An email campaign is a one-time message sent to the contact list to provide promotions, notify customers of product updates, and keep in touch with your contacts. Emails are easy to set up, and there are a variety of event types to choose from, including standard one-time emails, automatic replies, and date-based email events.
There are many reasons, but the main reason is that it is more than just an email marketing provider. So if you are in the market, this is my honest ActiveCampaign review.
I have tried many (like, many many!) of these platforms in my work, and ActiveCampaign is by far one of the most powerful and user-friendly platforms I have used. I will tell you all the reasons why I like this platform but don’t worry, to be fair, I will also point out some of the drawbacks that may give you a decision when choosing an email marketing platform.
What is ActiveCampaign?
Based in Chicago, Illinois, ActiveCampaign company offers software for customer automation, which includes marketing automation, email marketing, sales automation, and CRM categories.
ActiveCampaign is one of the most used email automation tools. Its performance on delivery is among the best ESP’s, just to name one, but not everyone is keen to use it.
If you have been in the online marketing industry for some time, then you will undoubtedly agree with me that email automation can provide great value for entrepreneurs and businesses.
It supports various triggers to start automation. Therefore, you will be able to use common triggers, such as adding to a list or adding tags, and more advanced triggers, such as joining a list or tag getting added, but also more advanced automation when a subscriber visits a page on your website.
It also allows you to perform multiple operations/actions. Not only can you perform standard actions like sending emails, updating tags, and custom fields, but you can also send SMS and other advanced operations.
The functions are powerful enough to benefit you and your business in so many ways. Without good features, you cannot run an effective email marketing campaign. ActiveCampaign has the features you need.
ActiveCampaign has become the email service and autoresponder of choice for most mid-sized businesses.
In this article, I will introduce all the information you need to know about ActiveCampaign, including its meaning, best features, advantages and disadvantages, prices, usage methods, etc.
Mentioned several already, here are the features that make ActiveCampaign the king of email automation tools:
- Built-in integrations with over 200 external services.
- Drag and drop email designer which is amazingly easy to use.
- Track your contacts on-site and in your apps to have a real picture of what is happening.
- Campaign, contact, as well as list reporting that, will keep you on the track.
- Track where your contacts live or travel – good feature but not used often.
- Add live eCommerce data and even videos to your emails.
- SMS marketing – One of the top features.
- Freephone, live chat, as well as email support – support is wonderful. Very helpful and friendly.
- Send newsletters – the basic feature it is built for.
- CRM & Sales automation – Set and forget feature.
- Find contacts based on age, gender, and location. It needs to be set.
- Advanced segmentation and targeting. This feature will make you open rate boost and target groups of contact you actually want.
- Automated series. This feature can be done directly on the website, but ActiveCampaign will offer you a better visual template.
- Dynamic (as well as conditional) email content. For example, it pulls the first name of your reader into your message.
- Social media monitoring as well as reaction automation. This feature includes scheduling social posts ahead of time or republishing articles.
- Free email templates. The most valued feature. Create beautiful emails with drag and drop features. That easy!
- Build custom forms for your landing pages. An easy feature where you can build a landing page in a few minutes with all the important and visual aspects of a landing page.
Ease of Use
We all want our tools to be the most intelligently created so we don’t have to spend hours learning how to use them and it’s the same with Active Campaign.
ActiveCampaign is one of the first even automation tools that had drag and drop feature which made this incredible user-friendly and easy to use email marketing builder tool, all with just a bit of clicking around in the drag-and-drop interface of the platform.
With every ActiveCampaign user, I have talked to, said they like its simplicity. Almost anyone can learn how to use it in one day. I know that many potential entrepreneurs are stuck with the idea that they don’t have enough technical skills to succeed online. Tools like ActiveCampaign show that actually anyone can do it. The entire platform is simple and straight forward, and even the most complex automation is easy to implement.
One of the more interesting features of ActiveCampaign is that it supports other services and third-party applications such as Stripe and Basecamp. This means that you can easily migrate from other email service providers or directly import CSV export files. You don’t need to be a techie to use it.
Have multiple salespeople? ActiveCampaign makes auto-assigning deals with different salespeople easy. Doesn’t it sound amazing? The easy side of marketing automation.
If you have used some an email marketing tool and switched switch to another tool, then you know how time-consuming it is to migrate everything from one service to another. All your contacts, lists, segments, tags, automation, etc. need to be carefully migrated so that your subscribers will not be affected in any way.
ActiveCampaign handles the complete migration process for free on your behalf. You will only appreciate its usefulness when using the service. Literally speaking, it saves you boring work time and ensures that everything is normal after you start using your account.
