Small businesses are looking for online marketing automation software to help concur the confusion of online marketing. Three sales representatives from HubSpot, Act-On and InfusionSoft help offer solutions for your marketing department’s online challenge.
Inbound Marketing Methodology taken from Hubspot.com. Drawing made by Charles Shomo using Google Docs.
Emily Kung a sales representative from Act-on said, “The primary goal of our company’s software is to help our clients with bulk mass emails.” There are 5 steps in Act-on’s new customer implementation plan:
1) A dedicated support representative helps setup the business branding, sub-domain and website tracking code.
2) Email campaigns are setup with easy to use template building software for lead nurturing.
3) Campaign development guidance is given by their support team for content development, email templates, stationary, and development of the lead nurturing program.
4) During the pre and post campaign results stage Act-on helps load marketing lists, create dynamic segments on profile and behavioral data. The company helps launch your business email and social campaigns while analyzing your marketing campaigns and lead sources with their software.
5) Accelerate is the final stage of the new customer implementation. During this stage Act-on helps scale your business based on campaign results and identify the most effective campaigns for future lead and revenue generating activities.
Kung says, “One advantage of Act-on over Hubspot and Infusionsoft is the company allows you to use your own email lists and can provide email lists.” Kung continues to explain, “Even though we allow you to use your own lists, we take the CAN-SPAM Act very seriously.” According to Kung the email system of Act-On has fewer problems than Hubspot and Infusionsoft. Kung said, “I’ve had many new clients convert from Infusionsoft and Hubspot because they were having problems with their email services.” Another advantage for using Act-On is there isn’t a long-term contract for their software and small businesses only need to give a 30 days notice to cancel. One of the key characteristics of Act-On is the behavior analytic tracking. You can tell how interested a person is in your product or service by a cookie that tracks what the consumer clicks on after opening the email sent from your business. Kung believes email analytics with Act-On is a secret business tool for spying on the customer’s behavior.
Hubspot and Infusionsoft are two of the biggest marketing automation software companies for small to medium businesses. Both companies offer similar email analytic software similar to Act-On. Hubspot was founded in 2006 and has 8,000 clients and 400 employees. According to previous press coverage they are close to being in pre-IPO territory. Infusionsoft was founded in 2004 and has 12,000 clients with 350 employees. Infusionsoft just received an investment from Goldman Sachs for 54 million dollars.
Here is a comparison chart provided by Act-On:
Comparison Chart provided by Act-On
Brian Moseley of Hubspot says, “If your goal is to eventually sell inbound retainers to clients; I’d ask Infusionsoft what ongoing support their sales team offers in terms of coaching and consulting. I’d be interested to hear what they say.” Moseley believes his company is number one with helping other small marketing agencies land clients utilizing Hubspot’s software with their support team. After looking at the comparison chart from Kung, Moseley said, “A lot of self-proclaimed ‘competitors’ try and sell their software by bashing others, instead of focusing on what’s important; which is your business.” Moseley failed to say if the information was correct about Hubspot on the comparison chart.
Jeremy Maher of Infusionsoft was glad to take a look at the comparison data sheet and was able to correct some of the information about his company. The following is Infusionsoft’s correct information compared with Act-on’s version:
Comparison Chart Error Infusionsoft provided by Act-On
Corrected Comparison of Infusionsoft.
After interviewing the sales representatives the conclusion is all three companies have benefits they can offer with their online marketing automation software. However, there are legal precautions both the consumer of the software and software companies need to take. According to all three companies’ sales agents, Hubspot, Act-on and Infusionsoft, said they take the CAN SPAM Act very seriously and make sure they are compliant with the law. The compliance guild for Business and the CAN-SPAM Act can be found here. The Public Law 108-187 of the 108th Congress says, “To regulate interstate commerce by imposing limitations and penalties on the transmission of unsolicited commercial electronic mail via the Internet.” If you or your company do any type of email marketing you should take the necessary steps to be in compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act and review previous court cases.