Bluenose Unleashes its Marketing Prowess by Replacing Marketo with Act-On

Fast-growing businesses need marketing automation software that helps employees quickly execute on their strategy. Bluenose, a customer retention software provider, had that in mind when they purchased Marketo. But when Keri Keeling became their VP of Customer Success and Operations and began using Marketo to promote their products, she realized it fell short. When she replaced it with Act-On, she quickly found that Act-On provided greater ease of use, time to value, and customer support – all while saving her time and money.


Keri Keeling is dedicated to the success of her customers, and understands the value of delighting them. For more than a decade, she’s helped software companies reduce churn and drive retention by ensuring their users have an exceptional experience with their products.

Bluenose Logo
Industry: Technology
Customer Since: 2016
CRM: Salesforce
About Bluenose
Bluenose, a customer retention software provider, replaced Marketo with Act-On, and quickly found that Act-On provided greater ease of use, time to value, and customer support – all while saving time and money.


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That was her goal when she became the VP of Customer Success and Operations at Bluenose, a software company whose in-app NPS tool and other products help clients grow and retain loyal customers. But she was also charged with leading Bluenose’s marketing efforts, and while Bluenose produced weekly blog posts and a host of success stories, she still needed to develop programs to leverage them. The company was using Marketo at the time, and Keri was looking forward to having a marketing automation platform to help her.

“I knew I needed software that would streamline the process of building campaigns and reporting on their success. And I’m not a technical person, so it also had to be easy to learn and use.” Keri said. “The faster I could implement my marketing strategy, the more time I would have to enable the success of our customers and prospects.”

Keri began envisioning a range of engaging programs, but she found it difficult to implement them in Marketo. She struggled to adequately leverage the platform, and found herself investing more time than she had.

“I felt like I had to spend an entire day doing something I should be able to accomplish with three clicks. I might have fared better if I were an expert in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, but I’m not,” Keri said. “My brief experience with Marketo brought my needs into sharp focus, and clarified what I expected from marketing automation software. It had to be easier to use, and I wanted to know that the support I would need was available.”

That’s when she turned to Act-On.


Keri began her search for a new platform armed with a comprehensive list of requirements, including powerful capabilities, a strong reporting function, and outstanding customer support. But the two most important were usability and immediate time-to-value, and she took a no nonsense approach to making sure Act-On met them.

“Bluenose is a fast-growing company and I needed to be nimble, so my litmus test was to see how quickly I could build a landing page and deploy an email in Act-On without any prior experience or help,” Keri said. “And it worked. In less than an hour I had a branded email template and a fully functioning landing page in place. The fact that Act-On passed my test with flying colors is what sold me on the product.”

Keri particularly appreciated Act-On’s plug and play approach to developing campaigns, and she quickly identified its WSYIWIG editor as her favorite feature. “Act-On’s editor is very intuitive and flexible, and makes changing a layout as simple as clicking and dragging its elements,” she said. “I love the immediate gratification I get from seeing my content come to life right as I’m building it.”

Switching to Act-On put the power of marketing automation into Keri’s hands almost immediately. “Act-On’s time to value was very fast,” Keri said. “We had everything up and running in less than three weeks, and I sent out my first email within a month. It was like Christmas morning.”

Keri was also impressed by Act-On’s analytical power, and how easy it is to access and digest. “When I log into Act-On, I get a high level view of all the important metrics,” she said. “And if I want to drill down, I just click on that element and the information is there right there.”

Once Act-On was implemented, Keri was determined to leverage its full power. She leaned hard on Act-On’s customer support for help, and they met her high expectations. “I wanted to learn fast, and Act-On’s stellar technical support team helped me excel,” Keri said. “Every person I worked with has been incredible.”


Act-On delights Keri in the way she hopes her customers will feel about Bluenose’s software. And her trust in Act-On is exactly what she strives to build with her own customers. “Everything about Act-On is intuitive, which gives me the confidence I need to nurture our leads and engage our customers,” Keri said. “And if I have any questions, I know Act-On will answer them. They have a highly detailed knowledge base I can access, and their phone-based support is fantastic.”

Switching to Act-On also saved Keri two resources every marketer needs more of: time and money. “Building campaigns in Act-On takes half the time it did in Marketo, and that’s a conservative estimate,” Keri said. “I was also able to avoid paying for a consultant to help me. That’s money I can spend on marketing programs that will generate revenue.”

Perhaps the greatest benefit Act-On has given Keri is the freedom to focus on her true passion – gathering customers for Bluenose and transforming them into ardent fans. “The fact that I can work independently in a platform as powerful as Act-On without being technically savvy is our greatest win,” Keri said. “I get to do more of what I love while helping Bluenose grow its business and realize our shared vision.”