Act-On Review

Act-On
Product:
Vendor:
Founded:
Headquarters:
Act-On
Act-On
2008
Portland, OR
Ownership
Customers:
Deployment Model:
Free Trial:
Private
5,200+
Cloud
No
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Act-On At A Glance

Good: Pricing reflects active contacts rather than the entire database, Adaptive Journeys platform that uses machine-learning for better buyer engagement, Data Studio feature that uses business intelligence.
Bad: Platform tends to be slow to load on certain tasks, reporting features could be more intuitive, doesn't fully integrate with all CRMs.
Bottom Line: Marketing automation platform that includes a variety of tools to help marketers successfully engage with buyers and customers.

Product Overview

Act-On is a cloud-based all-inclusive marketing automation platform that helps marketers better respond to customers in every stage of the buying cycle. Not only does it automate many marketing tasks, it also provides reporting metrics so marketers can successfully evaluate their campaigns and other marketing programs.

Other benefits of Act-On include:

  • Promoting company brand across multiple channels (email, web, social media, etc.)
  • Generating more high-quality leads efficiently to drive a shorter cycle for the sales team
  • Staying engaged with customers beyond the sale
  • Ability to work with multiple applications within Act-On as it integrates with customer relationship management (CRM), social media, content marketing and other marketing tools

Act-On has introduced a new functionality called Adaptive Journeys that uses machine-learning (artificial intelligence) to predict future buying behavior so marketers can better personalize and deliver their messages to prospects and customers. The Adaptive Journeys feature will include adaptive segmentation, adaptive forms, adaptive channels, adaptive scoring and adaptive sending. Adaptive Journeys is still in its early stages, but more features will be rolled out in quarterly upgrades.

Features

Act-On’s core modules consist of automation, inbound marketing, outbound marketing, and reports and analytics. We’ll mention the key features of each module.

Automation – The automation module streamlines the marketing campaign workflows with a rule-based engine. It also automates tasks such as lead management, lead nurturing, lead scoring, A/B testing and trigger emails.

Inbound marketing – The inbound marketing module benefits marketers as it helps bring prospects to the company rather than the company reaching out to the prospect. Some of its features include:

  • Creating and testing online forms and landing pages
  • Tracking site visitors and their characteristics (type of company, how often site visited, keywords used to search for site, etc.) with Website Prospector tool
  • Social media marketing, such as social publish and social listening
  • SEO Audit tool for auditing best practices of search engine optimization efforts

Outbound marketing – The outbound marketing module helps marketers reach out to customers and prospects in a variety of channels. Some of its features include:

  • Email marketing
  • Events and webinars (integrates with WebEx and Citrix)
  • Account-based marketing

Reports and analytics – The reports and analytics module includes a variety of pre-built and customizable templates to help marketers measure:

  • Campaigns
  • Revenue attribution
  • Content downloads
  • Landing page and website traffic and conversions
  • Social media
  • Email performance
  • Marketing funnels

Act-On’s Data Studio feature, available on the Enterprise plan, uses business intelligence functionality so marketers can get further insights into their data. It includes data visualizations, reporting templates and data exports. It also integrates with BI software, such as Power BI or Tableau.

And finally, the Act-On Anywhere tool allows marketers to access Act-On features straight from their integrated application. For example, marketers can create content in WordPress while accessing links or images stored within Act-On. Or their sales team can access pertinent information about a prospect’s engagement from their CRM application. Users can also work with Act-On’s tools within their Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, social publishing or web browsers.

  • Broadcast Email Marketing?
  • Campaign Reporting and Analytics?
  • CRM Integration?
  • Forms and Landing Pages?
  • Lead Management?
  • Lead Nurturing?
  • Lead Scoring?
  • Triggered Email Marketing?

Target Market

Act-On targets marketers in small, medium and large-sized organizations in a variety of industries, such as manufacturing, education, non-profits and finance. Here’s a partial list of its clients:

  • ASPCA
  • Avery Dennison
  • Dove
  • e.Republic
  • Jonas Construction Software
  • Progressive
  • Reading Partners
  • Rethink Robotics
  • Save the Bay
  • Six Flags

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Implementation/Integration

Each client gets a dedicated onboarding manager who serves as the contact point for the implementation process. The onboarding manager meets with the client to discuss the goals of the software and develop an implementation action plan. The manager also perform regular check-ins after solution implementation (the amount of check-ins depends on the onboarding package purchased).

