ActiveCampaign Review

This Active Campaign review will explain what it is, how it works and help you decide if this is a good choice for your needs.

ActiveCampaign is an integrated email marketing, automation, sales software, and CRM platform. It lets users perform powerful automation, email marketing, and customer relationship management.

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It provides a cloud-based solution to marketing and sales automation and includes features to create email marketing campaigns, web analytics, lead scoring, and customer relationship management.

The platform gives users access to detailed behavior tracking and marketing segmentation options to create the most customized campaigns for every audience.

ActiveCampaign Review: About The Company

Founded in 2003 by Jason VandeBoom, ActiveCampaign started as a consulting firm helping small businesses automate their marketing tasks and manage their contacts.

After 20 years of consulting, the company transitioned to a software as a service business in 2013. Todate, they have reportedly more than 180,000 users utilizing their software to build marketing and sales automation.

The Chicago-based automation tool helps customers send fewer emails while, at the same time, achieving better results. ActiveCampaign reported that their customers saved 38.4 million hours between July 2020 and July 2021 using its automated workflows. That certainly implies good value for money, which absolutely matters considering that this is a tool on the pricier end of the spectrum.

Boasting many features and integrations, as well as quick and friendly support, ActiveCampaign has definitely emerged as a powerhouse email marketing tool.

Let’s put all this under the microscope in this ActiveCampaign review.

ActiveCampaign Review: Pros and Cons

ActiveCampaign Pros

  • Best value email marketing software around – ActiveCampaign’s plans start at just $9 per month (billed annually) and come packed with features guaranteeing overall great value.

  • Best in-house contact database – What you get is list and subscriber management, contact profiles, task tracking, task automation, lead scoring, and interaction history, all built-in!

  • Positive word-of-mouth buzz ranks ActiveCampaign as one of users’ favorite email marketing programs.

  • Support and guidance from the team are excellent and often needed.

ActiveCampaign Cons

  • There is a learning curve – It takes time and patience to master ActiveCampaign and understand how to use integrations. It might be unsuitable if you are in a hurry to create campaigns.

  • Underwhelming template selection. The limited number of templates and their overall wow factor leave something to be desired compared to other dominant builders on the market.

  • No free plan so you can see if this is a good fit for you. A trial period of 14 days is available but it’s a bit tight to get to know the platform.

ActiveCampaign Review: Is ActiveCampaign Right For You?

ActiveCampaign is highly recommended if:

  • You are serious about marketing automation. It is incontestably one of the most powerful automation tool on the market, 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. You now have the ability to automatically send one-to-one sales emails via your own inbox.

  • You need an integrated sales and marketing platform for your business: 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.

  • You need a tool that performs multi-channel marketing. Apart from sending emails, ActiveCampaign also allows you to set up landing pages, send SMS and personalized ‘Conversations’ to website visitors, set up chatbot automations 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 and give your customers a better all-round experience.

ActiveCampaign is less recommended if:

  • You need a low-maintenance, beginner-friendly tool. ActiveCampaign is an advanced tool, and getting familiarized with it takes a lot more work than other tools - not to mention the regular maintenance you’ll need to set up, monitor and optimize email campaigns.

  • You only need simple automations. If you’re just looking to set up basic email sequences, it’s advisable to go for less complicated options that can be cheaper and easier to use. Otherwise, you’ll be paying for extras features and complexity that you have no use for.

ActiveCampaign Review: Features

Email Marketing

ActiveCampaign lets you send whichever kind of email you need for your business. It gives you ultimate control over the types of emails you send. The best part is that you don’t need to be a tech pro to create effective and engaging email campaigns in minutes.

ActiveCampaign’s drag and drop email builder makes it easy for anyone to build an email from scratch or use one of their templates. Additionally, you can create functional subscription forms, dynamic content, email segmentation, and conduct helpful split tests on your campaigns.

Management with Lists and Tags

ActiveCampaign gives you the best of both worlds when it comes to managing your contacts. You can do so with lists and tags. In other words, you can segment your contacts into separate lists (for example: “NFTs Campaign” or “Etherium Campaign”).

