When we first started out, we were using ConvertKit. This was fine; I was just beginning my entrepreneurial journey, and a friend who also had a business told me how great it was.
I was the sort who wanted to make it but feared failure, so EVERYTHING I did was modeled after somebody else’s actions. Protip: Don’t be that guy. Blaze your own trail.
Before we go off on a crazy tangent, let’s bring it back to reality: this is a review of ActiveCampaign and why I want you to give it a fair shake. They even have a free 14-day trial available for you.
There’s no reason you shouldn’t try it out, especially after you hear my review. Stay with me, keep reading, you won’t regret it!
My Problem Was Outreach
I wasn’t getting the conversions I wanted. I consulted some mentors, and we came up with a plan, one that involved revamping my outreach campaigns. I was going to get better at social media and email in particular.
Email is super important in terms of outreach. Radicati Group informs us that 2.5 billion people worldwide and growing use email. It’s a great way to connect; it is tried and true. People of all ages use it.
Email is actually quite personal when you think about it. Gmail separates promotions and personal messages, but some providers do not. Imagine having your message next to that of somebody’s friend or family member. You become personal!
Email is cost-effective, too. You don’t need to partner with an influencer and pay them or give them free product, and you don’t need to spend money on TV or radio ads (or internet ads, for that matter).
You can even sweeten the pot by adding a coupon code that entices the customer to open the message and buy.
My point? Email matters! And if you want to see those conversions, you gotta get into it. ActiveCampaign is the way to do it, and now we will get into the meat of it, or why it’s so great.
In a hurry? Check out this quick summary of ActiveCampaign, which has a 97% deliverability rate.
I like ActiveCampaign because they offer superb automation in their campaigns. They have auto-responders that are based upon a plethora of conditions.
They can also offer automation of one’s contact list, and they can provide you with list management, too. The “Deals” system is great because you can put in notations next to contacts, make appointments or send them DMs if you like.
You can personalize your correspondences thanks to the “customer messages” function. This helps you send targeted messages to visitors, which optimizes their experience.
It’s a great tool to build those relationships and connections.
I think the program is a bit of an overload at first, but it is SO worth getting to know, and the prices aren’t bad either, we pay $199 a month for the Professional package for 5,000 contacts.
It’s great for our small but growing business. You can pick your plan, pricing, and base it on how many subscribers you have.
Email deliverability, refers to the ability of an email to get into the inbox of your recipient. Deliverability is also related to the placement of the inbox; your message might go to the primary inbox, the promotions area, or worse, the spam/trash folder.
Email deliverability rates are contingent upon emails accepted by your recipient’s ISP- for instance, 97% of emails are delivered, while 3% bounce.
You want to be mindful of the factors that affect email deliverability. For example, if you send spam emails, or you are added to somebody’s blacklist, your deliverability will be hurt. Having low open rates is another thing to consider, you could end up relegated to a server that has a low sender reputation by your email service provider.
So, what is deliverability like with ActiveCampaign? I’ll be frank – it’s the best.
Using ConvertKit wasn’t so bad; their rates were fine, but I’ve had better luck with ActiveCampaign. After all, their deliverability rate sits at 97% – they lead the industry.
By contrast, ConvertKit has an 81% deliverability rate. This is OK but nowhere near as good as ActiveCampaign!
Any deliverability issues, you can be sorted out immediately with their excellent support team. Simply send a message, and a team member will get on it quickly, working with you to sort it all out.
So, you choose your campaign, and the cost is generated based on these factors:
- Amount of contacts
- Package you want (You may choose Lite, Plus, Professional or Enterprise)
- Whether or not you want Conversations (this is an additional $9 a month at the time of this writing)
Let’s say you have 500 contacts. Here’s what you pay:
Lite: $9 a month
Plus: $49 a month
Professional: $129 a month
Enterprise: $229 a month
You are billed on a yearly basis for these tools. You can toggle the number of contacts to see the price. To learn more about ActiveCampaign pricing and discounts, check out the link below:
Next, I know you guys are wondering about ActiveCampaign Discounts. If you are a non-profit organization, you can look forward to 20% off your email campaign price.
All you have to do is send an email to their Sales Team, and they will help you get started reaping this benefit.
You just need to provide proof of being a non-profit org.
For those of you that are not Non Profits, rest assured that when you pay yearly, you are saving money as compared to paying monthly.
You should also sign up for their email newsletter to get info on the latest discounts and coupons- you never know what they will offer next.
ActiveCampaign vs. ConvertKit
When it comes to ConvertKit, I am something of an expert. I used to use it when we first got started. It’s not a bad program by any means. It’s just very basic in nature. If you have NO IDEA what you’re doing, then sure, try out ContactKit. It works. But when you are ready to take that next step and get advanced, come to ActiveCampaign.
