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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- Features 75% 75%
- User Experience 75% 75%
- Pricing 90% 90%
- Overall 80% 80%
✔ 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
✖ 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
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
6) Predictive Content
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.
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
|Visual Campaign Builder||✔||Intuitive visual marketing automation and campaign builder with personalization and segmentation|
|Built-in CRM||✔||Simple and straightforward CRM|
|Email and landing page builders||✔||Easy-to-use drag-and-drop editors|
|Mobile-responsive Templates||✔||Built-in both for emails and landing pages if you don't want to start from scratch|
|E-commerce Capability||✘||Needs 3rd-party integration for this capability|
|Membership Sites||✘||Only possible with 3rd party integrations|
|Free Trial||✔||14-day trial. Instant setup with no credit card required|
|API||✔||Multiple API integrations with 3rd party tools to add to functionality|
|A/B Testing||✔||Split testing with email campaigns|
|Referral Management||✘||No own affiliate tracking system|
|Payment Processing||✔||Integrations with PayPal, Stripe, WooCommerce|
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.
✔ Intuitive and convenient automations builder
✔ Website messaging
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.
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.
- Up to 3 Users
- Unlimited sending
- Email Marketing and Newsletters
- Marketing Automation
- Chat & Email Support
- Everything from Lite
- Up to 25 Users
- CRM with Sales Automation
- Contact & Lead Scoring
- Deep Data Integrations
- Custom Branding
- SMS Marketing
- Conditional Content
- Everything from Plus
- Up to 50 Users
- Site Messaging
- Predictive Sending
- Win Probability for Deals
- Split Test Automations
- Everything from Professional
- Unlimited Users
- Custom Reporting
- Custom Mailserver Domain
- Dedicated Account Rep
- In-Depth Onboarding
- Free Social Data
- Phone Support
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
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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