Emails are personalized by the recipient's company and contact information. But the tool also allows HA Advantage to personalize the "from" line, so recipients get messages from the sales representative who will eventually be contacting them, creating name recognition.
From there, Perez gets into the analytics: "It gives us not only the leading analytics: ... Was it a valid email address? ... Did you open it? ... Did you click through? If you clicked through, what did you click on? And then [the tool tracks] if there are incremental activities from there—either opening subsequent emails or downloading white papers or attending webinars. All of that is tracked within Act-On and integrated with our [Salesforce.com] engine so that our sales team has visibility into ... the behavioral activities of customers before they ever get on the phone with them.
"So think about the value," he continues. "If I know you've downloaded a whitepaper on one of our business concepts, I can certainly steer the conversation or ask you questions about that business concept, because there's a decent likelihood that you were trying to educate yourself on it."
This level of intelligence allows HA Advantage to score its leads and continue the conversation with interested consumers. That helped the company book an additional 10.9 percent in appointments during the second half of 2010. Additionally, as of March 2011, Perez says HA Advantage has seen a 13 percent increase in bookings so far this year.
What all that adds up to is HA Advantage's first sale that the company can directly attribute to the tool. With six more customers in the pipeline at an average of $5 million per deal, Perez says, "the proof is in the pudding."