Imagine being able to run your business like a well-oiled machine, with all your marketing, sales, and customer management processes working in perfect harmony.
That would be perfect, wouldn’t it?
Well, that’s the kind of world ActiveCampaign is creating, and it’s doing it with a smile. This powerful marketing automation platform is changing the game, and it’s time you got on board.
But wait, you may be thinking, “there are already a million marketing automation platforms out there. How is ActiveCampaign different?”
Well, that’s what we’re going to explore here! So, what is ActiveCampaign? And is it worth it?
What is ActiveCampaign?
In a nutshell, ActiveCampaign is a cloud-based platform that combines email marketing, automation, and customer relationship management (CRM) to help businesses grow and succeed. It aims to streamline and simplify marketing and sales processes, improve customer relationships, increase sales and revenue, and provide data-driven decision-making.
Quite intriguing, isn’t it?
What is ActiveCampaign: A brief history
ActiveCampaign was founded in 2003 with one mission: to provide small and mid-sized businesses with a powerful and flexible solution for their marketing, sales, and customer relationship management needs.
Over the years, it has evolved into a robust platform with a wide range of features and integrations, making it a leading solution for businesses of all sizes. The sheer number of users it has (over 145,000 users to be exact) should tell you enough about the quality of service you can expect!
What is ActiveCampaign: Key features
Although ActiveCampaign is mainly an email marketing platform, it actually offers much more than that. Here are some of ActiveCampaign’s most notable features:
Email marketing features
With ActiveCampaign, you can create and send emails using one of the six campaign types the toolset features, which are:
- Standard campaigns, using which you can simply create your email and hit “send”
- Automated campaigns, which allow you to keep in touch with your customers throughout their customer journeys
- RSS-triggered campaigns, which send an email to subscribers whenever your RSS feed is updated
- A/B split testing campaigns, something we covered in detail in this article
- Date-based campaigns, which send emails on notable dates, such as birthdays, anniversaries, etc
- Autoresponder campaigns, which aren’t that different from automated campaigns
Furthermore, the platform’s drag-and-drop editor makes it easy to create and design emails, especially since you get access to over 125 email templates if you don’t want to start from scratch. It’s no Mailchimp, that’s for sure, but it can still get the job done just fine.
Automation is the backbone of successful email marketing.
What is it, you ask?
Well, automation is basically the process of setting up certain workflows so that your contacts will receive certain emails automatically (duh!) when they perform specific actions.
For example, you can create a workflow to remind users who subscribed a long time ago to make a new purchase. Here’s what that workflow would look like:
ActiveCampaign boasts a convenient drag-and-drop workflow editor that makes it easy to set your campaigns on autopilot.
Furthermore, you get access to over 250 automation templates so that you don’t have to create everything from scratch. Those templates include abandoned cart notifications, targeted follow-up emails, tagging customers interested in specific products, and much more.
Want even more good news?
You can easily share your automation workflows or import those of others using the automation interface. And considering that ActiveCampaign has a massive community, we assure you that you’ll find any template you need within minutes!
For more information on automation in email marketing, check this guide that we posted some time ago.
ActiveCampaign’s CRM features can help you manage your customer relationships and interactions more effectively. That’s because they make it easy to store, organise, and manage all your customer and prospect information (such as contact information, communication history, purchase history, and more) in one place.
Adding contacts is super easy, and it can be done manually (using a CSV file) or in an automated manner. For example, you can add people who have submitted a contact form or who have a high lead score as contacts.
What’s a lead score, you ask?
Well, lead scoring is a system by ActiveCampaign that uses data and behaviour-based criteria (set manually or automatically) to determine the quality of a lead, which is known as a lead score. This feature makes it easy for you to prioritise your leads and focus on the most promising opportunities.
For example, you can set up scoring criteria based on email opens, clicks, and form submissions. And when someone reaches a certain score, a notification is sent to one of your sales reps to reach out to the customer personally.
Moreover, ActiveCampaign makes it easy to add contacts from third-party services, such as 123ContactForm, Asana, Basecamp, Google Sheets, Google Contacts, Zapier, Zoho CRM, and more.
Besides lead scoring, ActiveCampaign’s CRM includes a plethora of useful features, such as sales management and customer segmentation.
ActiveCampaign’s sales management tools allow you to track and manage your sales deals from start to finish. Thanks to the sales pipeline view, you can see the status of all your sales and deals in one place, while its deal tracking tools allow you to keep track of all the important details and metrics.
Like any other email marketing platform, ActiveCampaign allows users to segment their customers and prospects based on specific criteria, such as demographics, behaviour, or purchase history. This makes it easier for businesses to create targeted campaigns and communicate with their customers in a more personalised way.
There’s also a handy list clean-up feature, which, as the name indicates, cleans up your contact list to remove any users who have unsubscribed, have not confirmed their subscriptions, or had emails to their accounts bounce back.
Note that these features are only available on ActiveCampaign’s CRM plans, so don’t panic if you can’t find them on your dashboard! (we’ll explain the difference between ActiveCampaigns plans and how they’re split in the pricing section).
Landing page builder
ActiveCampaign also has a landing page builder, but it’s only available to those subscribed to the Plus plan and above. The builder has over 40 templates to help you get started faster, and all of them are mobile-friendly and visually appealing (even more so than the aforementioned email templates).
