ActiveCampaign Review – Which Is the Best Fit for Email…

December 27, 2020 0 By CT

As a one-stop email marketing service, ActiveCampaign starts at $9 per month and provides many services, including unlimited email and all plans, third-party integration, and various automatic responses.

This makes the interface very busy, which may seem unacceptable at first glance.

ActiveCampaign (starting at $9 a month) also offers a relatively short 14-day free trial version, and most competitors offer a trial period of at least 30 days (but at least no credit card is required).

ActiveCampaign has a large number of online support resources and a library of introductory services. You can get help through live chat, but you cannot get help over the phone.

It can be compared with Campaign Monitor in many respects, although in some respects they can beat each other.

Pricing and features

Like several other email marketing programs, ActiveCampaign also extends its functionality to marketing automation, as shown below. The company organizes plans based on the number of subscribers you want to attract.

Plans start at $9 per month and can accommodate up to 500 contacts and unlimited emails. At each subscriber level, you can upgrade to the Plus plan, which adds several features, including customer relationship management (CRM), custom domains, and custom branding.

There is also a corporate plan, which includes dedicated customer representatives, onboarding, etc. The plan climbs all the way to 100,000 contacts; if you need more, you can contact ActiveCampaign for a custom plan.

Between the two, you can choose 2,500 contacts for $29 per month, 5,000 contacts for $45 per month, and so on.

Compared with Campaign Monitor, all plans include unlimited emails, and Campaign Monitor provides both a basic plan with limited emails and a more expensive unlimited plan.

By paying annually, you can save 15% of your monthly fees; however, ActiveCampaign does not provide pay-as-you-go plans like Campaign Monitor and MailChimp.

ActiveCampaign offers a 14-day free trial, no credit card required. First, what you need are the company name and email address. Next, set a password, and select the desired service in addition to email marketing, it also provides marketing automation, CRM, and sales automation.

Then choose how many contacts you have and whether you need any help setting up an account.

At first glance, the dashboard is overwhelmed. It’s hard to know where to look first. The right column is a feed of social activities, including social sharing, unsubscribe, click-through rate, etc.

On the left is an overview of your campaign activity. Part of the confusion is that the sample information disappears when you hover over it.

This gives you an idea of ​​how the dashboard will look after it is up and running, but it will be shocking to see it when you log in for the first time.

Since ActiveCampaign also provides CRM and other features that you may not intend to use, but if you use the free trial version, they will still be displayed on the dashboard, which is also confusing.

At the top of the screen are your main options: contacts, events, lists, and other features not related to email marketing.

ActiveCampaign

Create a subscriber list

Click the Contact tab to add and manage subscribers. Here, you can import and export CSV files or import from third-party services, such as Asana (Access site of Asana), Base CRM, Zoho CRM (Access site of Zoho CRM) and so on. This is another best aspect of Campaign Monitor.

It has no third-party integration. You can also copy and paste the contacts into the form, or add them one by one. However, before adding any contacts, you must create a list, just like Campaign Monitor.

When creating a list, you need to give it a name, provide the mailing address of the company footer, company URL and comments so that subscribers know why they receive emails (this can reduce spam reports from forgetful users.) Next, You can import contacts to this list.

When using the paste option, the fields must be mapped after upload. You can also choose not to import specific fields. I try to add email, name and birthday. It can recognize emails, but not the other two, but I can easily create custom fields. You can also mark contacts for easier searching.

Set up a campaign

Set up a campaign

Click the Campaigns tab to create a press release. Give it a name and choose the type. You may send the most standard emails, but you can also choose automatic (based on the logic you create), automatic responder (based on subscriber actions), A/B testing, RSS trigger, or date-based.

Then choose the list you want to send to; you can also subdivide the list with contact details, location, pages they visited on your website, etc. The “Next” button is located in the upper right corner and does not interfere with the operation, so I keep forgetting where it is, which is a bit annoying.

After choosing who to receive the email, you can start from scratch or use one of its pre-designed templates to start designing. Starting from scratch means you can choose the layout, colors and themes.

You can also add elements by dragging and dropping onto the page, including text, images, buttons, HTML, videos, and separators. Click the element’s settings symbol to copy it, hide it on the mobile device (if you think the element will not work or look inappropriate), save it to the content library or delete it.

You can also use elements as conditions based on the contact’s data (for example, they have recently made a purchase). You can also drag an element on the page to change its position, which did not always work in my tests.

After uploading the picture to the press release, it will be saved in your media library for reuse; you can even create folders for better organization.

Finally, you can add a subject, confirm the list, and set the content you want to track in the email, such as open rate, link clicks, replies, and you can also link your account with Google Analytics.

You can then send a test or arrange a delivery. At the bottom of this screen, you can view the spam score. In my first news issue, I warned me to use a free email provider. Custom emails are usually more suitable for trust. You can also preview via email client and desktop.

