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ExactTarget Review (SalesForce Marketing Cloud)

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ExactTarget logo

Are 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 mid-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

Are 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 mid-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…

Review Overview

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

3.96/5.0

Summary : 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.

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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 through 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 allow you to send out emails to re-engage the customer after he’s left your site to increase the conversion potential.

Pros

Cons

  • WYSIWYG and HTML email editor
  • RSS feed can be integrated for email marketing
  • Integration with third-party apps like SalesForce and Google Analytics
  • 100% secure cloud-based data
  • Free demos of their products
  • Automation, triggered messaging, drip campaigns
  • Coupon and barcode management
  • A/B testing, inbox preview
  • Online database of step-by-step tutorials, videos, webinars and more
  • Current clients include Microsoft, Expedia and Intuit
  • Pricing information is not provided online
  • No service for image hosting
  • Difficult learning curve — you need to be pretty tech savvy to best utilize their services
  • No listed customer service hours
  • You must have knowledge of AMPScript to use email attachments

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

They give you details to weed your email list so you are white listed. Social media stats in one location. Easy to use interface. – Anonymous, Trust Radius 10/30/2015

Salesforce Marketing Cloud is an amazing tool. We have integrated it with Salesforce (CRM), which has given us the ability to automate marketing messages based on our existing customer data. Prior to Marketing Cloud we had to manually pull spreadsheets of data, analyze them, and upload them into a third party tool. Then repeat anytime the data changed. It was a very manual and time consuming process. Marketing Cloud has saved us a tremendous amount of time with its ability to automate campaigns based on live data in Salesforce. Additionally, it pushes email metrics back to Salesforce, which has been very helpful for us to see along side customer records, reports, and dashboards. It has been a real game changer for our company. – Joseph P.S., G2 Crowd 3/25/2016

Negative Reviews

It’s a little hard to use at first – things aren’t exactly easy to figure out without training or hand holding. Sometimes the formatting can be off – it looks OK on the screen but when you do a test send it doesn’t look the same. I would like to see some more layout options. – Nelissa O., Trust Radius 11/11/2015

The UI is not always intuitive, and similar task are performed differently, in different parts of the app. It’s clear that the application has grown over the years, and engineers keep adding to it, the problem is that there is not always consistency across the UI. – Santosh Y., G2 Crowd 8/10/2015

5 Email Trends

Below is a video from ExactTarget about 5 email trends to help your emails’ success rate increase.

Building a Customer Journey

Recent research has found that personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14%, and conversion rates by 10%. But is Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud leading the way in personalized, innovative digital marketing methods? It’s too early to tell, but this video gives you a glimpse of how their Journey Builder tool, an advanced and unique automation tool, offers users a very different approach to targeting and reaching your users.

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?


About Kimberly Alt
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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