The onboarding timeline can vary based on the client, but the general process is as follows:

  • Welcome – The Welcome phase consists of an action plan set by the onboarding manager and users can access Act-On University courses.
  • Learn – This is the training phase for users to learn how to use the software. It also includes specialized learning paths for marketers in specific job roles.
  • Create – In this phase, marketers can begin to create new campaigns.
  • Deliver – Marketers can deliver campaign messages, such as email blasts.
  • Measure – The first campaigns are measured for results; marketers can then make necessary changes to the campaign.

In addition to online workshops and webinars, Act-On offers other training options through its University. One option is a personalized curriculum that’s based on a marketer’s role. For example, the Brand marketer curriculum provides courses on inbound marketing that show marketers how to effectively promote content to drive site traffic.

Act-On offers certification programs, a masters workshop in marketing automation, on-site instructor-led courses and a New User Boot Camp on marketing automation topics.

Customer Service & Support

Users can access a knowledge base of articles related to marketing, participate in community forums with other Act-On users or get answers within the app’s contextual help platform. They can also contact tech support by phone or submit a support ticket via the web.

Act-On offers optional Premier service plans for clients that want priority support and access to a customer success manager. More information on the plans is in our Pricing section below.

There are additional optional services, such as content migration, email and reputation guidance, and marketing automation consulting. Act-On also provides customized landing pages, forms, and other content design.

Pricing

Act-On offers two pricing plans: Professional and Enterprise. Note that each plan includes at least 2,500 active contacts (leads that marketers are actively engaging with) rather than all the contacts in a database.

The Professional plan starts at $900 a month and includes the following components:

  • Three marketing users and 50 sales users
  • 30,000 API calls daily
  • Adaptive nurturing and segmentation
  • Lead scoring
  • Email marketing with A/B testing
  • Landing pages with adaptive forms
  • Site visitor tracking
  • Publishing content to social networks
  • Email, programs and landing page templates
  • Webinar program management
  • Reporting tools
  • Sales enablement
  • Multiple scoring rule sheets

The Enterprise plan starts at $2,000 a month. It includes all of the features in the Professional plan plus:

  • Six marketing users and 100 sales users
  • Data studio for more advanced reporting functionality
  • Account-based marketing
  • Engagement insights
  • Integration with CRM systems

Note that each plan bills annually.

Act-On also offers a few add-ons, such as advanced social media functionality and a dedicated IP address.

There are also onboarding and support packages. The two onboarding packages are Standard and Premier, which requires a one-time fee of $500 and $3,000, respectively.

The Standard package includes unlimited access to the Act-On University courses and guides, as well as six check-ins with a dedicated onboarding manager.

The Premier package is more extensive. It includes a marketing automation strategy guide, custom email and landing page templates, unlimited access to Act-On University, 12 check-ins with the onboarding manager and two seats at Act-On’s New User Boot Camp.

Act-On provides three support packages: Standard, Premier and Premier Plus. The Standard plan is included in the Professional and Enterprise plan costs. It includes unlimited access to the Act-On University, access to the community forums, and phone and web tech support during business hours.

The Premier plan has a $5,000 annual fee and includes 24/5 (Monday through Friday) phone and web tech support with faster response times, and access to Act-On’s customer support team.

The Premier Plus plan has a $15,000 annual fee and includes 24/7 tech support with faster response times, access to Premier Tech Support Line and access to a dedicated customer success manager.

Shortcomings

Some users have reported that the software sometimes runs slowly when performing certain tasks, such as creating landing pages or emails. They have also indicated that the reporting tools could be more intuitive and social media functionality could be more robust.

And finally, integration with CRM systems is only available in the Enterprise plan, and Act-On may not integrate fully with all CRMs.

Screenshots

Act-On Screenshot 1
Act-On Screenshot 2
Act-On Screenshot 3

About

Act-On was founded in 2008 to help marketers run successful campaigns to drive their business. It started out with just nine employees and 35 customers but has grown steadily to include over 100 employees and 5,200 customers.

Act-On stands by three core values: simplicity, attention to detail and accountability. Its mission is to provide an easy-to-use, intuitive and feature-rich software.

Act-On has received several awards and recognition over the years, notably the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 (four years in a row) and Forbes Inc. 500.

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