November 22, 2017

Email marketing tool review: ActiveCampaign

I’ve been reviewing the marketing automation tool ActiveCampaign recently. ActiveCampaign have put some heat on Infusionsoft in the last few years by providing a product that does most of what Infusionsoft can do, but at lower cost.

The automation engine is very much like Drip. You can create workflows where you direct people down different paths based on their actions, fields, tags and so on.

AC workflow

I have to riff on something here. There is a sizeable community of people online who gleefully refer to Infusionsoft as ‘Confusionsoft’, but what these people fail to realise is that ALL these systems can be a recipe for confusion. Incidentally, that was originally why the legal name of my business was ‘The Confusion Clinic’.

If you jump in and start building automation flows without a clear plan, you willend up confused. It doesn’t matter what tool you use.

The workflow automation in ActiveCampaign has a fairly comprehensive set of goals, and CRM options, but I wouldn’t kid yourself that learning to use these things will be a walk in the park.

(End of riff…)

Something I DO like about ActiveCampaign is the lead management. In a similar interface to Pipedrive, you can keep track of sales opportunities across multiple pipelines.

AC pipeline

Second riff: something ActiveCampaign do that bugs me about a lot of these tools is calling an email broadcast a ‘campaign’. An email broadcast isn’t a ‘campaign’. You’re not marshalling your forces and going to war. So why not just call it what it is: an email broadcast.

(End of second riff…)

For me, where ActiveCampaign falls down is the absence of native order forms. There’s no ecommerce element. As a platform, the tool is very much focused on marketing automation. If all you want is marketing automation, then it looks like a very effective tool. If you want to start taking orders online, running membership sites and so on, you’ll need to tie in a variety of apps and other services. The cost of these apps can quickly escalate. (This is a common criticism of Infusionsoft, too).

As a marketing automation tool, I think ActiveCampaign is a very credible platform. But as always, you need to assess your requirements properly before you jump in with these things. Don’t get excited by the bells and whistles, and find three months down the line that you can’t get the data you need into or out of the system.

Rob Drummond

Rob Drummond runs the Maze Marketing Podcast and Maze Mastery. Rob specialises in content production, ad creation, storytelling and CRM systems. He has two published books, Magnetic Expertise and Simple Story Selling, affordable on Amazon.