After over a decade leading marketing teams and specialising in B2B marketing strategies and multi-channel campaigns, our team has learned one thing for sure: that behind practically every great marketing campaign lies the brilliance of automation.
Your ability to engage customers effectively and drive conversions comes down to what’s going on behind the scenes – your systems and processes – a.k.a. how you do things. The great thing about marketing automation is that it allows you to take advantage of technology to automate, streamline, and improve how you do things so that you can take your marketing efforts to a whole new level.
One powerful tool that we love (for at least a million reasons) is ActiveCampaign. This comprehensive guide to ActiveCampaign marketing automation will help you harness the full potential of the platform to create a transformative experience for your customers and your business.
What is ActiveCampaign?
ActiveCampaign is a comprehensive marketing automation tool that can help you enhance and amplify every aspect of your customer journey. From email marketing to nurturing leads, announcing promotions, and maintaining regular customer communication, ActiveCampaign lets you do it better, faster, and more consistently – all backed up with customer data.
ActiveCampaign marketing automation also helps you streamline your processes to create business efficiencies, including automating workflows, improving communication between sales and marketing, and lead scoring.
The Rise of Marketing Automation in Australia
Although marketing automation has been around forever (since around the dot-com boom era) it’s still an unknown concept for a lot of businesses in Australia. In fact, the Asia-Pacific region has been one of the slowest adopters of marketing automation globally.
At Notice & Co., we’re obviously in love with automation because let’s be real, it really can do it ALL (apart from walking the dog at 7 am). Want to nurture leads? Tick! Want better customer relationships? Tick! Want to personalise your customer journey? Tickkkk!
As more and more Aussies discover the power of marketing automation, there’s no better time to get on board. Whether you’re a marketing exec in a large organisation or a one-person band trying to do it all yourself, marketing automation could be the missing link in your marketing efforts.
Key Features of ActiveCampaign
ActiveCampaign is a powerhouse when it comes to email marketing – it allows you to create welcome emails when people sign up to your list, send abandoned cart emails when customers leave items in their basket, deliver campaign-specific emails to advertise specific products or services, and more.
The best part is that you don’t need to have complex technical knowledge to send emails using ActiveCampaign. The drag-and-drop email designer lets you set up campaigns that look good in a matter of minutes using templates that are B2B and B2C friendly, responsive, and work with HTML.
Once you’ve used ActiveCampaign to set up your email automation, you can dive in to look at customer data like CTA (call to action) clicks, open rates, and page visits – then you can adjust the timing and content of your emails to maximise your results.
An automation is a series of actions triggered by starting conditions you define. Automation can save you time, help you stay on top of tasks and seriously improve your sales and marketing efforts because, once they’re created, they require very little further input.
One example of automation is tracking your contacts as they interact with your website. How they behave on your site will give you clues about their needs, frustrations, and interests. For example, if a customer clicks on a certain link on your website, you can assume that is what interests them most. You create an automation to tag them as having that interest and send them content, products, and offers that are highly relevant.
Sales & CRM
At Notice & Co, one of our favourite things about ActiveCampaign marketing automation is how it can integrate sales and customer relationship management (CRM) functionalities.
A CRM is designed to track and manage all interactions and processes within your business and is typically used to keep track of sales processes. When implemented correctly, a CRM can help you streamline your efforts, manage your calendar more efficiently, and even stop customers from slipping out of your sales funnel.
ActiveCampaign’s CRM function lets you gain visibility over the interactions your customers are having with your business – allowing you deeper insight into what makes them tick and then improving their experience by delivering them more of it.
Did you know that ActiveCampaign also helps you connect with your customers beyond just email? It supports SMS messaging, chatbot integrations, and automated site messages. This allows you to create cohesive marketing campaigns across multiple channels, ensuring a relevant, impactful message reaches your audience wherever they are.
Setting Up ActiveCampaign
Wondering how to use ActiveCampaign in your business? Let’s get started!
