ActiveCampaign Review 2024: Best Marketing Automation Tool?

Last Updated on March 19, 2024 by Leave a Comment

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ActiveCampaign Review 2024: Best Marketing Automation Tool?
Blog / Marketing / ActiveCampaign Review 2024: Best Marketing Automation Tool?

Marketing has become more complex over the last decade. Marketers and sales teams now have entire platforms that manage the whole lifecycle of customers, with powerful tools for email, social, CRM, and automation. One of the most popular marketing platforms for email and automation is ActiveCampaign. In this article, we’ll review the features and toolsets available in ActiveCampaign to help you decide if it is the best platform to grow your business.

What is ActiveCampaign?

ActiveCampaign is a “Customer Experience Automation” (CXA) platform and software company with over 180,000 global customers.

ActiveCampaign Logo Mark

Their platform allows businesses of all sizes to automate their customer experience through the use of marketing automation, sales automation, CRM, and more. This helps businesses improve their customer relationships and increase their revenue.

In May 2022, ActiveCampaign acquired the transactional email platform Postmark and the DMARC authentication monitoring platform DMARC Digests to expand their footprint into total communications management.

ActiveCampaign Acquires Postmark and dmarc digests

With plans starting at $9/mo (paid yearly), the base package is in a similar pricing range as Constant Contact and Mailchimp, but its features outpace both platforms with advanced automation features found in the higher-priced tiers. In fact, we consider it to be one of the best Mailchimp alternatives.

Overall, ActiveCampaign is a solid choice when it comes to small- and medium-sized businesses looking for a Martech solution that they can use to grow over time. Start with its email marketing, and as your business grows scale its tiers to add in CRM, advanced reporting, AI, lead scoring, and SMS marketing.

ActiveCampaign Best Features

ActiveCampaign is known for its visual email builder, contact segmentation and scoring, total CRM, opt-in forms, marketing attribution, and reporting features. What can’t ActiveCampaign do?

For novice marketers, ActiveCampaign’s most popular feature is its visual email builder, which allows users to create beautiful emails without any HTML knowledge. For seasoned marketers, advanced features like segmentation, lead scoring, flexible CRM, and vast reporting infrastructure are music to the ears.

All plans include some level of automated workflows for marketing duties. CRM and contact segmentation allow users to set up custom and pre-defined automation to limit manual work and still get value from individual interactions. Website and event tracking are features that other platforms fail at—if they even try at all.

ActiveCampaign Pricing

ActiveCampaign’s pricing model is straightforward and based on business needs. It also offers discounted rates on all plans if paid yearly.

The company has four software plans in total: Marketing (email and automation), Sales (CRM and automation), Bundles (email + sales), and transactional email.

Many users start with Active Campaign’s marketing package, which has multiple tiers. The Lite plan starts at $39 per month and allows up to 1,000 contacts. The Plus plan starts at $70 per month with higher sending limits and more account users (3). The Professional plan starts at $187 per month and allows up to 2,500 contacts with even higher sending limits and account users. The Enterprise plan starts around $323 per month and comes with predictive sending powered by incredibly efficient AI.

Here is a feature-by-feature breakdown of ActiveCampaign plans.

Active Campaign - Pricing Page - March 2024

ActiveCampaign offers a 14-day free trial that gives users access to most features in the Lite, Plus, and Professional plans. That trial does include limits for email sends, but otherwise, it should give anyone a good taste of what the platform offers and how to use it.

With proof of status, non-profits can get a 20% discount on all plans, making this a solid choice for established and flourishing non-profits with advanced marketing and communications needs.

ActiveCampaign Pricing Nonprofit 20% Discount

ActiveCampaign Email Marketing Features

Many people know ActiveCampaign for its tools that help email marketers find success in their work.

ActiveCampaign Email Types

Its email marketing tools are some of the most user-friendly and effective. With various features, ActiveCampaign makes it easy to create and send newsletters, automated emails, and segmented campaigns.

Visual Email Builder

ActiveCampaign’s email editor is simple to use and provides a range of templates from which to choose. It is easy to create beautiful emails that match a business’s brand.

ActiveCampaign Visual Email Builder

ActiveCampaign’s automation tool is powerful and easy to use so that you can create complex workflows with ease. And finally, ActiveCampaign’s segmentation tool ensures that your campaigns are always relevant to your audience by allowing you to target specific groups of people with tailored content.

Email Templates

ActiveCampaign has 250+ available email templates for customers to use. Each template is easily customizable and serves as an excellent starting point in creating emails for any business.

