ExactTarget Review (SalesForce Marketing Cloud)

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ExactTarget logoAre you thinking about adding ExactTarget to your marketing toolbox? If so, are you sure it is the best fit for you when it comes to email, social media and mobile marketing? Read on to make sure.

ExactTarget was acquired by SalesForce in 2013 and is now part of their Salesforce Marketing Cloud suite so if your sales team uses that, this marketing tool makes a compelling companion. ExactTarget’s approach to email marketing is innovative and differs a great deal from what other providers offer. Its products are designed to help you drive customer engagement, increase sales and increase the return on marketing investment. But will it help you increase your bottom line?

Visit ExactTarget by SalesForce Marketing Cloud’s Website

Review Overview

Customer Service & Reputation
Pricing Template Selection
Social Media Marketing
Autoresponder
List Segmentation
Spam Score

3.96/5.0

ExactTarget is a cloud based email marketing service that also integrates mobile and social aspects so you can work with anything from anywhere. They are not transparent about their pricing, but customers say they are fairly reasonable.

Key Features

As part of Salesforce Marketing Cloud, ExactTarget offers the most sophisticated and technologically advanced email marketing service. While this takes away a simple, easy-to-use interface, you could gain a better ability to draw customers in and keep them engaged.

Interactive Marketing Hub

The Interactive Marketing Hub from ExactTarget provides a holistic approach to interactive marketing that combines email, social, mobile and websites in one location. The hub offers a number of features to clients which include:

  • A unified view of every customer through integration of data from a number of sources.
  • Graphical reporting and real-time tracking to visualize and take full control of all marketing campaigns.
  • Sequenced programs and automation make communication delivery across multiple channels easier than ever with simple control.

ExactTarget currently allows potential customers to preview their Interactive Marketing Hub service by requesting a demo on their site.

Ads

Exact Target uses Social.com to help manage all of your social media advertising needs. You can manage hundreds of campaigns at once to reach your audience at the right time. This helps you drive conversions and obtain more revenue. Social.com keeps track of your highest performing ads and runs them more often to make the most of your budget.

Data & Analytics

Data & Analytics helps you grow customer engagement. Find out what your customers like and use this info to build your audience and outreach. You can also save time and money by taking a deep look at your Data & Analytics to create more effective campaigns.

Email

ExactTarget’s email marketing solutions allow you to build direct relationships with your customers. You can create personalized content for each customer and keep track of your customers’ profiles with unlimited data storage. Use the drag and drop tools to create emails and then use segmented lists to target each message to specific types of customers. Track your campaign results to accomplish the goals you have set.

Marketing Automation

ExactTarget uses Journey Builder which allows you to personalize the experience for each of your customers. This interface lets you plan, personalize and optimize each interaction you have with your customer. You can even set goals to determine which content has the best return on investment. You can also choose which channel to deliver the campaign, perform split data testing to see where your campaigns perform best and make adjustments accordingly.

Mobile

ExactTarget’s MobileConnect service allows you to send text messages with promotions, updates, surveys and more. Individuals have numerous mobile devices at their hands so optimizing your mobile marketing plans is important.

Social

ExactTarget is designed to allow you to make stronger connections with your customers through social media platforms, create different posts for different social channels and then look at how each is performing through the Social Studio. Exact Target also has a mobile app that allows you to view progress across all social channels, schedule posts with Buddy Media, and create engaging content to interact with your customers.

Web

ExactTarget can help you create interactive websites that are personalized for each customers’ experience. You can also observe customers’ web behavior so that you can recommend specific products and services to best fit their needs. This service also allows you to send out emails to re-engage the customer after he’s left your site to increase the conversion potential.