- Easy and quick to design – Help you create nice and clean looking emailswithing minutes.
- Affordable – If you don’t want to commit to paying big $ per year for a marketing automation tool, ActiveCampaign is a great option, If not the best – The pricing start at no more than $9 month
- Zapier integration – ActiveCamapgn can integrate with over 2000+ different tools via Zapier integration but you need to have paid version of Zapier in order to use these perks.
- Automation split testing – Known as A/B testing, rather than just sending one email with subject line and preview text, not you can have multiple same emails but with different subject lines and preview texts which can help you get more details about what kind of tone your subscribers like.
- Machine learning – A few years back, ActiveCampaign has built incredible and innovative ML (Machine Learning) feature that includes predictive sending, predictive content and predictive win that means it will give you probability scoring of leads that can help you automate even more your email marketing and sales process.
- Reliable email delivery – Amongst several tools that can promise you good email deliverability.
- ActiveCampaign’s customer support is amazing and always available. This is a huge plus. It’s resource center is filled with all the information to help you learn. Not only about the tool but also about email marketing in general. I personally find it very helpful so there is no need to Google around those “how to’s”.
If you plan to use ActiveCampaign for any purpose of affiliate marketing, you must consider more strategically if you decide to use it with them. They have very strict policies on excessive promotional emails that directly link to affiliate products.
Therefore, if you do any advertising and/or plan to promote WarriorPlus, JVZoo, and ClickBank types of offers, I would not use ActiveCampaign.
But when people say you can’t use ActiveCampaign for affiliate marketing, that’s not true!
ActiveCampaign is full of all features. Therefore, learning all these functions definitely requires some learning process. Fortunately, it does have a well-documented knowledge base, so if you are willing to browse the documentation, it will help you get started faster.
It has a slow interface. This is something you’ll notice the moment you start using it. The transition or the load from one part to the other makes you wait a bit longer than usual and can become a bit frustrating if you’re a new user or in the rush.
Although there are many email design templates available in the campaign builder, they’re not as varied as they should’ve been considering the wide range of industries that ActiveCampaign caters to.
They can improve this part by adding focused templates for the top 5 industries that use this tool.
Here are several more:
- You cannot immediately see open rates from the main page
- Some details are dug deeper in menus of ActiveCampaign and could be a little more obvious and easier to find.
- The Mobile version could be better formatted.
- Too many different features that can confuse first-time users.
- The editor isn’t the best looking.
What is ActiveCampaign Good For?
Personally, considering that you can use a complete automation suite (which is one of the key features of ActiveCampaign), I find the pricing structure very reasonable.
You can start using ActiveCampaign by activating the 14-day free trial that does not require any credit card information. In other words, if you don’t like it, you can walk away. It sounds fair.
Unlike many other existing CRM platforms, ActiveCampaign provides comprehensive support for the workflow management of digital and traditional sales and marketing channels. Digital channels can be easily set up through the back-end management interface, but traditional marketing channels (for example, direct mail) also have simplified workflows, easy integration and detailed reporting.
One of the features of ActiveCampaign has is a customizable email automation, which is highly flexible where you can create any kind of email automation.
Out of all the email marketing software available out there, ActiveCampaign has the most straightforward automation editor.
If you are serious about email marketing, then ActiveCampaign is your go-to tool for email automation.
What is ActiveCampaign Not Good For?
If you are in eCommerce, ActiveCampaign is not a good solution. If you sell physical products there are better options as you will have better ROI reporting.
If you don’t need automation you are better off with another automation tool. You don’t want to spend a lot of time figuring out the tool as your needs are very limited and ActiveCampaign is pretty advanced.
If you only intend to use basic automation (such as delivering a welcome sequence to new subscribers), ActiveCampaign may not be for you. When Toyota is more suitable, you will be paying for Lamborghini.
You’ll easily get lost in a number of options and settings. The company doesn’t offer 24-hour live chat. You’ll have to reach out to somebody during business hours only to get live support, but use the knowledge base to get the answers you need.
It definitely is not good for marketers who purchase lists and sends mass emails to contacts they don’t have consent from. Frequent spam reports will get your account suspended.
ActiveCampaign Review In Detail
I use ActiveCampaign every day to expand our subscriber list, promote our services, and build relationships with audiences and customers in various departments, but the most important thing is sales.
ActiveCampaign is a very powerful email marketing tool. It is full of great functions, and it is not difficult to use. They have really great built-in reports such as page visits, location tracking, openers, e-commerce, etc. If you want an all-in-one newsletter marketing tool, ActiveCampaign is indeed one of the best choices you can make. With its excellent automation capabilities, it can bring huge benefits to your business. That is if you have space and time to learn how to make the most of it.
