Founded in 2003 in Chicago, ActiveCampaign was initially conceived as an affordable tool that lets business owners stay in touch with their contacts.
Fast forward to today, and ActiveCampaign is one of the fastest-growing all-in-one sales and marketing platforms out there, used by over 90,000 small businesses all over the world. It gives users more power over their email marketing while doing less work.
But is ActiveCampaign right for you? Check out this review to know if it’s the email automation software that’s tailor-fit to your needs.
Why Should You Choose ActiveCampaign?
Powerful Email Automation
ActiveCampaign offers one of the best marketing automation functionalities out there. It sports everything you need in a newsletter marketing tool, like triggered campaigns, sales follow-ups, automated segmentation, and dynamic email content, among others.
You can also choose from a variety of email types, like classic newsletters, SMS, autoresponders, date-based emails, and RSS-triggered emails.
Here are some ways you can use ActiveCampaign’s marketing automation tools to nurture your leads and active campaigns:
You can create both short-term and long-term nurturing sequences for your leads. The short-term ones should be educational, increasing your leads’ awareness of relevant webinars, interviews, blog posts, and other resources that can develop their knowledge and position your business as an authority. You can segment your leads to make them as relevant as possible to the different leads you have in your marketing funnel.
On the other hand, the purpose of long-term sequences is to check in with leads after certain intervals. You can also trigger them through certain behaviors, like when they visit your website or abandon cart.
Although email split testing is a common feature of email marketing platforms, ActiveCampaign is one of the few that allows you to split test emails as part of an automation sequence.
Because of this, your emails have the potential to get better over time since you can set up unlimited split tests to refine your emails as you capture more data.
The software already has pre-made email “recipes” to choose from or get ideas from. You also have the option to start your automation from scratch.
Use ActiveCampaign’s conditional content feature to personalize the content in your email campaigns using if-then rules.
You can also increase your email campaign engagement by up to 20% by sending all your emails twice, but only send the second email to the segment of people who didn’t read the first one.
Sending follow-up emails to people who opened your email but didn’t click on the offer is also possible through automation. You can ask them what’s holding them back or offer something else that’s more suitable to them.
You can also collect personalized feedback by automating in-email surveys. Plus, ActiveCampaign also allows you to send SMS and personalized site messages to website visitors, so you can easily centralize your marketing efforts.
Client Onboarding and Training
You can create an automated onboarding sequence for your clients, which drip-feeds a series of videos, tutorials, and white papers that they can use to learn the software.
You can also automate employee onboarding to drip-feed information about your company to new employees.
Despite having a plethora of marketing automation features, ActiveCampaign remains easy to use once you get the hang of it. It has a user-friendly flowchart-style interface with easily navigable menus.
As a new user, you can find a “Get Started” slider on the dashboard to help you with your campaigns. It also has demo data that give you an idea of how to use each section properly.
Sales and Marketing Integration
With its built-in customer relationship management (CRM) features, ActiveCampaign seamlessly links these with all your email marketing data, streamlining your sales follow-up processes.
Here are some of ActiveCampaign’s helpful CRM features:
Systematic Sales Funnels
With ActiveCampaign, you can easily break your entire sales cycle into a series of steps, allowing you to visualize the stages your deals must go through before they’re completed.
You can also build as many deal pipelines as you like for your various audience segments. It makes it easy to view all your leads in each category and compare reports. Plus, every lead always has a task assigned so that you don’t leave any leads hanging.
If you have multiple salespeople in the team, you can assign deals to them based on value or a round-robin approach. You can even set up your own sales automation rules so that you can assign deals based on specific criteria.
Setting up your lead scoring gives you a bird’s eye view of how good a job your marketing team is doing at converting cold leads into warm leads. In other words, it can make or break your entire sales process.
You can use lead scoring to determine whether a lead is cold or warm. You can also use it to measure the health of your existing customers.
Once you’ve set up your key performance indicators for marketing and sales, lead scoring can help you quickly identify the percentage of leads you’re converting, and whether it’s increasing or decreasing.
