Overall Satisfaction with Act-On
I use, and facilitate the use of, Act-On for a professional service provider. Their sales team uses Salesforce to track leads, prospects and accounts in the sales funnel while the marketing team send out emails to generate interest and increase awareness on various topics. The two sides were not connecting. By using Act-On, and it's integration with Salesforce, we are now able to connect the dots. We know what prospects are nurturing themselves through the sales process by signing up for webinars and downloading content from the website. We can also see when a lead comes in through the website, what their specific path was - how many emails have they opened, what campaign were they originated in, what content did they spend the most time on, etc...
- Integration with Salesforce database
- Email reports
- Ease of creating webforms and embedding on site
- Timeline reporting shows user engagement at most macro or micro level
- Although integration with SalesForce is critical, there are certain things we can't do, like pull a SalesForce report based on email activity
- Adjusting scoring is very tricky. We had a registration form being filled out at a trade show and Act-On attributed all the submissions to the 1st person who filled out the form. Trying to fix it was nearly impossible.
- Reports take forever to download and aren't as intuitive as most other analytics.
- More transparent tracking of marketing spend and activity generated
- Increased efficiency in mapping targeted consumer behavior on site
- Less time to implement webinar registrations, seminar registrations and other lead generating forms
We use multiple platforms for different clients. SharpSpring is great for clients that are new to the content marketing game and haven't had much of a business development / CRM tracking process in place while Act-On has a more robust platform with a larger suite of options. Streamsend and Constant Contact are adequate for email marketing - keeping it simple. They have easier templates and are much more user-friendly, but aren't adequate at integrating web traffic, analytics and lead nurturing data. Cvent was very clunky and I'm thankful I don't have to use that system any longer. That was a system designed for email marketing and lead conversion for events only and I never did get the hang of it.
I will certainly recommend the renewal of Act-On for this client because the more the organization uses it the more features are unlocked to us. It's much like eating an elephant - it can't be done all at once. We started with email marketing and SalesForce integration. We got good at scheduling emails, creating the emails and interpreting the data in about 6 months. Then we moved into using the system to create webforms and marketing automation. We have been using those features for over a year. We still have not uncovered the social media tools and many of the other features. Act-On is a tool that grows with the business and I anticipate there is a lot of data being collected that will be invaluable for future decisions on marketing spend and activities - we have yet to uncover the many benefits of Act-On.
If your sales team uses Salesforce, I imagine Act-On will be the best option because of the ease of integration. I would say it isn't well-suited for someone who doesn't know their way around html code for emails. I've used other email marketing tools that are easier drag-and-drop templates but Act-On is more robust and you'll need to dive into the html to get your fonts and spacing just right.
- Implemented in-house
We got help with the initial set-up; connecting with Google Analytics, GoToWebinar and SalesForce, but after the set-up we have been implementing the tool in-house with very little need for additional support (aside from technical support occasionally when we dive into a new feature).