e.Republic Does Better Marketing in Half the Time with Act-On
e.Republic is one of the largest publishing houses in the US, specializing in magazines and newsletters for government agencies and public-sector industries. They send more than five million emails a month to subscribers and advertisers. More than 30 people at the company compose and send the messages and few have a technical background. The company needed a fast, easy-to-use automation system to send emails. That’s why they chose Act-On to handle virtually all of their communication needs.
Sending and tracking millions of emails a month is impossible without some sort of marketing automation tool. e.Republic has thousands of prospects and more than 250,000 subscribers to daily newsletters, and they help organize more than 150 nation-wide events. It all adds up to a lot of email communication—sometimes more than six million messages a month.
At first, e.Republic turned to Eloqua. The system was robust, but took weeks of training to implement and was difficult for non-technical users to use. “We had a lot of training with Eloqua and we still had a lot of problems,” said Ryan Saul, e.Republic’s Operations Manager. “We had maybe five tech support calls a week with Eloqua. Our top priority was finding something that was easy to use.”
The Eloqua pricing structure also caused problems for e.Republic. “They charge based on the size of our entire database, and ours is five times the size of what we actually use,” Ryan said. “As a result we were always struggling to keep our database under a certain size.”
The e.Republic team also needed a system that would work with their main sales CRM, Salesforce. The 50-member sales team needed a way to track prospect open rates and click-throughs.
The e.Republic marketing team found Act-On and signed up to give the system a try. They immediately saw a difference in usability. “Before we could even schedule a demo for the company, people had figured out how to create and send emails on their own,” Ryan said.
Ryan built several simple emails in Act-On for others to copy and modify. He preloaded the system with samples and placeholder images and text. Before long, more than 30 people at e.Republic were using Act-On for sending messages. The newsletter team was building and sending publications, the events team was sending announcements and updates, and the marketing team was sending messages to advertising prospects. “Creating emails with Act-On is simple,” Ryan said. “In Eloqua we were spending a lot of time repositioning content blocks and fine-tuning layouts. The messages also weren’t responsive, and didn’t look good on mobile devices.”
With Act-On, Ryan was able to build easy-tomodify responsive emails that look great on any device—mobile or desktop. “The length of our content changes a lot from day to day, and with Act-On it’s not a problem,” he said. “The newsletter team can just paste the content in, and the emails look great.”
The e.Republic sales team also uses Act-On to send automated messages to prospects and track how prospects interact with those messages. The Act-On Anywhere widget provides detailed prospect data. Before any phone call, sales reps can see which articles or offers prospects have interacted with. “It gives our sales team an idea of what the prospect is interested in before the call, which helps tremendously with the sales process,” Ryan said.
With Act-On, e.Republic has eliminated the pain points they experienced with Eloqua. “It takes about half the time to create an email with Act-On as it does with Eloqua,” Ryan said. “That alone has been a tremendous help for us.”
Visual click-through reports have given the team quick and easy insight into which content resonates with readers. Now the newsletter team can see at a glance which articles are popular among certain audiences, and then change content accordingly.
Message deliverability has also increased, thanks to Act-On list cleansing. “Act-On reviewed our list for deliverability when we signed up, and they continue to monitor it,” Ryan said. “That’s not something Eloqua monitored, and it could’ve had a big negative effect on our deliverability.”
Finally, the team has saved money with Act-On. “We’re no longer paying for our entire database, just what we use,” Ryan said. “Now we don’t have to worry about the size of our database, and we can focus on other things that matter.”