ActiveCampaign's Email Template Library 250+

All templates are mobile responsive for all inboxes. ActiveCampaign also says that each email is professionally designed and tested for Quality Assurance—meaning that you get premium templates for your use with any subscription plan. They also say, “Email templates range from text-based to rich text to full HTML design, and you can use them for any part of your business: newsletters, events, holiday, customer service, and abandoned cart / re-engagement email templates.”

SMS Marketing

SMS marketing tools are very similar to email marketing tools—using most of the same marketing fundamentals. ActiveCampaign includes an SMS campaign builder plus all the same scheduling and segmenting options that users expect out of email marketing.

ActiveCampaign SMS Automation Examples

ActiveCamapign boasts a native SMS solution for marketing but also supports direct integrations with other SMS providers. This allows anyone to use the tools that they are comfortable with. Some of the supported SMS services that tightly integrate with ActiveCampoign are Twilio, WhatsApp, and BulkSMS.

ActiveCampaign Reporting

ActiveCampaign provides details reporting dashboards for all marketing and automation campaigns. There are reporting features for email, SMS, site messages, deals (sales), and custom reports to tailor per business needs.

Of the many email reports, it is possible to see the historical trend of your contact growth.

ActiveCampaign Contact Growth Report

Custom reports can show data exactly how you need it. This is powerful for creating nuanced and detailed reports that are specific to a particular business.

ActiveCampaign Custom Report Example

For sales teams, see an overview of your entire pipeline by looking at the Deals view.

ActiveCampaign Deals Report

ActiveCampaign Review of Contact Management

ActiveCampaign comes complete with contact management for lists and individual contacts. All contacts are easily viewed.

ActiveCampaign Review of Contact List

Individual contacts may be clicked into to see contact details and recent contact activity and manually update contact information.

ActiveCampaign Single Contact View

ActiveCampaign Review of CRM

The CRM is where all contact information goes. This information is usable by marketing, support, and sales teams. The CRM keeps all information for each contact in one place, eliminating the need for multiple customer databases.

The Kanban view of open sales deals empowers sales professionals to quickly see, at a glance, where all current contacts are. Clicking on a contact shows all specific deal information.

ActiveCampaign Deals Pipeline Kanban

Automation and segmentation tools use contact info such as:

  • Activity
  • Tags
  • Custom Fields

The CRM stores all contact information in one place, making it deployable throughout the platform. Add new contacts manually, import via .CSV, or capture through an ActiveCampaign signup form.

ActiveCampaign Form Options

There is also the ability to use an external service to create an automated flow between Facebook Lead Ads to directly import new leads.

ActiveCampaign’s Marketing, Sales, and Support Automation

The email marketing industry has grown a lot in recent years. So much so that most of the staple “email marketing companies” don’t just focus on email marketing anymore but now on digital marketing as a whole. ActiveCampaign falls into this category of companies that people primarily associate with email marketing.

Automation stats in automation overview

Automation is the main point that takes ActiveCampaign from “just another email marketing” provider to a world-class marketing automation platform. ActiveCampaign’s automation, many times with pre-built workflows, makes complex marketing tasks obtainable. Even more impressive is the fact that it is also an enablement platform for sales and support teams—providing automation across the whole customer lifecycle.

Contact/Lead Scoring

Lead or Contact Scoring is used by sales teams to see which leads are the most engaged. Automation works by tracking the user’s pre-defined actions in your campaigns, website, and chat. Actions in these channels are assigned point values (negative or positive).

ActiveCampaign Lead Scoring

As potential leads interact with your assets, their scores may go up and down based on their actions. This can trigger other automations when they reach a certain score. It also gives your sales teams an idea of how engaged they are. Lead scoring can be completely customized to fit a particular business.

Website and Event Tracking

ActiveCampaign has the ability to track website behaviors using custom events. These events can be associated with account contacts to create more robust marketing and sales automation. Events are managed like those in Google Tag Manager or the old Universal Analytics (GA3). In fact, you can use Google Tag Manager to implement your event scripts across a website.

ActiveCampaign Site Tracking Setup

Website events can then be used as triggers for automations or lead scoring. ActiveCampaign has these data points of events as triggers in its system:

  • Has visited (certain target URL)
  • Has not visited (certain target URL)
  • Was referred from (certain target URL)
  • Visiting Device
  • Total page visits
  • Total site visits

Segmentation

ActiveCampaign supports robust segmentation because of the vast amount of data that it can use in the logic. Segments can be based on contact information, activity history in emails/SMS/chat, or actions taken on a website. Segments are continuously updated to check if new contacts meet the criteria.