To kick off your ActiveCampaign journey, you’ll first need to create an account. Before diving into the paid version, you might want to try the 14-day free trial on offer for new customers. There’s no credit card required and all you need is a valid email address. After you’ve entered your email address, you’ll be asked to enter your name and phone number.
To personalise your experience, you’ll also be asked a few questions including how many contacts you’ll want to upload, how many employees are in your business, and which industry you are working in. Finally, you’ll be asked to create a 10+ character password before being guided to the ActiveCampaign user dashboard.
It’s all pretty self-explanatory and, if you do get stuck, there’s a helpful chatbot in the bottom right-hand corner of the browser to answer any questions you may have.
Creating your email list is one of the most crucial first steps in the setup process. In ActiveCampaign, segmentation is managed by tags, not lists, so a master contact list and a list for your customers is all that’s needed. Once you’re in the dashboard, click on the Contacts tab, click on ‘Lists’, and then select ‘Add a list’.
You’ll then be asked to:
- Name your list: customers can see this name when they subscribe, so remember to keep it professional.
- Add a list URL: this is just your website address and is required for compliance.
- Add a list description: This is used to tell your contact how you got their details and why they are on the list. For example: “You are receiving this email because you subscribed to our newsletter when you placed an order on our website.”
Now that you’ve created your list(s), you’ll need to create custom fields to house your data. For example, if you want to use the birthdate of your contacts, you can’t import that information until you have created a birthdate field.
Once you’ve created your custom fields, you’ll be ready to add your contacts. First, click on the Contacts tab.
If you are migrating your list from another email marketing automation provider and need a helping hand to navigate, get in touch with our team for a no-obligation chat.
If not, you can add contacts one by one (not recommended if you’re a fan of that elusive thing called ‘time’) or in bulk using a CSV file, Google Sheets, Calendly, or good ol’ copy and paste.
The next step is mapping your fields. It sounds scary but it just means making sure the data you’ve uploaded is ‘mapped’ properly in Active Campaign. You’ll need to make sure all of the email addresses uploaded are in the email address field, that first names are linked to the first name field, and so on. Otherwise, you might end up sending an email to Georgina Jones, saying “Hello Jones”.
Creating Your First Campaign
Now your contacts have been uploaded to your list, you can create your first email campaign.
First, choose your campaign type from the following options:
- Auto Responder
- Split Testing
- RSS Triggered
- Date Based
Then select the email list you’d like to send that campaign to, followed by the campaign template. Once you’ve designed your email campaign, you can preview and send it.
For a more comprehensive, step-by-step ActiveCampaign tutorial, check out our ActiveCampaign Starter Course. These easy-to-follow videos we have created are designed to be watched alongside your account setup. Simply pause the video, implement the step in your account, and then continue!
Advanced Features and Strategies
Segmentation and Personalisation
Segments are groups of contacts that can be targeted with tailored campaigns. Using the ActiveCampaign segment builder, you can create segments based on criteria such as website visits, actions, contact or deal scores, and more. Sending targeted email campaigns can mean contacts are more likely to engage with campaigns that are relevant to them and increase your email open and click rates.
Lead scoring is a common tool to figure out how likely a potential customer is to buy something from you. Each potential customer gets a score based on how they interact with your brand, ranging from 1 to 100. The higher the score, the more likely they are to make a purchase.
Using ActiveCampaign, you can give each lead a score based on attributes you believe are important. These can include implicit attributes like age and gender and explicit attributes such as how many times a customer has downloaded a lead magnet or watched a video.
You might give a customer 5 points for opening an email, but 10 points for watching a video (the video-watching is a bigger investment from them, meaning they’re likely to be more interested in what you’ve got to offer).
Once you know who has a high and low score, you can dedicate more resources to converting customers who have a higher score and spend less time on those who are less likely to buy from you.
A/B testing involves creating two variations of a website, email, paid ad, or marketing campaign and then splitting traffic equally between them. Afterwards, you analyse customer behaviour to discover which one was more effective. After identifying the preferred variation, 100% of the traffic is then directed to that version to deliver what users want (and achieve better conversions).