You can also “tag” your contacts to further segment customers in a single list (for example: “Ripe for Upsell” or “Need 2nd Contact”.

ActiveCampaign also lets you edit contacts in bulk. That means you can tag several contacts, or add them to a list, with just a few short clicks. One of the best ways to use tags is by tagging email recipients who click a link in an email you’ve sent. Fortunately, ActiveCampaign makes it exceptionally easy to set that up in the email composition UI.

You can also export your contacts. Then, you can import that list in another tool. One useful way to use an exported list is to import it as a Facebook custom audience.

Truly, the only downside of is that it can be a bit overwhelming for new users. Unfortunately, that’s pretty common among all applications that offer a certain amount of complexity or a great deal of flexibility.

Marketing Automation

ActiveCampaign has made it their focus to allow users to automate virtually anything: campaigns, deals, ecommerce automation, SMS, contact management, etc.

ActiveCampaign’s competitors offer marketing automation as part of their product, but the depth of penetration offered by ActiveCampaign appears to be unmatched at this time.

While marketing automation is included on all plans, sales automation is reserved for users on the Plus plan (from $70/mo) and higher.

One-to-one email automation is quite unique to ActiveCampaign. You’ll be able to trigger automations directly through your inbox communications with leads. The only downside is that you will need to be on the Professional plan ($187/mo) or higher.

Different Options for Split-Testing

As with everything else in digital marketing, email marketing requires split testing. Fortunately, ActiveCampaign offers you a couple of different options. The first is the more traditional A/B testing approach. It gives you the option to compare a control against a variant.

ActiveCampaign would split your list and send the control to half your contacts and the variant to the other half. After the email blast is completed, you can check your analytics to see which subject came out on top (by click-through rate).

You can split-test an entire marketing automation workflow by setting up 50% of your contacts as the control and the other 50% as the variant.

ActiveCampaign offers many more options for split-testing, including a full editor that allows you to create powerful split-testing analysis.

Sales & CRM

ActiveCampaign does much more than email marketing. It offers a sales and CRM solution as well. Because that solution is part of the same digital marketing ecosystem, it plays nicely with other features on the platform. In other words, the CRM component integrates with the email marketing component.

In addition, ActiveCampaign also handles the basics. For starters, it’s a contact management system. The tool uses a standard scrollable UI so you can browse through your list of contacts with ease. If you’re looking for specific contacts, you can use the search and filter features.

ActiveCampaign also offers lead scoring. It enables you to prioritize the contacts who are most likely to become customers in the near future.

The platform also shows you the interests, interactions, and social profiles of your contacts. That will help you get to know them a little more so you can tailor your marketing message accordingly.

Perhaps best of all, ActiveCampaign has a CRM app. You can install it on your smartphone and never be far from important contact information.

Tracking and Reporting

ActiveCampaign gives you options for tracking and reporting. It covers the basics such as email opens and link clicks. it also allows you to track replies or integrate your email campaign with Google Analytics.

Reporting has you equipped with whatever metrics you might be interested in, such as. The total opens/reads reports or the unique opens/reads ones, as well as the number of people who didn’t open the email.

The reports enable you to drill down even further into each contact. You can use it for example to design a campaign to send a follow-up email to anyone who didn’t open the first email. Reports can be extremely detailed in breaking down your automations, down to completion rates and average completion time. You’ll just need to have the patience to familiarize yourself with running them.

ActiveCampaign Review: Summary

To sum it all up, ActiveCampaign is a very complete email marketing platform with a level of quality that is in the top tier.

It covers all the essentials very well and usually better than the competition. It is an advanced tool for serious email marketing, and may have a bit of a learning curve because of it.

Email and chat support are effective and can be augmented with one-on-one assistance by purchasing the “Plus” plan if needed.

Overall, ActiveCampaign is top of the heap among digital marketing automation platforms. Consequently, it may cost a bit more because of all it can do for your business.

For those looking for a simpler email tool, it might be advisable to opt for less complex and cheaper alternatives. Nevertheless, all users can benefit from a wide range of effective nifty gadgets on hand.

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