I’m going to do an honest review of ActiveCampaign. I’ve been using it for my business and clients for about two and a half years now. So I have a lot of experience with it. Before I came to ActiveCampaign, I was actually using Actionetics within ClickFunnels. I still use ClickFunnels heavily but on the back end.
At the time I was looking for a texting option with ActiveCampaign and I really couldn’t find it in the same way with ClickFunnels.
So what is ActiveCampaign?
ActiveCampaign is an email marketing and marketing automation program. A lot of people get lost with marketing automation, but to be honest ActiveCampaign makes it really easy. So to keep it simple what I like is that it’s very visual. If you’re the type of person that needs to see an automation to understand how it flows, it’ll be helpful for you. With a lot of other software’s like ConvertKit, AWeber and even MailChimp, it’s more like text-based automation. In ActiveCampaign, it’shttps://convertkit.com/ VERY visual. So you can see what triggers what. Then see what happens next. You can see what conditions are there. Plus you can see the logic and make sense out of it, even if you’ve never used it. Which I like! Some people can do it in their head, but for people like me, visual is important. So it’s nice ActiveCampaign is that way.
How does the email marketing piece work?
So the email marketing piece is pretty easy to use. The automated emails and marketing automation is pretty easy to use as well. Even the CRM piece is something that a lot of people don’t use. I’ve worked with a ton of clients that are perfect fits for this, but they just don’t use it. It is pretty powerful for what it is.
Is it as robust as Salesforce? No, it’s not meant to be. But will it work for a lot of businesses? Absolutely!
It’s messaging feature is supposed to be fantastic!
The messaging feature, at the time of this review, I have not used yet. But I like what I hear about it so far.
Something new that ActiveCampaign rolled out as of mid-2019, is something that’s called CX automation. It’s supposed to be about customer experience. It’s the next level of email marketing and automation and it’s supposed to be much more powerful than traditional if-then-else logic. The whole idea is to make it more personalized for everybody on your list.
Using Predictive Sending is a game-changer!
I have a little bit of experience with this, but it’s relatively new. I’ve upgraded my own account to make sure that I could at least test it out. The first phase that you roll out is something called predictive sending. For my welcome sequence, I went ahead and set up predictive sending. People will come into my list through a variety of lead magnets. Once they are delivered from the lead magnets, everybody ends up in the same welcome series. It’s kind of like a bus stop. What I mean is nobody stays there long. They get the same indoctrination series and then they go to their final resting place, which is the weekly email communication.
So what predictive sending does, is instead of the traditional: somebody subscribes to my list, we send an email, we wait a day, we send another email, etc. What this feature does is lets you tell it when to send it. At that perfect time. I guess we’d call it artificial intelligence. ActiveCampaign teaches you how to set this up. You set up this additional wait between your email and your normal wait series. Basically saying that “the condition is waiting until the campaign has been set”.
Does it Work?
I set it up and I’ve been checking on it weekly just trying to see if it’s trending upward. And here’s where we’re at. From what I am seeing we are getting really good open rates. I’m going to say the improvement I’ve seen across the board, especially with my top three, is somewhere in the 6-9% range. So it has been significant. It is noticeable that it’s getting higher open rates.
So the reason I was sharing that with you, is based on what I’ve seen so far, they might be on to something with the CX automation. It’s very interesting! Customer experience-driven. So instead of segmenting people and doing the same thing for groups of people, it somehow does it for each individual. So far so good.
How Would You Rate the Features?
My whole point is to give you a really good snapshot. Let you know what I think about it. I’ve worked in it, at this point, probably 50-100 different accounts. So I’m a reseller. I’ve got accounts that I help monthly as well. I’ve got retainer clients. I work in it quite a bit. The automations piece of ActiveCampaign is probably the best I’ve seen in any software!
It’s really, really robust. There’s a lot of triggers. If you can conceive it, it can be built. And it’s not that hard to figure out at all. So it’s really, really good in that regard.
The “contacts” piece is pretty standard. They kind of do the basic “menu” on the left, “submenu” to the right. They used to all be at the top. It’s normal in that regard.
“Deals”, this is the sales pipeline, it’s pretty simple. But it does work well, so I’m pretty happy with that.
“Conversations” is the messaging feature that I really haven’t used much yet. I will once it becomes available for the way my account is set up.
“Lists” is pretty normal.
Are There Any Areas ActiveCampaign Should Improve?
“Forms” is an area, that in my opinion, ActiveCampaign is a little weak. I say it’s a little weak because they’re very, very basic. If you know coding and stuff you can make them look cooler, but I feel like there could definitely be some more power with the forms. Their forms are pretty simple but they do work. It goes straight to the list and does what it needs to do, but if I had to pick one area that needs improvement I think it’s the “forms”.
I guess if I pick a second area that’s a little weak, it’s going to be “reporting”. Now reporting is getting better. One thing that’s great about ActiveCampaign is it doesn’t stay the same for long. They update stuff a lot but the reports need a little work. There’s a little bit more I wish I could see. But everything else is pretty strong.
To Sum Up This Review
My advice to anybody would be this if you’re looking for email marketing or marketing automation give it a try. In the way of simplicity, power, somebody who’s really on the cutting edge of this stuff, it’s kind of a no-brainer.
I’ve played with MailChimp, Aweber, ConvertKit, Click Funnels, and Actionetics, SendGrid, Get Response, and there’s more. I’ve seen a lot. I haven’t seen anything else like this. So I’m really, really happy with it.
Is it Hard to Figure Out?
Clients generally, once pointed in the right direction, pick it up pretty quickly. I haven’t had too many people quit using it and go somewhere else. ActiveCampaign’s support is really strong.
They’ve got all kinds of helpful stuff. In their education, their learning library, there are all kinds of resources. You can google stuff and there’s as much information as you want. So they do a great job with videos and blogs to teach you how to use the product as well. I give it two big thumbs up. If it’s something you’re interested in or been thinking about trying out, it’s a no brainer.
So How Much Does it Cost?
You can jump on their page for pricing, but I’ll say it was a little confusing if you’re not sure what you’re looking at. They have monthly and yearly pricing tabs but it may not be immediately obvious. But if you get started with the smallest plan which is 500 contacts at $15 it’s pretty basic and everybody can afford that. You can always grow from there. You can also get a 10% discount by purchasing through my site since I am a reseller.
I have the “professional” plan now. I would say that 98% of businesses probably never need anything above the “plus”. The reason I have the next level up is so I can test predictive sending, site messaging, and some other things like win probabilities and other artificial intelligence things.
With the plus level, there’s a lot you can do. If you’ve got an e-commerce store or you’ve got Shopify eCommerce or big commerce, this is absolute gold. The deep data integrations, it’s basically a two-way conversation between the platforms. So I recommend this a lot with people using Shopify. I know for Shopify it is really powerful with shopping cart abandonment.
So there’s my review of ActiveCampaign. I liked it when I first got into it a couple of years ago. I feel like it has grown and become even better. And based on what they’ve kind of teased, it’s only going to keep getting better and better.
I’ve seen my open rates increase. And I’m telling you for the back end of your business with the email marketing, the back of your phone, the back end of your list, it’s got to be the best of out there. This is not the place to take a shortcut to save money I’m telling you.
So hope this review was helpful for you. I use ActiveCampaign every day. If I thought it sucked I would say “guys it sucks. We will find something else”. I’m a pretty straight shooter in that regard. Click to see the video or to get some additional ActiveCampaign help.
Thanks! See you soon!