Thursday, July 4, 2013

Email Marketing in Act!: Which option to choose?

We recently compared two of the leading e-marketing choices for Act! users - Swiftpage and MailChimp. Below is the summary of our analysis, you can download the full comparison document here.


If we were to evaluate Swiftpage and MailChimp based on email marketing features only then MailChimp would be the clear winner. It has an extremely intuitive user interface, flexible pricing with a generous free plan, as well as lots of well-built features and integrations. MailChimp also provide proactive, targeted education to help users improve campaign results and are continuously introducing new useful features and addons to enhance the user experience.

However, when we also consider integration to Act! most businesses will choose Swiftpage.

Swiftpage’s integration to Act! from a list & campaign management perspective is excellent. The fact that users don’t have to manage multiple contact lists, and can send emails from within Act! is a huge time saver. Integration with Smart Tasks is also a useful feature and has a positive impact on overall workflow.

Unfortunately choosing Swiftpage means that businesses will be faced with an interface that leaves you guessing where to find things, an outdated template editor and shallow features. Unless you have experience with HTML and CSS the Swiftpage template editor will be a challenge to use and you might benefit from investing in a web developer or using a 3rd party template editor such as Dreamweaver.

Overall Swiftpage is a dated platform; this is reinforced by the fact that Swiftpage is not compatible with Chrome or recent versions of Firefox.

If you have a reasonably static list and that did not use the autoresponder feature could use the MailChimp integration successfully. In doing so you would not only benefit from MailChimp’s advanced features but also benefit from improved analytics available in Act! through the integration. As the analytics are stored in a custom table in Act! they can easily be reported on using a third party addons such as Smart Dash by Xact Software.

Both e-marketing solutions discussed here will result in a compromise and at the end of the day the right e-marketing solution will depend on whether you value integration to Act! or an easy to use, fully featured e-marketing tool.

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