A Guide To Getting Started with ActiveCampaign

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Table of Contents

Founded by Jason VandeBoom in 2003, ActiveCampaign started out as a consulting firm and as an on-premises software provider helping small and midsize businesses automate their marketing tasks and manage contacts.

ActiveCampaign is a cloud software platform for small to mid-sized businesses and is based in Chicago, Illinois. The unicorn company offers software for customer experience automation (CXA), which combines the transactional email, sales automation and CRM categories. It’s a privately held startup valued at over $1 billion.

As of 2023, ActiveCampaign has over 150,000 clients and about $165 million in recurring revenues and customers in 170 countries. Since the company’s inception, it has acquired a number of companies and raised some money from a couple of investors.

In 2016, ActiveCampaign raised $20 million from Silversmith Capital Partners; $100 million in a Series B round led by Susquehanna Growth Equity and participation from Silversmith Capital Partners in 2020; $249 million in a Series C round led by Tiger Global participation from Dragoneer, Susquehanna Growth Equity and Silverman Capital Partners.

ActiveCampaign has also acquired Postmark – a transactional email delivery system alongside Postmarks’ platforms, DMARC Digests and Postmark Labs in May 2022.

Ease of Use4.8

Getting Started with ActiveCampaign

1. Input your email address at the right side of the homepage and click on Try it free.

2. Input your name, and phone number and click on Next Step.

3. Personalize your platform and experience by selecting how many contacts/prospects you have, the number of employees and the industry your business is in. When done, click on Next step.

Note: Depending on the industry your business is in, you may be asked what email service provider you currently use.

4. The next phase takes you to set up security or a password. Input/create your password, tick the box to receive support from an approved ActiveCampaign program. Then click on Take me to my account.


ActiveCampaign plan cuts across various sectors. Each sector/section has a different pricing and bundle plan. They include:

A. Marketing

a. Plus Plan

At $49 per month, paid yearly (for 3 users), this plan is for small teams crafting excellent experiences across the customer lifecycle. This plan comes with landing pages, inline popups and modal forms, API and webhooks, Email Marketing and marketing Automation, Site and event Tracking, WooCommerce Integration, Facebook custom audience and lead Ads, and Email Content Generation.

b. Professional Plan

Happens to be the most popular plan, it starts from $149 per month, paid yearly (for 5 users). The plan is for teams that want to experiment and optimise their marketing efforts.

This plan comes with everything in the Plus Plan including Predictive Sending, Accounts, Site Messages, Split Automations, Conversions, Salesforce Integration, Attribution Reporting, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Integration.

c. Enterprise Plan

This plan is for growing teams in larger organisations looking to personalize their marketing at scale. You’ll have to contact ActiveCampaign’s sales team for a price plan.

This plan comes with everything in the Professional plan including HIPAA Support, Single Sign-on, Custom Reporting, Unlimited Email Testing, Uptime SLA, Custom Mailserver Domain, and Custom Objects.

B. Sales

a. Plus

This is for small teams who are focused on managing leads and pipelines. It starts from &19 per user per month, paid yearly. The plan comes with Lead Scoring, Email Content Generation, Sales Automation, Pipeline, Account and deal Management, Task Management and reporting.

b. Professional

This plan is for growing sales teams looking to identify and close deals better. It starts from $49 per user per month, paid yearly. This plan comes with everything in the Plus Plan including Sentiment Analysis, Facebook Lead Ads, Automation Maps, Split Automations, Win Probability, Sales Engagement Automation & 1:1 Email.

c. Enterprise

This plan is for scaling sales teams that need a flexible and customisable CRM. You’ll have to control; ActiveCampaign’s sales team for a price plan.

This plan comes with everything in the Pro Plan including Uptime SLA, Custom Objects, Custom Reporting, and HIPAA Support.

C. Bundles

a. Plus

This is for growing teams looking to bring marketing and sales automation together. The pricing plan starts from $93 per month, paid yearly (USD) and starts with 5 users and with 1000 contacts. This plan comes with Forms and landing Pages, API and Webhooks, Site and event Tracking, Facebook Custom Audience and lead Ads, Automation and Campaign Reports, WooCommerce, Shopify & BigCommerce Integrations.

b. Professional

This is suitable for growing businesses needing sales and marketing efficiency. It starts from $386 per month, paid yearly (USD), starts with 10 users and with 2500 contacts.

