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The Dynamic Duo: SugarCRM + Act-On Marketing Automation Webinar

by Sarah Friedlander Garcia on September 22, 2015

14 minute read

On September 22nd, we had our Marketing Automation Bootcamp with Christian Wettre from W-Systems and Brandon Contreras from Act-On Software.  In this webinar, we spoke about the combined power of SugarCRM + Act-On Marketing Automation and their ability to give sales and marketing teams a dramatic edge over the competition.

A huge thanks to everyone who participated in this meeting! Below is the video recording from the meeting, general notes as well as the questions & answers.

Still have more questions about marketing automation or Act-On Marketing Software? Feel free to reach out to our team here, and we’ll be happy to answer!


  • CRM and Marketing Automation: When and why do you need both?
  • SugarCRM and Act-On: Background
  • Feature Set Demonstration
  • Solution Pricing
  • Q&A

Slide Deck

When do you Need Both CRM and Marketing Automation?

  • You need CRM to manage individual customer-facing processes such as sales and support
  • You need Marketing Automation to consolidate multiple digital marketing tools beyond email
  • You need both when you have separate customer sales and marketing teams
  • CRM does a great job storing extended and complex information about relationships
  • CRM has fairly simple marketing capabilities
  • Marketing Automation does a great job with providing a rich marketing toolset and analysis of campaign results
  • Marketing Automation stores fairly simple information about account and contacts relationships

Marketing Automation vs. Email Marketing

  • Email marketing is only one of many tools a marketer works with – it can be done in CRM or simple email services such as MailChimp or Constant Contact
  • Marketing automation attempts to bring all the tools a marketer needs into one combined platform to share data

Why SugarCRM and Act-On?

  • SugarCRM and Act-On have very deep integration between the Marketing Automation and CRM toolset.
  • Integration speeds the sales process
  • Integration provides a direct feedback loop to marketing from the sales team

Act-On Corporate Background

  • Founded in 2008 initially backed by Cisco and WebEx
  • Headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon
  • 2nd Fastest growing marketing automation company on the 2014 Inc. 500/5000 list
  • Frost & Sullivan Marketing 2014 Automation Company of the year
  • Top 10 Most Evaluated Marketing Automation Company (TrustRadius)

W-Systems Background

  • CRM Implementation since 1996
  • SugarCRM Elite Consulting Partner
  • Act-On Platinum Consulting Partner
  • Focus on implementation, process, development and integration
  • Marketing Automation content service: wCatapult
  • Read the W-Systems Act-On Case Study

Act-On Marketing Automation

  • Website Landing Pages
  • Lead Capture Forms
  • List Management
  • Email Broadcasting
  • Website Visitor Tracking
  • Lead Behavior Scoring
  • Website Asset Download Tracking
  • Social Media Post Tracking
  • Webinar automation (Cisco WebEx & Citrix GoToMeeting)
  • Automated Long Term Email Programs

Act-On W-Systems Lead Capture Forms

  • Quickly place many lead capture form on web pages
  • Instant post to SugarCRM
  • Auto-assign leads to sales reps or to inside sales groups

Act-On Lead Scoring

  • Track leads engagement with your digital content
  • Assign scores based on lead demographics and job titles
  • View detailed lead behavior in SugarCRM

Questions & Answers

Who chooses the score of the different events within Act-On?

You are able to choose the score of different events based on what is important to you. You can setup scores based on general events such as opening emails, clicking on links or visiting specific webpages (you are able to set the score specifically based on which page a visitor goes to).

You can also setup behavioral scores such as repeat visitors over a certain amount of time that can have an associated score because it shows sustained interest.

When you first start out with Act-On a Customer Success Manager will make sure that your Sugar integration is setup in addition to making sure scoring rules are working according to your preferences.

To learn more about Act-On’s lead scoring capabilities click here.

How long does Act-On take to integrate with Sugar?

It takes around 30 minutes to setup Act-On with Sugar. Inside of Act-On there is an integration page that points to your Sugar instance. Simply add in a username and password which will then authenticate Act-On into Sugar.  From there you are able to install a module in Sugar that has all of the dashlets and components from Act-On.

How is Act-On with Sugar different from AWeber or InfusionSoft?

There are three primary ways:

1) Service & Support – The service and support provided by Act-On is a key differentiator. Each account comes with a dedicated customer service team that becomes an extension of your marketing department.  These people can be leveraged for implementation and then ongoing training, service support and tips and tricks, which makes a huge difference.

For more insight into Act-On’s service and support reviews take a look at their ratings on both TrustRadius ( and G2Crowd (

2) Ease of Use – Customers that have used competitor products find that Act-On is significantly easier to use and understand.

3) Cost – Act-On is very unique in that it does not charge based on overall database size.  Pricing is based on the number of individuals that you would proactively market to in a 30-day time frame.  If you are marketing towards your entire database in the span of 30-days then those will be considered active contacts.  Most organizations do not market to their entire database in the span of 30-days which makes Act-On’s pricing schematic very attractive.

For instance, you can have a database within Sugar of 100,000 contacts, but if you only send out a newsletter to certain segment of 10,000 contacts your subscription within Act-On is at the 10,000 mark.  

What is the average ROI for the $660/month package?

Calculating the average ROI for Act-On’s is based on the execution of marketing and the time and resources it takes. 

If you don’t have a marketing automation platform like Act-On, most likely you will be using a collection of different tools (such as an email mail service, event management system, CRM system, web analytics and social publishing).

Without a consolidated package, you will be copying lists back and forth and missing information which will produce administrative bottlenecks taking time to correct, which result in less time designated towards marketing.  

If you have invested in a marketing employee, then you should prioritize giving that person the tools to be effective in their job.

What are the costs for Sugar?

The cost for Sugar (Professional) starts at $480 per user per year with a 10 user minimum (total cost per year is $4800). The cost for Sugar (Enterprise) starts at $780 per user per yea with a 10 user minimum (total cost per year is $7800). Check out our SugarCRM pricing systems at W-Systems. (

Would Act-On be able to use a recommendation engine to suggest what are the best tactics for an opportunity?

In examining patterns of how people are interacting with your content within Act-On you are able to build out automated paths for users to follow. As of right now this is something that you would have to manually setup but Act-On is quickly moving where this will be setup and guided for you.

While using Act-On do we still need a webinar system such as Citrix GoToWebinar?

You still need either Citrix GoToWebinar or Cisco WebEx to be able to execute a webinar. Act-On manages the registration process, invitations, follow-ups, scoring and the synchronization to CRM. Act-On makes sure that all the registrations are brought into both your marketing and CRM platform.  

Is Act-On available through SugarOutfitters?

Act-On is available through SugarOutfiitters.

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