Heck, why don’t you just come to ActiveCampaign now? It’s definitely got a bit of a learning curve compared to ConvertKit, but you can do it.
Besides, ActiveCampaign has more advanced segmentation and CRM. They’ve got smart automation and TONS of customization tools.
With this, you can definitely keep up with all the new contacts you’re going to make.
Let us compare the Lite program (ActiveCampaign) and the ConvertKit Complete Plan.
Under each of these plans, you get 1000 contacts.
With the Lite Program you get:
- Great support team
- Training on the program
- Advanced automation
- Email Marketing
- Totally Free Migration!
- Unlimited emails each month
It costs, drum roll please… $17 a month.
Now onto the Complete Program:
- You get unlimited emails each month
- Basic automation
- Email marketing
This will run you $24 a month.
You can certainly see who the clear winner is here!
But let’s talk more about the nuts and bolts of why I prefer ActiveCampaign over ConvertKit. Once again, we are keeping with the comparison of the Plus vs. the Complete plan.
- On Lead/Contact Scoring: The ConvertKit complete program has no options for you to track your contacts’ engagement so you can figure out a good time to reach out and make those conversions.
- On Automation Maps: The Plus program offers you the chance to see how automation connects with one another. This way, it becomes much easier to update marketing accordingly, alter strategy if necessary, and create new automations if needed. The Complete program offers none of this.
- On Automation Split Testing: This helps you use if/then statements to deliver customized communications without having to actually make heaps of email automations.
- SMS Automation: You’re nuts if you don’t think SMS is necessary for making conversions! With the Plus program, you can reach out with a text message to your contacts in an automation; meanwhile, you can’t do that with the Complete program.
Now let’s talk about email marketing features….
Drag n’ Drop: You can look forward to a drag n’ drop email designer with ActiveCampaign; meanwhile, you don’t get that with ConvertKit.
Conditional Content: One size doesn’t fit all in marketing- with Plus, you can place different messages in front of different groups using specific rules. It can’t be done with ConvertKit.
Deliverability Team: Yes, a real team of real people will go over your first batch of emails and verify they are compliant with deliverability requirements.
Scalability and Stack is Customized: Plus lets you create customized stacks for your situation, which lets features scale with you easily. You simply don’t get that with Complete.
Regarding Sales Automation…
ConvertKit’s sales automation pales in comparison to ActiveCampaign. The Complete program offers no sales automation tools whatsoever. With Plus, you get:
- Mobile CRM
- Flexible CRM
- Win probability
- Lead Nurturing
- Task Management
- Deal Management/Deal Creation
- Stages (keep track of items as they move)
- Deal Scoring
- And more!
Support is also better with ActiveCampaign…
- High-Quality Training: It’s going to take some getting used to, but you will learn the basics of ActiveCampaign with their awesome training program that teaches you what you need to know.
- Continued Learning: Enjoy workshops, calls, and more with the ActiveCampaign team that keeps you always learning and answers questions you encounter.
- Migrations are Free For All: To get this, you would need 5,000 contacts with ConvertKit. Here you get free migrations for all users included with Plus.
Messaging Is Far Better With Plus…
You don’t get any of the following if you decide to go with the ConvertKit Complete program:
- Live chat and Conversations (it is an add-on purchase, but still very handy)
- SMS Marketing
- Custom Audiences for Facebook
- Mobile app for Conversations
If you are ready to make the change from ConvertKit, or any email marketing provider for that reason, you can be sure that ActiveCampaign will make it a seamless and smooth transaction, as they did with me.
How to Use ActiveCampaign
Get ready to undergo training- that’s how you will learn to use this program. And don’t worry, it’s an engaging and fun training program you will enjoy using.
The training course is free, and it offers you the following benefits:
- Easy to follow walkthrough of all you need to have your account get established and ready to email like crazy
- How to use and navigate your Dashboard, account and more; how to add your address, so you are compliant with email law, and how to get site tracking in motion on your site
- How to get your contacts organized- you will import contacts you already have, add new ones, and sort out the contacts into segments using tags and other helpful info.
- How to set up and send out your first ActiveCampaign, and the six different types of campaigns you can create with the program.
- How to do your first automation, and if you’ve never done this before, don’t fret- they have a walkthrough of this, too. You will use this to figure out what parts of your enterprise you will automate right from the get-go.
- You will also learn how to create and automate sales using the program’s CRM.
By the time the course is over, you will be cruising through like an old pro. You will be great at collecting contact info, putting them into segments, and then making automations that do the marketing work for you. You can then easily manage sales using the CRM.
It’s all done with a few clicks using the drag ‘n drop capabilities of the program.
