When it comes to digital marketing software solutions, the amount of options that are available is nothing short of an avalanche.
What’s important to remember is that you have to identify your needs and assess how much of your resources you can commit to addressing those needs before you can find the best fit for your business.
A couple of things you definitely cannot do without in this day and age? Email marketing and marketing automation.
Email marketing has come a long way from blasting sales letters en masse. Your contacts in your database need to be nurtured on an individual basis because this can result in a 4x-10x improvement in response rate.
And to nurture leads, you need to be actively segmenting your audiences so that you can deliver personalized experiences that delight your potential buyers.
But as your business grows (and your contact database along with it), you’ll quickly realize that managing emails, along with a number of different tasks, becomes quite repetitive and inefficient.
That’s where marketing automation comes into play, with the power to increase purchase frequency more than threefold and double your customer retention rate.
Most customer relationship management (CRM) software will allow you to do both of these tasks, but we find ActiveCampaign to be particularly suited for smaller businesses.
What is ActiveCampaign?
ActiveCampaign calls itself a Customer Experience Automation software, and when it comes to email marketing and marketing automation, it is arguably one of the best-in-class.
Think we’re joking? ActiveCampaign was ranked #2 on G2’s list of top marketing automation software, and this is despite garnering better reviews from more users than HubSpot.
ActiveCampaign ranked just under HubSpot on G2’s top marketing automation software list
We’re not saying that one is distinctly better than the other because the reality is that they each have their own advantages that cater to different segments, but we’ll get into that later.
In terms of what they have on offer, ActiveCampaign is similar to HubSpot in that it offers:
The level of personalization you can achieve with ActiveCampaign is a few steps above the rest when it comes to email marketing. Multiple conditions can be applied to each segment you create, such as their location and even as granular as total page visits or money they’ve spent on your products, and this allows you to develop a much deeper relationship with your contacts.
Workflows with ActiveCampaign are extremely thorough. Not only does the platform have a multitude of pre-built automation templates for you to adapt and tweak, but it also takes advantage of the next-level insights generated by ActiveCampaign’s deep data integrations.
CRM & sales automation
Although email marketing automation is what has solidified ActiveCampaign’s position as a leading service provider, it does offer seamless integration with your e-commerce platform. ActiveCampaign also offers predictive analytics that you can factor into your workflows depending on how likely a lead is ready to buy.
Reporting & analytics
The dashboard gives you access to analytics that track campaign performance over a wide range of metrics, especially when it comes to overall subscriber activity for your email lists. On our end, we can also give clients live access to a custom dashboard that shows them just as much as they need to know, but not enough to overload them.
Where does ActiveCampaign shine?
The multifunctionality of the platform gives team members with roles in marketing, sales, and service more of a reason to make use of it, but while it does have this approach, ActiveCampaign’s user-friendly tags and lists system and its vast repertoire of integrable third-party apps (over 350 to be more precise), still make it better suited for automation-focused efforts rather than being an all-in-one CRM.
But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing either.
Why did we choose to partner with ActiveCampaign?
Well, aside from the discounts and commission we receive from the partnership program, we’ve realized that ActiveCampaign is just such a good fit for the types of clients we get.
We do a lot of work with helping SMEs grow their digital capabilities, and HubSpot can be overkill at times. In many cases, our smaller clients don’t really need the full suite of solutions because they are not dealing with such high volumes of sales.
We’ve definitely raved about HubSpot before, but in this particular case, less is more, especially with such a substantial difference in price point.
ActiveCampaign’s pricing (left) vs. HubSpot’s pricing (right)
Moreover, ActiveCampaign specifically aims at improving smaller businesses while HubSpot leans toward larger enterprises.
93% of ActiveCampaign’s reviews are composed of small businesses vs Hubspot’s 54.7%
And by being an agency partner, not only are we constantly updated on new developments with the software, but we are also provided with a number of tools that allow us to have an easier time onboarding clients to ActiveCampaign without disrupting their business.
What can ActiveCampaign do for our clients?
ActiveCampaign’s main selling point is the in-depth level of detail put into their automations, typically resulting in fewer emails that need to be sent while still achieving a higher conversion rate.
One of the ways they do this is through what they call true automation recipe functionality, meaning their automation workflow tools are comprehensively fleshed out for a vast number of customer situations.
Their Marketplace is a rich repository of over 520 pre-built automation recipes that have been developed by the ActiveCampaign community, from sending welcome emails upon subscription to automating a response when a lead abandons cart.
So in a nutshell, what you get is an incredibly granular level of business intelligence and a highly customizable degree of control.
And if you’re truly committed to building consumer trust through meaningful experiences with your brand, then these are two things that you cannot do without.