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ActiveCampaign Review & User Guide

If you are a business looking for a platform that can help customize and improve your customer experience, then ActiveCampaign can be a good pick.

Technically speaking, ActiveCampaign is a Customer Experience Automation Platform which we can also term as the CXA platform. Until now, they have served more than 100K customers all around the world — helping them reach their customers in a customizable and efficient manner.

In this article, we will be reviewing ActiveCampaign!

However, if you are short on time, then check out the table for ActiveCampaign Review.

ActiveCampaign Overview

ActiveCampaign In a NutshellA customer experience automation(CXA) platform
Founded In2003
Ideal forSmall growing businesses, medium-scale business, and enterprises
PricingStarts from $9 per month
Best value at1-1000 customers
TrialYes, 14-days trial
Onboarding processExcellent onboarding process
Key Features
  • Email marketing solution
  • Marketing automation
  • Sales automation
  • 300+ integrations
  • Landing pages creation(coming soon)
Customized customer journeyYes
Email marketingExcellent
Drag and Drop BuilderYes!
Email templatesYes!
A/B TestingYes
Marketing automationIt offers complete end-to-end automation.
Sales automationYou can automate your sales funnel with excellent sales automation features.
TemplatesYes
Languages supportedIt supports 14 languages, including English, German, Danish, and others.
SupportThey give support via live chat and email.

We also rated ActiveCampaign on important parameters. Check it out below.

Ease of use4.5/5
Onboarding4.8/5
Editor4.7/5
Deliverability4/5
Design Templates4.2/ 5
Marketing automation4.5/5
Integrations4.9/5
Final Score4.5/5

What is ActiveCampaign?

ActiveCampaign can be best described by four key terms — email, CRM, messaging, and automation. It is more than an email marketing solution as it lets you completely customize the customer experience through automation. This means we can term it as a CXA platform which enables businesses to make their customer experience as smooth and effective as possible.

As ActiveCampaign is automation-ready, you get access to hundreds of automation-related to CRM, marketing, email, and so on!

In simple terms, it lets you create an automated personalized customer journey using the available tools. With it, you can do proper customer onboarding and ensure that your marketing and email campaigns run as intended.

The integrations provided by the platform is also excellent as it gives you access to more than 300+ integrations. This also means that you do not have to leave your choice of tools and can easily integrate ActiveCampaign to work with your current platform, including Square, Shopify, Salesforce, and WordPress.

For whom ActiveCampaign is?

ActiveCampaign offers some excellent features for business. But is it ideal for every business out there? Well, No!

If you are a business who is just starting out their journey, it is wise to stick to more simple email marketing solutions. This way, you do not have to overshoot your budget.

However, once you start growing, you need to provide a personalized customer experience for maximizing the marketing effort. This is when you can choose ActiveCampaign as it gives you the necessary tools to customize the consumer journey. As your business grows, you will have additional channels, locations, teams, and customer segments. All of these can add a lot of complexity which might be too much to handle via a simple email marketing solution.

Overall, we recommend ActiveCampaign for growing businesses, medium-scale businesses, and enterprises.

Customer Experience Automation At Its Best

ActiveCampaign differentiates from its competitors by providing a CXA platform that covers every aspect of customer experience. This means you can hold your customers for a long time and ensure that you can personalize the campaigns to buyers’ preferences and choices.

At the core, it offers four key pillars for Customer Experience Automation.

  • Orchestration: This pillar ensures that you do not have to replace your existing solution and provides you the ability to integrate ActiveCampaign to multiple channels and apps. Yep, you can orchestrate across multiple apps and channels and create an excellent customer experience automation that improves your business ability to manage customers.
  • Segmentation: With segmentation, you can customize your campaign as per your requirement, even at the individual level. This gives you the ability to create solutions for customers that are unique to you!
  • Personalization: ActiveCampaign takes personalization to a whole new level with better options and approaches.
  • Automation: Lastly, you can completely automate your customer experience with the help of AI and other similar tools!

Onboarding

One of the best things that we experienced about ActiveCampaign is its onboarding process. The onboarding process is an integral aspect of any online solution. It ensures that you can get started with using the solution with as much ease as possible.

So, once we sign up and log into the account, we are greeted by a proper GettingStarted Wizard. The wizard provides 8 steps to ensure that you can explore the different functional aspects of your ActiveCampaign solution.

As you can see, it has eight steps, and each step introduces you to a distinctive feature.

Importing Your Contacts

The first step is to import your contacts to the solution. The good news is that ActiveCampaign offers an easy way to import your contacts.

You can import the contacts through .csv file or make a connection with other services. Right now, they offer to import contacts via different services that you can access easily.

Lastly, you can also choose to import your contacts manually by copy-pasting them.

