ActiveCampaign Review, Pricing & Features

ActiveCampaign Review, Pricing & Features

ActiveCampaign is an all-in-one platform that includes email marketing, marketing automation, and an integrated CRM.

Pros

  • ActiveCampaign includes a sales CRM platform
  • ActiveCampaign offers advanced automation capabilities including customizable triggers and workflows
  • ActiveCampaign allows you to split test automation workflows

Cons

  • CRM and A/B testing is not included in ActiveCampaign’s Lite Plan
  • Some users find ActiveCampaign to have a steep learning curve
  • ActiveCampaign limits the number of conditions you can add to a segment

Analyst's Rating

86

What is ActiveCampaign?

ActiveCampaign is a marketing automation platform used by more than 130,000 businesses worldwide. ActiveCampaign is ideal for businesses that prefer an all-in-one solution that includes email marketing, marketing automation, and an integrated CRM. Although ActiveCampaign serves B2B and B2C businesses of all sizes, the majority of their customers are small and medium-sized businesses.

Try ActiveCampaign Today

Table of Contents

ActiveCampaign Review Summary

ActiveCampaign was founded by Jason VandeBoom in 2003. Today, ActiveCampaign has more than 750 employees and is used by more than 130,000 businesses. ActiveCampaign serves businesses of all sizes, from budding entrepreneurs to enterprises with more than 500,000 contacts. Roughly 75% of ActiveCampaign customers are small to medium B2B and B2C companies.

ActiveCampaign’s platform can be used for B2C email marketing, as well as B2B marketing automation. The company’s more expensive plans come with an integrated CRM system, lead nurturing and other features that B2B customers require. ActiveCampaign’s standout feature is its automation workflows which allows you to send a series of personalized messages triggered by your customer’s behavior.

ActiveCampaign’s pricing depends on the plan you choose and your number of contacts. Pricing starts at $15 per month for up to 500 contacts, and costs $599 per month for up to 25,000 contacts. Access to CRM functionality is only offered in more expensive plans. ActiveCampaign does not offer a free plan.

  • We recommend ActiveCampaign’s Lite Plan for companies that need a high-quality, basic email marketing solution. This plan should be compared against Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor.
  • We recommend ActiveCampaign’s Plus, Professional, and Enterprise Plans to B2B companies that are interested in a platform that combines email marketing and CRM. This plan should be compared against Hubspot and Marketo.

ActiveCampaign Pricing & Cost

ActiveCampaign pricing includes four subscription plans that offer varying levels of sophistication. The price of each plan depends on the number of your contacts, as we show in the table below. ActiveCampaign does not offer a free plan or pay-as-you-go pricing. ActiveCampaign offers a discount for annual contracts paid upfront.

Number of ContactsLitePlusProfessionalEnterprise
500$9$49$129$229
1,000$25$49$129$229
2,500$45$99$129$229
5,000$79$135$199$359
10,000$125$199$279$399

ActiveCampaign Features

Below, we'll discuss ActiveCampaign’s key features. We include product screenshots to give you a sense of this solution’s interface and usability.

Dashboard

ActiveCampaign’s dashboard offers an overview of your company’s activity and performance. Additionally, the dashboard includes shortcuts for the most commonly-used features. Here are some of the items you can track in the dashboard:

  • Automations
  • Campaigns
  • Contact trends
  • Manage templates
  • My tasks
  • Pipelines
  • Recent activity
  • Top contacts
ActiveCampaign Dashboard

Data Integration and Storage

You can use ActiveCampaign to collect and store data about your customers. This data is key to segmentation, personalizing content, and implementing trigger emails. Below, we explore ActiveCampaign’s data fields and offer an overview of importing customers and data.

Data Fields

Contact information that you collect and store in ActiveCampaign is organized into data fields. You use these data fields to segment your lists in order to send better targeted communications. Examples of data fields include:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Email address
  • Phone number

ActiveCampaign allows you to create custom data fields and tags to capture additional contact information that is relevant to your business. Custom data fields are used to store information that is permanent and unique to each contact. Here are examples of commonly used custom fields.

  • Birthday
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Social media information

Tags are used for contact data that is temporary and prone to change. Examples of tags that are commonly used include:

  • Action tag: Tracks contact behavior. Metrics include “visited a page” and “downloaded ebook.”
  • Engagement tag: Tracks level of contact’s engagement during an automation sequence. Metrics include “clicked link” or “visits page.”
  • Product tag: Tracks the products your contact has purchased.
  • Source tag: Tracks where lead originated from.

Unlimited data fields and tags can be created and added to each contact. Other solutions enforce a limit on how many fields can be added per contact. For example, Mailchimp only allows you to add 30 fields for most of their plans, and Constant Contact only allows 20 fields per contact.

