feature image: what is activecampaign

What is ActiveCampaign and why do you need it?

ActiveCampaign is a powerful email marketing, marketing automation, and CRM tool. They’ve been in business since 2003, serving B2B, B2C, and eCommerce customers.

ActiveCampaign is built on the idea of driving growth with better customer experiences. And so they’ve created marketing and sales tools for lead generation, lead conversion, and customer retention.

Let’s dive in and find out how good ActiveCampaign is. We’ll start with what the company is about and what it can do for you. Then we’ll cover how to use ActiveCampaign, its main features, and finish off with pricing and pros & cons.

What is ActiveCampaign?

ActiveCampaign email marketing automation dashboard


ActiveCampaign is a marketing and sales automation tool with a strong set of features. ActiveCampaign was always powerful in email marketing, but then they’ve become a platform that is more complete. They also offer CRM for each stage of a customer’s journey.

Here are 5 interesting facts about ActiveCampaign:

  • Starting out in 2003, ActiveCampaign now has offices across 3 continents. 
  • They have 150,000+ customers across 170 countries.
  • They have 850+ employees working for the company across the globe.
  • They offer a whopping 500+ prebuilt automations.
  • They raked in an estimated $165 million in revenue in 2021.

ActiveCampaign is a powerful tool to improve your processes and results. It offers many features that are perfect for any serious marketer, business owner, or agency. The prices are a little steep compared to other similar software but as you’ll read and find out, ActiveCampaign is worth dishing the extra money for.

Do I need an email marketing and automation tool like ActiveCampaign?

You need email marketing and marketing automation tools to have a good ROI. Let’s discuss the advantages of both:

  • Email marketing has the best return on investment compared to other marketing channels.
  • You own your audience with email marketing. If Facebook or Twitter shuts down tomorrow, you’d lose all your audience. With Email marketing, you’ll never have to worry about such a thing. Even if your ESP goes down, you’ll still own your email lists.
  • Emails support highly engaging media. With support for images, text, gifs, and videos, create highly engaging marketing messages. 
  • Marketing automation saves time. When you automate recurring tasks, it frees you up to think about higher-level aspects of your marketing.
  • Marketing automation personalizes communication. Collect names, dates, preferences, and more with tools like ActiveCampaign. Use these to create highly personalized and well-timed messages that suit each customer.

And here are some reasons why you’ll enjoy using ActiveCampaign:

  • Industry-leading marketing automation features with 500+ pre-built automation templates
  • Email marketing for all stages of the customer journey
  • Modern templates for forms, landing pages, and automations
  • Easy to use landing page builder
  • Useful tracking features to constantly monitor and improve campaigns

How can I learn to use ActiveCampaign?

ActiveCampaign is easy to get started with. When you sign up for ActiveCampaign, they offer a handy wizard to set you up.

The dashboard navigation is intuitive and the drag and drop builder is easy to use. If you’re stuck at any stage of a process, you’ll find a nifty help button at the bottom-right corner of your screen. Use the help button to start a live chat session or navigate to the help center. If that doesn’t work for you, register for accelerated onboarding to quickly learn ActiveCampaign.

ActiveCampaign’s help center covers all the topics related to the software. You’ll find information on how to set up a campaign, how reports work, how to use CRM, and more. Before you make any commitments, try ActiveCampaign today and get a feel for the platform.

What else does ActiveCampaign offer besides email marketing?

ActiveCampaign is a loaded tool with powerful features beyond email marketing. Use it to create forms, landing pages, automations, and keep track of deals.

Create forms

  • Choose from 4 types of forms
  • Use forms as a starting point for automations
  • Choose from different actions when someone signs up

Create landing pages

Create automations

  • 500+ pre-built automation templates that cover many business use cases
  • Automation builder comes loaded with conditions and actions
  • Comes with lead scoring and advanced segmentation options

Keep track of deals

  • Automated contact management lets you see your whole sales process at a glance
  • Create contact cards and assign dollar values to contacts
  • Filter deals according to value, next steps, expected close date, and more

How to use ActiveCampaign: Main features

1. Create forms and popups to generate leads

There are 4 types of forms with ActiveCampaign: Inline Form, Floating Bar, Floating Box, and Modals.

4 type of form options

There are no templates for forms but you’ll find editing options to create them to your exact liking. The cool thing about ActiveCampaign is you’ll add your website URLs to see how they’ll appear on your website.

form editor preview

The form editor is user-friendly. Edit dimensions, layouts, colors, fonts, animations, thank-you prompts, and more. You can use your form as a starting point to build an automation sequence. By clicking on the ‘Trigger Automation’ button, you’ll redirect to the automation editor. Here you’ll decide what to do whenever a subscriber signs up with one of your forms. 

2. Send email to share news, educate and sell

ActiveCampaign’s email marketing features are designed with automation in mind. To create your first email, go to your ‘Campaigns’ menu and create a new campaign.

campaign type options

You’ll be happy to find multiple email types. Go for an engaging newsletter, create autoresponders, drip sequences, compare email variants, or wish contacts happy birthdays.

When you select your email type and contact list, you’ll choose from over 300+ templates and start designing your email. The templates not only cover different styles but marketing campaigns like ‘Post Purchase Upsell’ or ‘Sign Up For a Webinar’. With these templates, you’ll hardly ever need to start from scratch.