Building an Automation

Next, we see the automation part. Automation is a big part of the ActiveCampaign. You can build automation either from scratch or choose to use any of the pre-existing recipes. The categories offered by the automation are diverse and differentiated enough for you to give consideration.

For instance, you can be a blogger and author and may want to use the automation provided by the tool. If you go to the Blogger/Author section of the Automation, you will see that you have some excellent automation opportunities out there.

Let’s try to build one for understanding how it works.

Once you select the automation type and select continue, you will be redirected to the Automations editor page where you will greet with the Automation Setup Wizard. If you have not used the automation tool before, it is advisable that you use the wizard. If not, you can proceed to edit and customize the recipe according to your requirement manually.

If you use the wizard, you need to enter the RSS feed. Once you enter the RSS feed, you can then choose to either add a new trigger or simply send the email. And, of course, you can choose to edit the email if you want.

Email Marketing

When it comes to email marketing, you are bound to get surprised by what it has to offer. Not only you can capture emails using the email capture form, but also create a proper email campaign that caters to your business and the end-users.

If you remember, the onboarding process also includes creating a form. With it, you can create different types of forms that can be used for various purposes in your email campaign.

Forms Creation

To better understand what they have to offer, let’s quickly go through their forms creation process. Just like other features, forms creation is also simplified with the use of a drag-and-drop builder.

Before you can use the builder, you need to select the form style, action, and its corresponding options, and finally the form name.

Once done, it will redirect you to the drag-and-drop builder where you can add or remove fields as per your requirement. It comes with a good amount of fields. Also, you can add a custom field as well.

You also get two important features during the form creation process. These two features include Trigger Automation and Integrate. With trigger automation, you can add automation to the form by adding actions! For example, you can add sending options, add conditions, workflows, contacts, and so on! You can also add multiple triggers for automation to work. So, if you have a form where you ask the visitor’s salary, then you may want to have an additional trigger for people who have a certain income.

The integrated opinion gives you the integration option to integrate your form into your platform. You can do a full embed or a simple embed.

But what about email marketing campaigns? Let’s explore.

Email marketing campaign

With ActiveCampaign, you are bound to get the best possible tools and techniques to make the best possible email marketing campaign. The key features that you get here include the ability to personalize, create segmentation for better emails and conditional content.

Creating and managing a campaign with ActiveCampaign is a breeze. To ensure that you get started with campaigns as quickly as possible, it offers you a complete wizard that walks you through the steps required to complete it.

In the first step, you need to select the campaign type, including standard, automated, autoresponders, split testing, RSS triggered, and date-based.

  • Standard: enables you to create and send a one-time email campaign
  • Automated: a completely customized email campaign where you can use conditional sequences based on email actions and conditions set by you.
  • Auto-responders: These campaign types are great for sending automated responses to users when they take an action. For example, you can create an auto-responder campaign when someone subscribers.
  • Split testing: If you are not sure about which email is working best, then the split testing campaign can be used to know which one is performing better.
  • RSS Triggered: The RSS triggered campaigns are aimed to work with new RSS updates.
  • Data based: You can also set campaigns based on data.

Once you select the campaign type and the campaign name, you are now set to move to the next step, i.e., List.

In case you select a standard campaign, you need to select the subscriber’s list. For others, there might be different steps. For instance, for automated, you will be asked to set up the automation using the editor. They offer tons of triggers to choose from, and you are free to define the triggers and the flow according to your requirement.

Next, you get the chance to design the campaign! This is a crucial step in your campaign, as this is the way for you to connect with your subscribers. Just like other email marketing solutions, ActiveCampaign offers a good collection of templates for campaign design purposes. Using templates is always recommended as it accelerates the process.

Some of the templates that you get access to include Weekly Newsletter, Product Back In Stock, New Blog Post, New Product Category, Coupon Code, and so on!

If you are not sure which one is the best fit, you can also preview the template before proceeding. Also, you can start from scratch as well, which gives you access to a completely blank canvas!

If you select a design, you will be redirected to the editor where you can choose to add blocks, change the theme, add links, and more!

Also, each element can be customized with the options associated with it, including background, marding, padding, and more!

In the last step, you go through the Campaign summary and change things if needed.

Overall, ActiveCampaign offers an excellent campaign creation process.

Customer Relationship Management(CRM)

ActiveCampaign also comes with a fully-featured CRM that lets you manage your customer’s details. The sales CRM also lets you automate tasks and help you ensure that you have a tight grip on the contact management and lead prioritization.

Reporting

ActiveCampaign has a dedicated section when it comes to reporting. You can generate reports for campaign performance, automation, goals, contact, and much more! In short, it gives access to reporting for almost everything that you would know. You can also generate e-commerce reports for different platforms such as BigCommerce, Shopify, and WooCommerce.