This is a great tool for people who have a limited budget but want to implement powerful automation capabilities. Considering the price tools you can use, this is a good choice.
However, if you need a tool that can provide good automation, but is easier to use, then you should check Converkit.
If you want to send a newsletter to your audience once a week, create a mass email campaign, or send a one-time announcement to subscribers, you can use ActiveCampaign’s visual editor.
You can access the visual editor from the ActiveCampaign dashboard and create campaigns for any of your contact lists.
By implementing a few simple steps in the planning phase, ActiveCampaign can become an important asset of your business. Its main purpose is in email marketing, but as the list shows, it can do more. You can find places where potential customers are trapped, directly target people with different browsing habits, and build some very impressive campaigns without causing trouble at all.
With a drag-and-drop builder and features that allow you to save component parts for reuse in future campaigns, this system simply couldn’t be easier to use. Not to mention, you will completely avoid the tiring task of optimizing pages for mobile devices. AC will handle this automatically!
Conditional content– Conditional content means you can dynamically change the content based on each contact. Therefore, you can display completely different images or blocks of text in emails based on how your contacts are labeled or the pages they have viewed on your website.
Boom! For example, if you want to send emails about sales, you can use conditional content to display specific products that they viewed on your website. Sounds great, right?
What I like most about the drag-and-drop editor is the self-explanatory interface, which is easy to understand and can be operated with simple drag and drop elements. Even if you are using email marketing tools for the first time, you will no difficulties creating professional-looking email campaigns in ActiveCampaign from scratch.
You can choose to create a plain text email, create your own HTML email design, or choose from a variety of email design templates for different types of emails. All templates are built using responsive design and can be previewed on different devices before sending the campaign. Other standard functions such as link tracking, open tracking, etc. already exist.
You can also split test emails from the campaign design area to ensure that the most optimized email is sent to subscribers. Research shows that personalized emails sent to well-defined audience segments generate a 6 times higher increase in transaction rates, accounting for 58% of all email marketing revenue.
This is where ActiveCampaign really comes into play. The tool allows you to assign labels to contacts based on their preferences, behavior, or e-mail engagement. You can assign labels to lists, or you can create separate lists for individual audience segments.
For example, you can use tags like “probable customer” to any users who open your product offer in an email or visited a particular product page on your website.
There are other advanced conditions, such as segmenting users based on the page they visited or the checkbox used for the registration list. This feature is especially useful if you want to use content upgrades on your blog and want to provide a personalized experience for subscribers obtained from different posts.
Once you have a system for assigning tags and creating audience segments, you can launch a completely independent email campaign and automated sequence for each of them. Or you can create segments within a contact list based on different actions, contact details, location, or activities of the user.
Personalize your email marketing with advanced user tracking Personally, this is one of my favorite features in ActiveCampaign. Its automated part already provides a lot of flexibility, but by using advanced user tracking, you can take your email marketing game to the next level.
This is how it works.
You copy/paste a small code snippet to your website, which works the same way as the Facebook Pixel or Google tracking code. It basically tracks all visitors on your website and lets you target them based on their online activities. For example, if a subscriber reads a product review on your site but goes away without clicking your affiliate link you can activate a customized email sequence that pitches that same product to the subscriber.
Now, you can add different conditions based on triggering different emails. For example, the abandoned cart. If the subscriber adds an item to the shopping cart but does not complete the purchase, it will immediately send a follow-up sequence to ensure that the sale is not lost.
Research shows that 50% of subscribers who open their shopping carts and abandon their emails become customers.
If your website does not follow the order of activation, then you will lose a lot of income. For sure!
Using smart automation to keep subscribers engaged is critical. However, it is also important to keep the email list growing by adding new subscribers. Thankfully, you can use the form builder in ActiveCampaign to achieve this. Using the form builder, you can create pop-ups, slider boxes, and floating opt-in bars.
Each table is fully customizable and can be connected to different lists in your account. You can set the display rules for each form separately so that it is displayed only when needed. Forms are very convenient, especially if you want to build separate lists for different parts of the site or want to promote content upgrades through its own automated sequence. In addition, using the form builder means that you don’t need to use any other plugins or services to create a join form for creating lists which can sometimes be annoying.
It feels wonderful to have many subscribers. But you don’t want the subscribers on the list to be unresponsive, because their inaction will hurt your overall email marketing goals, so you want to avoid that.
Also, since most marketing automation tools are priced based on the number of subscribers, you don’t want to pay for inactive subscribers. You can use the “List Cleanup and Participation Management” tool to get rid of all these inactive subscribers. Using list cleaning, you can delete subscribers from other lists. Using participation management, you can delete subscribers who have not interacted (click, open) with your email before a certain date.
