A powerful product but deceptive billing practices and too much bureaucracy are major concerns.
McKane Davis | TrustRadius Reviewer
Updated March 15, 2017

A powerful product but deceptive billing practices and too much bureaucracy are major concerns.

Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Bronto Marketing Platform

We use Bronto in our marketing and technology departments regularly. We use it to send email marketing campaigns and transactional emails to our customers. Bronto allows us to send beautiful, highly targeted emails to our users and to create workflows for drip and abandonment campaigns. We use the API and have it tied tightly into our site as well as some third party applications.
  • Easy-to use, intuitive workflows for automated drip/abandonment campaigns. It is the best workflow interface I've seen anywhere and it's the best part of the Bronto software in my opinion.
  • It is flexible and they have a robust API, so if the software doesn't do something you want/need it to do, you can usually find a way.
  • Their new message editor (introduced in late 2015) is fantastic and allows for quick creation of beautiful emails. When they brought it out of beta, though it was terribly buggy and frustrating to use, but it's now stable and great. This was much needed in Bronto and they delivered.
  • The custom segment tool is fantastic. Best-in-class in my opinion. You can create pools of subscribers on any criteria you can dream up. It's really key to sending targeted, relevant email messages.
  • Their "Socialite" app (social media connector) is really great if you use it to it's fullest.
  • The way they approach pricing is very, very problematic. They charge fees for features that either should be baked into the software or once were baked into the software. Their pricing is always changing and they are not transparent with pricing. One customer may pay $1,000 for a feature, while another might pay $2,000 - with no rhyme or reason. On more than one occasion we've got wildly different pricing quotes from reps a few months apart. We can't help but feel like they are deceptive on pricing.
  • And their pricing and billing practices are downright dishonest at times. The word "bait and switch" has been used at our company to describe Bronto several times as well. Also, every year, they try and raise rates and make you fight with them over the contract. It's so bad that we will likely end up leaving the platform over this. They could fix this by offering transparent, published prices on their site and not being deceptive about it. We've offered these suggestions several times to upper management but they've fallen on deaf ears.
  • They call themselves a "marketing platform for commerce", but they have been very slow to introduce features geared toward commerce. They've improved this over the last year, but want to charge extra for all of the "commerce marketing" features they are adding. It's an issue. Simple tools like Cart Recovery aren't baked into the platform and are treated as "apps" that you have to pay extra to use. The concept of "add-ons" in software can be helpful sometimes, but Bronto has missed the mark here and taken it to the extreme. They've taken core commerce functionality out of the core "commerce marketing" software to force you to pay more.
  • While Bronto has some of their own apps, they really lack useful third party Apps. It is a major problem when you compare them to MailChimp and others. I have had more than a few third party companies WANT to integrate with Bronto and tell me that the experience they had was terrible, that the biz dev team at bronto either wouldn't call them back, ignored them for several weeks or just wouldn't give them a test account. This is a major, major problem and needs to be remedied.
  • They were acquired by Netsuite last year (2015) and ever since that announcement, it takes longer to get answers and resolutions to issues or questions and support has been lacking. There is more red tape and bureaucracy than ever and the lack of internal communication and external updates post-acquisition has gotten really bad. As time passes, this continues to be a major problem. Bronto was once a nimble business with integrity. Now, they've introduced so much bureaucracy and red-tape that it's almost impossible to get anything done - never is this more evident than in the (lack of) timely customer service.
  • They have overcharged us on more than one occasion and getting credits back takes hours of work. Their billing department is terrible.
  • Very good ROI on email when we execute well on our side. But they keep trying to raise the price of everything in the software, so there is a concern there.
  • Bronto isn't going to help you get more email leads or help you convert more, but it gives you a platform and the tools to be successful in marketing to customers and it gives good reporting so you can assess and adjust.
  • Year to year it is hard to predict what they will do to pricing, so it's hard to commit to their platform fully. It does not feel good to spend lots of $ on custom integrations when that "partner" will undoubtedly try to raise your rates as soon as they see your switching costs are a deterrent to movement.
Bronto is not cheap, but it's valuable if you use it correctly. MailChimp has a better message editor and better third party apps, and is cheaper than Bronto and it more honest and transparent in pricing (very important for a partner!). Bronto has better segmentation tools and better workflow creation and management (for Drips) but it's hard to trust them. We are probably moving to Mail Chimp this year. Listrak is very similar to Bronto at a much lower price point. We have found the Bronto UI and Mail Chimp UI better, cleaner and more intuitive than Listrak - which cuts down on mistakes and headaches for our team - but Listrak has gotten better over the last 2 years and we have strongly considered them and are looking again at them this year.
This is not a tool for a small business or startups in my opinion. It's too expensive and likely overkill. It's good for mid-sized ecommerce companies because it facilitates workflow-centric email marketing campaigns. On the downside, this once nimble and honest company has turned into a bureaucratic web with dishonest billing practices.

Bronto Feature Ratings

WYSIWYG email editor
9
Dynamic content
7
Ability to test dynamic content
7
Landing pages
1
A/B testing
6
Mobile optimization
8
Email deliverability reporting
9
List management
8
Triggered drip sequences
10
Dashboards
7
Standard reports
5
Custom reports
3

Using Bronto Marketing Platform

Bronto Support

They used to be good, but they've evolved into a monolithic bureaucratic nightmare after the Netsuite / Oracle acquisition. Can't talk to anyone that actually knows the system and support tickets seem to go days or weeks without responses and resolution.
ProsCons
None
Slow Resolution
Poor followup
Less knowledgeable
Problems left unsolved
Not kept informed
Escalation required
Difficult to get immediate help
Need to explain problems multiple times
Support doesn't seem to care
Yes - Nope. They are very slow to respond to and fix bugs.
Years ago, Bronto used to provide exceptional support. But they've gotten so bad over time. It's a bureaucratic nightmare now where they have middle-men handling support tickets instead of speaking with people who actually understand the software. We know so much more about the platform than the people trying to help us. So frustrating.