ActiveCampaign is more than an email newsletter tool. It offers a solution to the entire customer experience cycle (marketing, sales, and service). If you only look for an email newsletter tool, it would probably be an overkill (the pricing would be higher than other solutions and there are a lot of features you won’t use). But their email newsletter tool is still very relevant. It’s intuitive and has many capabilities. We went through the process of creating an account with ActiveCampaign so you could see what is included and if it is for you. Let’s jump straight to the ActiveCampaign review.
ActiveCampaign has more than 120,000 businesses as clients. With their platform you can set up a landing page, add a form for people to subscribe, organize your contacts in a CRM, and automate the process of sending emails based on segmentation and personalization.
To start, create an account. They offer 14-day free trial, and there is no need to enter your credit card or phone number at this point.
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Creating an account -ActiveCampaign review
First, add your name. Then you’ll need to provide some information about you (the industry your business is in, how many employees you have, and how many contacts you have). As you can see by those questions, they are targeting businesses more than solo creators, but it doesn’t mean it’s not for you.
In the next screen you can pick the goals you are trying to achieve with ActiveCampaign. The relevant one for a newsletter is “Build and send more targeted, segmented emails”. Finally, you can connect your profile to other tools you’re using to make them work together.
Well done, you finished the set up! Now we are in the dashboard.
There’s an easy onboarding task list that you can go through, or just pick a step from the left menu.
If you are just starting out with your email newsletter, you probably don’t have contacts yet. So the step that makes sense is to create a form – to let people subscribe to your newsletter. If you already have a subscribe form, skip this step.
Important note: if you get lost in the dashboard, you can always get back to this screen from the “Getting Started” option on the left menu. The “Form” tab is under “Site”.
Build a subscribe form
ActiveCampaign’s form builder is actually very intuitive. First you need to decide how to present this form to your potential subscribers. The two left options are part of your website, and the two right ones are floating pop ups.
Click on create and then edit the fields and the style. You can also edit the action that happens upon submit. It can be a thank you note that appears or a URL that opens up. Additionally, you can choose what happens with this contact (add to a list, add a tag, etc.).
A more advanced option is to add an automation process to the flow. For example, when a contact submits a form, then you can send an email, send a site message, or send an SMS.
That’s nice and everything.. but let’s take it a step further! You can add conditions and workflows. For example, you can set a timer, add what ifs scenarios, and more.
As you may notice, it can get complex very quickly, but it allows you more freedom to do whatever you want (without the need to code).
Start a newsletter campaign – ActiveCampaign review
This is what you came for. A campaign is the tool you need to use in order to send out a newsletter. Start by selecting the type of campaign you want. It’s probably going to be a “Standard” campaign. Next, pick the list of subscribers that will get this newsletter. Then, design and edit the newsletter.
You can start from a template or from scratch and build it yourself. Either way, you’ll have a drag-and-drop menu from which you can pick elements to add to your newsletter. Elements include text, image, button, video, line break, spacer, and more.
Surely, you can make the email more personalized and add the first name of the subscriber. There are additional options, but keep in mind you have to have all the info about the subscriber in order to take use of these features. To make it personalized, click on the text box, and more settings will open up. On the right you’ll see the personalization button.
Finish editing the newsletter by adjusting the colors, fonts, and borders. Click next and the summary popup will be displayed. There you can see that everything is like you want it to be. You can also send a test email to see how it looks when you receive it.
Additionally, you’ll need to add a physical address to the newsletter (required by law). Next, there are multiple tracking options. Do you want to track when a subscriber opens or reads your email? Or do you want to keep their privacy? There’s a huge public debate about tracking, you can read more about it here.
Finally, set a time to send the newsletter. If you want to send the newsletter based on segmentation, you’ll have to create multiple campaigns and change the subscriber list for each segment.
ActiveCampaign review – conclusion
ActiveCampaign newsletter tool is a pretty intuitive tool. You have many capabilities and features. It might be an overkill if you just need to send a newsletter once in a while to one subscriber list. But if you want to use personalization and segmentation, it might be the tool for you.
They also offer many guides and tips on email sending best practices, so you can learn from it a lot.
Anyway you don’t need to pay straight away. Start with the 14-day free trial and check for yourself if you like the tool.