ActiveCampaign’s messaging features allow you to create an omnichannel messaging experience that can take your customer support efforts to the next level.
Using the Conversations feature, you can contact prospects in real-time, directly from your website. This makes it easier for businesses to provide quick and efficient customer service and support.
With ActiveCampaign, customer outreach doesn’t end at emails, as you can also send SMS messages to your customers and prospects (you’ll have to be subscribed to the Plus plan at least to use that, though). You can use this feature for a plethora of purposes, such as appointment reminders, sales promotions, and more.
What’s an email marketing platform without e-commerce features, right?
So, what features does ActiveCampaign offer to e-commerce marketers?
Well, obviously, all of the aforementioned features can be used for e-commerce. After all, you need:
- Well-designed landing pages to sell your products or services
- CRM features to manage your customers
- Email marketing and automation features to drive sales and conversion
- Messaging features to keep in touch with your customers
But besides those, ActiveCapiagn also boasts some options that are specific to e-commerce, such as:
Abandoned cart recovery
ActiveCampaign’s abandoned cart recovery tools can help you recover lost sales by sending automated emails to customers who have left items in their shopping carts.
ActiveCampaign’s product upsells tools can help you increase sales by suggesting related or complementary products to customers. This can be done through targeted email campaigns or on-site suggestions.
What is ActiveCampaign: Pricing
ActiveCampaign’s pricing structure is a bit complicated. That’s mainly because there are two types of plans: Marketing and Sales.
Marketing plans (email and marketing automation):
- Lite, which costs £24 per month
- Plus, which costs £40 per month
- Professional, which costs £124 per month
Here are the differences between those plans in terms of features:
Sales plans (CRM and sales engagement):
- Plus, which costs £16 per month
- Professional, which costs £40 per month
Here are the differences between those plans in terms of features:
What if you want both sales and automation features?
Well, ActiveCampaign has recently rolled out some new plans called “Bundles,” which combine their Marketing Automation and Sales CRM plans. There are three options to choose from:
The Plus plan starts at around £77 and includes features such as marketing and sales automation, site tracking, landing pages, forms, Facebook Custom Audiences, and Lead Ads for up to five users and 1,000 contacts.
The Professional plan, starting at around £320, includes predictive sending, sales engagement automation, site testing, split automation, and one-to-one email for up to 10 users and 2,500 contacts.
Finally, the Enterprise plan is a custom subscription for large businesses, offering an account manager, unlimited email testing, custom reports, and a custom mail server domain for up to 15 users and 2,500 contacts. If you’re interested in this plan, you’ll need to get in touch with their support team to sign up.
Here’s a more detailed breakdown of features offered in these bundles:
What is ActiveCampaign: Pros and cons
- It’s a comprehensive platform that offers a plethora of features for email marketing, sales, and customer relationship management
- ActiveCampaign integrates with a wide range of popular tools and platforms, making it easy to connect with other systems and streamline your workflows
- It’s relatively affordable, with paid plans that are competitively priced and offer a good value for the features included
- It offers extensive segmentation options
- The basic plan is limited to 500 subscribers and 500 email sends per month, which may not be sufficient for larger businesses
- ActiveCampaign only offers email and chat support, which may not be suitable for those who prefer to speak with a representative on the phone
- The platform has a steep learning curve, especially compared to other platforms like Mailchimp
What is ActiveCampaign: Is it worth it?
Well, it depends.
If you’re a small business owner or freelancer, ActiveCampaign is definitely worth considering. As mentioned, it offers a plethora of marketing and sales features, all in one platform. This can save you time and money compared to using multiple tools to manage your marketing efforts. Besides, although it may seem complicated at first, you can quickly get used to the user-friendly interface and start using it like a pro.
However, if you’re a large enterprise with complex marketing and sales processes, you may need a more robust solution that can handle a large volume of contacts and interactions. In that case, you may want to consider enterprise-level marketing automation software, such as HubSpot, Marketo, or Pardot.
In short, whether ActiveCampaign is worth it really depends on what you’re looking for and what your specific needs are. So, why don’t you take advantage of the 14-day free trial and see if it’s the right fit for you?
How does ActiveCampaign compare to Mailchimp?
So, you’re wondering whether to choose Mailchimp or ActiveCampaign for your email marketing needs.
Well, it all boils down to what you’re looking for and which tool will best suit your needs.
Choose Mailchimp if you’re:
- Broke or have a small budget
- New to email marketing (Mailchimp is easier to use)
- Into things that are simple and straightforward
Mailchimp is perfect for small businesses on a budget and those who don’t need all the bells and whistles that come with more advanced tools.
Choose ActiveCampaign if you:
- Want automation that goes beyond just email
- Want a customisable email marketing tool
- Are all about getting detailed insights about your subscribers
ActiveCampaign is the way to go if you want to take your email marketing game to the next level. With advanced automation capabilities and in-depth subscriber insights, it’s the perfect tool for experienced marketing pros.
Need some help?
Email marketing is not for the faint of heart, especially since Internet users have a short attention span these days (8 seconds in 2022). Worry not, though, as we’re here to help. Just book a discovery call with us today, and we’ll explain how we can boost your marketing efforts with our managed email campaigns.