The advantage of ActiveCampaign, which I really appreciate, is that it will not count deleted/unsubscribed users as part of your subscriber quota. Several leading marketing automation tools can’t provide you with this common sense feature, and even if you delete it, you can’t count subscribers.
Analytics is also the main function of any marketing, and ActiveCampaign is no exception. It provides detailed statistics about subscribers’ behavior, location, engagement, and activities so that you know exactly what they are looking for.
ActiveCampaign has an inbuilt CRM, which seamlessly links up to all your email marketing data. There are features such as lead scoring and social data which can also help to streamline your sales follow-up processes.
I believe its advantages still far outweigh the disadvantages of this system. I found ActiveCampaign easy to use, easy to navigate, and definitely a gem in terms of automation and integration.
I have played MailChimp, Aweber, ConvertKit, Click Funnels, and Actionetics, SendGrid, Get Response, just to name a few. I haven’t seen any other tool like this. So I am a very, very satisfied user of ActiveCampaign.
Like other email marketing programs, ActiveCampaign also extends its features into marketing automation. The company organizes its plans depending on the number of subscribers you’re looking to reach.
The fact is that when you use the cheapest package, you can get more features with this software. Many similar softwares allow you to use only the most basic functions, so you won’t even be able to optimize your campaigns properly without upgrading to a more expensive plan. That is not the case with ActiveCampaign.
ActiveCampaign has four plans: Lite ($9/month), Plus (from $49/month), Professional (from $129/month) and Enterprise (from $229/month) depending on your email list size.
It includes unlimited email sending, email marketing, of course, sending newsletters, marketing automation options, chat, and email support that is of great help and up to 3 persons. The great side of all packages is also that there are no set up fees.
It includes everything from the Lite Plan, unlimited sending, CRM with sales automation, contact and leads scoring, deep data integrations, custom user permissions, custom domain, custom branding which is a great feature if you don’t want to have ActiveCampaign logo in your emails, you can also have one-on-one training that is very beneficial, and SMS marketing with up to25 users.
Professional (from $129/month)
It includes everything from Plus plan, unlimited sending, site messaging, attribution, predictive sending, win probability, and up to 50 users.
Enterprise (from $229/month)
It includes everything from the Professional plan, with unlimited sending, custom mail server domain, custom reporting, free design services, free social data, phone support, dedicated account rep, in-depth onboarding, uptime SLA (service-level agreement) and unlimited users.
Benefits of any plan:
The price points you decide on limits you to a number of contacts. ActiveCampaign doesn’t count unsubscribes towards your subscriber limit. Many other services do charge you for unsubscribes which can be a big downside.
There are many alternatives to ActiveCampaign and all have the same but different features, none is the same. Prices too. And that makes all email marketing automation tools special and beneficial in its own way.
Compare packages and then weigh up how it compares to alternatives
Most commonly compared to ActiveCampaign:
Sendinblue imitates the best features of ActiveCampaign but does it for a bit better price than scales nicely. They are nowadays one of the top names in marketing automation.
Twilio SendGrid Marketing Campaigns is trusted by over 80,000 customers globally, including Airbnb, Spotify, and Uber.
The vendor aims to provide users with an intuitive, clean UI that makes it clear and easy who you’re targeting. Users can also personalize campaign subject lines and content, and design custom fields to import.
It also has predictive analytics built-in for optimal send times
This tool ahs perhaps the most similar in “feel” to ActiveCampaign, offering full-scale automation and autoresponder at a generally more affordable price and is a fully functional mobile app and has real-time sales alerts.
SendX is not a very known email marketing tool as it is fairly new to the marketing software space. It has more affordable prices compared to ActiceCampaign (only $7.49/month) with no limit on email sends per month. A nice feature is a built-in heatmap tracking.
The vendor built easy to use workflows, even for non-techies and built for the bloggers in mind. It has a nice and clean interface and has a new completely free tier plan. The only disadvantage is it is bit limited for e-Commerce.
Hubspot’s analytics is actually quite good and it offers everything a marketer needs to stay focused on the task. It takes social to a new level having a great social media calendar and scheduling posts option that makes executing social media a breeze.
If you want to invest some time and effort in email marketing and need tools that can provide you with a wide range of features and flexibility, then ActiveCampaign will be your ideal choice. Overall, it wouldn’t be wrong to describe ActiveCampaign as any marketer’s dream automation tool.
I hope that this ActiveCampaign review will help you determine whether it is right for you.
If you think I missed something in this ActiveCampaign Review, please do not hesitate to leave a comment below and let us know! We would love to hear from you!