You might be wondering how the learning takes place. I am a visual learner, and I have to do things through repetition to get them down. Naturally, I was a bit nervous about how I was gonna learn this stuff, but I found out there was no need to fret.
You learn from a series of professionally produced HD videos with a real live instructor named Chris, who works for ActiveCampaign.
You will have materials created and updated continuously by ActiveCampaign.
You will get reference sheets that show you the basics of Active Campaign and why they can benefit your business.
The videos are quite numerous, 30 in total, as I recall. I know what you’re thinking: “Yikes, man! Ain’t nobody got time for that!” The videos are fast, though, and you won’t be sitting there for a year trying to learn this stuff. You can do the ENTIRE THING in 2 hours. The vids are to the point and dare I say, fun to watch.
Wondering about alternatives to this campaign? You’re not alone. Here are some popular ones:
- MailerLite: This is an affordable program, and they even offer a free plan, which is good for beginners. They have some pretty nice templates, and it’s quite easy to use. That being said, you do have to pay for premium features.
- MailChimp: Here’s another popular one; they too have a free option. They do offer lots of great services such as geo-tracking, integration with Google analytics, and clean but effective templates.
- GetResponse: They offer inexpensive email marketing services, and are great for international businesses. They can offer service in 6 languages. Automation options are good, and templates are standard.
ActiveCampaign negative reviews
Despite my good luck and good fortune with this program, you are going to find some nay-sayers out there. It’s only right that we include them because you deserve to see the program from all sides.
Only then can you decide if it’s really right for you. Here they are:
Jake Tacher writes: “We use it as a CRM for sales and marketing. We also TRY to use it as a way to calculate commission.
It’s unsmooth to work with, and it’s kinda backward in some ways. It’s very buggy. We did like the price, and we did like the marketing automation. However, the server goes down a lot.
It’s good if you have like, 5-10 people. It’s pretty simple. But if you plan to scale, I recommend a better CRM.”
Jake gave ActiveCampaign a 3/10.
Verified User writes: “Proceed with caution. This is used solely by our marketing team. It is economical and addresses the building blocks of automation in marketing, such as email marketing, lead scoring, and form handling.”
I liked the easily deployable emails, and I liked the easy to use form tool. I did not like the reporting functionality. There are no paths for ad-hoc reports. The form tool lacks styling capabilities, too.
It is also difficult to establish unique paths for each individual contact using certain triggers and behaviors. The segmentation and list building features are hard to maneuver.
I think this is a good tool if you are looking to get into marketing automation, but you don’t need reporting on a comprehensive scale. If you need ad hoc reports or segmentation of advanced lists, then I advise you to stay away.”
So, that’s what we found, taken from the website TrustRadius. We paraphrased the reviews for brevity’s sake, but please go and read them for yourself by clicking here.
It’s also worth noting that we definitely noted some “cons” when it came to the product. Here are our main gripes:
- Slow at times- When I go to view some reports, I find that it can be rather slow on the go. Veteran users report that they were even slower when their site first began.
- It’s hard to edit many emails in automation. Trying to edit emails in an automation using ActiveCampaign is a pain in my tookus. I found it easier in ConvertKit.
- Editing, in general, is a pain: I found it easy to edit in ConvertKit, and I expected that same level of ease in ActiveCampaign. However, it’s actually a bit harder to learn and master. (Not impossible, though!)
- OF. FEATURES. I love to learn, and I love to customize my emails. However, the vast amount of features ActiveCampaign offers are overwhelming, and newbies might feel better off using a simpler platform.
I wouldn’t give up my ActiveCampaign subscription for the world, but I cannot lie and say it’s totally perfect, either.
Why I Recommend ActiveCampaign
- The integrations: I love the way that you can integrate this program with so many others. It really makes it that much easier to keep everything in one place.
- The Message Variables: If you want to create a whole collection of HTML snips to be reused throughout your email campaigns, go for it. Suppose you are altering a coupon code, for instance, in one of your automations. This makes it a cinch!
- THE DELIVERABILITY!! I get a bit excited about this one because they literally have the highest deliverability in the industry. I know other companies have pretty high rates; for example, I’ve heard lots of good things about MailChimp, but if you have support issues with your deliverability, ActiveCampaign is the way to go. They sort out problems fast, and their support is second to none.
- The price is right. You really can’t beat the price when it comes to what you get from the service. Sure, you can get cheaper options elsewhere, but the quality of services offered is not going to be the same, so spend those few extra dollars and choose something you know will work.
I think that ActiveCampaign is great for anybody that wants to get their outreach on point, regardless of business size. I highly encourage you to check it out, even if you feel happy with your current email campaign provider.
You will be pleasantly surprised at how versatile it is. You can build and customize whatever you want, and the price is right. Give a try to the 14-day trial and see for yourself the goodness of ActiveCampaign.