What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation is a process of automatically streamlining processes and multifunctional campaigns across multiple channels.
With a marketing automation platform, you can target customers with predefined, automated messages across different email, web, social media, and text. The best part is that everything is sent automatically, based on the set triggers and workflows.
At any point, you should be able to see what is your customer journey progress and view its conversion rate. With this ActiveCampaign review, I try to answer all important questions about ActiveCampaign.
Why do we need to automate?
It is simple. By automating repetitive, voluminous tasks, you can reduce turnaround timelines and respond faster. Automating business processes allows businesses to achieve better results with lesser costs.
What are the features of a good marketing automation tool?
A typical marketing automation software treats customers as groups rather than individuals. It has built-in static flows, logic, and content, and usually, customers go the same path.
ActiveCampaign, though, takes marketing automation to the next level.
Quick Facts about ActiveCampaign
- Cloud software company for small to mid-sized businesses based in Chicago, Illinois
- Offers email automation, marketing automation, sales automation and CRM segmentation
- Over 145000 customers in 170+ countries
- Introduced a revolutionary way of engaging with customers using Customer Automation Platform
Customer Experience Automation (CXA) – a revolutionary AI marketing automation solution
While standard ways of grouping and analysing customers may still work, if you want to go one step ahead of your competition, you have to do something else – treat all customers as individuals and personalise their experiences.
ActiveCampaign created a revolutionary way of approaching customers called Customer Experience Automation (CXA). With this new marketing automation technology, all customers journey and analyses individually to get better results with the same amount of work.
With new next-gen automation, you create a simple flow, and ActiveCampaign dynamic features turn that flow into hundreds of unique experiences.
This type of automation accomplishes four essential things:
- Routing – sending automated emails is organised in sequences that make sense only to those individual customers
- Predictive Sending – a new feature to make sure your customers have a truly unique experience
- Timing – inside the workflow, you set pausing intervals to allow your customers to soak in the idea, so you can approach them again if they have not converted
- Content – customise every form, page, or email automation template to send automated emails and personalised messages
Employing Machine Learning for the most complex tasks
Machine Learning is a powerful technology that can speed up business processes to the level human could not even dream of.
In ActiveCampaign, Machine Learning is an important module that analyses each customer’s attributes, metadata, engagement, and conversions to determine to personalise experiences for each individual.
Automation learn based on customers data you collect so you can personalise the customer experience at scale.
How email automation impact your sales?
First of all, automation saves a lot of time, but that’s not all. By creating your workflows from the predefined templates, you always adhere to the high marketing standards optimised to get the best results.
Any new page, form, or workflow you can save as a template, so next time, it is just using it and changing a few parameters. As a result, instead of employing an additional person, you get a fully automated solution.
After some time, your workflows get more intelligent, and the automation you created gets another level of intelligence to determine a personalised experience for each customer.
ActiveCampaign Features at a glance
ActiveCampaign documentation is great and I am far from replicating it here. Instead, let’s glance and the main ActiveCampaign features to give you a good idea of what you can do with ActiveCampaign.
Guided account setup from the word go
Once your account is created you will have full access to all important account settings. With your main dashboard, you will see all the important steps that are left before you can start sending emails.
Your contacts are the most essential information you will import, manage and grow within ActiveCampaign. By building comprehensive and unique customer experiences with your contacts, you can strive for your business and make more sales.
Contacts are organised by several statuses like Active, Unconfirmed, Unsubscribed, and Bounced. By keeping an eye on the contact statuses, you can trigger a unique engagement with your customers. Usually, you build an automation workflow explicitly designed for that particular group.
Also, you can add tags and custom fields to your contacts. Depending on your campaign, you may add different things to your contact record. For example, it could be a category and interest field. Once you collect this information, you can use it in your automation workflow to create a dedicated customer experience.
There are three ways of adding contacts to ActiveCampaign:
- Import CSV – if you have an external email list from a different source
- Manually – sometimes you have to add a contact manually
- Subscription Forms – the best ways of acquiring and managing the contacts
Forms are one of the primary ways to add new contacts. These contacts can be your potential customers, so creating pleasant, user-friendly, and engaging forms is a great way to build your contact database.
There are many types of forms you can create with ActiveCampaign:
- Course enrollment
- Downloadable resources
- Demo for software
- Contact preferences
- Internal operations
- Contact Us page
The form you typically create first is an opt-in form on your website. It could be a newsletter, product updates, or other engaging topics to attract customers for the opt-in.
