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The age of app stacks is long gone. Long live all-in-one tools!
Or, if we can’t get all-in-one tools - then at least tools that meet multiple business needs at once.
And when it comes to Jack of all trades tools, ActiveCampaign is a great option.
What is ActiveCampaign?
It’s a tool that doesn’t just offer email marketing (although that’s what it’s best known for), but also marketing, sales, and CRM solutions. It even went as far as to offer machine learning.
ActiveCampaign even promises it’ll help you “Turn leads into customers into repeat customers.”
But does it deliver on its promise?
In this ActiveCampaign pricing review, I’ll dig into the features every plan offers and help you decide if ActiveCampaign is a good fit for your business.
Right now, ActiveCampaign has 4 active pricing plans:
In addition to the starting price, you’ll pay extra depending on your number of contacts.
This is really one of my pet peeves for email and marketing software in general.
It feels like they’re actively discouraging us from growing our mailing list.
Everyone’s businesses are different - yours might have a lengthier sales funnel or sales cycle, and paying hundreds of dollars ahead might affect your cash flow.
For example, the Plus plan might look great - $49/month for all those features sounds like a bargain!
But if you want to use it for 10,000 contacts, your price will be $199/mo.
This pricing catch, that’s not unique to ActiveCampaign but universal to the majority of marketing tools (except for systeme.io), is exactly what made me want to dig in deep.
So, what does every plan have to offer?
The Lite plan includes:
What does ActiveCampaign’s email marketing include?
Targeted emails are sent to specific audience segments.
When these are paired with triggered emails - emails sent when a contact performs a specific action (e.g. clicks on a link, purchases a product), they personalize and supercharge your email marketing.
All of this helps you shape your email marketing funnel.
Once a lead enters your funnel, they’ll be guided through it with an automated sequence that ends with their conversion.
In short, ActiveCampaign’s email marketing features really streamline personalization.
You can craft content for different subscriber groups to make sure everyone responds to it well, and you can automate the sequences so you capture interest while your leads are still hot.
ActiveCampaign pop-up subscription form
The second staple of ActiveCampaign’s Lite plan are sign up forms.
You can choose from 4 types of forms:
You can also use iPad forms to capture contact information in person, add custom fields and customize the forms to fit your branding.
I absolutely love the fact that ActiveCampaign includes marketing automation in their cheapest plan.
(For example, ConvertKit requires you to upgrade to a more expensive plan to be able to automate your emails.)
So, how does ActiveCampaign’s automation work?
First up, you can track your contacts’ behavior.
If someone already subscribed to your mailing list, you can automate follow-up sequences.
For example, if they visited your pricing page, you can automatically follow-up via email to reengage them.
Integrating Shopify and ActiveCampaign to stop cart abandonment
Email segmentation also takes on a more powerful note with ActiveCampaign.
You can add “tags” for interests and behaviors, and then send different kinds of emails to different groups.
It’s just like talking to your customers and watching what they do in real time, except that it doesn’t harm their privacy or require you to spend 24 hours every day taking care of it manually.
It’s all on auto-pilot!
All in all, ActiveCampaign’s Lite plan is great.
It gives you everything you need to set up efficient and automated email marketing funnels.
In the long term, this increases your conversion rate on autopilot.
Looking for more features? Let’s check out the next plan!
The Plus plan has everything that comes with Lite, and:
The easiest way to explain dynamic content is: you create one email, and your leads see different messages.
Let’s say you’ve got cat and dog lovers, like in the example above.
You’d create one email blast, and add dynamic content sections.
In those sections, you’d create two types of content: one for dog lovers, and one for cat lovers.
When you hit send, every audience segment will receive an email with content they care about.
You can also change your CTAs:
Promoting a new product?
Offer demo to fresh leads, sell to nurtured leads, and give a discount to loyal customers.
It’s an amazing feature for scaling your business!
SMS marketing is a pretty novel feature, and one that shows that ActiveCampaign wants to become an all-in-one marketing platform.
Since texts have much higher open rates than emails (90% for SMS, 20% for email), SMS marketing is a great way to strengthen relationships with your customers.
How does SMS marketing with ActiveCampaign work?
