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Salesforce Acquires ExactTarget – Some Thoughts

I woke up this morning with my twitter feed abuzz with some exciting news – that Salesforce acquires ExactTarget, an email marketing and automation provider.

Having worked with Salesforce since 2008,  there’s always been the gap that Salesforce didn’t do email marketing.  The good side was that there were a host of options to manage it, the bad side was that reviewing the host, making a selection, and implementing was tougher than a first party email marketing approach.

Another big missing piece was lead automation & drip campaigns.  We’ve done some amazing things with workflow rules & creative criteria & time triggers but you can only take that so far before needing a more robust system.

In mid 2012, Red Argyle became an ExactTarget partner.  We always liked ExactTarget’s data model and deep integration with Salesforce.  It actually used Salesforce data instead of hosting its own external database.  In late 2012 ExactTarget acquired Pardot, a lead automation & email marketing company.  Pardot brought some nice perks and helped round out ExactTarget’s suite of offerings.

And then today (a whopping 6 months later…), Salesforce is buying the whole shebang.  So looking forward, this opens up a a few exciting avenues (Safe Harbor, Safe Harbor, etc. etc.)

  • The acquisition will help position Salesforce to compete with their rivals who also recently made email marketing acquisitions.
  • The Pardot/ExactTarget offering brings a LOT of features to the table which are a great fit into the Salesforce CRM offering.  There’s not to much overlap here, Salesforce has a space carved out within their functionality.
  • Coupling the power of ExactTarget with the magic of the Marketing Cloud, I can foresee some amazing analytics that go far beyond anything available today.  More than just email analytics, but true, 360 degree campaign management across all Social Media properties.
  • Implementing ExactTarget is about to get a whole lot easier.  With the application being first party implementing ExactTarget in the future may be as easy as checking a few boxes and you’re off to the races.
  • I don’t expect any immediate changes, enhancements will begin rolling out over the course of the next several releases.

So what do you think?  Any predictions?  Excited about this play?


  • Prediction: will buy the domain

    Pardot and ET were never really integrated last I talked to them, so maybe that will be one benefit.

    I'm anticipating what their pricing model will be like, and I think that this is a necessary evil if you're going to build the supreme marketing cloud.

  • Sean Gorman says:

    I'm not sure that this is the best thing. The thinking has always been that Salesforce was good for the 'environment' – that they were creating a biosphere. By getting into the Exactly space they are encroaching on other similar apps. I do think that Salesforce with 'something' in it to do the job is a great idea.