ActiveCampaign makes it easy to monitor your results as it offers reporting on all areas like click-maps, geo-tracking, and page visits. You can even identify which days and hours your emails are getting the highest open rates.
Another unique metric that ActiveCampaign can tell you is the average time it takes for someone to reach a certain point in your automation sequence.
If you have a Shopify, BigCommerce, or WooCommerce e-store, you can also take advantage of the purchase tracking feature available on higher plans.
ActiveCampaign has proven to be one of the best tools for delivering emails, scoring a 90.2% deliverability rate in Email Tool Tester’s email deliverability test for February 2020. You don’t have to worry about landing your emails in the primary inbox of email platforms like Gmail, Yahoo!, AOL, and Outlook.
Aside from automation, ActiveCampaign can showcase capabilities such as:
Free Account Migration
If you’re already using another email marketing software but want to switch to ActiveCampaign, you can do so for free with the assistance of ActiveCampaign’s customer service team.
Spam testing is a pass-or-fail test that you get before you send out your email campaign, thus minimizing the chances of your emails landing in your recipient’s spam folder. You can also get an email client preview of your email for $1 per test per client.
Bounce Management and Blacklist
When your email bounces three times in a subscriber’s inbox, that person is automatically included in the blacklist. You can also import and export contacts to and from the blacklist.
Different Account Access Levels
You can put your users in different groups and specify which parts of ActiveCampaign a particular group can access via tick-boxes. It comes in handy, especially for agencies.
Integration with Other Platforms
It’s easy to connect this email automation software with other apps, like Shopify, PayPal, Facebook, Google Analytics, and WordPress.
Don’t know if ActiveCampaign is the platform for you? You don’t have to decide right away as it offers a 14-day free trial so that you can explore its benefits and features.
Fast and Friendly Customer Service
ActiveCampaign’s knowledge base is particularly useful and easily searchable, so you’ll have little difficulty finding relevant search results.
You also get access to ready-made video tutorials and both past and live webinars about using ActiveCampaign. If you’re on the Plus plan, you even get one-on-one training.
Contacting the customer desk for support is also a breezy experience because they provide fast, helpful, and friendly service. Both email and chat support incorporate personalized communication.
What Are the Disadvantages of ActiveCampaign?
Because ActiveCampaign is an advanced email marketing solution, it has a pretty steep learning curve. Familiarizing yourself with all its features can take a lot more work than other tools. Plus, the dashboard can feel too crowded if not designed correctly.
It also requires regular maintenance in setting up, monitoring, and optimizing campaigns.
It is not recommended for people looking for a quick and simple email solution. Absolute beginners might also find ActiveCampaign a tad too complicated.
For basic email sequences, you can choose from other more budget-friendly email automation options that are also easier to use.
Limited Form Building Capabilities
Though ActiveCampaign allows form building like any other email marketing software, its functionality is limited in lower price points. You have to upgrade your plan to Plus if you want to create different types of forms.
You also can’t remove the “Marketing by ActiveCampaign” branding at the bottom of the form. A better option is to integrate a free email capture software with ActiveCampaign.
Limited Email Templates
With only around 40 modern and responsive template designs to choose from, ActiveCampaign does not have the email template variety that its competitors have. Most of the time, you have to build your emails from scratch.
The available templates also sport average designs, but you can design your emails as it sports a variety of elements and styling options.
How Much Does ActiveCampaign Cost?
Like most email marketing automation software, ActiveCampaign prices its services based on your number of subscribers. The more subscribers you have, the higher the monthly cost.
For 500 to 10,000 subscribers, the price range if you pay annually is as follows:
- Lite – $9 to $111 per month
- Plus – $49 to $199 per month
- Professional – $129 to $279 per month
- Enterprise – $229 to $399 per month
If you’re looking for an all-in-one marketing tool, you can never go wrong with ActiveCampaign. Though you need to put in lots of time and money in the beginning, to familiarize yourself with ActiveCampaign’s ins and outs, your investment will definitely be well-spent as your business scales and reaps the rewards in the long run.