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Activecampaign review

If you run an online business, be it a blog, an online store, or even if you just have a website with a contact form, you need email marketing.

Your email list is central to your business and you’ll want an email marketing and automation provider that helps you grow it as well as reliably get in touch with your contacts.

If you believe the messaging of Activecampaign, it’s an all-in-one solution: It gives you all the tools to build your list, reach out to and get in front of the people on your list at the right time. There’s email marketing – that’s the basis. And then there’s SMS messaging and social media, making it an omnichannel marketing provider. There’s also customer relations management (CRM), and of course automation.

Activecampaign has been around since 2003, with headquarters in Chicago, USA. At the time of this review, it serves more than 170’000 businesses in 170 countries.

Pros and cons of Activecampaign

As a one-stop-shop marketing provider, you can reach out to the people who’re interested in your business where they are. The main channel is email, but you can also reach out via SMS, social media, and live chat.

Pros

  • Intuitive interface that’s great for beginners and business owners who have more on their plate than just email campaigns
  • Template gallery for emails and landing pages
  • Forms and landing page builder, so, if you can dream up a funnel, you can build it
  • CRM with lead scoring, albeit not in the entry subscription

Cons

  • No forever free plan
  • The feature list can be overwhelming
  • Learning cure for advanced features, especially if you’re new to email marketing automation

Who is Activecampaign for?

If you’re serious about getting in front of people who’re interested in what you have to say and your business, marketing automation is the way. This is the main feature of Activecampaign.

Put differently, its strength is automation. You can pretty much build any kind of customer journey you can think up.

Activecampaign user interface

After signing up, you’ll be greeted by an onboarding video and a checklist to help you hit the ground running.

Onboarding checklist

Navigating Activecampaign’s interface is easy. It’s designed to help you make the most out of it. So, you won’t have to click to endless submenus to find what you need. Particularly, if you’re into automation, the automation tool is well thought out and you can visually see and design a user journey.

Campaigns

Email campaigns are the fundament of Activecampaign. So, you can create your standard email campaigns. All you need to do is design your email and send it out to your contact list.

But then you can create campaigns based on automation, send autoresponders, split test, send emails based on RSS triggers, and on certain dates.

Activecampaign’s campaign types

Creating a campaign takes 5 steps. Once you have selected the type of campaign and the contact list, you design the email, either from scratch or by customising one of the pre-designed templates. Activecampaign provides a formidable templates gallery for all kinds of occasions and industries.

With the drag-and-drop editor, you can drop content blocks into your mail and change everything from the fonts, background colors, and more

In the last step, you can add the subject, confirm the list, and set what you’d like to track in your email such as open rate. You can also connect your account with Google Analytics. Then you can send a test mail or schedule your campaign.

Sign up forms and landing pages

To help you build your list, Activecampaign lets you create signup forms and landing pages. Depending on your design, you can create an inline form, a floating bar, a floating box, or a popup form.

As an all-in-one email marketing service, you can also build landing pages. As with the email templates, the landing page template gallery is also comprehensive. Both for the forms as well as landing pages, Activecampaign provides you with a drag-and-drop editor. It looks and feels the same as the email builder. If you’ve used MailerLite, the editor will feel familiar.

With landing pages, you’ll want to optimise them for search engines as well as track their performance. You can add meta tags such as meta title, description, and keywords. You can even add a favicon. GDPR compliance is included as well. For monitoring the traffic, you can add custom code into the head and body section.

List management, segmentation, and personalisation

The built-in CRM will help you manage your list. Perhaps more intriguing is that you can apply scores, be it manually or automatically, and so find who your best prospects are. The lead scoring is aided by Activecampaign’s machine learning engine to calculate win probability. Albeit that’s not available in the entry subscription.

If you decide to use the CRM, you can use Deals to automate sales follow up and remove much of the manual work in closing deals and sales.

Segmentation will help you in your automation workflows. You can segment your list using contact details, location, pages they visited on your site, and more.

Automation

This is the strong point of Activecampaign. You’ll find pre-built automations sorted by industry. There are even automation templates in Portuguese, French, Italian, German, and French. Use these as a basis and edit them to suit your needs, or build one from scratch.

A visual editor helps you build your automation workflow

The visual editor is both advanced and easy to use. You can buy and import automations from the marketplace. Although you should note that some automations have SMS steps. SMS messages are available at the higher tiers.

Other Features

As an omnichannel, you can opt to reach your audience through other means than only mail. For one, you can nurture your prospects through SMS marketing. There’s also a live chat, with which you interact with your audience on your site. Then with Web Personalisation, you can show each individual visitor content tailored to them.

This is just the briefest overview of what you can do and how you can target your audience.

Activecampaign integrations

Out of the gate, Activecampaign comes with a plethora of integrations. If you can think of another service you want to use, you’ll most likely find an integration for it. And, as any self-respecting service should do, it also integrates with the Swiss Army knife Zapier, so you can indirectly still use the service.

Activecampaign reporting

Without numbers, we marketers would be flying blind. The stats help you figure out who is most interested in what you have to say, or lets you find out what isn’t working. So, you’ll find basic stats on email campaigns, automation workflows, and contacts. You’ll see numbers such as how many people have opened your email, or the click rates.

If you’ve connected a campaign to your Google Analytics, you can track its performance in your Google Analytics.

Support

The help centre, styled as Activecampaign University or Education Centre has all kinds of tutorials and courses on how to use the service. There’s also a community and a forum.

When you’re working on a funnel and need help, just click on the help icon in the lower right hand corner and chat with the support team.

Pricing

In contrast to what you often see, you don’t get a 30 day free trial. The free trial lasts only 14 days. On the upside, you don’t need to hand over your credit card details.

There are 4 prices all in all, so it should cover your needs from when you’re just starting to where your business is a large enterprise. That is to say, it can grow with you as your needs change.

Check the feature list

Is Activecampaign right for you?

Activecampaign is a well-rounded and feature rich service. Since its versatile, it works well for businesses in all kinds of industries, B2C, and B2B.

If you’re looking into optimising your marketing and sales processes, you’ll find that much of its features are right on spot.

On the other hand, if you just want to send a simple newsletter, it can be overwhelming and you’ll most likely not be using all its features.

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