Pros

Cons

  • RSS feeds can easily and quickly be integrated into email sending
  • Email attachments can be activated for ExactTarget accounts if needed
  • WYSIWYG email editor as well as an HTML email editor
  • Individually based pricing – Pricing for the ExactTarget email marketing solution is based on an individual basis which is catered to each company’s unique needs
  • Comprehensive marketing integration across email, mobile, social media, web, data and analytics make cross-platform marketing simpler
  • Live chat customer service allows for access to customer service without long phone wait times
  • Integration with third-party apps like SalesForce and Google Analytics
  • 100% secure cloud-based data
  • Online database of step-by-step tutorials, videos, webinars and more
  • A/B testing, inbox preview
  • Coupon and barcode management
  • Automation, triggered messaging, drip campaigns
  • No image hosting service
  • No listed customer service hours
  • You must have knowledge of AMPScript to use email attachments with ExactTarget
  • No immediately available pricing information
  • Difficult learning curve – you need to be pretty tech savvy to best utilize their services

Pricing

Call or complete their online email form. Unlike other email marketing service providers, ExactTarget Marketing Cloud provides no pricing information online. They offer a number of different packages beginning with their Basic plan, and each step-up plan includes all of the features of lower tiered plans. They indicate on their website that you can customize bundles based on your business needs, but it’s not clear how many specific features can be purchased a la carte.

How Do Users Rate ExactTarget?

We can tell you all about ExactTarget but in the end you want to know how real customers feel about the company. So here are some testimonials from ExactTarget customers.

Positive Reviews

My organization uses Salesforce Marketing Cloud to help provide quantifiable metrics for our marketing spend. Overall, we have found it to be a robust platform. The marketing automation it is able to perform is top-notch. It has helped us to engage integrate our “thinkers” (analysts and data-driven specialists) with our ability to engage our consumers, both B2B and B2C. If your company can afford it, I would recommend it: it is money well spent. – Patrick T., GetApp 2/9/2017

We are currently using ET’s Enterprise 2.0 and I find it to be an incredibly flexible tool that can do just about anything that we ask of it. We send 60 – 80 Million emails messages in about 160 different campaigns each month. Some senders are “Full Service” where our ET team does the build and deploy of the message – and some are distributed “Self Service” users that build their own message and then we send centrally. Both work very well. We have pushed the technology often and have found that ExactTarget is always able to do what we request. We also find that there are many ways to complete any task – this is good and bad. As we move forward some activities are done one way and some are done other ways. This flexibility is great until we try to back into what was done in the past. – Mark N., G2 Crowd 2/16/2017

Negative Reviews

I felt that Salesforce’s product has gone down since we switched to them in 2014. Customer service is not easy to get to and I definitely felt that it was over priced. I just was not happy with the quality of the product and decided to switch back to a local company. – Hyacinth R., GetApp 2/2/2017

The interface can be a little clunky/slow at times to load. There are a ton of things you can do within email studio, but many have to be enabled and setting them up can be unintuitive/and or require a support call. Documentation on the product seems to be behind and in some instances hard to follow, and utilizing the software with templates is difficult. Again it is more of a system for a technical user (not intuitive, user friend;y compared to other platforms) but it is very powerful. Reporting is improving but the “out of the box” reports are lacking. – Todd E., G2 Crowd 3/1/2017

5 Email Trends

Recent research found that personalizing emails improves open rates by 6.2%. Below is a video from ExactTarget about five email trends to help your emails’ success rate increase.

Is ExactTarget the Right Marketing Solution for You?

When choosing a comprehensive online marketing solution, there are a number of factors to take into consideration. Dig in deep to truly understand your company’s unique needs, budget and technical skill level. This will help you to determine not only whether ExactTarget is the best fit for you, but also which elements of their service are right for you. For a rundown of the industry leaders in email marketing, check out our full comparison of Email Marketing Software.

Have you used ExactTarget?

Kimberly has always enjoyed testing out the latest tech gadgets and loves seeing how things evolve. She’s a fast learner when it comes to the latest fads and likes sharing her findings with others. Although she loves technology, she also enjoys escaping the online world and likes to spend time outside away from the gadgets.

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