Kick-ass automation tools you can execute without a Master's Degree in email marketing. Pre-built campaign templates. Free migration assistance. No-credit-card free trial. Training and courses.
No free version for those looking to build before paying. Can be time-consuming to learn and execute all of the functionality. No landing page builder.
ActiveCampaign is a fantastic choice for small to mid-size businesses looking to automate their marketing and scale their efforts. Not the best choice for businesses purely looking for an email marketing tool to send newsletters and promotions.
The TL;DR on ActiveCampaign
ActiveCampaign makes personal customer experiences possible at scale.
Pioneering the Customer Experience Automation category, ActiveCampaign is actively stealing customers from the competition with their Customer Success Commitment and integrated suite of automation tools. They help you turn the incoherent funnel you’ve been scribbling on the whiteboard into a real-life revenue-generating machine.
As with similar software tools, the price varies based on your list size. And, ActiveCampaign does not provide a freemium option (there is, however, a 14-day free trial that doesn’t require a credit card).
If you’re a small to medium-sized business that wants to get serious about automation, ActiveCampaign has a plan for you. And, it’s probably the easiest automation-forward email platform to use.
Allow me to explain…
Now for the four-course review of ActiveCampaign.
Founder Jason VandeBoom, like so many business owners, was doing a lot of tasks over and over and over again for his clients.
So, what started as a consultancy in the late 90s evolved in 2003 into an “on-premise” software company that automates repetitive sales and marketing tasks. For those of you that were born with cloud-based SAAS tools and smartphones in hand, “on-premise” software tools are ones that you download directly to your computer’s hard drive.
In 2013, ActiveCampaign ditched the “on-premise” model and joined the cloud economy. Today they serve more than 90,000 customers in over 150 countries.
In 2020, ActiveCampaign raised a $100 Million Series B to fund their growing Customer Experience Automation platform. In other words, they have cash in the bank and big plans for the future.
They’re precise in communicating which verticals, teams, and “jobs-to-be-done” they help with. This makes the sales and onboarding process feel helpful in getting your most important work done (not many SAAS companies can say the same).
Customers aren’t shy about their praise for ActiveCampaign, either. Much has been said about how Customer Experience Automation helps companies grow.
Let’s get to the big question on your mind…
How much does ActiveCampaign cost?
Similar to most email marketing services, ActiveCampaign’s prices vary based on list size.
What’s helpful about their pricing page is you can calculate what you’ll pay based on that size and which plan you want. They have a plan for all types of business, from 2-3 man teams to enterprise-level firms.
Once you pass the 25,000 contact level, the more expensive plans require you to get on a call to learn pricing.
Please don’t tell me you expected something different. This is SaaS we’re talking about.
Another cost ActiveCampaign addresses that most SAAS companies avoid is the cost of migration. Moving from one platform to another can eat up your time and hard-earned dollars faster than the Prince of Nigeria gobbled up a $5k wire from my Grandpa-in-law last year. ActiveCampaign will handle migrating “your subscriber lists, email templates, and automations for free.”
With that in mind, let’s break down exactly what you’ll be paying for.
4 problems ActiveCampaign solves.
Jason VandeBoom won’t go quietly into the night. He’s on a mission to tackle the biggest problems companies face with growing: automation, segmentation, personalization, and orchestration of many channels.
This is software that never sleeps. Whenever prospects and customers choose to engage with your marketing, ActiveCampaign will be there to guide them to the next part of your funnel. Whether that’s to sign up for a webinar, complete a form, buy a product, or get back to that abandoned cart; you can rest assured that, with the proper setup, your campaigns will never stop working for you.
Gone are the days of targeting “20-40 year old women” for lip gloss sales. ActiveCampaign helps you monitor behavior and demographic traits so you can target “20-25 year old women who love the smell of strawberry and want a lip gloss that shimmers in the moonlight.”
You get to make sure the right people see your message and the right time.
Predictive, personalized campaigns might be the 8th wonder of the world. ActiveCampaign is smart, and it can guide your shimmering lip gloss lovers down a personalized funnel where even the best send time is predicted. Sending the right message is easy when ActiveCampaign picks and sends it for you.
Just look at your bookmark bar, and you’ll see the problem here. Lots of channels means lots of data, and lots of data can create loads of confusion. ActiveCampaign helps you orchestrate all that data in one place, and create beautiful customer experiences with it.
It does the usual software stuff, too. Only better.
With support, ActiveCampaign goes beyond the typical chat, email, and help desk support. They offer training courses, webinars, and one-on-one training sessions (Professional and Enterprise accounts get 3 monthly one-on-one training sessions).
It’s like they’ve built their own marketing automation university (no textbooks required, just massively helpful software).
I’d be remiss if I didn’t also point out the integrations that are available, including Facebook, Shopify, and… well, just take a look at this slideshow composed by yours truly:
There’s enough inside ActiveCampaign to make automation-lovers feel like 5-year-olds on Christmas morning every time they log in.
That reminds me…
Who ActiveCampaign is for.
If you’re the type of business that cares about ease-of-use, saving time by automating common tasks, and segmenting your contacts so you can provide personalized outreach at every touchpoint, ActiveCampaign is for you.
Current customers are the people who find it helpful to cater content to different audiences with ActiveCampaign’s easy tagging and segmenting features.
We also recommend ActiveCampaign for those implementing multi-channel marketing funnels. ActiveCampaign really excels in this category.
Who ActiveCampaign is not for.
You may not enjoy ActiveCampaign if you don’t want to invest the time to build out loads of automation.
There’s no doubt that taking advantage of all its features will require time on your part. You’ll need to build out campaigns, customize forms, manage your contact records, create automation… it can be a lot.
ActiveCampaign is an impressive piece of marketing software with stellar features and support. It’s a solid solution for small to medium-sized businesses looking to dive into automation without the complexity of other platforms.