ActiveCampaign Review

A Detailed Look At ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is well on its way to become a force to reckon with. Virtually unknown a couple of years ago, this amazing tool has earned lots of good press and flocks of loyal fans amongst users and marketing automation experts alike – thanks to its slick and intuitive interface, its sophisticated tracking abilities and its exceptionally generous costs of entry, making it really easy for smaller operations to get started with top quality automation.

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Pleasure Score

  • Features 75% 75%
  • User Experience 75% 75%
  • Pricing 90% 90%
  • Overall 80% 80%

ActiveCampaign Features

ActiveCampaign’s strength is marketing automation, and the tracking of contact behavior. Compared to the big guys in this market segment, Infusionsoft by Keap and Ontraport, ActiveCampaign’s CRM is rudimentary at best, and there’s no e-commerce and no affiliate module. Their opportunity and sales tracking capabilities are well designed and fun to work with, but also rudimentary compared to Infusionsoft by Keap.

Pleasure Points

Visually-pleasing and intuitive drag-and-drop marketing automation and campaign builders

Decent email builder which allows to display or hide blocks of content based on customer behavior

 Lots of integration with Zapier

Cheaper pricing options compared to other all-in-one platforms

List segmentation for emails

Pain Points

Very minimalistic CRM, which is not entirely a pain point though. It can be perfect for those who need less. But I’ve seen better and more powerful CRMs.

What Features Make ActiveCampaign a Great Option to Boost Your Business?

1) Strong and Straightforward Campaign Automations Builder
The campaign builder is a visually pleasing, intutive drag and drop builder that allows to connect triggers and actions in a top-to-bottom “flowchart” style.
2) Email Builder with Personalization and Segmentation

The email builder is a pretty standard, no-frills drag and drop builder that allows to arrange building blocks on a canvas in rows in columns. I’ve seen better.

What makes this one so special however, is the ability to hide and display blocks of content based on behavior and criteria of the email’s recipient.

Imagine the degree of personalization and segmentation that’s possible, without having to create multiple emails.

3) Simple and Minimalistic CRM

The CRM is extremely minimalistic. It comes preconfigured with only five fields – email address, first name, last name, phone and organization; that’s it.

To capture any other information, custom fields need to be created.

4) Lead Capture Forms

The lead capture forms are a little bit disappointing when compared with Ontraport, Hubspot or tools like Leadpages or dedicated website plugins like ConvertPlug.

True, they have 4 kinds of mobile responsive lead capture forms, which is more than you can say of Infusionsoft by Keap, but form customization and form behavior (form triggers) are very limited, bordering on skimpy.

It’s a good thing though that Convertplug has an ActiveCampaign integration.

5) Multiple 3rd Party Integrations
There’s lots of integrations available, either natively or via Zapier. The caveat here is that it’s not transparent which integrations are via Zapier and which ones are native until you try to set them up.
6) Predictive Content
This is a feature where it harnesses the power of machine learning to allow the right content to be sent to the right customer based on past click data or behavior.

This is available only on the Professional and Enterprise account. However, this is still in beta phase but this is something to look forward to in the future.

7) Website Messaging

Interaction with leads and customers is essential to a business. And how much more valuable could it be if it were done real time as they are visiting your website?

Site Messages are real time pop-up messages or notifications can be set up via the Automations builder.

They can be configured to appear to audiences with certain conditions or triggers that are defined precisely within the builder.

It certainly is a great way to drive more traffic or improve conversions as the audience’s attention can be caught quickly as they pop up on your website.

This feature, like Predictive Content, is only available on the Professional and Enterprise accounts.

8) Conversations 

Much like Site Messages, the Conversations feature is like doing live chat with your customers.

What makes this stand out is this can be done quickly through a unified inbox on the platform or via the Conversations mobile app.

This is more than just a live chat feature. Email communications are also supported.

But the real meat is that live information can be displayed and the best channels to communicate with customers can be detected.

This feature is not included in any pricing package, but as a separate add-on with a monthly subscription.

Complete Features List

FeatureAvailabilityDescription
Visual Campaign BuilderIntuitive visual marketing automation and campaign builder with personalization and segmentation
Built-in CRMSimple and straightforward CRM
Email and landing page buildersEasy-to-use drag-and-drop editors
Mobile-responsive TemplatesBuilt-in both for emails and landing pages if you don't want to start from scratch
E-commerce CapabilityNeeds 3rd-party integration for this capability
Custom ObjectsNon-existent
Membership SitesOnly possible with 3rd party integrations
Free Trial14-day trial. Instant setup with no credit card required
APIMultiple API integrations with 3rd party tools to add to functionality
A/B TestingSplit testing with email campaigns
Referral ManagementNo own affiliate tracking system
Payment ProcessingIntegrations with PayPal, Stripe, WooCommerce

Summary

Along with Ontraport, ActiveCampaign shines as a rising star on the marketing automation software for small businesses niche.

It has almost all the necessary features that are essential for a small business to grow and thrive but each individual component may not be considered the best in terms of functionality.

But it is a worthy contender that shouldn’t be underestimated by the bigger players.

ActiveCampaign User Experience

The user interface is intuitive and good looking, which makes navigating in the app a snap. The dashboard and CRM could be a bit more customizable.

Pleasure Points

Intuitive and convenient automations builder

Website messaging

 

Pain Points

CRM could need a bit more improvement. I’ve seen better with Ontraport.

How Good is User Experience with ActiveCampaign?

1) Simple Drag-and-Drop Email Builder with Conditional Content Blocks

ActiveCampaign wields an easy-to-use email campaign builder with drag-and-drop functionality.

It’s also easy to personalize emails using their Conditional Content blocks.

It’s as easy as turning normal blocks into “conditional,” setting single or multiple conditions and only letting them appear to audiences with a defined criteria.

Conditional Content is available only on the Plus accounts and above.

2) Easy-to-Use Automations Builder

I think this is one of ActiveCampaign’s features that shine.

The visual campaign builder is presented through simple and easy-to-follow flow charts. This is where the triggers, sequences and automations are built via drag-and-drop.

As mentioned on the Features section, it is also where the magic of Site Messages can be set up.

3) Help Support and Documentation are Readily Available

This is in the form of a widget at the bottom right area with live chat and an ability to search for documentation or help files.

ActiveCampaign Pricing

With no setup fee, month-to-month billing and a really generous pricing structure ActiveCampaign has hands down the lowest barrier to entry in the market while offering really solid automation capabilities. Great for people who are getting started. A word of caution – study their pricing tables closely. Pricing goes up exponentially, not linear with list size.

Choose ActiveCampaign if you:

✔ Want a significant BOOST IN BUSINESS but prefer a MORE AFFORDABLE option that can do versatile functions for your CRM and marketing automation

✔ Want a simple marketing automation and campaign builder that can turn your LEADS into CUSTOMERS into REFERRALS

✔ Need to REDUCE STRESS from from all the “manual stuff”

✔ Like putting emphasis on SEGMENTATION of contact lists or customers

Final Verdict

ActiveCampaign fares quite well among the heavyweights in all-in-one marketing toolboxes. However, each component may not be the best in each of their classes.

I have to give credit to what’s due with how well they’ve build their marketing automation builder, while pointing out their lackluster CRM.

Overall, it is not a joke and it really is a rising star on the arena and it could build a bit more momentum to get to the top in the near future.

ActiveCampaign may be a good option for those who want to work with less because of its more minimalist and straightforward features.

However, for a more robust, complete and powerful choice as a small business marketing automation tool, you will find it on the button below…

 

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