From Web Analytics to Demand Generation
ActiveConversion first became known for its sales-focused Web Analytics, such as identifying companies that visit your website (similar to Leadlander). Therefore I initially called them a ‘niche vendor’. However, the product has evolved into a fairly complete marketing automation suite for SMB companies. So the people behind ActiveConversion gave me a demo to show they are more than a niche player.
Anonymous Visitor Identification
ActiveConversion provides reports on anonymous website visitors: they show the company name and activity. It integrates with Jigsaw to show company details like revenue, and available contacts for a specific company: contacts can be bought for $1 each directly at Jigsaw.
There are two ways to identify visitors:
- They fill out a form on your website
- They click on a link in an email that you sent them
After that, the (previously anonymous) website sessions are linked to a specific person.
Lead scoring works for both anonymous and known visitors: for anonymous visitors the triggers for increasing the lead score are somewhat limited, essentially page views and return visits. For known visitors you can also track clicks from emails you sent them. It’s fairly basic compared to some of the more expensive systems, but effective and easy to use.
ActiveConversion supports both one-time emails to a segment of the database, as well as drip emails that are triggered after a prospect registers. By default it uses VerticalResponse as the underlying email system, fully integrated in the ActiveConversion user interface. However, customers can also use any of the 10 ESPs that they have integrated with.
ActiveConversion also integrates with Salesforce.com, although using Salesforce is not a requirement. Typically, new leads are assigned to sales person before they are copied to Salesforce.com: the assignment rules are flexible. Also, when a visitors registers, ActiveConversion will check in Salesforce if that email address is already present, to avoid duplicates. So there is data exchange on demand, but not a full bidirectional synchronization like in most of the more expensive lead management systems. The visitor activity is also exported to Salesforce.com and shown in the lead record (see screen shot).
Marketing & Web Analytics
The marketing reporting features allow you to monitor performance of various marketing activities. There are several reports including reports on qualified contacts and website visits as a result of emails, pay-per-click campaigns and other online advertisements. Several reports can also be emailed on a daily or weekly basis.
Basic web analytics is also included, so many customers don’t use additional web analytics. Only customers with specific conversion tracking (e.g. e-commerce websites) typically use a dedicated web analytics product such as Google Analytics.
Based on the demo I attended, I feel that ActiveConversion is a good first B2B demand generation solution for smaller companies. It is easy to use, it has significantly more features than Leadlander (which is cheaper and narrower in scope), it is a notch up from InfusionSoft (which focuses on the smallest companies), and it is cheaper than most other Demand Generation vendors.
If you’re looking for an entry-level B2B lead management solution, check out their 30-trial. If you’ve verified that it has all the features you want, you get excellent value for money, starting at $250 per month.
Have you worked with ActiveConversion? Please leave a comment or email me with your experiences.
I’m the CEO at ActiveConversion. Thanks for the review, and the time with Paul for the demo. Most companies we are talking to (big or small) are usually making their first foray into lead management and marketing/sales optimization, and we have tried to make it as easy as possible to use and to try.
Paul may not have had time to mention we also have Google Adwords and Outlook integration. We feel that for B2B companies with less 1000 employees, we have most of the features required, in a low cost system that will grow with them.
Thanks for writing about the features of ActiveConversion. While our product is great in many aspects for B2C marketing, I have to give props to ActiveConversion for their intuitive approach to marketing to anonymous B2B prospects.
@Fred — You have an impressive product, keep it up. It’ll give us some healthy competition to strive for.
The company website will become key in lead generation as email marketing and online advertising have become too common.
Additionally these solutions should also be used for customer retention: when and how frequent should you contact your customer? When he visits again or if he hasn’t been visiting since a certain time.
There are more players in this business besides ActiveConversion and Leadlander:
Try LEADSExplorer for a change.