We are using Marketo as our marketing communication tool. It has allowed us to touch base with candidates and clients that we may not have for some time. We have used Marketo for very large campaigns (over 400,000 contract in one campaign) to using it for time card reminders to our consultants. I am not sure what we would do now if we did not have Marketo. It is easy to work with and the community is invaluable! Members are always willing to provide feedback and help when you are looking for it.
HubSpot is a very useful tool that is beneficial to have in any inbound marketing situation, whether it's in-house business marketing or an agency hired [for marketing]. Everything that HubSpot allows you to do saves time and provides value in the sense that it allows you to quickly analyze all of your strategies and improve.
HubSpot is used across our entire organization. It is used most heavily by those in Account Management and Creative Design with our clients, but it is used strongly by Marketing, Client Relations and even lightly by our receptionist. We also strive for every employee to be not only inbound certified, but Hubspot Certified and most [to be] Partner-Certified.
I use Hubspot to send out newsletters, post blog articles, publish case studies and automate responders for client webinars we will be holding. With no background in design, it's simple to create streamlined, visually appealing content all on my own [using Hubspot]. It helps me be independent in all of my projects, and also allows me to monitor the success of each of these campaigns and analyze them to improve each new step moving forward.
It's great if you are looking for a simple, easy to use out of the box email marketing platform. The important thing is to try and pair it up with a CRM solution that will host your contact data, and then allow you to synchronize with MailChimp rather than use the email forms to collect data. We use Workbooks CRM which has an out of the box integration with MailChimp and allows us to really make it easy to send out our campaigns.
It's only well-suited for departments who can invest A LOT of time into it in order to take advantage of everything it can do. For the cost and learning curve it takes, it really has to be fully integrated into the marketing team's every day. There's so much functionality that I don't think we even know every thing we're capable of doing at times. We have an employee who specializes in Eloqua, which really is a necessity.
Prior to my start at this company, the director and previous email marketing manager decided to test out two email platforms at the same time. We are coming to the end of both of our contracts and we are going to go with Act-On. The customer support is much better with Act-On and I feel like we get more out of our time with them. Having both a customer success manager and a deliverability analyst has helped us make some important decisions about our email marketing.
Marketing automation tools are more important than ever to "conversation marketing" initiatives that prevail today. Pardot supports this extremely well. Functionally the product is extremely strong and the company's rate of innovation is rapid and relevant- hence the addition of responsive templates in the last couple months.
Constant Contact is a relatively easy to use tool with a nice selection of templates and easy social media and events incorporation into the email. While there are a few issues with lag time, complicated photo uploading, creating sign-up forms, and block customization issues, it is a good tool to get the job done.
Out of all the direct marketing tools available, iContact has the most flexibility in the area of design for my projects. I think their templates look great and I like being able to customize them for my projects. iContact has top notch customer service, and they have always been knowledgeable and helpful.
I think for a company with a fairly small customer base, AWeber is on par with similar programs like 1ShoppingCart & Constant Contact.
Smaller less technically staffed companies should avoid it. For mid-size companies with a serious need for a email solution, it might be worth considering if the staff involved in using the product isn't afraid of technically looking stuff.
The account management team is very receptive to our individual requirements.