Review: Email Marketing & Marketing Automation via ActiveCampaign
There are several good email marketing and marketing automation tools on the market. Over the next few months, I will be testing and reviewing a lot of them. Starting at the front of the alphabet, I'm going to arrive at the "A" of ActiveCampaign.
1. ActiveCampign: Look & Feel
I myself first worked with ActiveCampaign acquainted. A completely cloud-based platform. The interface has never thoroughly changed over the years. Fortunately, because the look and feel is very intuitive.
When you log in you get a dashboard as your home screen. On this there is interesting info, but unfortunately little or no customization.
2. How to import & manage contacts in AC?
Importing existing contacts into ActiveCampaign can be done in 3 ways:
- Manual: 1-by-1 enter the necessary info
- Import from a file: e.g. a CSV file or Google Sheet
- Copy Paste: Copy data from Excel and easily paste it into ActiveCampaign
Managing contacts is also easy. On a contact sheet you will find all the info a visitor entered on your website and/or the info you imported. As you can see, the data in the screenshot below comes from a Shopify webshop. ActiveCampaign is easy to link to various websites and webshops.
Good to know is that you can start building "segments" based on all this info. You can then target these groups of contacts when sending email campaigns.
3. Email marketing: easily send your campaigns
For me, there are two major assets To choose ActiveCampaign as a business:
- The intuitive interface for creating automation flows (see next topic)
- Easily create and send email campaigns
I recommend putting enough time into creating a template, giving you the choice of starting from a template or completely from scratch. This template is useful when sending out email campaigns, but you'll also need it when you start setting up automation flows later.
When formatting your campaign effectively, ActiveCampaign helps you step by step towards a successful campaign. Do you want to work with A/B testing? Do you want to add personalization? Which segment do you want to send to. Etc.
4. Create marketing automation flows
I had already touched on it: if there is anything great in ActiveCampaign right now - besides sending email campaigns - it's the marketing automations. Through this very intuitive interface (drag & drop), you build a complete marketing automation flow in minutes. Choose the desired trigger and determine what should happen when.
Disadvantage: everything works so simply that you may quickly lose track. My advice here: start simple! Follow up on your campaigns, analyze and only then go more extensively into your flows.
5. What does ActiveCampaign cost?
Like most marketing automation tools, ActiveCampaign is not free. Most of the above features can already be used from $9/month. ActiveCampaign uses 4 formulas:
- Lite: Just about all the basic functions described above are included.
- Plus: Sales Automation (incl. CRM) + Lead Scoring becomes possible
- Professional: Among other things, integration with Salesforce or Dynamics 365 becomes possible
- Enterprise: Among other things, custom sales reports become possible.
The tone of voice of this article seems clear to me: I have been charmed for years by the intuitiveness of ActiveCampaign. However, there are also limitations. For example, I find the reports provided too limited. Also the link with external systems (e.g. CRM) can be difficult. Tools such as Zapier will get you a long way, but for larger companies it may then become too complex.