To implement A/B testing you first need to ask yourself what you want to discover. Are you hoping to figure out which subject line would get a higher open rate, whether certain call-to-action (CTA) buttons are higher-converting than others, or something else?
If you want to know more about implementing A/B testing for your next campaign, reach out to our team for a chat.
Integrating ActiveCampaign with Other Tools
Overview of Integration Capabilities
ActiveCampaign offers over 900(!) integrations – meaning you can easily connect your favourite tools to ActiveCampaign to level up your marketing efforts even further. The most popular apps to connect include Facebook, Shopify, Salesforce, Zapier, WordPress and even accounting tools like Quickbooks and Xero.
Best Practices for ActiveCampaign
Regularly Updating Contact Lists
Keeping contact lists up-to-date in ActiveCampaign is key for successful marketing campaigns. An accurate and current contact list allows you to create targeted communication, ensuring that your messages are personalised and relevant. This contributes to improved deliverability rates, higher engagement levels, and effective segmentation based on preferences and behaviours.
Plus, keeping your list up-to-date ensures compliance with data protection regulations and optimises your marketing spend by avoiding unnecessary outreach to outdated or irrelevant contacts.
Consistent Brand Messaging
When you produce consistent ActiveCampaign marketing automation campaigns, you’ll not only create a more trustworthy and easily recognisable brand; consistency in visual elements, messaging, and brand voice enhances brand recognition, instils trust, and can set you apart in your niche. Just like all great marketing, when you build consistent campaigns, you improve the relationship between you and your customers – making them more likely to interact with you.
ActiveCampaign stands out as a brilliant tool for achieving campaign consistency. Its strength lies in the customisation of email templates, seamless integration with third-party tools, and collaboration features that help ensure that everyone involved in a specific campaign is on the same page.
Monitoring and Analysing Results
By regularly reviewing your ActiveCampaign metrics such as email open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates, you can gain insight into how well each campaign has performed and what has resonated (or not) with your audience.
In our popular ActiveCampaign Starter Course, we go even deeper into how to monitor and analyse your ActiveCampaign results and how you can use those results to improve the customer experience. Through a series of ActiveCampaign tutorial videos, you’ll discover everything you need to know for marketing automation success.
Case Studies and Success Stories
Business Coach Saves Time & Improves Customer Experience
Recently, the Notice & Co team worked with a prominent Australian business coach who specialises in empowering women in business and corporate careers. The coach faced challenges managing various coaching programs and events with multiple delegates and was overwhelmed with the task of sending calendar invites, Zoom links, and reminders to different groups at different times.
In late 2021, they enlisted the expertise of Deanna and our team, who implemented streamlined ‘set and forget’ automations at the end of each year. Leveraging native integrations with WooCommerce, WordPress, and AddEvent, data flow throughout their tech stack was optimised.
Now, the coach can launch programs at any time with confidence, knowing that automated systems are in place. This transformation not only saved valuable time spent on manual tasks but also significantly improved customer experience by ensuring timely and relevant communication.
Dietitian Engages Large Database
In 2022, an Australian-based dietitian, managing e-commerce, a brick-and-mortar store and a service-based consultancy, sought to enhance customer engagement and personalisation using marketing automation.
Leveraging ActiveCampaign, the Notice & Co team segmented their extensive database based on geography, product types, and specific customer needs, such as weight loss or bariatric surgery.
Through strategic data collection at the point of entry, either through purchases or lead magnets, they were able to deliver highly personalised and relevant communication with their members. The result was a large, well-maintained and highly engaged database.
Marketing Agency Closes More Deals
Using ActiveCampaign as a CRM, a marketing agency based in Singapore faced challenges in managing, nurturing, and engaging leads effectively. They identified a critical issue in the follow-up process, particularly when leads became cold or were lost, leading to a wastage or “leaky bucket” problem. Their sales team was spending significant time on manual outreach, risking repetition and human error.
