Silverpop is currently being used to power our entire email program, run by our e-commerce department, from promotional messages, browse behavior, confirmation email and more. The variety of messages we send span across the entire organization and assists us in easily and quickly communicating with our customers and driving revenue.
Automated Messages - we currently have over 70 automated messages going out on any particular day through feeds and API calls that we pass to Silverpop. We rely on these automated messages to communicate to our customers and can rely on Silverpop to always be up and running to get these messages out.
Robust query building - We can target customers easily based on a combination of demographic profile data, as well as email and site behavior and purchase behavior, allowing us to finely segment our audience
Deep dive reporting - the UI reporting, as well as the available reports to download through the API give us tremendous insight into how our subscribers are responding to email.
Testing - The testing functionality could be a bit more robust. We would love to be able to A/B test automated messages/programs, as well as more easily test one content against another, which is currently a bit manual
Frequency caps - while Silverpop does offer frequency caps, we would like to be able to set frequency caps depending on whether it is a promotional message or an account related message. Currently, it sets it at the organizational level, which could potentially prevent somebody from not getting an account related email if the max emails for that day went out, even if promotional. For this reason, we don't use frequency settings.
Reporting on automated messages within the same campaign could be rolled up a little better. Using the UI today, to get to any detailed reporting of a particular campaign, you have to go into each individual mailing sent. For this reason, we typically use the API, but that might not be an option for some people due to a little more technicality.
Better customer service: emails are more reliably sent than our last platform
Better holistic view of our email program: All emails are now currently sent through Silverpop, so we have a better view on how customers are engaging across all email messages and what messages they are interacting with.
More control for the Marketing team: Previously all of our automated messages were sent from our internal platform and marketers had little control over messaging, without going through IT prioritization time and a release. Today, we can make changes to copy, links, imagery on the fly. Data changes sometimes do still require IT time, but much less than before.
I have used EmailLabs and evaluated ExactTarget during our selection process for SIlverpop. At the time, EmailLabs and Bronto didn't reliably offer the API integration that we were looking for (which probably could have changed in the last 4 years). ExactTarget and Silverpop seemed to have very similar offerings in 2010, but we chose Silverpop as the reporting interface stood out from the competitor. I have been in contact with reps from many other ESPs and tried to stay up to date on many of the competitors' offerings and so far haven't found many major differences between Silverpop and its competitors.
We have been extremely satisfied with Silverpop and our entire e-commerce system is tied into the platform. Switching costs would be extremely high and we would need to have an extremely compelling reason that Silverpop isn't fulfilling our needs anymore as the sole reason to switch, which today, I cannot see being the case for that to outweigh the high switching costs and lose the relationship that we have built with the team at Silverpop. I have always had positive interactions with all Silverpop employees and receive extremely timely answers to any questions I may have. Silverpop puts its clients first, and that is not something you find with every vendor.
Overall, we have been extremely satisfied with Silverpop, the platform, as well as the high level of account support we have. Outages are rare, if any, and we are always notified well in advance if there is a release (usually once or twice a year), that could short term affect the speed of the system. For someone looking at Silverpop during the selection process, some key questions to ask could be how they handle import of data, whether email lists or data from your e-commerce platform as well. What is on their roadmap that will help handle more of the 1:1 messaging and trying to prevent recipients from getting too many emails in 1 day more easily - currently a bit manual to manipulate each individual query. Silverpop is a self-service platform, so someone looking for more full-service should ask about the level of support they might receive and if they offer any full-service features.