Swiftpage Updates Act! Cloud with Predictive Time Management Functionality
E-marketing vendor Swiftpage has released updates for Act!, its contact management software platform. The updates are centered on improving time management capabilities, including a smart calendar that tracks to-do lists and schedules email marketing campaigns at "the most effective times," according to Allen Duet, Swiftpage's chief technology officer.
Swiftpage's Act! Cloud product has been on the market since September, and though the company was initially reluctant to offer a time management solution due to concerns that customers would prefer using native applications such as iCal or Google Calendar, Swiftpage's customers sent a different message.
"Our customers wanted a feature that would help them manage their contact[s] and integrate with the Act! cloud," Duet explained. "We thought people would be more comfortable using the calendar tools that they're already used to, but our customers made it clear that they wanted this. So this is only the first of several new key features that we're building because customers come to us and tell us what they want to see next," he adds.
The tool offers basic calendar capabilities alongside a number of automated smart features. For example, when scheduling marketing activities, the calendar won't double-book tasks, and can place unfinished tasks in a to-do list automatically.
There is also some predictive functionality embedded into the time management solution, Duet explains. Though the system will be in "learning mode" for the first three months after adoption, it will eventually be able to make predictions and recommendations for customer follow-up, and will be able to schedule email marketing campaigns based on when the emails perform best in terms of customer engagement.
The recommendation engine will score customer contacts based on expressed interest and alert marketers that "this is someone worth calling because they're engaged," Duet says. "But it's not just going to drop things into the calendar. It's going to look at availability and see when it's the best time to schedule it," he adds. Eventually, the company plans to roll out a tool that recommends campaign templates as well.
Swiftpage's move is a manifestation of its "commitment to the micropreneur," Duet says. Though email marketing automation is typically associated with midsize and enterprise companies, small businesses can benefit from the technology as well. "Small companies have no time to waste. They're better off focusing on running their business. Our goal has always been to give small business customers the opportunity to do what they love to do" without getting bogged down by scheduling, he explains.
In 2015, customers can expect to see more product releases from Swiftpage. The company has at least four or five announcements slated for the first few months of the new year, according to Duet. And Swiftpage will continue to draw inspiration from customer requests. "Our customers helped us design this tool, and they're always voicing what they want," Duet says. "We've always got the needs of small businesses in mind when we're working on products," he adds.
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