With the help of the Notice & Co team, the agency implemented sales automations, drastically improving follow-up rates and engagement. This not only saved time for the sales team but also provided them with the opportunity to focus more on closing deals. Plus, monthly branding email newsletters managed by Notice & Co helped re-engage past leads, keeping them actively in the sales funnel and addressing the agency’s broader marketing goals.
You’ve now discovered the incredible potential that ActiveCampaign marketing automation holds for transforming your marketing strategies. Whether you’re looking to master email campaigns, streamline your processes, or explore messaging channels beyond emails, ActiveCampaign can empower you to connect with your audience on a whole new level.
Combining proven practices like segmentation, lead scoring, A/B testing, and maintaining updated contact lists coupled with ActiveCampaign’s incredible functionalities can help you craft targeted, personalised marketing aligned with your unique business preferences and behaviours of your audience.
If you’d like to get started with ActiveCampaign and need a little extra guidance, check out or ActiveCampaign Starter Course. At just $27, you get lifetime access to our ActiveCampaign tutorial videos, info on how to avoid the most common (and costly) marketing automation mistakes and everything you need to know about setting up your ActiveCampaign account for success.
How does ActiveCampaign’s marketing automation stand out from competitors?
ActiveCampaign is a comprehensive, high-value marketing automation solution that, compared to many other platforms, has a vast number of features and integrations.
Because it offers more advanced options and complex automation and workflows, it can grow with your business – meaning you won’t have to migrate to another platform as your needs increase.
ActiveCampaign also offers CRM software, 900+ integrations, free migration services, an advanced landing page builder, 100s of email templates, and incredible support. Although other platforms may charge less, they typically provide less value because they don’t have such advanced automation capabilities.
What advanced email marketing strategies can be achieved with ActiveCampaign?
Whether you’re a solopreneur or a larger organisation, with ActiveCampaign you can achieve a range of advanced email marketing strategies including:
- Using behavioural-based email sequences to dynamically respond to your contacts’ actions, tailoring the content based on their engagement history.
- Advanced segmentation to precisely target specific audience segments, ensuring highly personalised and relevant communications.
- Predictive sending feature to enhance your email campaigns by determining the optimal time to send messages to individual contacts.
- AI capabilities that analyse user behaviour and preferences to dynamically adjust the content of your emails, increasing the likelihood of engagement.
Is ActiveCampaign suitable for large enterprises?
With its advanced automation and CRM capabilities, 900+ integration options, and high customisation levels, ActiveCampaign is great for larger-scale operations. Through its Enterprise Plan starting at $389 per month, businesses can access custom marketing reports, custom domains, social data enrichment, unlimited email design testing and a dedicated account representative.
What are some unexpected benefits of integrating ActiveCampaign with other business tools?
Although ActiveCampaign has a lot to offer as a standalone tool, combining it with other systems can deliver some incredible benefits.
When integrated with your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, ActiveCampaign can enhance customer insight and allow you to tailor your marketing strategies based on a comprehensive understanding of individual customer journeys.
Integrating ActiveCampaign with e-commerce platforms like Shopify can streamline the process of managing customer interactions and transactions, allowing you to target customers based on their purchasing behaviour (and increasing conversion rates).
Social media integration with apps like Facebook and Instagram can further amplify your reach, allowing you to synchronise your marketing efforts across platforms and engage with your audience consistently.
How cost-effective is ActiveCampaign for marketing automation?
Designed for up to five users, ActiveCampaign’s most popular option is their Professional pricing plan, from A$224/month. It includes lead scoring, landing pages, predictive sending (AI), split automations, Salesforce integration, Microsoft Dynamics 365 integration, site messages, attribution reporting, and more.
There are also three other pricing options:
Lite: from $44/month for one user (1,000 marketing contacts included).
Plus: from $74/month for small teams (3 users and 1,000 marketing contacts included).
Enterprise: from $389/month for larger organisations (10 users and 2,500 contacts included).
All plans can be customised to suit your needs and are month-to-month with no contracts or setup fees.
If you can’t decide which plan is best for you, book a free Discovery Call with our Founder, Deanna today. We can talk you through how to get started and the best options for your business needs.