ActiveCampaign Review 2019 - The Marketing Booster

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By automating your email workflow, you can unlock the true potential of your email list. It will help you turn your leads into customers. It will make your subscribers more engaged. And if you set it up right, all this will happen with a minimum amount of intervention on your part.

 

ActiveCampaign – Introduction

ActiveCampaign is not just your standard email service provider. It’s a complete email marketing automation and CRM platform. ActiveCampaign has been working towards having marketers send fewer email, while also allowing them to achieve better results. Boasting many features and integrations, as well as quick and friendly support, they do sound like a powerhouse newsletter marketing tool. One of the most important features of this Chicago-based company is its automations. Not only does it allow autoresponders, based on myriad conditions, but it also allows automation of your contacts and list management, as well as automations within its CRM system (known as ‘Deals’). This ‘Deals’ system is also worth noting, and allows you to add notes to contacts, set up appointments or simply send direct messages to them. In addition to that, they recently launched a site messages feature. Using it you can send targeted messages straight to your website visitors.

ActiveCampaign Features

Complete Automation
ActiveCampaign is hands-down the most powerful automation tool we’ve tested, allowing you to set up virtually any automation you can think of – triggered campaigns, sales follow-ups, automated segmentation, dynamic email content and so on.  

SMS Automation & Personalization

Apart from sending emails, ActiveCampaign also allows you to send SMS, personalized ‘Site Messages’ to website visitors, and even manage how Facebook ads are displayed to contacts. It’s a great solution if you’d like to be able to centralize a good chunk of your marketing. 

Inbuilt CRM

ActiveCampaign’s inbuilt CRM seamlessly links up to all your email marketing data, allowing sales teams to act quickly. Features like lead scoring and social data can also help to streamline your sales follow-up processes.

 

User-Friendly design

ActiveCampaign have a very user-friendly design, with menus being easily navigable. The dashboard, which could feel crowded if not designed correctly, has a useful ‘Getting Started’ slider to help new users. And it has demo data to give you an idea of how best to use sections. It may be a little complicated for the absolute beginner though. 
 

Why ActiveCampaign is the need of 2019?

To get your juices flowing, here are some 6 ideas for automations that you can implement using ActiveCampaign.

1. Product interest tagging

As your contacts visit specific product pages on your site, you can give them a tag. This allows you to better segment and send targeted offers.

2. Create a custom welcome sequence

Perhaps you have been implementing content upgrades on several pages of your site. Then the ideal thing to do is send a custom welcome sequence that revolves around the lead magnet your contact subscribed for.

With a service like MailChimp, you would have to create a new list for every lead magnet. In ActiveCampaign, each sequence would simply be its own automation and you can use tags to make sure a contact does not enter your welcome sequence more than once.

3. Perform periodic list cleanup

The key to email marketing is not to have the largest list. It’s to have the most responsive list. Every 60 days (or whatever number you specify), this automation can check if a subscriber has opened any emails in your sequence.

If they haven’t, it will send out a couple of emails to check their responsiveness. If a contact still does not reply, then remove them from your list.

Weeding out unresponsive subscribers is very important to ensure high deliverability of all your emails.

4. Cart abandonment automation

Let’s say you are selling a product on your site. If a contact visits your checkout page but does not buy your product within one hour, this automation can send them an email asking if they have any questions and remind them to complete their purchase. This is called a cart abandonment workflow.

5. Email retargeting

Have you noticed when you visit a particular website, that you will often start seeing ads for that website on other site’s you visit? That’s called ad retargeting.

You can do this a similar thing with emails.

Let’s say you have a blog post on your site that talks about the benefits of list building. When a contact visits this page, an automation can be triggered to send them an email promoting Leadpages and how it is the perfect solution for building an email list.

6. Rank your best and worst leads

This automation idea comes courtesy of Justin Brooke, and it takes advantage of ActiveCampaign’s lead scoring feature, which is available to Plus members.

Give 5 points to anyone who opens an email and 10 points if they click a link. Now create an automation that starts when anyone subscribes to one of your lists. After 30 days have a check to see what their lead score is and anyone with 50 or more points is tagged as a VIP.

