Act-On: The Road from Lead to Revenue through Marketing Automation

CIO VendorRaghu Raghavan, CEO “My entrepreneurial journey started when I quit a cushy job and took a giant pay cut to join a tiny start-up with a small team of smart passionate people and zero revenue. By the time I left this company after seven years, the revenue was well over 400 million dollars,” recollects Raghu Raghavan, the product visionary and driving force behind Act-On Software, and CEO. Headquartered in Beaverton, OR and founded in 2008, Act-On offers marketing automation solution that helps clients focus on their customers, understand which marketing programs are working, and accelerate buyers through sales funnel, with far less effort and at much lower costs than most other automation solutions available in the market.

"With Act-On's simple and strightforward pricing, client know exactly what they are spending at all times"

Catering to the less catered

“While most comprehensive marketing automation solutions are not designed to meet the needs of smaller organizations or the smaller marketing teams frequently found inside big enterprises, the Act-On marketing automation platform is a powerful, integrated suite of marketing tools and resources designed specifically for the needs of smaller teams. That’s where Act-On differentiates itself from competition,” says Raghavan.

The interesting features of the marketing automation software embrace its ability to allow clients manage their programs and campaigns with little or no reliance on its IT department since it does not require any special skill or IT support to implement and execute. It offers a customizable dashboard providing all marketing tools at one’s fingertips cutting down time spent on managing ‘nuts and bolts’ of marketing. In most cases, clients will be up and running in a single day and not weeks or months like many complex systems. With Act-On’s simple and straightforward pricing, clients know exactly what they are spending at all times and they are also saved the hassle of integration with other software since Act-On plays well with others, including easy integration with the CRM and webinar management systems.

Act-On helps to build the marketing ecosystem by setting up lead nurturing, segment lists, score and distribute leads and triggering offers when someone performs a specific action.

Act-On marketing automation platform is a powerful, integrated suite of marketing tools and resources designed specifically for the needs of smaller teams

The software enables to quickly and easily set up strategic campaigns that deploy automatically based on pre-programmed rules. From simple messages to highly sophisticated campaigns, Act-On’s automated programs allow using conditional ‘if-then’ logic to trigger the next step in a campaign. Automated programs along with Act-On’s list maintenance programs help clients to clean, score, sort, and distribute leads based on their quality and behaviour. It helps to increase close rates by combining lead scoring capabilities with an automatic hand-off to sales when leads hit a score threshold indicating they are ready to buy. High quality leads can be passed directly to the CRM for sales follow-up, while marketing can focus efforts on engaging leads with lower scores. As the famous saying goes ‘Strike while the iron is hot!’ Clients can use triggering to effectively respond to specific actions and behaviour, and keep users engaged with their brand. Act-On can help automate essential marketing programs to increase performance, lower costs, and higher sales.

The Extensive Clientele

The clientele of Act-On ranges from start-ups and fastgrowing companies to well-established enterprises; from marketing teams in small and medium-sized businesses, to independent teams in large enterprise corporations. They use Act-On in many different ways to realize their marketing objectives–the one common denominator is the success they achieve. For instance, Travelink, American Express Travel is one of only 11 appointed travel agencies for the Centurion level of American Express Travel. It operates nationally with a combination of boutique business call centers, vacation travel retail locations, a travel business operations center for groups and meetings, and experienced virtual travel advisors. A major part of the competitive advantage for Travelink is its network of travel advisors located throughout the U.S. Travelink advisors build rapport and trust with clients, offering personal service and attention that sets the company apart from other agencies and online booking companies. To extend the company’s personal touch to its clients, the Travelink marketing team needed a way to personalize its email campaigns to clients and prospects, making the email communication feel like part of a conversation with a Travelink travel advisor.

The marketing team evaluated several marketing automation platforms before choosing Act-On because of its personalization capabilities, ease of use, real-time performance reporting and analytics, and robust database management.
With Act-On, Travelink was able to run weekly email campaigns. Not only has Travelink gained the ability to launch campaigns with greater frequency, it now has the tools to increase the success of its campaigns.

Marketing Automation Anytime, Anywhere

Raghavan illustrates the changing landscape of marketing while highlighting the necessity of a solution like Act-On. He believes that the need of the hour is to transform marketing from manual to modern as the world of marketing has changed drastically. “Marketing automation is a powerful engine for driving, tracking, and optimizing engagements across the entire customer lifecycle. In addition, using it to cultivate new customers and keeping existing ones is a team effort. All of these teams have a rich universe of web-based technologies that support their day-to-day efforts—everything from content management systems, to sales force automation, to social media apps.” Act-On Anywhere seamlessly integrates with all of these technologies offering the power of Act-On at fingertips anytime, anywhere. Act-On Anywhere gives client access to content, functionality, and engagement data as they browse sites or use the cloud-based applications that are part of their day-to-day workflow. With this software, one can continue using its favourite app while still using marketing automation to create and optimize content, use email more effectively, and access more marketing engagement data to make better business decisions. Clients can have quick access to images, links, and forms stored in Act-On even while working in content publishing tools like WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla. Whether publishing directly on Twitter, or using an aggregator like Hootsuite, clients are able to pull multimedia and links from the Act-On media library directly into a post or comment.

Act-On’s powerful SEO functionality extends right from the web browser to optimizing content while creating it. Clients can run SEO audits on any web page, on the fly, and get immediate access to action-oriented SEO reports. When paired with any web-based CRM, Act- On Anywhere gives immediate view of a contact’s full engagement timeline, including website visits, emails opened, webinars attended, and assets downloaded. Act-On Anywhere provides the intelligence sales needs to convert the contact into a customer. Other features include enabling clients to see everything from web page visits to email opens, and get a more complete picture of a prospect; and optimizing interactions on Gmail by using Act-On’s pre-built email templates within the mail app.

“Our platform empowers organizations to engage with buyers across the entire lead-to-revenue process. In addition, we have done it in a way that offers simplicity and ease-of-use for the marketer. We’ve built a platform that gives small and medium-sized organization the value of marketing automation – without the unnecessary complexity of big enterprise systems,” concludes Raghavan.
- Syeda Tina Tabin
    October 28, 2015