The email drag and drop builder is easy to use and offers 9 blocks.

email editor screenshot

Make your email stand out by dragging and dropping images, buttons, videos, social links, and custom code. The design process feels simple yet offers detailed editing. You can drill down into each element to adjust anything from color to size, and everything in between.

3. Use marketing automation for lead capturing/nurturing

ActiveCampaign marketing automation keeps your sales funnel well oiled and running. When you create an automation, you’ll select a ‘recipe’ to start with. These are automation templates. Once you get the hang of the automation builder, you’ll have the option to start from scratch.

activecampaign automation creation options


Filter recipes by industry and language to find the exact automation you’re looking for. Some popular and interesting use cases include:

  • Product interest tagging: Tag contacts who visit a product page several times.
  • Site tracking abandoned cart: send emails to customers who abandon carts on your website.
  • Add points for campaign link clicks. Increase a customer’s lead score whenever they click a designated link

These are just some of the automations. The automation editor is visual and comes with tons of options for triggers, actions, messages, and conditions.

automation journey builder screenshot

Add if/else conditions, split automations, send emails & SMS, set start & endpoints, and calculate lead scoring. It’s easy to automate tags, titles, tasks, and more. You even have the option to set up multiple start points for given automation.

4. Use sales automation to close deals faster

Manage your contacts in a single location. You don’t have to go after phone numbers, email addresses, mailing addresses, or any other contact information. View a lead’s history and modify contact details from the contact record automatically. Get a glimpse of your whole sales pipeline as well.

The sales automation process is the exact same as marketing automation. Add CRM tags for deal values, deal status, lead score, and more to track your sales progress and automate frequent communication.

automation triggers and conditions

Who is ActiveCampaign for?

ActiveCampaign is a versatile tool, suitable for a broad range of users. It works best for the following industries:

  • Technology: onboard users, reduce churn, and track in-app events.
  • Blogger & Influencer: increase subscribers with lead magnets and sign-up forms. Use automated emails to send new blog posts and offers. Check out our Master Guide to Email Marketing for Bloggers
  • Education: Score candidates for best fit with lead scoring features and identify student interests.
  • Agency: Manage client relationships, keep track of tasks, build brand content and trust with clients.
  • Small Business: Recover lost income, improve customer behavior understanding, manage sales processes and personalize customer communication.
  • Entertainment & Events: Automate communication both before and after an event. Promote offers to your loyal fans/members, and drive ticket sales.
  • Travel & Hospitality: Easily connect with frequent guests, and automate communication before arrival and after departure. Automate reservations and convert prospects into paying guests. 
  • Non-Profit: Manage your donor lists, automate welcome emails, and drive awareness campaigns with drip series.
  • Healthcare: automate pre and post appointment scheduling. Decrease missed appointments with automated reminders. Use follow-up surveys to gauge patient satisfaction.
  • Real Estate: Manage client relationships with CRM tools. Organize listings and keep track of leads through all stages of a sales funnel.
  • Fitness & Nutrition: Create marketing tasks to maintain and increase client retention. Track website behavior and send automated product recommendations. We also wrote an article on automation strategies for a gym you might enjoy.

What does ActiveCampaign cost?

ActiveCampaign starts from $15 dollar a month for 500 contacts on their cheapest plan. The price on each plan increases as the number of your subscribers goes up.

Active Campaign monthly pricing

Here’s the breakdown for each plan:

Lite

  • $30/month for 1000 contacts
  • $61/month for 2500 contacts
  • $99/month for 5000 contacts
  • $174/month for 10000 contacts

Plus

  • $70/month for 1000 contacts
  • $125/month for 2500 contacts
  • $186/month for 5000 contacts
  • $287/month for 10000 contacts

Professional

  • $187/month for 1000 contacts
  • $187/month for 2500 contacts
  • $262/month for 5000contacts
  • $424/month for 10000 contacts

Get started with a 14-day free trial to test out all the features before committing to a plan.

ActiveCampaign discount

If you choose the annual plan, you’ll get a 10-20% discount depending on your plan and number of contacts. If you’re a non-profit organization, you can claim a 20% discount on your plan. Sign up via this link today to get up to 20% off.

Pros and Cons of using ActiveCampaign

What we like the most

  • Really powerful automations
  • 300+ templates for emails
  • 500 recipes for automations
  • Easy to track and score deals

Can be better

  • Some email templates need a 2022 overhaul
  • With so many features, getting used to the dashboard may take some time

Conclusion: What is ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is more than an email marketing tool. It’s a powerful marketing and sales suite. Use it to create automated workflows, manage the customer journey with sales CRM, and create customized campaigns to attract leads.

What you pay at higher prices, you get back in powerful features and hundreds of templates for a wide range of business use cases.

Of course, before jumping into any product, we advise you to do your due diligence. Read this in-depth ActiveCampaign review and take ActiveCampaign for a test drive to get a feel for the tool.

Rukham Khan

Rukham Khan, is marketing writer and specialist. He writes about email, content, and lead generation tactics in an effort to help and inform entrepreneurs and small businesses. In his free time, you can find him playing squash or managing his personal blog on Medium.