Act-On Review: Demand Generation with Webinar Integration

Webinars are a proven way to generate and nurture leads. To make webinars logistics easier, I’d love to see a proper integration between Demand Generation systems and Webinar systems such as Webex Event Center or GoToWebinar (see my comment on Ken Molay’s webinar blog). Today they are separate so you are copying information back and forth, or you have to do an expensive custom integration.

Act-On logoI’ve asked around, and today some people use the webinar system to send invitations and reminders and capture registrations, others do most of that within their demand generation system.

In the first case, you have an integrated process within the webinar system, including accurate reports on attendance. But your Demand Generation system is where you want to create a complete prospect profile, including email clicks and form submits. Also, you may want to export some campaign information (such as attendance) to This is often possible, but involves a lot of manual work.

In the second case, you capture the prospect information in the right place, but the Demand Generation system is not aware of the Webinar system. Therefore it takes more work than necessary to run your webinar campaign.

Act-On Demand Generation System

Today was the first time I saw an actual solution for this problem: Act-On is a relatively new player in the Demand Generation market. However, they come with good credentials: they’re funded by Cisco (owner of Webex), the CEO and engineering team come from Responsys (a leading marketing software vendor) and they have a seasoned executive team. Currently they have about 15 customers, from smaller companies to big names like BroadVision.

Their product is focused on small to medium size companies, so they’re not trying to compete with Eloqua or similar high-end products. Act-On Enterprise pricing starts at $500 per month (professional starts at $15 per month).

Act-On Enterprise includes most of the demand generation features that you’d expect, such as:

  • Email marketing
  • Drip email campaigns
  • Form and Landing page builder
  • Lead scoring
  • Reporting
  • Integration with

But the unique feature is their integration with Webex. Read on…

Webex Webinar Integration

Act-On has a standard integration with Webex. Most of their customers use Webex Event Center. You can manage the entire webinar process from within Act-On. Only the actual delivery takes place in Webex:

  • Promotion: Act-On
  • Registration: Act-On
  • Delivery: Webex
  • Follow-up: Act-On

Normally these are silos that are disconnected, and now they are integrated, including end-to-end analytics. You can schedule the webinar from within Act-on (no need to login to Webex), and create a registration page, email invitation, repeat invitation, reminders and follow-up.

Act-On Home Screen Act-On lead source report Act-On webinar attendance report

The Act-On home screen, lead source report, and attendance report

There are several cool features, such as the automatic inclusion of the webinar details in the email invitation. Also, you can generate dedicated registration page URLs to give to partners or to use in advertising, so you can see the source of the registrations.

Another useful feature is that it can update the Campaign status: sent, received, registered, attended. This requires the ‘Marketing’ add-on in the Salesforce Professional Edition.


This is by no means a comprehensive review of Act-On, it is based on a short demo. However, I was impressed with the breadth of functionality, the ease of use, and the unique webinar integration. So take a look at it when you’re looking for a demand generation system and you do a lot of webinars. I’ve also added them to my list of Demand Generation software vendors.

My question to you:
Is webinar integration the next required feature for Demand Generation systems?

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11 thoughts on “Act-On Review: Demand Generation with Webinar Integration

  1. Adam Blitzer

    Many marketing automation vendors (particularly at the high-end) offer some sort of integration, via an API, dual data post, etc., and a few offer more native integrations. I have not, however, seen a vendor that support all of the major platforms equally well (I could be mistaken though), though I suppose those choices probably depend on the vendor’s target market.

    Our (Pardot) client base, for example, tends to make pretty good use of GoToMeeting (and we use it ourselves), but other vendors may have most of their clients utilizing WebEx.

    It will be interesting to see what partnerships emerge in this space, particularly in terms of out-of-the-box integrations.

  2. Raghu Raghavan

    Thank you for your excellent review of our service.

    Webinars are a staple of marketing departments. Yet they have not been integral parts of traditional lead generation services.

    Our entire starting premise was that it was time to de-mystify the lead generation process and make it approachable (both in terms of ease-of-use and price) for companies of all sizes. Our service addresses the complete end-to-end need, and provides all the necessary integrations out of the box.

    Our customers are very pleased with the results, and the funding by Cisco was certainly a ringing endorsement.

  3. jepc Post author

    Hi Adam, I would also be interested to see integrations with other Webinar platform vendors. GoToWebinar is popular, but also Adobe Connect is up and coming.

  4. Fred

    Webinars are not a staple for everyone for lead gen. It may seem like it for tech cos. Also, even when used regularly for lead gen, this amounts to perhaps 6-9 campaigns per year. Certainly this does not justify a webinar only lead gen solution?

    In any case, most MA vendors (including ActiveConversion) support a form of integration into GoToMeeting and WebEx, so this may be a little too late.

  5. Jep Castelein Post author

    Fred: agree webinar support is not the most important feature of a lead management system, but if you’re doing those 6-9 webinars, it’s a great time saver. And integration with Webex and Adobe Connect is not that hard, although GotoWebinar (I’ve heard) has a more limited API.

  6. Maria Pergolino

    Lots of good stuff here. True, Gotomeeting is the trickiest API, and I believe (but could be wrong) that there is a decent fee for connecting to the API.

    Anyway, if you are using Salesforce (with or without a marketing automation system) and are thinking, hey, i’d like an integration with Webex, then send a thank you note to the awesome developers at Boomi. They have put a free app up on the appexchange to do just this:
    I’ve played with this in Marketo, and I can then trigger activities like reminders to attend a webinar event in a jiff. Thanks again Boomi!

  7. Jep Castelein Post author

    Hi Maria, thanks for that suggestion. That sounds great, the AppExchange really has some gems, and many for free. According to the reviews at the AppExchange, It looks like you need a corporate Webex account, but – if you’re interested in integration – I assume most people will have such a Webex account.

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