Can you provide a brief description of your company?
We are a marketing agency. We specialize in paid media, SEO [search engine optimization], and social media. We offer a full suite of marketing services.
What role do you play there?
My role is Operations Manager. I also do all the email marketing for the company, a lot of sales and marketing work with lead proposals, and I do a little bit of set management as well.
What was the business challenge your clients were facing that initiated the need for this platform?
I honestly wasn’t here when they decided to implement Act-On. I actually was just talking to a representative the other day and I think we’ve been using it for a long time. I had looked back at our records to see when we started because we have a grandfathered price at this point since we’ve been using them for so long.
How does your company implement this platform or software?
I think that it’s served our purposes for what we need in terms of sending monthly newsletters to our clients and prospects, and past clients. We do a weekly newsletter to our current clients, other prospects, and such. We do some drip campaigns; we use the forms on our website to collect leads as well. It’s a pretty comprehensive and intuitive tool for us to use.
We’ll do different campaigns. If our sales team is at a trade show or a big event, and we have a number of leads from that event, we’ll develop some specialized targeted messaging for that group and we’ll hit them with certain email messages over a period of time that are probably spaced about two or three weeks apart, just to see if we could get some more interest out of our interactions with them at the show or whatever conference we were at. I generally have templates that have been built for our different campaigns, whether it’s a newsletter or one of these direct messages to a targeted group. I will develop the messaging and design it based on how we feel it will best resonate with the people we’re targeting. We also use it for our website, for people to download white papers and cheat sheets, and such. We’ve had some automated campaigns go through it from there as well.
Was your company considering other platforms? Why this platform?
I manage a career-focused networking group in town, and we have a direct weekly email that goes to those people that are part of our group. I use CoolerEmail for that, so I’m very familiar with that product as well. In the past, I’ve used Constant Contact. I’m actually talking with Constant Contact right now to potentially move from CoolerEmail to Constant Contact because Constant Contact is a little bit more basic. You don’t have as much control over designing your template that you’re using. You have to really work to stylize it. Whereas products like Act-On and Constant Contact, you can more beautifully make your emails and have more control over what it will look like at the end of the day.
Were there any software features or tools that really impressed you?
Act-On is a pretty robust product. You can track social media and who’s going through. We also use it to see who’s visiting our website on a daily basis and we’ll get a report from that. I work for a small business, and I think that it’s just a really robust product that somebody can fully use and implement. There are quite a few options, whether it’s creating an email, setting up a form on your website to collect information, using it for landing pages, creating landing pages, etc.
They’ve made some changes to it, over the past six months to a year. It has been frustrating at times because you’re used to what it used to be like, but at the end of the day, they’ve all been really positive. You can look back through history very easily to see which emails you’ve sent, how many people it went to, your opens or clicks. It’s very easy to see how campaigns are performing from one week to another or one month to another. You could set it up so certain emails are part of a particular campaign; it’s just not a one lump sum.
To be perfectly honest with you, I haven’t ever been able to create an email with just dragging, or dropping, or inserting. I always have to clean it up on the HTML level. Maybe it’s something that I’m missing, but I always manipulate the HTML a little bit for everything I do in here.
Looking back, are there any areas of the software upon which you feel could be added or improved?
I think that one of the only problems I have is when I’m copying content from a Word or a Google document into there. I understand it’s really not the product’s fault. Every once in a while, it gets really buggy with what I want my font to look like and behave. My only downfall is that sometimes in the editor my text will be one color, but my actual review and my test message will be the color I want it to be. It doesn’t always resonate the exact way I want it to be. I’m not quite sure why it does that.
RESULTS & FEEDBACK
Do you have any results that you can share that came out of your use of Act-On?
I don’t know if I can think of any specific examples, to be honest. I just think that it serves our purposes on a weekly basis. It’s easy to see what people are clicking on and who is clicking on things. For instance, we sent out a newsletter this past week and we have a hot client who has a hot prospect that received it. They clicked on multiple messages. We know that they are at least intrigued. We can see what content they’re intrigued about and hopefully cater our future messaging on a one-on-one conversation with them in that respect. Otherwise, I just think it’s a pretty easy, intuitive program.
Have you had to interact with the platform's support team or reference their support resources?
Yeah, I have a couple of times. It’s almost all been very positive. I recently had a little bit of an issue with somebody. He wasn’t very clear on what he was asking me about my problem, and it resulted in a bit of frustration on my end. After talking with my direct representative, he helped clear it up. Other than that, they have been really awesome on the support side, much better than sales, which of course I think is atrocious.
Do you have any recommendations or advice for anyone that’s currently using this tool or thinking about it?
Depending on what your objectives are, I think that it’s a great product to use. Really take the time to learn about all the options that it has to offer, because it really does have a lot of tools and features that can be used to help you with your business, sales, marketing, and so on.