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What to expect in the Act-On marketing automation platform

The Act-On marketing automation platform provides SMBs with a number of tools to help them reach their sales and marketing goals, and enhance their customer engagement strategy.

Act-On from Act-On Software Inc. is a marketing automation platform designed to manage the contact management, lead nurturing and marketing facets of B2B and business-to-customer interactions.

The Act-On marketing automation platform is best suited for small and medium-sized businesses, providing users with tools for account and contact management, as well as enhanced tools normally found in CRM platforms for marketing, lead management and social media outreach. The platform is available as software as a service designed to work with today’s popular Web browsers. Many of its capabilities are also available in the Act-On mobile application, which can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store for Apple and Android devices, respectively.

Some of the platform's most useful features are its open APIs and integration capability. Since the Act-On marketing automation platform isn't a full-featured CRM system, it offers users the ability to build and implement third-party integration with its open API, and offers pre-established integration with some of the most popular CRM platforms on the market today, including Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce and Sugar. Act-On provides a complete list of its partner resources on its website.

The Act-On marketing automation platform provides a number of services to help users with email marketing. Users can create custom emails using a drag-and-drop composer tool, and also test and preview emails before sending to potential or existing leads. The platform also enables users to create automated email campaigns, allowing emails to be automatically sent based on real-time recipient behaviors, overall customer engagement or according to a predetermined schedule. Users can also establish trigger emails based on specific customer actions, such as online form completion or visiting an online shopping cart.

The platform also features tools to organize and maintain contact and lead databases. Act-On features the company's proprietary Instant-On database tool that allows users to import contacts and leads using Microsoft Excel or CSV files, or by syncing directly from an existing integrated CRM system. Adding a contact or lead to the Instant-On tool also creates a unique profile that tracks the activity history of that profile. This includes information on items such as messages and responses -- both sent by and received from the contact -- website visits, downloaded content and form views or submissions. Users can also create custom lists from within their database to help with segmentation and contact management.

To assist with customer engagement, the Act-On marketing automation platform provides several tools for social outreach. The Social Publish feature integrates social networks, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, in one publishing interface that allows users to post and schedule social media notifications on all three platforms at one time. The Twitter Prospector tool allows users to search for Twitter users who are tweeting about content relevant to the users' particular industry or product. The platform's email composer also includes integrated social media sharing buttons that can be dropped into emails to help promote content sharing. Act-On also lets users track the social media campaigns of their competitors and compare them against their own outreach initiatives with its Competitor Insights tool.

There are two editions available for purchase directly from Act-On and Act-On partners. In both editions, users are assigned one of three roles: Marketing Administrator, Marketing User and Sales User. Each role offers access to varying tools within Act-On. Editions in the Act-On marketing automation platform are based on an enterprise's active contacts in the system. The Professional edition -- $600 per month -- starts at 1,000 active contacts, allows access for 50 Sales Users and three Marketing Users, and provides 1,000 API calls per day. The Enterprise edition -- $2,000 per month -- starts at 10,000 active contacts, allows access for 100 Sales Users and six Marketing Users, and provides 25,000 API calls per day. Both editions are licensed annually and provide users with access to the platform's full range of features.

Basic customer support is included with both editions at no extra charge and features a personalized Customer Success Manager to help with implementation and long-term success. Additional training and support services -- and their pricing -- can be arranged by contacting Act-On.

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