Resend Your Campaigns

Another unique feature of ActiveCampaign is the ability to resend your campaigns.

Let’s say you have a campaign that really worked well. However in the 3 months, since you sent it out, you may have added another thousand new subscribers to your list.

Well, ActiveCampaign gives you an option to resend this campaign again, to just the new contacts that have joined since your original broadcast. Your contacts who saw your campaign already will not receive it again.

ActiveCampaign also gives you the ability to send broadcast emails to contacts who did not open your original email blast. The trick here is to resend your campaign but use a different subject line. Since they didn’t open your email in the first place, they never saw the content and you can keep it the same.

There are many legitimate reasons why someone may not have opened your email previously, and this resend option gives you the ability to extend your reach by targeting these people.

Reports

Once sending emails becomes an integral part of your business, the reports screen is where you will be spending a lot of time. It allows you to easily see what’s working and not working with your email marketing.

In the overview report and you will see a graph of your daily open rates. What I found most useful to me are the summary stats. Here you can see your open rate, click rate, unsubscribes and bounces.

Pricing

With all these features that ActiveCampaign offers, you would think that it would be in the upper tier in terms of pricing.  But at least the Lite plan is quite reasonable.

There are 4 tiers with ActiveCampaign – LitePlusProfessional, and Enterprise.

The main difference is that Pro includes CRM and Lead Scoring features. Professional adds Site MessagingAttribution and support for 50 users.

However, the Lite plan still gives you all the core email autoresponder and marketing automation features.  And for most businesses, that’s more than enough.

Just to try things out, you can get started using the Basic plan with 500 contacts for just $15/mo. And here is how things break down as your number of contacts scale up.

Subscribers1,0002.5005,00010,00025,000
ActiveCampaign (Lite)$29$49$89$139$225
ActiveCampaign (Plus)$70$125$169$249$399
Aweber$29$29$69$149Call
ConvertKit$29$49$79$119$199
MailChimp$29$50$50$75150

As you can see, this pricing structure compares very favorably to the competition.  And while I don’t see many ActiveCampaign discounts around, if you opt to pay yearly you can save quite a bit more.

And as mentioned above, ActiveCampaign does not charge you for unsubscribed contacts, and a single contact on multiple lists is only counted as a single subscriber.

ActiveCampaign Pros

  • Extremely powerful visual automation editor.
  • Ability to split test everything inside your automations.
  • Great segmenting options.
  • Trigger actions based on replies.
  • Easy to share automations & automation marketplace.
  • Handles advanced automations like live events/webinars well.
  • Lite plan is quite powerful, yet affordable.

ActiveCampaign Cons

  • Packed with features which make for a large learning curve.
  • UI can be a little confusing in places.
  • List based ESP. Need to create a list to send a broadcast email.
  • Lead scoring and new features like attributions and site messages are being added to Plus plans and above.

Conclusion

 It’s really tough to fault ActiveCampaign, not only do they offer almost everything you need within a newsletter marketing tool, but they do it very well. The reporting offers you insight into almost all facets, such as page visits, geo-tracking, openers and more. The only thing lacking in that area is the ability to track purchases on your website. Another area that is slightly lacking is the newsletter editor, not offering an experience as slick as other tools out there, with a few niggling features that could be done better (like the revision history).

The support is as advertised: friendly, helpful and fast. Email and chat support are great, with a personal feel to the communications. Their knowledge base is easily searchable and actually returns relevant results a high percentage of the time. With their ‘Plus’ plan you even get access to one-on-one training and helpful webinars, which is a nice addition.

ActiveCampaign really are one of the best choices you could make if you’re looking for an all-in-one newsletter marketing tool. Their automation is the real deal, and makes other tool’s versions of this pale in comparison. You’ll need to be prepared to put in a bit of time, and perhaps spend a little more money, but your business will reap the rewards. If, on the other hand, you’re just looking for a simple way to blast out newsletters, a solution like GetResponse or MailerLite might be a bit easier to get your head around.