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After using both marketing automation tools, I realize that hands-on experience is crucial in order to really know the pros and cons of the products. Here I will share some experience in both products in terms of product features, usability, and customer support.

 

Three years ago when I did the migration from Sales Force to Dynamics CRM, I chose CoreMotives as the added-on email marketing solution. Back at that time, I did a thorough study on the main options available on the market and narrowed down the choices to be two — ClickDimensions and CoreMotives — because of their competitive feature offering at an affordable price (check the comparison table below).

Dynamics CRM Marketing Tool Comparison

Then I sent inquiries to both of them for pricing and further information. CoreMotives responded promptly and even offered me a trial version for a month, while CilckDimensions only sent a list of pricing without any follow-ups afterwards. I still remember Heikki Erola, a great sales guy from CoreMotives, who gave me a good impression of customer service. Sometimes it is not just about how comprehensive the product is, but about how well the user manages to use the existing functions because of the proactive and patient help from the tool provider. Initial customer training is the key to the sales success, because once the user overcomes the learning curve with your help, he will not abandon all the efforts he has put in learning it and easily go for a new tool, unless

  • the current solution is too frustrating to continue to use
  • there is no account manager to follow up with the customer to make sure that he gets the full value of the product
  • customer support is slow and not helpful enough
  • competitive products significantly raise up visibility with new features or compelling price

 

Unfortunately many companies spend a lot of efforts gaining new customers, but very little on keeping the existing customers. I guess sales commission is one of the causes for this situation. However, those who keep a good quality of customer service always become the leaders of the industry. I think Dynamics CRM was able to get 20% of CRM market share in 2013, catching up Sales Force because of that. Booking.com is also a great example of how great service experience leads to success.

 

I wish I did not need to reconsider another vendor, because I know the difficulty and efforts I need to put from my previous experience in moving from Sales Force to CRM. It would cost 10 000€ if I outsourced the project, but I did it all by myself anyway. Sometimes I wonder why I always make it difficult for myself, but I just believe that improvement is always worthy trying although it means that I have to take the responsibility and any risk that might occur because of the change, while nobody knows how much efforts needed behind the scene.

 

Anyway I am still happy about my choice of trying out ClickDimension three years later after using CoreMotives, even though right now I am a bit frustrated by some features offered ClickDimensions as well. Now let’s compare them in the following areas including pricing, setup, customer support, web form, web tracking, and marketing automation.

 

Pricing

Winner: ClickDimensions

ClickDimensions has a completed pricing list online while CoreMotive does not. You may negotiate with both them regarding a customized package consisting of the most suitable feature and email volume combination for you. But some features are not separable. ClickDimension is more transparent and flexible in pricing model at this moment.

 

Setup and Structure

Winner: CoreMotives

CoreMotives requires you to create a non-interactive account for their system to get into your CRM. They will do all the integration for you. It was an easy and painless process. ClickDimensions however requires your CRM login credentials in order to connect their system to your CRM. This sounds a bit risky when you have to give them your credentials. But it should be safe. However, if your CRM account is inactivated, the connection will also break. You always need to keep them updated regarding a valid account with system admin account.

All the features offered by CoreMotives is in one place under CoreMotives section in CRM and they are categorized in an orderly fashion. ClickDimensions however has a very confusing navigation system and too many sections. Even for one purpose like building a web form, you have to first create form field from one section, and then move to another section to create the form itself. If you need any changes for the field form, you have to navigate back to Field Form to make the changes. It is a bit frustrating.

 

Customer Support

Winner: ClickDimensions

ClickDimensions offers really prompt and patient customer support, and you don’t need login credentials to submit a support case. They will follow up with your case to the end, not closing the case without asking if your problem has solved. There are also tons of intuitive online training materials with clear screenshots. I usually find it easy to get my answer. Coremotives changed its online knowledge base since it was acquired by IBM, and to be honest, I like the previous website much more. Not only they require logging in now, but also the whole interface of the online resources looks boring and technical. I think developers won’t mind it, but as a marketing profession I really think they should make it more interesting than just a database. Also the quality of customer support has dropped so much. They did answer questions, but somehow gave me a feeling that they were just finishing their tasks, not really caring if I have achieved my goal or not. So many cases were somehow just hanging there  without a real closure.

 

Web Form

Winner: CoreMotives

I did not know how good the web form builder CoreMotives offers until I used ClickDimensions for the same purpose. CoreMotives puts all the elements and steps needed to build a web form in one page, which helps you build the web step by step within a really short time without the risk of forgetting anything. I am especially happy about some really handy features that they offer

  • Drop-down list to add a field without the need to open another pop-up window
  • Ready-to-choose field mapping
  • Field property settings show up on the same page once a new field is created without need to open another window
  • Ability to set a condition for each action. This feature is really useful because I can choose the marketing list I would like to add the lead to according to his interest
  • Different HTML code options for integrating the form on the website.

Contact Form_CoreMotives 001

 

Contact Form_CoreMotives 002

 

Contact Form_CoreMotives 003

Contact Form_CoreMotives 004

 

It is a bit frustrating to use ClickDimensions for creating a web form from scratch, since I need to create each form field first, including those most basic ones like lead first name, last name, etc. I don’t quite understand why they put everything so scattered. They even separate Design and Action as two different tabs, which in my opinion is totally unnecessary and may cause user to forget to add Action. Their action does not have condition option. You can create a workflow in CRM. But I think it is just too troublesome, and you also need to do some tests.

Web Form Capture is another option in ClickDimensions, which allows you to keep the original form you already created for your website. It is a better solution in terms of formatting. However, it does not offer any actions unless you create workflows in CRM, which is again a lot of work.

 

Now I am still trying to set everything up to make ClickDimensions up and running in CRM. Their guys are really patient in helping me out. But there are quite a lot issues in their system as well. I will write more comparison later.

 

Stay tuned!

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