All in all - SMS marketing is a handy feature for scaling!
Lead and contact scoring is where we’re dipping our toes into the CRM (customer relationship management) and sales waters.
Depending on your leads and contacts’ actions, you can track their “behavior points.”
Someone has 50 engagement points? Notify your sales team so they can follow up personally.
3 points? Probably needs more nurturing.
30 points? Ripe for closing the deal.
You can set up scores for practically everything:
And more! Seriously, the list goes on and on, and I love it.
Finally, ActiveCampaign lets you retarget your leads via Facebook Ads.
And since you’re using the lead information gathered by your ActiveCampaign email marketing, you can make sure your ads are hyper-personalized.
This is a great option for businesses that are already using Facebook retargeting.
However, I wouldn’t recommend it unless you already have thousands of qualified
If you subscribe to the Plus plan, you’ll be able to set up some really impressive integrations.
What can you do with ActiveCampaign’s deep integrations?
Again, this is a really, really advanced feature. But if you’ve got thousands of customers, it’s definitely worth looking into.
The Plus plan is for marketers who mean business.
With cross-channel features like SMS marketing, Facebook custom audiences, and deep data integrations, it’s best suited for businesses that already have tens of thousands of leads.
The Professional plan includes everything from Lite and Plus, with a few machine learning additions:
Using machine learning and your email data, ActiveCampaign will automate email blasts and send them at the optimal time.
Great option if you’re sending thousands of emails every week!
Predictive content works similarly.
You’ll have to write up to 5 variations of your content, and ActiveCampaign will choose which content works best for different audiences, based on your historical data.
It’s still in beta, but it’s a powerful feature to keep an eye on!
Based on lead scoring and historical data, ActiveCampaign will show you:
Win probability functions depend on your data and lead scoring, but they can be a powerful way to align your marketing and sales teams.
ActiveCampaign’s customer attribution allows you to understand the value of each channel in your sales funnel.
You can practically track your customers’ journeys from the start to finish, and identify areas for optimization.
This plan is definitely for big companies who are ready to cut back costs while acquiring more customers.
If you’ve considered using business intelligence tools and you have departments within your company, then yeah - you need Professional.
I’ll be really short here.
Enterprise plan offers all the features from the previous plans, but you get extra perks such as:
In my opinion, this is great if you’ve got a company with thousands of employees. If you’ve got a small to mid-market business, skip this one.
In general, I’d recommend Lite or Plus if you’re looking to supercharge your email marketing.
But in any case, you should first take a look at your goals and needs, and then find a plan that suits you.
Your tool should always adapt to the way you work, not the other way around.
Thanks to different plans, pretty much everyone can use ActiveCampaign.
However, it’s best suited to businesses that primarily use email marketing for their sales.
If you have lengthier sales cycles and you need to convert quickly to rebound from your customer acquisition costs, then ActiveCampaign’s detailed targeting and automations can help!
Now that you have a clearer idea of what ActiveCampaign offers, it’s time to take a look at competitors, their features, and what they have that ActiveCampaign doesn’t.
Namely, you’ll see that ActiveCampaign doesn’t have an affiliate marketing program, while systeme.io and ClickFunnels do.
All in all, systeme.io is a much better option for new business owners who want to supercharge their marketing and truly replace their tech stack with just one tool.
Honestly, ClickFunnels does offer a few handy features, but the pricing is convoluted.
The main difference between the second and the third plan are firstly, the incredible price jump, and secondly, the number of domains, payment gateways, and users.
Other than that, ClickFunnels offers:
I recently wrote an in-depth ClickFunnels review right here, so take a look if ClickFunnels caught your eye.
MailChimp has been working hard to establish itself as an all-in-one marketing platform, but does it do the trick?
MailChimp features include:
However, it’s yet another service where you have to calculate your price based on the number of your subscribers, and it doesn’t offer a lot by way of all-in-one marketing.
Ultimately, the decision is yours.
ActiveCampaign has powerful email marketing, sales, and CRM solutions.
Automations are certainly one of their most important features.
However, if you’re looking for an all-in-one solution, you can’t go wrong with systeme.io!