When I tried to send a test through my email address and I was marked as possibly spam. ActiveCampaign supports multi-user editing, and it works like the repertoire change feature of Microsoft Word ($128.00 on Amazon).

Automatic replies can be triggered by subscribing, unsubscribing, opening emails or clicking links and events (such as birthdays and anniversaries). You have to set up an email before you can set up an autoresponder, which is a bit annoying because you don’t discover it until you finish the whole process.

That said, there are many options here, including if/then logic and the ability to create workflows with multiple actions.

Track activities and customer support

As mentioned earlier, you can choose what you want to track and add Google Analytics integration. On the Reports tab, you can view all sent campaigns, as well as open and click information.

Clicking on a campaign can take you deeper; you can see which subscribers have opened your email, link clicks, a map showing the subscriber’s location, the email client they use, and unsubscribe. When I click the email and open the link, the report can be updated quickly.

Please note that as with all email marketing services, if your email shows an image or the recipient clicks a link, you will only be able to see the view.

There are several ways to get help in ActiveCampaign. On each screen, you will see a button with a question mark with links to the knowledge base, training resources, and support live chat.

On some screens, such as when designing emails, ActiveCampaign provides a walkthrough by displaying a flashing dot (you can click for more information).

The knowledge base includes videos and articles about ActiveCampaign features. During the training, you can arrange a 30-minute phone call or a face-to-face meeting in Chicago to learn more about the service ($65 or free with a Plus or Enterprise account).

You can also register for a webinar, usually once a week. Disappointingly, there is no telephone support other than the sales team.

Simple and powerful marketing automation

ActiveCampaign ranks among the best marketing automation tools in the industry. Although not as functional as our editor selection tools Pardot (visit the website on Salesforce.com) and HubSpot (50.00 per month on HubSpot), ActiveCampaign is sufficient to help most companies accomplish basic and complex goals.

The tool provides dozens of pre-built workflows that can be customized to meet your specific needs. You will guide the workflow creation process through an intuitive step-by-step navigator.

The tool is a drag and drop operation at every stage, so you will never endlessly scroll through dozens of options in tools like Zoho Campaigns and SendinBlue.

The workflow is activated by one of 22 contact triggers (web page has been visited, it is someone’s birthday, Tom opens email, etc.).

You can add multiple triggers throughout the workflow to bring users into a backup automation system, or to bring them back to the beginning of an automation system that has not yet been automated.

automation

ActiveCampaign allows you to easily adjust your workflow without leaving the design template. For example: You can create emails directly in the workflow, instead of jumping back and forth between automation and email activity dashboards.

This sounds basic, but we found that half of the tools we tested lacked functionality afterwards. ActiveCampaign is also one of the few automated tools that allows you to integrate short message service (SMS) into your workflow.

The “Split Action” feature of the tool allows you to A/B test everything: email, waiting time, SMS or email, or any type of custom action you create in the tool.

By splitting, you can also distinguish the types of offers people received based on when they entered the workflow. This is a great way to reward early birds in time-sensitive promotions.

ActiveCampaign’s “targeting” feature allows you to bypass certain stages of automation when your contacts perform the actions you want them to perform.

So, for example, if someone makes a purchase in the first phase of an incubation campaign, you can incorporate the “target” tag to skip the contact to the upsell or resale phase of the workflow.

Achieving goals is one of the start triggers provided by ActiveCampaign, so if someone completes the workflow when they complete the goal, they can be automatically added to the new workflow.

You can also add final automation rules to pull someone out of the workflow.

In the Pro plan and higher, the tool can also be locally integrated with ActiveCampaign’s CRM software. Once they have signed the transaction, they can automate the sales channel by adding it to the CRM roster.

You can assign contacts to specific salespeople. You can add relationship-driven tasks or notes so that you can continue to communicate from marketing to sales.

The sales team can mark the transaction as winning, which will trigger new automation, so you are always pushing people from marketing to sales to marketing to sales.

Unfortunately, ActiveCampaign still lags behind the industry leaders in terms of its ability to post content to social media, conduct search marketing research in tools, and use search marketing data to improve advertising campaigns (Pardot does this in a genius way) One point)).

ActiveCampaign does not provide iOS or Android apps, which is totally unacceptable. In addition to these small issues, if you focus on complex interactive workflows, ActiveCampaign is definitely worth trying.

A solid tool for marketers

ActiveCampaign provides many features at a relatively low price. The disadvantage is that it can sometimes cause confusion.

Fortunately, its help resources are very rich. If you are really lost, you can open a live chat with support.

With a large number of third-party integrations and custom auto responders, most users will be satisfied with their products.

Its advantage beats similar Campaign Monitor, but it still cannot provide the level of service that can be found on Campaigner and MailChimp.

Conclusion

ActiveCampaign provides a lot of marketing features, which leads to a messy interface, although its high-quality online support balances this.

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