This plan comes with everything in the Plus Plan including Split Automation, Sales Engagement Automation & 1:1 Email Sentiment Analysis, Conversions, Salesforce Integration, Attribution Reporting, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Integration, Win Probability, and Predictive Sending.

c. Enterprise

This plan is for scaling businesses that need a platform that’s adaptable to their evolving needs. You’ll have to contact ActiveCampaign’s sales team for a price plan and it starts with 15 users and with 2,500 contacts.

This plan comes with everything in the Pro Plan including Single Sign-On, Custom Reporting, Uptime SLA, HIPAA Support, Custom Objects, Unlimited Email Testing, Custom Mail Server Domain.

D. Transactional Email

a. This includes Postmark, the leading service for transactional email, which is now a part of ActiveCampaign. This plan differs for different emails per month.

If you’re sending 10,000 emails per month, you pay a (monthly) price of $15, additional emails cost $1.80 per 1000 emails. 700,000 emails go for a (monthly) price of $455. Additional emails cost $0.80 per 1000 emails.

How ActiveCampaign’s Dashboard Works

1. The Contact section is for creating accounts for your contacts. Helps you manage contacts by using tags and also reports for each contact created.

2. The Campaign section is for creating campaigns and access to various campaign templates. You’re able to see and view your campaign’s performance.

3. The Automations section makes your workflow easy and helps with personalization, segmentation and conditional content.

4. The Deals section helps you build/create a pipeline. It has a calendar for monitoring your deals, acquisitions and fields to help manage your deals.

5. The Website section helps you turn your visitors into leads and also automate your customer experience. With/In this section, you can manage your content, and messages and also track and access your website performance.

6. The Report section helps with your engagement with your deals/website/campaigns.

Features of ActiveCampaign

1. Contact/Account Management

Select the contact option and click on add a contact. Fill up the fields and then click on Add. Add more contacts by clicking Add a contact to repeat the above process. Click on any of the created contacts click Edit, pick any action and click on Apply. To manage and manage your contacts, to the email section and click on any of the arrow buttons and select an action (add a deal/task/note) or delete a contact. You’re currently in the Contact section, click on Account.

Click on add an account, input all necessary data and fields and click on Add. To add more accounts, click on add account and repeat the same process. Highlight any of the created accounts and click on Edit. Click on any account name to have a full view. You can maximise/make the most of the fields by clicking on Manage Fields. You hide empty fields by clicking on show empty fields.

This is a digital dashboard to track and monitor notes, deals, emails, files contacts and recent activity.

2. Campaign Builder   

ActiveCampaign builder is part of the company’s competitive repertoire. The feature has 6 campaign types that can be leveraged which include Data Based, Split Testing, Auto Responder, Standard, RSS Triggered and Standard.

How It Works

Click on the Envelope icon, click on create your first campaign and go through any kind of campaign available. Name your campaign and click on Next at the top of the screen. You are directed to the List section to select a list/lists you’ll want to send this campaign to and click on Next.

Choose a template type (I chose Email Designer) and click on Continue (note that if you’re using a Text-only campaign, you’ll need to open tracking and use a standard campaign). You’re then presented with a plethora of email templates ranging from Custom to Holiday and Seasons to Request Action to Give an Update

You can choose to start and design from a design canvas by clicking on start from scratch. (I chose the Weekly Newspaper template under Give An Update). When you select the template, fill in the details/fields and click on Continue. (You can always change the subject later). You’re directed to the Design section to edit and design how you want your content to look.

On the section by the right side, there’s a Content and Global Setting section where you pick a section (I chose Login) and decide to add a URL link or image path, you can pick or choose a format, font or font size, text colour, text alignment.

On the same line with your campaign name are some icons for code, preview, test email and settings. After editing your email, click on the preview icon to see your work, then click on Next. You’re directed to the Summary section to take a look at your campaign should in case there’s a need for correction, you click on edit. You have access to track your open/read texts/emails. Same with scheduling which will be set when you set the toggle to ON. When done, click on save and exit.