Sales Automation

Apart from email marketing and marketing automation, another big feature offered by ActiveCamapgin is sales automation. With it, you can set up your sales funnel to update with each sale or any other type of progress. You can also use it to create new deals automatically and covert people with automatic reach solutions.

To help automate the process further, your teammates can also be notified when a new action is taken by leads. Overall, it gives you good access to different sales automation features which you can use to make your sales funnel as smooth as possible.

Deliverability Rates

In emails, there is an important key term, Deliverability Rates. These rates are determined by the success of your email marketing. So, if you have a deliverability rate of 90%, means that 90% of the sent emails are delivered to the intended audience. It is an important parameter for services that send out emails in bulk. Any deliverability rates around 85-90% are considered good. However, the rates can vary depending on the industry you are in and your target audience.

ActiveCampaign’s delivery rates are one of the best, if not the best, out there. On average, it achieves delivery rates around 95% average. The higher deliverability rate also means that you get better email landing and a better email opening rate.

Integration

ActiveCampaign offers excellent integration options for popular solutions and software. So, if you want to connect with WordPress, you can do it with their own plugin. Other platforms have different methods that are covered by the platform itself. In total, you can integrate ActiveCampaign to 300+ apps, which include WordPress, Zapier, Facebook, Shopify, Google Analytics, ActiveWoo, and so on!

Pricing

ActiveCampaign offers four plans. Its lite plan starts with just $9 per month(when billed yearly). It gives access to unlimited sending, email marketing, subscription forms, marketing automation, email & chat support, and up to 3 users. Also, in the lite plan, you can store up to 500 contacts — which can be on the lower side.

At first glance, the pricing can seem on the higher side. That’s because it offers a complete customer experience automation. This means you get access to not only email marketing solutions, but also marketing automation, sales automation, and more!

The four plans that they have to offer include:

  • Lite: starts from $9/mo., 500 contacts, paid yearly.
  • Plus: starts from $49/mo., 500 contacts, paid yearly — access to everything from lite and access to more features such as CRM, Landing Pages, Integrations, and up to 25 users.
  • Professional: $129/mo., 500 contacts, paid yearly everything from plus and more features such as split automation, better reporting, and up to 50 users.
  • Enterprise: $229/mo., 500 contacts, paid yearly, everything from Pro and other enterprise features such as the custom domain, custom mail server domain, and unlimited users.

If you want to know how much you will be billed for your contacts, check out their pricing page.

Support

In our testing, we found support to be very active. Their live chat support replied within 1 minute of our request, and that’s fast.

Apart from the live chat, you can also connect with email support. Overall, we loved their enthusiasm to solve our problem! To learn more, you should check out their support page.

ActiveCampaign Pros and Cons

In this section, we will take a look at the pros and cons of ActiveCampaign. Just like any other service or solution, ActiveCampaign is neither perfect nor ideal for every business out there. By going through the pros and cons, you will be able to understand what it has to offer and if it is a good fit for you or not.

ActiveCampaign Pros

  • One of the biggest pros of ActiveCampaign is the on-boarding process. It simplifies how businesses can use the tools they have to offer and gives a good tour of its capabilities.
  • With ActiveCampaign, you can automate almost every aspect of your market. Infact, it would be an understatement to say that it is one of the best automation tools out there. On top of that, the automation tool is easy to use, even for someone who has never used automation before. The recipes offered by the marketing automation tool also helps you to use them efficiently.
  • The reporting aspect of the ActiveCampaign is also well done as it offers thorough reporting. You can create reports that cover different areas, including page visits, geo-tracking, click-maps.
  • ActiveCampaign also offers free migration services for new users.
  • You can also create an SMS campaign.

ActiveCampaign Cons

  • Even despite its amazing onboarding experience, the vast array of features can easily confuse the user. So, if you are someone who wants a simple email solution, this is not for you.
  • The pricing of ActiveCampaign is slightly higher compared to that of other similar service providers out there. Out of their plans, their basic plan offers the best value.

Conclusion

ActiveCampaign offers a lot at the table. It has tons of features and covers different aspects of the customer experience automation, including email marketing, sales automation, marketing automation, etc.

If you are a new business who deeply care about customers and like to use the best possible solution with tons of options — then ActiveCampaign is for you. However, there is also the risk of getting lost with the features it has to offer.

According to us, ActiveCampaign is also a good fit for growing business as they can automate their sales and marketing funnel in the best possible way.

However, we recommend trying out their 14-days trial and also chatting with them to learn if the solution is a good fit for you or not.

And why are we saying this? We discovered that they are not ideal for affiliate marketing blogs/businesses during our live chat.

Well, as you can see, they do not support affiliate links! Ouch! The good thing is that the information is shared amicably, and they were honest about it from the get-go.

So, chat with their sales team and determine how it fits your needs. Once you are sure about it, you can go forward with them.

So, what do you think about ActiveCampaign? Let us know in the comment section below.