Act! emarketing vs Swiftpage emarketing | Act Today CRM Consultants Act! emarketing vs Swiftpage emarketing | Act Today CRM Consultants

What’s the difference between Act! emarketing and Swiftpage emarketing?

Act! emarketing and Swiftpage emarketing are both integrated emarketing solutions that allow users to create, send and track eye-catching email campaigns from within Act!. Although each product has the same objective, they are very different in their operation. When looking at emarketing with Act!, it can be confusing to understand how these two products co-exist at Swiftpage and which one is right for your business.

Let me start by giving you a quick overview of how it all began. In 2001, Swiftpage was established as an email marketing company. Their main focus was integrating their e-marketing solution with other products, one of which was Act!. After a successful long-term partnership with Sage Software (the owners of Act!), Swiftpage made the bold decision to acquire Act! in 2013. Their vision was to deliver an innovative CRM and marketing solution to help small businesses convert leads, retain customers and grow their business.

With the release of Act! version 16.1 in 2014, Swiftpage introduced a totally new product call Act! emarketing as their fully integrated emarketing service for Act!. Act! emarketing (AEM) was designed as the replacement for their original solution, Swiftpage Connect – which then became known as Swiftpage emarketing (SPE). The new AEM has a simpler interface and a drag-and-drop editor to make it much easier to create impressive looking emails. However as SPE was their core solution for over 13 years, it still had a large contingent of loyal customers so it was necessary for them to continue with SPE.

What are the main feature differences?

Swiftpage emarketing
Act! emarketing
Daily send limit based on plan No daily send limit – limit based on number of contacts
Drip Marketing No Drip Marketing
Detailed and Custom Survey Forms Limited Survey Forms
Complicated Template Editor but has more control for specific visual requirements Simple drag-and-drop Template Editor
Collaborate and share templates with other users/accounts Can only share templates within Team
Not available on Act! for Web Web available on Act! for Web
Swiftpage Emarketing Dashboard Act! emarketing Dashboard
Send Limit/Pricing

With SPE, the plans are based on your email send capacity per day. For example, if you had 1000 contacts on your mail list, you could send to 250 contacts each day over 4 days at a cost of just $14.95USD per month. You can send emails to as many different contacts as you like as long as you do not exceed your plan’s daily limit. See SPE Pricing for more details.

With AEM, there is no daily limit, you can send as many emails as you like. Pricing is based on the number of contacts on your mail list. Every Act! user (v17+) gets the Basic Account of 200 contacts/month for free. See AEM Pricing

Drip Marketing

Drip Marketing is an additional feature of SPE that uses intelligent technology to send messages to contacts based on their interactions with previous messages and/or based on data in your database environment. These campaigns can also be synced to dynamic groups for powerful automation possibilities. The Drip Marketing feature is not yet available in AEM.

Survey Forms

The big advantage that SPE has over AEM at this point in time is its Survey Forms. SPE allows you to create detailed custom forms to capture information from your contacts. Swiftpage can host the survey form for you or you can then embed them into your website. You can even load contacts into a Drip Marketing campaign to send a series of marketing communications after completing a survey.

AEM has Lead Capture, a basic survey form feature compared to SPE. The forms are quick and easy to create as you only have a few fields to choose from (email address, Phone, First Name, Last Name, and Company).

Like SPE, you can embed the forms into your website or have them hosted as part of the service. AEM goes the extra step of automatically creating a contact from each submission through Act! Groups which saves you time and helps to keep them organised.

Template Editor

The SPE template editor is basically the same as when it was first launched albeit some interface improvements. It is a bit clunky compared to the sleek drag-and-drop editor of AEM however it does have its advantages. Both products allow users to create fantastic looking templates – from scratch or from one of the many pre-designed templates in the library – no technical HTML knowledge required. However if you use a graphic designer or are able to create HTML templates in a third party programs like Adobe Dreamweaver or InDesign, you can import these into the editor. Importing templates into AEM is so much easier than SPE as you can upload multiple images at once. You want to make sure the template is perfect though as AEM doesn’t manage re-importing as simply as SPE. Most customers I talk to do not have the capacity to create their own HTML template anyway and are therefore more than happy to use the online editor.

One of the additional features that I love about AEM is the ability to view your email in different formats such a mobile device prior to sending. They also provide you with templates specifically designed for mobile viewing so your recipients see exactly what you want them to see if viewing on their phone/tablet.

Share Templates

Another benefit of SPE is the ability to add multiple users within the one account (Pro and Team). This allows team members to share templates with other users and even to other accounts. This feature is not currently available in AEM.

Web Integration

SPE is only available using Act! for Windows where AEM can be used via both Act! for Windows and Web.

Mail Merging

SPE gives you the ability to merge Act! fields (standard and custom) into your templates and even imported templates. Additionally, you can also use merge fields to personalise the email subject line eg. “Joe, please read this email”. With AEM (v17+), you can only merge the basic fields into the template ie First Name, Last Name, E-mail, Title, Address 1, Address 2, City, State or Postcode.

What else do they offer?

In addition to the above features, both AEM and SPE both provide easy-to-analyse graphs and detailed reports so you can find out exactly what happened after your email was sent, including open rates, clicks, bounces, and opt-outs. Using this data you can measure the effectiveness of your emails and better understand your recipients. The results of your campaigns can also be recorded in Act! history so you can make sure future communications reach the right people.

Act! emarketing reports
Act! emarketing Report View

Another common feature of both AEM and SPE is the ‘Call List’. By prioritising your contacts based on their level of interaction with your emails, the Call List allows you to contact those who are most interested in your message.

So which one is right for your business?

AEM is perfect for those new to emarketing and businesses who want to manage their own emarketing internally. If you just want a simple drag-and-drop template editor to create eye-catching emails and don’t require any fancy features, you will love AEM.

If you have a multi-user team, want to create your own HTML templates, need detailed survey forms or marketing automation, SPE is the best solution for you.

Either way, emarketing is a powerful and cost effective method to keep you ‘front of mind’ with your customers and Act! certainly makes is easy for you.

With your purchase of Act!, the AEM Basic account (200 contacts) is included for free so you can get started straight away. If you want to try SPE you can sign up for a 60 Day Free Trial.

If you would like to discuss your emarketing requirements call us on 1300 362 046 and we can help you work out which solution is best for your business.

Compare Act! emarketing with competitors

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SPEAK TO AN ACT! SPECIALIST in Australia 1300 362 046

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