for web visit(or)s and the ones that are in place don't provide an easy way to allow you to use that data in building reports or automation. No Web Forms - if most of your marketing campaigns include a call to action pointing to a web form submission, the SFMC doesn't have a "web form asset" per se that you can build. You could still achieve the same functionality by deploying cloud pages and/or microsite AMPScript pages that use Data Extensions as tables to hold data but that doesn't come out of the box. Customization brings Complexity - OK, maybe this is not a con but sometimes it feels like one. In order to build your own custom way of segmenting, importing, filtering data, having triggered sends, etc. you need to create a lot of assets on the platform. Think of it like small Lego bricks that you need to build first then combine them in a larger brick that is part of an even larger construction. Read full review Drag and drop builder 2-factor authentication Internal integration (the system is too big for an average user what make it hard to use sometimes) Image gallery reliability Read full review Likelihood to Renew
Exact Target has an exceptional team with great customer care. Whenever we have a question or concern they are timely in addressing it. They also perform annual reviews in person that provides us with market trends, new tools and features, performance metrics, and new content recommendations. We evaluate this by local market and at the international level
Read full review Usability
I think the tool is easy to use, protects a company from the spam legislation and manages subscribers very well. It is simple to create a non-complex email. I like the survey function on the email tool as well. Overall usability is quite easy and no necessary to have an IT background or extensive knowledge to use. It is helpful, though, to have an understanding of HTML for formatting at this point.
Read full review Reliability and Availability
Upgrades and timing of the upgrades were communicated well and planned during off hours for our work. If we did have a campaign scheduled during that time, it would kick-off after the system was back active. There were a few unplanned system down times, but it was a rare occurrence and those times were also short in duration.
Read full review Performance
This software is extremely limiting. The layouts don't give much flexibility and take a long time to set up. If you aren't a designer or know html (like me), the emails look unpolished and amateur. It takes forever for me to make revisions and sometimes when I send the test email, it looks completely different in the software vs. how the message looks in my inbox. Fonts are different sizes and aren't aligned properly, etc. The whole platform is pretty clunky and not very user friendly. The reports are pretty good - however there isn't much you can do when viewing the info. Ex: If you have 200 "Did Not Open" emails, there isn't an easy way to just click and quickly resend to this group. I like that it can sync with Salesforce.com - but I have no idea how to set that up in my account. Out of frustration I have been using Constant Contact which has easy to use drag and drop features, built-in templates I can choose from, survey/coupon/registration tools, tagging and responsive reporting. My company's creative agency even prefers Constant Contact vs. Marketing Cloud. I still have to enter
(the old address) to log on. Wondering when they will change it to the new name, which I don't like using. Exact Target is so much easier to say. Salesforce Marketing Cloud just doesn't roll off the tongue and - just like the software - is clumsy and awkward, so I just keep calling it Exact Target. Overall, pretty much dissatisfied with Exact Target and have pretty much stopped using it. Although I know eventually I will have to go back to it at some point since my company has invested in the automation features and we will have to use it for our marketing.
Read full review Support Rating
We are now only trying to get our money back and move on to a different system, but even though it was acknowledged that mistakes were made on Salesforce’s side, we are still waiting. Instead, Salesforce sends us standard training offers to get the most out of our 4 connectors - whatever - and still not even offering additional connectors to get our social accounts connected to our business so our digital team can get on with their job, requesting we pay an additional $50pm for each of these - crazy.
Read full review Implementation Rating
Easy to implement, with simple emails and solutions initially created. More advanced usage of the tool and more advanced subscriber attribute usage was implemented during later phases when the knowledge of the tool increased. Monitoring success and results of email campaigns were done at a high level initially, but not fully used until the tool and email marketing as a whole was better understood in the corporation.
Read full review Alternatives Considered
I have used Epsilon and I have evaluated Silverpop, e-Dialogue and Yesmail. From my analysis Salesforce MC is far more superior in flexibility, scalability and freedom to custom built initiatives. The AMPscripting is one of the driving forces in allowing the previous mentioned abilities. However, I can see from a marketers perspective where they simply want to send emails and segment easily. But given that effective email marketing requires a lot of different components and there is no simple way of doing it and I found that most companies that offer the out of the box solutions do a good job but there is no one size fits all and if you are trying to be really good at it which includes integrating your business such as registration, stats, CMS, API, etc. This is a much better solution.
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We need a service where we can have support when necessary and a system that will handle a high amount of campaigns, with the functionality where even a junior member of the team can create a campaign from assets provided by the graphic team. SmartFocus has that.
Read full review Scalability
We had approximately 20,000 recipients of most email campaigns, with some higher amounts and some smaller campaigns. The tools is easy to use and the recipient list size is really not a factor in the complexity or work to create and email campaign. Our campaigns could just have easily been sent to many more people, with virtually no additional work.
Read full review Return on Investment Better execution/monitoring - when multiple steps are involved, IMH is great at dashboarding. Facilitates exploratory campaigns - it is great at instilling confidence when you're trying a new facet of a campaign, due to the process transparency. Cloud - can be a double-edged sword. Allows for on the go access, but isn't truly mobile-friendly, and can sometimes sputter. But certainly will improve with time. Read full review By using Smart Focus we massively cut the cost of creating a new e-mail campaign On the other hand, the cost of SmartFocus is much higher than a competitor Read full review