Importing Customers and Data into ActiveCampaign

You can import data through a variety of ways in ActiveCampaign. Below, we highlight some of the primary methods of data collection.

Data Collection MethodDescription
Manual EntryCustomer information can be entered manually through copy and paste.
CSV filesYou can upload spreadsheets that contain customer data.
Pre-built integrationsBuilt-in integrations allow ActiveCampaign to seamlessly share data to and from third-party solutions. ActiveCampaign integrates with over 300 third-party platforms. We further explore ActiveCampaign’s integrations later in the review.
APIActiveCampaign has an open API that allows businesses to create custom integrations. You can use this to move data in and out of ActiveCampaign and build custom applications that leverage ActiveCampaign’s functionality.
Signup formsYou can embed signup forms in your website and emails to capture customer data.

Segmentation

ActiveCampaign’s platform includes segmentation tools that you can use to create segments of customers using the data that’s stored in the system. Using segments is a best practice to increase the relevancy of your emails, and save cost by reducing send volume.

You can define the segment conditions to include or exclude portions of your list. Here are some of the segmentation conditions found in ActiveCampaign:

Data SourceDescriptionExample Data Points
Contact ActivityThis type of segment condition is based on contact behavior.
  • Achieved goal
  • Has been sent
  • Has clicked on a link
  • Has entered automation
  • Has opened
  • Total page visits
Contact InformationThis type of segment condition is based on the attributes associated with each contact.
  • Date subscribed
  • Email
  • IP address
  • Name
  • Phone
  • Total conversion value
DemographicGeographic segmentation is based on the location of your contact
  • Area code
  • City
  • Country
  • Region
  • State
  • Zip code

You can create complex segments in ActiveCampaign using any and all logic. Specific operators included in ActiveCampaign’s application are:

  • Is & is not
  • Contains & does not contain
  • Is blank & is not blank
  • Is after
  • Is on or after
  • Is before
  • Is on or before
  • Exists & does not exist
  • Greater than
  • Greater than or equal to
  • Less than
  • Less than or equal to
ActiveCampaign Segmentation

ActiveCampaign allows you to create a virtually unlimited amount of segments. However, there are a few limitations in this solution.

  • You can add up to 20 conditions per segment
  • You can add up to 5 "Action" conditions per segment
  • You can use up to 3 conditions that use the "Contains" operator per segment

Email Builder

ActiveCampaign includes over 100 pre-built email templates for common use cases like weekly newsletters and abandoned carts. You can also build templates from scratch with ActiveCampaign’s email editor.

Email templates in ActiveCampaign consist of drag-and-drop design blocks that contain elements such as text, images, and buttons. Templates can be stylized and formatted to include different layouts, colors, and fonts. Conveniently, you can save design blocks to use again in future campaigns. For example, you can save header or footer information to keep your branding consistent across all newsletters.

activecampaign email builder

Design blocks can be conditional. This means you can control which parts of your email appear to different segments of your contacts.

activecampaign email builder conditional design blocks

For full control of your email’s appearance and functionality, you can add custom HTML blocks to your templates. Additionally, you can design your entire email from template scratch using ActiveCampaign’s HTML editor.

activecampaign html editor

ActiveCampaign’s email builder includes version control. This allows you to track changes made by your team, and revert templates to previous versions.

activecampaign-builder-version-control

ActiveCampaign’s preview tool shows you how emails will appear on desktop and mobile. You can also send yourself test emails. Paid plans include compatibility previews, so you can see how emails appear in Gmail, Yahoo, Apple Mail, Outlook, and on iPhone &iPad.

A/B Testing

ActiveCampaign has a robust email testing tool that you can use to optimize your emails. You create up to 5 versions of an email, and send each version to a portion of your customers. In the table below, we highlight the major components of ActiveCampaign’s A/B testing.

A/B Test ComponentDescription
VariablesSubject lines, preheader text, email content, from information
Email VariationsUp to 5 versions
Testing Pool Size1% to 100% of list
Testing Length PeriodVirtually unlimited
Winning MetricsClick rate, open rate

ActiveCampaign allows you to test more email variations than many of its competitors. For example, Mailchimp and SendPulse only allow you to test 3 email variations at a time. Also, ActiveCampaign includes multivariate testing. This means you can test multiple variables, like subject lines and email content, in the same experiment.

ActiveCampaign allows you to A/B test drip campaigns with a series of messages. You can distribute your contacts evenly and let the software analyze the winning path. There are a variety of different conditions you can apply to select the winner, which helps you make data-driven decisions to optimize your overall marketing strategy.

Marketing Automation

ActiveCampaign allows you to create drip campaigns that send a series of automated messages to contacts. ActiveCampaign offers impressive marketing automation features that allow you to build complex workflows from scratch. The software utilizes a visual workflow builder that makes creating advanced automations easy.

