Marketing Automation for the Simple Marketing Team
Updated March 18, 2014

Marketing Automation for the Simple Marketing Team

Eric Lehnen | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version

2500 Contacts

Overall Satisfaction


  • Integration with Salesforce. Each time an email goes out, it is recorded in the Contact Activity History. Additionally, our Sales reps use it for individual emails so they can prioritize people who seem interested based on the customizable lead score that Act-On tracks. However, some of the integration is limited and with specific features such as webinars management.
  • Email marketing. This is their flagship tool and it works quite well. I can track who bounced, opened, clicked emails. These are then calculated in the lead score. It does a good job of scrubbing bounced emails and it flags bounced emails in Salesforce. The steps to create a mass email is methodical so you do not miss anything. You can include different types of content inside emails such as custom HTML, attachments, and buttons. Everything is WYSIWYG and easy to use. There are some obstacles with setting up custom templates but once you have them set up, they are really powerful for branding purposes.
  • Automated programs. They are very simple to set up and show exactly what happens based on certain triggers: behavior (clicked on an email, attended a webinar, received specific email, etc.) and profiles (specific titles, lead score, geography, etc.). You can organize a very complex drip campaign or create niche marketing strategies for people who meet certain criteria. Automated programs are best utilized if you are marketing to a significant amount of people.


  • Webinar management. Our company uses WebEx and Act-On says that they integrate best with them. However, features are so limited for our company's needs, we found it is easy to keep them separate. For instance, we need to identify who attended a webinar in Salesforce. It is not an automated process to push attendance to the Salesforce record. Instead, the integration with Salesforce and Act-On for webinars is simply an interface. It does not push data to Salesforce. This is annoying because it creates more steps for our sales people who need to identify important information and forces them to use Act-On separately from Salesforce.
  • If your company produces a good amount of webinars a year, creating them is very time consuming. There are so many steps required before you can market the webinar. For instance, in our situation, we created custom emails for the following situations: When someone registers for a webinar, When their webinar registration is rejected, When their webinar registration is accepted, Follow up email for those who attend a webinar, Follow up email for those who do not attend, 1 hour reminder email, 1 day reminder email. Each email needs to be added in manually and this process if time consuming if you have to create 100+ webinars a year.
  • Email deliverability. We had problems with email deliverability to certain companies. After talking with our IT department to figure out why Act-On was having a lot of these problems, they said it is because they do not have reliable email marketing practices on the technical side. For example, every so often, I have to send a new IP address range to our IT department to whitelist Act-On emails so any test emails we send to ourselves do not bounce. It says something when you try sending a test email to yourself and it doesn't work.
  • I am not a technical person, but our IT department talked with their support team and concluded that they had technical issues on their side that was causing a lot of our emails to bounce. Act-On tried to address some of the email deliverability problems we had but did not help.
  • Competitor tracking. Act-On has ways of tracking competitor's social media and web traffic. However, it only provides a week time period for Twitter. In general, it doesn't aggregate data so it can be analyzed over different time periods. It does give a fair snap shot of what is going at present time, though.
  • Web traffic monitoring. Stick to Google Analytics for analyzing web traffic. The only good thing about it is you can identify which anonymous/known companies that have visited your website. But sometimes, some businesses do not have a dedicated IP so when Act-On does the automatic reverse IP look up, it does not provide the business, rather the ISP instead. You can only view data a month at a time and cannot select ranges of time Such as 60/90/120 month ranges. It goes strictly by month.
  • Reporting and Analytics. I was very disappointed when trying to run reports on our different marketing campaigns. While they have a dashboard, it is not the same as Salesforce. And because data between Salesforce and Act-On is limited, reports are done separately. When we need to check our email campaigns, the only option to look at them all at once is to download an excel document and manipulate the data from there.
  • Forms. Forms are a little on the basic side. We tried using them for people signing up for events, but the absence of conditional logic forms, where if a contact selects option "A" it will display a separate field/question than someone who selected option "B."
  • Positive: We can identify those who seem to be hot leads that are aggregated based on their interaction with our marketing (website views, email opens/clicks, form submissions, etc.). This helps our Sales reps look for the most qualified leads and pass off better leads.
  • Negative: There are some aspects of these lead score features that limit ROI. For instance, if we send an email campaign out, the only way for sales to identify those who are interested is to assign all the contacts to sales. This is an issue if there are thousands of contacts to be assigned in Salesforce. Inevitably, these contacts who are not assigned to sales are in limbo because it is very difficult to identify them. If there was a way to identify all of these "limbo" contacts who are not assigned but are interested, and designate to a specific person in Act-On, it would improve conversion.
  • Positive: Sales people can send individual emails to contacts and identify whether they opened/clicked/opted out of that email. If they click, this gives them an opportunity for Sales to follow up with the contact.
Before purchasing Act-On, we reviewed other automated marketing platforms and were told by multiple competitors, "You get what you pay for." This is absolutely true. When we evaluated Act-On, the price was right for the value of the
features. But when we really started to use them, we found many
limitations within the product and we felt a little duped. The depth of the product is truly lacking and found it is better to use "best of breed" products (a product used for a specific purpose, e.g. email marketing, and lacks integration with other products).

When a company says they can do something, you expect a certain amount of functionality. Yes, Act-On says they can do a lot, but how much of it is a gray area answer. This is my greatest gripe over them. We don't have over-the top needs, we just need something that works and has thorough features, not limited ones.
If you are marketing on volume, it would be a fair fit, depending on other marketing needs too. In comparison to other marketing automation companies, they do roughly the same thing, but the depth is the biggest difference. Be aware of some of the limitations of the product - You get what you pay for. The big one is email deliverability. If you can suffice with some of their outbound emails bouncing, it would be a good product. But if you are trying to integrate with a webinar platform to gather more information, be careful because we ran into a lot of customers and prospects complaining that they did not get their registration email to enter a webinar.


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