Email is the best way of communication as it is the digital channel with the highest return on investment (ROI). Effectively an email marketing campaign is an email sent in ActiveCampaign.
There are a few campaign types you can create:
- Standard – basic email broadcast
- Automated – created withing automation workflow and sent based on predefined triggers
- Auto-Responder – automatically sending marketing emails to new customers
- Split Testing – you can create two versions of the same email and see which one is performing better
- RSS Triggered – based on a trigger when RSS feed changes
- Date Based – a campaign that sends an email by checking for birthdays and anniversaries
You must set your campaign goals and expectations. Remember not to spam your contacts and instead provide a great value so you can be a resource they may use.
Before setting up a new campaign, always think about what type of response you expect and always stay curious and learn about your contacts.
Automation Builder is an outstanding resource within ActiveCampaign. You can build countless customer journeys allowing you to craft a whole communication experience for your contact.
ActiveCampaign automation is organised with triggers and actions.
A trigger could be a person subscribing to an email list, submitting a form, or opening an email. With triggers, you simply kick off your automation workflow.
An action is something you do when a trigger starts your workflow. It could be sending an email, set wait steps, or goals.
Automation Builder has an intuitive, graphical interface enhanced with predefined triggers and actions.
ActiveCampaign CRM differs from a classic CRM as it is incredibly flexible. It keeps your vital information, relationships, and customer interactions organised so you don’t miss an essential step in the process.
Some of the unique ways of ActiveCampaign CRM are:
- Order fulfilment – keeping an eye on order fulfilment
- Surprise & Delight – sending a little something to your most loyal customers to keep them engaged
- Event Registration – as contacts are grouped into stages, you can create different interactions to encourage them to register
ActiveCampaign CRM consists of four basic modules:
- Pipeline – can be sales, fulfilment or based on product types
- Stage – it is a step in the process
- Deal – it is a potential sale or opportunity
- Task – it is a to-do item
Contact deal segmentation is my definite, best feature of Active Campaign. By placing the contacts into separate, timeline containers you are able to create different marketing strategies in your campaign.
To increase customer engagement in your campaign, you can install a live chat on your website to act as a two-way chat tool for your business.
Using conversations, you can respond to incoming chats in real-time, set up notifications for incoming chats, respond to your chats via email, and use automation to create powerful, personalised experiences for your customers.
Why should you need conversations? There are three main reasons:
- Qualify and convert leads into customers
- Drive engagement with your brand
- Drive collaboration and efficiency across your teams
There is a comprehensive toolset of reports, including campaign, automation, goal, contact, deal, chat, marketing revenue, conversion, and even custom reports.
You can always keep track of how your communications perform and adjust your campaigns if needed.
ActiveCampaign – Executive Summary
In my opinion, ActiveCampaign is one of the most featured online marketing platforms. It is really hard to beat their advanced automation with any other marketing tool.
There is a learning curve to understand the tool and especially all the automation components. But, you can benefit from creating automation workflows and processes that other tools don’t have. This way you can be ahead of your competition.
ActiveCampaign has very responsive customer support, so if you get stuck you can always contact their friendly and helpful team via email or online chat.
I recommend ActiveCampaign email marketing automation to any customer or agency to raise their email marketing to the next level. New website owners can use this email marketing tool to grow their business while utilizing newsletters and automation in the Lite plan.
ActiveCampaign – Use Cases
- find out the source of the leads
- track all the leads and create personalise journeys
- current email platform was unable to meet the uniqueness of their business
- all leads a routed into ActiveCampaign CRM automation
- reminders are set, sot team members know when to contact the customers after they entered their funnel
- new, Google Sheets CX real-time customer report added without any additional cost
25% sales growth increase per year
150 leads per month
- unable to scale one-to-one communication
- no personalised customer experience
- no audience segmentation
- lack of intelligent automation
- created one source of truth
- less work in setting up campaigns
- added automation and personal outreach
- provided reach, attentive client experience
2782% contact base increased
50% less time on admin tasks
- no segmentation that led to lower customer engagement
- data fragmented across different tools
- difficult to share information across the organisation
- implemented list hygiene, list segmentation and targeted email automation
- easy integration between ticketing system and ActiveCampaign
- provided a centralised dashboard for core data
- introduced deals pipeline and automatic customer movement between stages
70% increase of email open rate
44% increase of email CTR