Act-On raises $42 million; here are some insights on the company’s success from its users

Act-On-TransparentAct-On, a Beaverton, Oregon–based provider of marketing automation software, today announced it has secured $42 million in its latest round of funding from Technology Crossover Ventures and several previous investors in the company. This round follows two successful years for Act-On (3X growth in 2012, 2.5X growth in 2013) and brings the total raised for the 6-year-old company to $74 million.

Act-On CEO Raghu Raghavan said that the company will use the investment to expand its sales and development teams, open new offices, and beef up its own marketing efforts.

Currently most of Act-On’s customers are small and midsize companies; on G2 Crowd, 83% of Act-On reviewers reported using the product at a company with 1,000 employees or fewer. For these deals, Act-On competes with a slew of fellow up-and-coming marketing technology companies. In larger deals, Act-On squares off against enterprise vendors Salesforce, Adobe, and Oracle that have built up large marketing suites through acquisitions. Raghavan explained that his company’s enterprise strategy is different: “We’re coming at the enterprise bottom-up. We tend to penetrate enterprise one division at a time.” 

Raghavan also described marketing automation as “a greenfield market with only five percent penetration,” further indication that the company is focused on growing at its own pace and carving out a niche in the market. 

Act-On on G2 Crowd

act-on on the GridAct-On started out as a High Performer on the inaugural Grid℠ for Marketing Automation in July 2013 and moved to a Leader in the Winter 2013 release. Current rankings of marketing automation products on the Grid are based on more than 800 reviews from marketing professionals.

Act-On now has more than 70 reviews and the third-highest customer satisfaction score among products on the Grid℠.

98% of Act-On reviewers said they think the product is headed in the right direction, above the average for all marketing automation products on the Grid of 86%.

Among the features rated highest by Act-On users are campaign management (84% rate of satisfaction) and lead management (90% rate of satisfaction).

Act-On users say:

“We wanted to simplify our emails templates, make it easier for marketing managers to create emails, and have better insight into what our prospects were doing after they received our emails. Act-On has allowed us to do this and so much more.” Casey Scott, Marketing Manager, Professional Publications Inc. 

“Act-On has not only served as an essential marketing tool to help us increase brand awareness and lead generation, but it has also helped the sales team prospect, prioritize and upsell better because of the system’s capabilities and the information available to them through the Salesforce integration.” Erika Schonberg Alves, Marketing Director, XCM Solutions

 

Act-On reviews offer a look at how users feel about the product. For a closer look at how Act-On ranks in the market based on these reviews, see where Act-On stands on the live Grid℠ for Marketing Automation, and compare Act-On to the other Leaders on the Grid℠.

 

Comparing the Leaders in email marketing

Last week we released updated rankings of 13 email marketing products, of which 5 earned Leader status based on high customer satisfaction scores and market presence. More than 300 users of ExactTarget, MailChimp, dotMailer, Responsys, and Constant Contact shared their experiences with these products and scored them in terms of user satisfaction such as ease of use, ROI, email marketing functionality, and more. So how do these products stack up based on what their users say?

 email marketing comparison

 

  

See the full comparison on G2 Crowd.

Newly updated rankings of email marketing tools

2014-Spring--Email-Marketing--V3In G2 Crowd’s newest crowdsourced business software rankings, the Grid℠ for Email Marketing, reviews from nearly 450 marketing professionals helped determine rankings of 13 products. The reviews include user feedback on ease of use, quality of support, integrations, and specific email marketing features, and the products’ market presence also contributed to the standings. The first Grid℠ for Email Marketing was released in November 2013; today’s release updates those rankings.

Email marketing definition

The Grid℠ for Email Marketing includes only best of breed email marketing products used to acquire new customers, increase customer engagement, or share promotional materials via email messaging. Broader marketing automation suites such as HubSpot, Pardot, and Act-On that include email marketing functionality are ranked on the Grid℠ for Marketing Automation, for which updated rankings were released in March.

Who’s who on the Grid℠

Leaders – high customer satisfaction + high market presence

ExactTarget, MailChimp, dotMailer, Oracle Responsys, Constant Contact

High Performers – high customer satisfaction + small market presence

ExpressPigeon, Launchpad, Campaign Monitor

Niche – low customer satisfaction + small market presence

Bronto, AWeber, VerticalResponse, Return Path, iContact 

Key findings

  • ExactTarget earned the highest customer satisfaction score and the highest market presence.

ExpressPigeon and Return Path users reported the highest rates of satisfaction with those products’ email marketing features.

  • Users across the category report that they fully implemented the product they use in less than one month on average.

Users also say that achieve ROI from the product they use in an average of seven months.

Movement on the Grid

Since the inaugural release of the Grid℠ for Email Marketing in November, four products — AWeber, Campaign Monitor, Launchpad, and ReturnPath — received enough user reviews to join the Grid℠. 

In the biggest jump on the Grid℠, dotMailer moved from a High Performer to a Leader thanks to a substantial increase in reviews and a 40-point improvement in its customer satisfaction score. 

 

For in-depth comparisons and to read reviews from email marketing users, check out the live Grid℠ on G2 Crowd.

Meet the Leaders in marketing automation

Last week G2 Crowd released an updated Grid for Marketing Automation, which included five Leaders – Act-On, Oracle Eloqua, HubSpot, Marketo, and Pardot. These products earned those spots thanks to their high customer satisfaction scores market presence. So how do they really stack up to each other in customer satisfaction, user adoption, ROI and more?

best marketing automation

 

 

See the full comparison on G2 Crowd.

SAP enters the marketing automation space via Adobe; is IBM next to join?

Adobe-SAPAs we have detailed in some of our past posts, marketing automation is one of the hot spaces in enterprise software. In the updated Grid℠ for Marketing Automation, 6 of the 15 products featured have been acquired or are the end result of an acquisition within the past few years. Pardot was part of Salesforce’s acquisition of ExactTarget. Eloqua is now part of Oracle. CallidusCloud acquired LeadFormix. Aprimo is now known as Teradata Integrated Marketing Management. SalesFUSION acquired smaller marketing automation vendor LoopFuse. And new developments will bring two big names into the marketing automation mix in 2014.

Noticeably absent from this arena thus far was SAP. That changed last week, as SAP and Adobe announced the formation of a strategic partnership through which the companies will resell each other’s products. The announcement, made at the Adobe Summit, focused on the ties between big data and marketing, the CIO and the CMO. SAP will sell Adobe Campaign along with its HANA platform to “enable companies to engage customers in real-time personalized experiences across marketing channels, and to analyze massive data and business processes in real time,” said Vishal Sikka, a member of SAP’s executive board. Adobe Campaign, the product resulting from Adobe’s acquisition of Neolane, joined the Adobe Marketing Cloud in July 2013.

Another major vendor that’s reportedly prepping to enter the marketing automation race is IBM. According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, the company is in talks to acquire Silverpop, an Atlanta-based marketing automation vendor. With 500 employees and a 15-year history, Silverpop has the scale that IBM is looking for. IBM has already beefed up its marketing offerings through acquisitions of Coremetrics, Unica, and SPSS.

As the acquisitions and partnerships continue, we’ll be able to track the changing vendor landscape, as well as any shifts in customer satisfaction, on the Grid℠. What do you think is next for marketing automation?