I've been using ActiveCampaign since 2016 and honestly, an email marketing provider would have to be offering something incredibly special for me to consider switching. You could say I'm a bit of an ActiveCampaign fangirl. And in this post, I'm going to explain why I'm so passionate about being part of the AC Army.
Like many entrepreneurs, I started out using Mailchimp. but made the move to ActiveCampaign once I'd been in business a little over a year, when I began craving greater flexibility - specifically with email automations. This isn't a post about Mailchimp, but I feel that I should add that I still recommend it for early-stage entrepreneurs who are new to email marketing. It can be a little clunky, but it has some decent features and is a perfectly satisfactory starting point. (If you're just kicking off and you're not feeling the Mailchimp monkey vibes but you're not quite ready for ActiveCampaign, give MailerLite a look-in.) Anyway... back to ActiveCampaign.
I was originally going to create a bit of a "pros and cons" list about ActiveCampaign. However, I realise that every business' use case for email marketing software is slightly different. So instead of generic pros and cons, I'm telling you about my favourite and least favourite parts of the ActiveCampaign software.
My favourite parts about ActiveCampaign
I've been upfront about the fact that I LOVE ActiveCampaign, so I'm sure you won't be surprised to see that my list of my favourite things about the software is a little long. I've done my best to keep it brief, without skimping on the detail so much that this review becomes useless.
1. It's powerful AF
As a self-confessed nerd, I get extremely excited about powerful software. I like to know that the software that I've chosen for my business has the capacity to grow and scale with me. And ActiveCampaign fulfils that requirement completely. Even though I've been using this software for years, I'm still nowhere near using it to its fullest capability and that fills me with so much geeky joy.
I'm currently on the PLUS plan, because I wanted access to the ActiveCampaign ---> Woocommerce Deep Data integration for Pop Your Business Gifts (and for my own research and experimentation in email marketing for e-commerce businesses... I told you I was a nerd). I haven't fully configured it yet and I know there are heaps of features like SMS Marketing, CRM and one-to-one training, which I haven't even explored yet. Like I said... it's a powerful tool.
2. The automations are lit!
This is a bit of an expansion on my last point, but the automations in ActiveCampaign are SO GOOD they deserve their own mention. ActiveCampaign automations make me so excited, because it just feels like there is so much possibility.
Like I mentioned, it was my automation cravings that led me to make the switch to ActiveCampaign in the first place and I have not been disappointed. Whether we're looking at an email welcome series, specific purchase campaigns, automations based on behaviour... it's just amazing. I've experimented with a few different email marketing platforms and ActiveCampaign always outdoes the competition. I know other providers are increasing their capability around tag-trigger automations now, but ActiveCampaign does this really well and I've never come across an automation that I couldn't make work.
3. ActiveCampaign are always listening...
And not in a creepy, "I just had a conversation about something and now it's showing up on my social media ads" kinda way. But more in a way that they're regularly asking for feedback and they actually listen when feedback is provided. Not only do I get regular surveys from ActiveCampaign measuring my advocacy, but they actually called me. Like, a real person, employed by ActiveCampaign here in Australia, picked up the phone and called me to ask me how I'm doing and to see if there's anything they could do to help me. Did you just hear my mind explode?
Don't get me wrong. I hate talking on the phone. And I'm not a fan of unsolicited calls. But when was the last time that a software provider you pay money to, called you and offered 1:1 support? For me, the answer is never. Their customer service is awesome and they are always offering training, case studies, tips, articles and advice on how to make the most of their software.
4. It integrates with everything I need it to
Notice the way I phrased that. I can't guarantee ActiveCampaign will integrate with everything YOU need it to. But I can tell you that the integrations are excellent and I've not had any problems. ActiveCampaign integrates directly with Thrive Themes, which I use to build my websites. It also has the aforementioned WooCommerce Deep Data integration and it plays well with Zapier and Pabbly Connect, the two automation programs I use.
Integration is something that is super dooper important to me, as systems and automations are one of my primary focuses. I've had some trouble with this when experimenting with other email marketing providers in the past, which is why I've brought it up. In fact, it is quite common for a client to begin working with me and for me to find that their software stack doesn't integrate well at all. By researching integrations at the beginning of your journey, you can save yourself a lot of drama (and potential software switching) later on.
5. It creates beautiful email communication
This is pretty standard across most email marketing providers these days. Beautiful emails are integral for lots of businesses, so most software will allow you to customise your email templates and create aesthetic campaigns. In this way, I don't necessarily believe that ActiveCampaign is ahead of the rest, but I wanted to mention it just in case. I didn't want to not mention it and have you think their email editor was rubbish.
In saying this, ActiveCampaign have just opened Early Access for their new and improved email editor, which has loads more customisation capability than the previous editor. I've tested it and it's pretty great! It's a little slower for me at the moment because I'm so used to their old version that I have to really think about where I'm clicking to make changes, but I have no doubt that I'll be whizzing around in there in no time.
So, what don't I love about ActiveCampaign?
In short, not much. But this wouldn't be a real review if I wasn't completely open.
1. It can have a bit of a steep learning curve
With power and capability comes a complex system. Personally, I find ActiveCampaign to be quite intuitive. But I do have a lot of clients who aren't as tech-savvy as I am, and I know it can be a little tricky to wrap your head around, especially if you you're new to the world of email marketing and automations.
With this in mind, I would like to reiterate that ActiveCampaign have loads of trainings and resources available to help you get started. And I find most of their help documentation to be pretty helpful. It might just take you a bit of extra time to get used to the way ActiveCampaign works and to make the most of its fabulous features.
2. It can be a little expensive
ActiveCampaign is definitely not the cheapest email marketing provider on the block. And in the earlier stages of my business, this had more of an impact on my decision making. What I often tell clients is this:
If you're new to email marketing and you're looking for a free option, check out one of the options I mentioned at the beginning of this post. But when you get to a point with that software that you need to start paying to access additional features or to grow your list, it's time to switch to ActiveCampaign.
Of course, you get what you pay for and if you're tech-minded, you have complex plans for your list building activities or you are looking for specific software integration capabilities, you might decide to invest straight off the bat. And if that's the case, you can be assured that you're making a solid choice.
Will you give ActiveCampaign a try?
If you're interested in jumping on board with ActiveCampaign, please feel free to use my affiliate link below. You can trial it for free without even entering your credit card details. If you do decide to give it a spin, keep me updated and let me know what you think!