Simpleview is an Act-On partner that provides digital marketing technology, services, and consultation to nearly 1,000 destination marketing and travel organizations around the world. Originally established in Tucson, Arizona in 2001, Simpleview now has eight offices in five countries spanning two continents — and has increased its staff by more than 50% within the last year alone.
Despite their exciting growth, Simpleview’s internal marketing department remains relatively small, so every team member is required to have an incredible amount of skill, expertise, and productivity in order to launch Simpleview’s ambitious campaigns. In addition, many of Simpleview’s clients use Act-On to develop and execute their marketing initiatives, so their staff must have a complete understanding of the platform to best serve their customers.
We recently sat down with Nate Casimiro, Marketing Operations Manager at Simpleview, to learn how he and his team are using Act-On for their own marketing efforts, as well as how they’re working with their clients to help them get the most out of Act-On’s marketing automation platform.
Act-On: Hey, Nate. Thanks for joining me today. Let’s jump right in! Can you tell us a bit about your role at Simpleview and what you guys are trying to achieve as a whole?
Nate Casimiro: Sure. I’m the marketing operations manager, so my role is to manage the marketing technology and the department. I’m also in charge of training and onboarding our team members — and providing them with the skillsets they need to use our tools to the best of their ability.
Our clients are destination marketing organizations. So, picture tourism boards and the cities they represent. They’re organizations that are trying to promote tourism and travel to their locations. Simpleview provides the marketing software and services they need to achieve their goals. So, in some ways, we act as both a vendor and an agency.
The main products we sell are our proprietary CRM and CMS, both of which are specific to destination marketing. Then we also have a number of other solutions that are integrated with those tools — things like a digital asset manager and a number of other tools. We also provide specific services that amplify the whole process, like SEO consultations. Basically, we sell integrated solutions for destination marketers.
AO: If I’m a destination marketing organization, why do I want to work with Simpleview?
NC: Great question! A number of reasons, really. For destination marketing, the teams are usually funded by the government and, therefore, pretty small. So, obviously, that’s where our marketing automation ties in really well because our clients wear a lot of different hats. Typically, they have smaller budgets and smaller teams to manage their campaigns, so marketing automation is pretty crucial for them.
Another major reason is that we’re able to help our clients create quick and seamless integrations with their CMS and CRM system. That’s one of the biggest reasons people work with Simpleview, specifically, and it’s something our clients absolutely need but just aren’t sure how to handle on their own.
AO: What were the primary factors that led to you and your team choosing Act-On?
NC: Well, we’re a bit unique in that we were looking for a true partnership that could supply a solution, not just for us, but for our clients as well. We needed a tool that was powerful and would help us do a lot beyond just email. One of our main concerns was creating good funnels that would usher our prospects through a compelling customer journey — and we knew that our customers would be looking for the same sort of automation.
AO: Can you speak a bit about the onboarding process with Act-On?
NC: Yeah, definitely. We onboarded and launched Act-On two years ago. I was pretty impressed by the support options you were able to provide. The knowledge base in Act-On Connect was really helpful and our account and success managers worked with us heavily to answer a lot of our more complicated questions. I remember we would meet monthly and had a 90-day plan ironed out early on. There were also a lot of training courses and other resources available with Act-On that made implementing the tool a lot easier and a lot more successful.
What Is Marketing Automation (and Why Should You Care)?
AO: That’s awesome. We love to hear that. How has Act-On influenced your digital marketing processes from a holistic standpoint?
NC: Well, I don’t know if you know this, but we actually redesigned our website around Act-On because it’s such a powerful tool that we could get even more out of it by aligning our CMS with marketing automation. For example, we used to store all of our content and images in a media library on our CMS, but Act-On’s Media Library is just so much more powerful and ties directly into other tools (like segmentation and automated programs), so we decided to house all of our media there instead.
AO: What are some other Act-On features you’re currently using?
NC: Well, our sales team uses Act-On Anywhere when they’re on the go and in the office. They also use the sales portal and Data Studio. In fact, since we’re growing so quickly, Data Studio helps us pull important behavioral insights, and then we can generate reports to see whose lead scores have increased or decreased. And then, since we’ve been creating so much more content since partnering with Act-On, we’ve started gating these assets behind forms, which we can do within the platform itself. This helps us unmask our users and teaches us what they’re interested in and where they’re at in the funnel.
We also use the Website Prospector Tool and have set up alerts so we know when a known visitor has checked out certain pages on our site. So, if someone visits our Demo page and clicks on our call-to-action but doesn’t actually fill out the form. We’ll get that alert, and it’s immediately passed to our sales team via our CRM for them to follow up.
So it’s just a really strong tool that helps us do a ton of different things.
AO: How is all of this translating into numbers for Simpleview?
NC: So, I actually just pulled a bunch of metrics from our last monthly report. Ever since we redesigned our company website to align with Act-On, we’ve seen a consistent increase in form submissions and web qualified leads for four consecutive months. Our form submissions increased by 196%, going from a total of 103 in April to 305 in July. And then, since we moved from an ESP to Act-On, we’ve achieved a 34.57% open rate and 5.80% click rate — both of those numbers are well above the industry average. Our hard bounce and unsubscribe rates are also far below the industry average.
AO: Is Simpleview using Act-On to help with any compliance issues?
NC: For sure. I almost forgot to mention that actually. Act-On has been extremely helpful, especially as we expand internationally and try to keep up with GDPR (the General Data Protection Regulation). I actually felt like Act-On kind of led the charge in GDPR compliance. You guys had resources up before anybody really seemed to be worried about it or even talking about it. And then you showed us and your other partners how to use Act-On specifically for GDPR. So something like DKIM settings or which fields to add or delete from a form. We learned a lot from your materials, and I really felt like Act-On was almost like a book on GDPR compliance just for me. Then we took what we learned and customized it for our clients. So, it’s definitely a super compliant tool that’s helped us improve our compliance across the board.
AO: It’s been great talking with you, Nick! Anything else you’d like to add?
NC: I guess just that Act-On helped us create a more targeted experience and improve the customer journey. I feel like now we really have the tools to measure exactly where our customers are in their journey and in the funnel. We use the entire suite of tools to track and monitor our progress and also support our clients and help them become comfortable with our products and services to the point where they’re ready to talk to people on our team.
And then just all the specifics we talked about. We really feel like a lot of platforms have a lot of tools, and sometimes a lot of those are just throwaway features you don’t really have any use for. I don’t feel like Act-On has those throwaway features. We use pretty much everything available in the toolset, and that really helps us create better campaigns and understand our progress — whether that’s through lead scoring or segmentation or Data Studio. It’s just really made our jobs easier and also made it easier to work with our clients.
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Or, if you’re still on the fence about marketing automation and want to know more about how this software can help you create engaging customer journeys that attract awesome leads and generate more business, please download our eBook, “What Is Marketing Automation (and why should you care?).” It’s full of useful information, including: