Expensive Service
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Updated April 08, 2014

Expensive Service

Score 1 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction

CheetahMail is used across most departments within our organization. We use their self-service option and to do so requires tech support and your own design team.
  • Has many refinements for segmentation such as location, transaction data, opens...
  • Tracks many metrics for reporting such as transaction data, open data, click data...
  • Much flexibility for design
  • Navigation is not intuitive.
  • Tech support is lacking. An account representative with no technical knowledge is your main contact and there is a long lag when technical issues arise because the account representative has to wait on their tech team. There also often is a communication gap as to what the technical issues are as you are not allowed to talk directly to tech support and the account representative must mediate.
  • Most innovative solutions require much more money and are not included in the basic (self-service) CheetahMail package. For example, integrating with other data sources and having advanced segmentation require you to purchase an outside service that is compatible with CheetahMail but not included in the CheetahMail package. CheetahMail is drastically behind in terms of technology. So much so that we had an experience where we've tried to integrate with certain third parties but were unable to because CheetahMail was not as advanced as the other email providers.
  • Extremely manual process for setup and reporting. There is no automation or anything easily accessible to the marketers without tech support. They are significantly worse than any other competitor.
  • Faster lead conversion
We've evaluated 6 other email service providers and have come to the conclusion that CheetahMail is extremely lacking and consistently on the decline. They lack in innovation, in having the option to integrate data from other sources, in functionality when it comes to automating the email process. If you are going for their self-service option, stay away! I doubt they will still be in business give or take 5 years.
As I have begun exploring competitors, I've come to realize that every competitor offers so much more functionality and integration than CheetahMail does. When we first signed our contract, CheetahMail was much more innovative and at the forefront of email. Since being bought out by Experian, we've seen a huge decline in service and innovation. They have laid off much of their staff and moved their account representatives to Costa Rica. They also heavily rely on on third parties which you will have to pay large amounts of money for while other Email Service Providers have integrated new technologies into their platform. You will get more for your money going to a different email service such as Responsys, Silverpop, Listrak and the like,
In exploring other email service providers, I have found CheetahMail to be the most lacking. While CheetahMail has a lot of functionality, it is all completely manual so you better have a lot of tech support on your hands to make it work. All of CheetahMail's innovation comes from the use of third parties, which is extremely costly. Their service is not very good and they do not provide any training for someone trying to learn the program from scratch. Many other email providers do a better job at giving you a simpler navigation with more accessible sets of metrics/segmentation for less money. If you are a small business with not a large budget, I would not recommend this service unless you go with a full service rather than self service contract. If you are a large company, I would suggest looking into Experian's Cross Marketing Platform rather than CheetahMail as they are spending more time and energy on that platform.

Evaluation and Selection

  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
When it came time to renew our contract with CheetahMail, it really came down to timing and cost. CheetahMail gave us a huge price break to stay on their service and so we decided to do so rather than seek out another email service provider and go through the trouble of switching. It was a big mistake, we definitely should have switched as we've seen a huge decline in service in the past year and just a lack of innovation and capabilities that other platforms provided.
I would go for functionality over price because at the end of the day, we would be saving money since we had to integrate with a number of third parties to get CheetahMail into a place where it would work for us. We wouldn't have to do so with a different platform.

Training

Extremely chaotic and hard to learn. We asked for training materials from Experian but didn't receive them so it was all self taught. I would not recommend this way of learning but also find that there isn't necessarily a better way as you need to have a lot of time familiarizing yourself with the program (because it's not intuitive) to use it.

Support

Account reps have a quick response time but a very slow resolution time. Because account reps do not have technical knowledge, there is a long long lead time between flagging a problem and tech team resolution.
ProsCons
Kept well informed
Quick Initial Response
Slow Resolution
Less knowledgeable
Problems left unsolved
Escalation required
Difficult to get immediate help
Need to explain problems multiple times
Yes - Because we use the self-service option, it is imperative that you have access to account reps as it is a very manual program and requires many hours of tech support to get things moving.
Yes - Bugs take months to get fixed and oftentimes they come back and tell you there's just nothing they can do about it...
I think the one area where Experian really did rise above and beyond is in new campaign planning and brainstorming ideas.

Usability

CheetahMail has a high learning curve to master and requires a lot of backend work with tech teams to set up. Navigation is not the best and everything that should be automated is still extremely manual.
ProsCons
None
Do not like to use
Difficult to use
Requires technical support
Not well integrated
Inconsistent
Slow to learn
Cumbersome
Feel nervous using
Lots to learn
  • Email creation
  • Segmentation
  • Navigation
  • Integration with Demandware and Omniture

Vendor Relationship

The account representatives are not easy to work with. They don't have a deep enough understanding to help with technical issues. Our rep has also given us a lot of bad information about best practices and even basic steps pertaining to how to get certain types of data within the CheetahMail platform that had to be corrected later on.
If you are already in a contract and looking to renew, threaten to go with a competitor and they will give you a price break.