As powerful as segmentation can be for email marketing, it can even be used as a Custom Audience on Facebook Ads. This means tailored ads can be created for your contacts’ most lucrative or high-value customers.

Facebook Custom Audiences

Segments bring contacts in and out of specifically set-up workflows so they are always receiving the most relevant information. A segment could move a first-time purchaser out of a “potential lead” email sequence into a “thank you for purchasing” sequence. And that is just scratching the surface.

Website Personalization

ActiveCampaign also has the tools to add powerful website customization to your mix. This very nice feature is usually only found in a service like RightMessage or Google Optimize.

ActiveCampaign Website Content Personalization

This connects the power of ActiveCampaign’s CRM directly to your website—using your gained insights to create custom experiences for your customers. A webpage can be customized to match psychometrics, contact details, or special messages using segments, contact information, and activity.

Integrations

Integrations for any marketing platform are increasingly important. Without them, data can be siloed, and workflows across imperative technologies will be reduced to manual and repetitive labor.

ActiveCampaign Integrations

So, it is nice to see that ActiveCampaign does a lot itself and integrates with many other marketing and business management tools. It has over 900 apps you can use to integrate with popular tools for your website or business.

CRM Integrations

Though ActiveCampaign comes with a flexible and reliable CRM, there are situations where you’d want to connect a different CRM to the platform. This could be if you are using a niche CRM for your industry that saves a lot of time by having industry-standard workflows and data handling that you don’t want to create from scratch. On an even more fundamental level, switching from one platform to ActiveCampaign could benefit from a temporary integration to move your data over.

If migrating your CRM data is important to you, it’s also worth knowing that with select plans, ActiveCampaign will help you migrate from a previous platform to your new one. You might also be eligible for one-on-one training from their success team.

Platform Migration to ActiveCampaign

A sample of the CRMs that integrate with ActiveCampaign include:

If you are in the market for a CRM, here are some of the best CRM tools.

Website Integrations

ActiveCampaign also allows website owners to integrate the inner workings of their website with their marketing platform. Obviously, with Website and Event Tracking, ActiveCampaign is able to collect any event from any website, which allows the installation of custom scripts. More than that, ActiveCampaign integrates with many website CMS platforms directly to best create your marketing machine.

ActiveCampaign integrates with popular CMSs like:

For instance, we consider ActiveCampaign as one of the best marketing plugins because of its WordPress integration. Users can easily track contact visits, have two-way conversations (chat), and publish ActiveCampaign forms on their websites.

ActiveCampaign also integrates with several form services and some top email opt-in plugins for WordPress, like Bloom, which lets you create conditional opt-in forms to help segment your contacts.

Ecommerce

Ecommerce integrations bring deep customer data into ActiveCampaign’s powerful CRM and Automations platform. This allows marketers to create timely, segmented email, SMS, and website interactions with customers to get the highest ROI possible.

ActiveCampaign Ecommerce Integrations

Customer purchase information is synced with ActiveCamapign to create retargeting and re-engagement campaigns.

  • Shopify
  • WooCommerce
  • BigCartel
  • eBay
  • Gumroad
  • Magento
  • Podia
  • Square

WooCommerce and ActiveCampaign Review

With WooCommerce, for instance, ActiveCampaign can:

  • Create Segments based on Purchase Behavior
  • Send Automated Abandoned Cart Messages
  • Use Conditional/Dynamic Content to Recommend Specific Products based on their Past Activity
  • Add Personalization to Any Store

Email Deliverability Stats

Over their last three robust tests, EmailToolTester has found that ActiveCampaign is one of the best email marketing platforms for email deliverability. Their average delivery rate sits at 91%. That is better than the overall average of 84.2% for all email marketing providers they tested.

Is ActiveCampaign the Best Marketing Automation Platform?

ActiveCampaign is a commendable email and marketing automation platform that offers users plenty of features and flexibility. The customer service is top-notch, and the prices are reasonable for the performant features it offers. For growing small and medium-sized businesses, ActiveCampaign is a serious contender for your attention. It should be at the top of the list for marketers and sales teams that need rich automation to create constant value.

Overall, ActiveCampaign is a great choice for those looking for comprehensive sales and marketing automation.

Get ActiveCampaign Today

Looking for more? Check out these top marketing automation platforms.

Have you used ActiveCampaign for your business? Mind telling us how you use it and what you like about it?

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