3. Deals Management

This feature lets you create and manage pipelines, track opportunities, and build relationships with your leads, contacts and customers.

How It Works

On your worksheet, click on the Deals icon and click on create a pipeline on the pop-up form. Fill in all the necessary data in the pipeline form and then click on Add. You’re presented with three deal sections.

Pick any section and click on Add Deal. The deal I worked on is in the To Contact section. Select another section – either In Contact or To Follow Up section. With all sections filled with deals, select anyone to have an overview of your deal. With the overview look/view, you click on Actions at the top right side of the page to delete the deal, send an email or add a file.

The deal is currently in the Open status; if you’re making progress, you select the status mode – lost or won. Underneath the agreement, you can add notes, emails and files. You also have access to all your recent activities.

Go back to your Deals homepage and click on Add a stage at the top of the screen. Input a stage name, pick a header background colour and click on Add to add another section. All this is done on the Deals section, click on the Tasks section and click on Add a Task, fill in the necessary tests and click on Save Task. With your assigned task, as soon as you’ve done/completed it, click on Complete.

4. Website & Form Builder

This feature helps you gather crucial information about your customers and also a digital presence and location for your customers to easily find and communicate with you.

How It Works

Click on the Website icon and either pick the forms or website. I chose Form and then clicked on Create a new form. Input a name, and form style (note that every form style has different actions) and click on Create. (I chose the Inline Form style).

You pick and drop a tag under Fields to add to your form. Under style check a layout for your form to make it a bit personalized. You can choose to add or remove the ActiveCampaign Branding. In the Options section, this is more like an appreciation section.

When you’re done with the edits, click on Integrate or Trigger Automation. Clicking on Integrate gives you the option of embedding the link, pasting/copying the link, and having it on a WordPress blog or on your Facebook page. then click save & exit.

You’re currently on the Forms page. click on Pages to start a new page by clicking on create a new page. There are two sections/pages (add/create a new page by clicking add a new page) and Template (create a template by clicking add a new template).

On the template section, select any template (I chose Pop Up market). Name your page template and make edits by adding/removing blocks and choosing a theme. After editing, you can choose a viewing mode either on your phone/desktop view; select the preview page to check for more edits and add-ons, then proceed to click the Publish page to add finishing touches.

5. Campaign Manager

This feature acts as a central hub for storing, organising and sharing files with all users on your ActiveCampaign account.

How It Works

Click on Content under the Website icon and click on Upload Now. It takes you to your file manager, select/highlight an image or document (I chose an image), hover over the selected document to rename it, add it to a folder, get a URL, and download or delete the file. Documents can be viewed in two different modes/views.

6. Reports

This feature provides an extensive aggregate database of all (sent) campaigns in your contacts.

How It Works

Click on the Report icon and select any campaign type (I chose Contact) to have an overview of your campaign analytics.

7. Apps Integration

ActiveCampaign allows you to integrate over 930+ apps that make the most sense for your business/platform.

How It Works

Click on the Window icon on your worksheets, and agree to the Terms and Conditions. You select any app from the plethora of categories, or you stick to the Popular Apps. Select any app (I chose Google Sheets under Popular Apps), click on Import Contacts (connect to Google Sheets) and select Continue.

The next stage entails you importing your contacts. Click Import Contacts, select your account, fill in the spreadsheet and click on Continue, this takes you to the next stage – field mapping and then schedule sync.

ActiveCampaign Ranking & Why We Recommend This Product

Now that we’re aware of ActiveCampaign being a cloud software platform for small-to-mid-sized businesses, and also offers CXA (Customer Experience Automation) that combines transactional email, sales automation, email marketing, marketing, automation and CRM categories, does it stack against specific user-centric parameters? These are what we found out.

1. Lead Management

ActiveCampaign happens to stand out as a leading management software solution due to its comprehensive features and capabilities.

On a scale of 1-5, Product Curve ranked it 4.9

2. Marketing Automation

It helps you handle what you and your team have no time for.

On a scale of 1-5, Product Curve ranked it 4

3. Sales Pipeline

With this feature, you’re able to track many deals, predict revenue, track your leads and define your marketing strategy.

Product Curve ranked it 4.5

4. Customer data/Database

ActiveCampaign being a Customer Experience platform offers diverse features to help sales, marketing and customer support. This database is managed in tools like spreadsheets.

