Logo
1
ActiveCampaign
4.7

ActiveCampaign Review - The Height of Automation?

inka wibowo
Professor

ActiveCampaign has been working towards having marketers send fewer email, while also allowing them to achieve better results. Boasting many features and integrations, as well as quick and friendly support, they do sound like a powerhouse newsletter marketing tool.

One of the most important features of this Chicago-based company is its automations. Not only does it allow autoresponders, based on myriad conditions, but it also allows automation of your contacts and list management, as well as automations within its CRM system (known as ‘Deals’). This ‘Deals’ system is also worth noting, and allows you to add notes to contacts, set up appointments or simply send direct messages to them. In addition to that, they have the site messages feature. Using it you can send targeted messages straight to your website visitors.

And, while at first glance pages such as the Dashboard can seem a little busy and overly complicated, it’s not hard to understand how useful it is to have all your information in one place.

Let’s dive in and take a closer look at ActiveCampaign:

Try ActiveCampaign for free: http://www.emailtooltester.com/out/activecampaign-youtube Find a more detailed ActiveCampaign review here: http://www.emailtoolt... ActiveCampaign Review - The Pros & Cons of the Newsletter Tool 2016-05-10 https://img.youtube.com/vi/yZSYPcpc9v0/hqdefault.jpg

Try ActiveCampaign for free

500 SUBSCRIBERS

$15/MO

Lite plan. Discounts available for yearly contract.

1,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$29/MO

Lite plan. Discounts available for yearly contract.

2,500 SUBSCRIBERS

$49/MO

Lite plan. Discounts available for yearly contract.

5,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$89/MO

Lite plan. Discounts available for yearly contract.

10,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$139/MO

Lite plan. Discounts available for yearly contract.

50,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$299/MO

Lite plan. Discounts available for yearly contract.

Extremely powerful automation:

One of the best marketing automations out there. Not only extremely powerful but also easy to use.

Thorough reporting:

Offers reporting on all areas such as click-maps, geo-tracking and page visits. Purchase tracking is available on higher plans for Shopify, BigCommerce and WooCommerce.

Great deliverability:

In our deliverability tests, ActiveCampaign proved to be one of the best tools in getting emails delivered.

Free migrations:

If you are coming from a different email marketing software, ActiveCampaign offers to do the account migration for free.

Features can be overwhelming:

This might only be considered a con if you’re after a quick and simple email solution. There are simpler newsletter services out there, so you may want to look elsewhere if this is all you need.

criterion rating comments

Ease of Use

ActiveCampaign have a very user-friendly design, with menus being easily navigable. The dashboard, which could feel crowded if not designed correctly, has a useful ‘Getting Started’ slider to help new users. And it has demo data to give you an idea of how best to use sections. It may be a little complicated for the absolute beginner though.

Newsletter Creation

Editor

The editor is fast, and has a couple of handy features. One is saving custom ‘blocks’ to reuse, and the other is allowing you to see changes other people have made, Google Docs-style. Although finding your last action to undo can be painstaking due to multiple auto-saves every minute! Another issue we had was in creating columns, this was needlessly finicky. Also, there is no quick way to preview your newsletter.

Personalization

yes

An easy to use If/Then/Else logic is available via ‘conditional content’ which allows you to show certain customers different content based on certain conditions like interests, links clicked in the past etc.

Email types

Classic newsletters, SMS, autoresponders, A/B testing, RSS triggered, birthdays (date-based).

Choice and Flexibility of Template Designs

ActiveCampaign have around 40 modern, responsive templates to choose from. You can handily preview them in another window. Other tools offer more template options, and also slightly more features/content blocks within the editor.

Email Automation

Their marketing automation really is the one to beat for newsletter tools. It’s extremely powerful, and very user-friendly, allowing you to automate follow-up campaigns, edit multiple conditions and much more. This is all done via an easy-to-use flowchart-style system. There are also pre-made ‘recipes’ for you to use, or get ideas from. Otherwise you can start your own automation from scratch. Learn more in these video tutorials.

List Management

Compared to some other tools, managing contacts and lists is made much easier, and automated, due to being able to use their automation functions to organise people into lists. Learn more here.

Registration Forms/ Opt-in & Opt-out- Process

Easy to use, let’s you create your own fields. Next to the standard forms, which are fully responsive, it also allows you to create floating forms and modals. Simple but effective.

Deliverability

In our deliverability tests ActiveCampaign scored the best out of all our tested tools, including with the most popular providers like Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook and AOL.

Reports and Analysis

Basically allows reporting on everything (opens, click-maps, page visits, geo-tracking). Ecommerce reports are also available on certain plans for Shopify, BigCommerce and WooCommerce.