ActiveCampaign Review Automation Workflow

ActiveCampaign includes 24 triggers that can start an automation sequence. The automation wizard includes descriptions of each trigger.

ActiveCampaign Review Automation Triggers

Once you've selected a trigger, there are a variety of different actions that you can include to build out your automation workflow. These include subscribing to a list, waiting for a period of time before sending your email, or using conditional logic to create a branching point .

ActiveCampaign Review Automation Trigger Conditions

Contacts that enter an automation can also be segmented using a combination of conditions that we covered earlier. This allows you to create highly targeted automations across your lists. For example, you can trigger a drip email sequence based on whether a subscriber opened an email AND clicked on a link OR didn’t engage with an email. A wide range of combinations makes ActiveCampaign an extremely powerful automation tool.

ActiveCampaign Review Creating Segments For Automation

Customer Relationship Management

ActiveCampaign's CRM helps you close more deals by automating the sales process and moving leads further along your pipeline. The CRM works through drag-and-drop functionality, and has a similar layout to Trello.

You can organize leads into various stages of your marketing pipeline. The pipeline is customizable. For example, your pipeline may be called "Company Outreach," which includes the stages "To Contact", "In Contact", and "Follow-up". You can create as many pipelines as needed.

ActiveCampaign Review Leads management

ActiveCampaign includes automation features to manage leads automatically. Leads can be added, updated, moved, and prioritized in your CRM automatically based on a range of criteria. As an example, if a recipient clicks a specific link in your email, they can be added as a lead.

The CRM allows you to assign a score for each lead. This helps target the most important leads with the highest chances of converting, allowing you to deploy your resources accordingly.

Deliverability

You should choose an email system that gets a high percentage of your emails into recipient inboxes. In the email world, this is known as deliverability.

There are several best practices that email systems should follow to increase your deliverability. Overall, ActiveCampaign has a strong reputation for deliverability. As you can see below, it follows the best practices.

Deliverability FeaturesOffered by ActiveCampaign
Deliverability analytics and reportingYes
Deliverability-specific benchmarksYes
Double opt-inYes
Automated contact removal for soft & hard bouncesYes
Dedicated click trackingYes
Email authentication (DKIM & SPF)Yes
Dedicated domainYes
Dedicated IP addressYes
Unsubscribe optionYes

Analytics and Reporting

You can generate reports to help you analyze metrics, so you can see what’s working, and what isn’t. ActiveCampaign provides reporting functionality for Campaigns, Automations, Goals, Contacts, and Deals.

Campaigns Reports offers a snapshot of all campaigns and total opens & clicks. For a deeper look, you can select individual campaigns and segment metrics by:

  • Bounces
  • Email client
  • Location
  • Social shares & mentions
  • Unsubscribes

The report includes a dashboard that shows an overview of engagement, a graph of open trends, and an activity stream. One useful feature is the ability to resend your campaign to subscribers that didn’t open your original email, or to new contacts that have joined your list at a later date.

Integrations

ActiveCampaign integrates over 300 third-party different platforms. Below are some of ActiveCampaign’s most popular integrations.

  • ClickFunnels
  • Facebook
  • Google Analytics
  • JotForm
  • Pipedrive
  • Salesforce
  • Shopify
  • Unbounce
  • WooCommerce
  • WordPress
  • Zapier
  • Zoho CRM

ActiveCampaign Alternatives & Competitors

ActiveCampaign competes with a variety of email marketing solutions that offer similar functionality. The best choice for you will depend on your budget and feature preferences.

ActiveCampaign's top competitors are:

Is ActiveCampaign Right For You?

ActiveCampaign is a popular marketing automation solution used by over 130,000 customers. ActiveCampaign initially started as an email marketing solution. Over the years, this company has evolved into an all-in-one online marketing platform that provides advanced email marketing capabilities, intelligent automation, and a built-in sales CRM platform.

  • We recommend ActiveCampaign’s Lite Plan for companies that need a high-quality, basic email marketing solution. This plan should be compared against Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor.
  • We recommend ActiveCampaign’s Plus, Professional, and Enterprise Plans to B2B companies that are interested in a platform that combines email marketing and CRM. This plan should be compared against Hubspot and Marketo.

If you're interested, you can try ActiveCampaign today.

Lloyd Park

Lloyd Park is a Research Analyst at SoftwarePundit, where he conducts in-depth analyses of software markets and products. Lloyd also has experience managing the development of software platforms and is an expert in content production & media software. You can connect with Lloyd on LinkedIn.

Lloyd is an expert in several software categories including:

  • Dental software
  • Email marketing software
  • Field service management software
  • Legal software
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