On a scale of 1-5, Product Curve ranked it at 4.9

5. Email Tracking

You’re able to track open activities for every direct and automated campaign you send.

On a scale of 1-5, Product Curve ranked it 4.8

6. Contact Management

You’re able to create, add and manage contacts and segment them. You’re able to aggregate and organise all the information you’ve collected about a contract.

On a scale of 1-5, Product Curve ranked it at 4.9

Comparative Analysis: ActiveCampaign vs. MailerLite

MailerLite happens to be the first Lithuanian e-mail marketing platform that operates on the principle of an online program, which allows you to create and send newsletters and receive detailed reports on the activities of subscribers and the overall effectiveness of email marketing.

The company’s headquarters is in California. As of January 2022, the company had 1,240,000 customers worldwide. Founded by Ignas Rubezius in 2005, the company started as a website creation and design agency – Itema. In 2010, the company was unified in all countries and changed to MailerLite and then, email marketing services became the main focus of the company.

In 2020, the company expanded its activities and started providing website hosting, blogging and e-commerce services.

Features of MailerLite

1. Email Marketing

MailerLite gives you the flexibility of collecting subscribers, strengthening customer relationships, automating workflows and monetising your audience. All this can be done by creating beautiful campaigns, monetizing your audience and automating workflows.

2. Automation

You are able to set up your marketing workflow to reach the right people at the right time.

3. Websites

This drag-and-drop feature lets you build your online presence and grow it by engaging, growing, connecting, monetizing and enhancing your audience.

4. Integration

You’re able to achieve a more efficient workflow by connecting your MailerLite account to the most popular services.

Pricing Plan

MailerLite has 2 pricing plans:


For a subscriber list of 500;

a. Free Plan

Goes for $0 (1000 subscribers). This plan comes with 12,000 monthly emails, 1 user, 24/7 Email and chat support for the first 30 days.

It also comes with 10 landing pages, websites, a Drag & Drop editor, an email automation builder, signup forms & pop-ups.

b. Premium Growing Business Plan

This plan goes for $9/month, $8 when billed yearly (and $10 when billed monthly). This plan comes with unlimited monthly emails, 3 users, and 24/7 email support.

It comes with every benefit in the Free plan including dynamic emails, selling digital products, unlimited templates, auto resend campaigns, unlimited websites & blogs, and unsubscribe page builder.

c. Advanced Plan

This plan goes for a price of $18/month, $216 when billed yearly ($20 when billed monthly). This plan comes with unlimited monthly emails, unlimited users, 24/7 live chat and email support, Facebook integration, custom HTML editor, promotions pop-up, AI writing assistant & subject line generator, and 15% off Google Workspace.


a. Starter Free Plan

This plan comes with 3000 emails, $1.00/1000 emails and comes with 1 set, 1 sending domain, 3 active templates, 7-day data retention, 1000 daily API requests, and email support.

b. Premium Plan

Starts at $24/month, billed yearly ($30 billed monthly). When billed yearly, there’s a monthly price of $288. It comes with 50,000 emails/$0.90/1000 emails, 100 SMS with $1.40/100 SMS, and 100 email verification credits. Also comes with 20 seats, 50 sending domains, 250 active templates, 14-day data retention, 100,000 daily API requests, live chat & priority email support.

c. Enterprise Plan

You’ll have to contact MailerLite’s sales team for a pricing plan. This comes with unlimited seats, unlimited sending domains, unlimited active templates, 30-day data retention, 100,000+ daily API requests, live chat & priority email support.

Ratings From Other Platforms

Capterra: 4.7

G2: 4.7

Product Hunt: 4.7

Benefits That Make ActiveCampaign Stand Out

1. ActiveCampaign has an easy-to-use email editor that’s more intuitive – you can edit text from inside the actual template and easily apply more complex design settings. ActiveCampaign also has a generous template offer.

2. ActiveCampaign has a more intuitive landing page feature.

3. ActiveCampaign takes segmentation a notch higher by providing 20 conditions per segment and the ability to use tags, lists and custom fields, this gives users immerse control over email list segmentation.  


Charis Raji
Charis Raji
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