Languages

Their website is available in English and Portuguese. You can change your user profile in one of more than 15 languages (including Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian etc.). Support is only available in English though.

Further Features

Spam- and Design-Testing

These are both available. Spam testing is simply a ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ that you get before you send out your campaign, yet there are no factors present to help understand the ruling. An email client preview is available, too, but at a price of $1 per test/client, which seems a bit steep.

Bounce Management

yes

Soft bounces are counted as hard bounces after three times, and this then puts them in an exclusion list.

Blacklist

yes

This is the aforementioned ‘exclusion list’. You can import contacts directly into this list, and export too.

Storage available for data and images

Unlimited

Images above 1000px will be downsized.

Pro Features

Authentication

yes

SPF and DKIM are supported.

Own Domain

yes

It’s possible to use your own tracking domain to improve your newsletter’s company branding.

Different levels of account access

yes

This is a very flexible system, without specific levels. You define the group names and also the exact access for each of those groups via tick-boxes.

Integrations

yes

ActiveCampaign offer a massive amount of integration options, such as PayPal, Shopify, Google Analytics, Facebook and WordPress. You shouldn’t have a problem finding what you need. Find all integrations here.

Landing Page Editor

no

This is not available.

Support

5/5

Support is fast and friendly, via all mediums. Their knowledge base is particularly useful and easily searchable, I had very little difficulty finding relevant search results. They also have video tutorials available, webinars (live and archived) and one-on-one training on the ‘Plus’ plan.

Overall rating

4.7/5

ActiveCampaign is one of the most powerful newsletter tools on the market. Hardly missing a thing when it comes to features, and also simple enough for most people to make full use of them.

activecampaign-top-choiceIt’s really tough to fault ActiveCampaign, not only do they offer almost everything you need within a newsletter marketing tool, but they do it very well. The reporting offers you insight into almost all facets, such as page visits, geo-tracking, openers, ecommerce and more. One area that is slightly lacking is the newsletter editor, not offering an experience as slick as other tools out there, with a few niggling features that could be done better (like the revision history).

The support is as advertised: friendly, helpful and fast. Email and chat support are great, with a personal feel to the communications. Their knowledge base is easily searchable and actually returns relevant results a high percentage of the time. With their ‘Plus’ plan you even get access to one-on-one training and helpful webinars, which is a nice addition.

ActiveCampaign really are one of the best choices you could make if you’re looking for an all-in-one newsletter marketing tool. Their automation is the real deal, and makes other tool’s versions of this pale in comparison. You’ll need to be prepared to put in a bit of time, and perhaps spend a little more money, but your business will reap the rewards. If, on the other hand, you’re just looking for a simple way to blast out newsletters, a solution like GetResponse or MailerLite might be a bit easier to get your head around.

Try ActiveCampaign now for free for 15 days.

MailerLite is one of the most affordable solutions, in fact, their free plan is very generous. Their approach to email marketing design is admirable, offering well modern-looking templates. It’s also one of the easiest tools we’ve ever used.

GetResponse is a powerful alternative to ActiveCampaign with loads of pro options (e.g. a webinar tool) and good automations. Unlike ActiveCampaign, they offer their platform in more than 20 languages, and their design and testing tools are top notch.

SendinBlue: this French provider is one of the cheapest you’ll find. Their registration forms are pretty flexible and allow for interesting personalizations. They are available in 6 languages and have a nice feature that will let you preview your campaigns in different email clients.

Still not sure which is the right newsletter tool for you? Try our Smart Finder.

inka wibowo
Coming from a digital agency background, Inka has helped businesses of all shapes and sizes to get their email marketing up and running. Now, she's excited to be helping businesses in a different way - by equipping them with the information they need to find cost-effective, easy-to-manage tools for their email marketing.

Latest Updates

07 Mar 2019 - Smaller updates (including available languages)
7 Jan 2019 - Deliverability rating updated
12 Jul 2018 - Recommended section added
20 Mar 2018 - Deliverability rating added
25 Oct 2017 - ActiveCampaign changed prices
25 Apr 2017 - Site messaging added.
09 Aug 2016 - Minor text updates, top choice banner added.
10 Aug 2016 - Video review added.
09 Mar 2016 - Initial tests.
Arrow Up
 
 
 
The Email Marcketing Crash Course for Beginners Ebook Cover

Get your FREE ebook now! 100% knowledge, 0% spam!

Develop your email marketing strategy the right way! Read this ebook and you'll be surprised how simple it is.
  1. Get detailed email marketing basics
  2. Avoid email marketing mistakes
  3. Understand relevant legal issues
  4. Choose inexpensive newsletter tools
  5. Discover the best tips & practical experience
Instant Download