WordPress Plugin Update

We’ve updated our WordPress plugin to work with version 3.9 (just released this week) which fixes an issue with the editor button, and also includes site tracking.

image

image

We’ve also removed the “Add/Sync Subscriber” options and the forms will now always perform a sync (add or update). You can still access the Ajax option by checking the “Submit form without refreshing page” option.

Enabling site tracking will automatically add our site tracking code to the front-end of your WordPress site, so visitor data will be added to ActiveCampaign after someone signs up through a form, or lands on your site from a campaign link. However, when using forms this will only work when “Submit form without refreshing page” is UNchecked.

Let us know of any questions or problems!

Capture Leads while using MoonClerk

MoonClerk, is the latest payment processor to provide ActiveCampaign customers the option of capturing leads during the checkout process. MoonClerk is a payment system specializing in both recurring or single payment options.

Here a few benefits of this integration

  • Setup is simple and can be done in minutes
  • Connect directly to a pre-built ActiveCampaign list
  • Add contacts instantly upon purchase
  • Push directly into your marketing automation campaigns

Learn more about MoonClerk

WordPress marketing with Spokal and ActiveCampaign

Every once in a while an integration is built with ActiveCampaign that deserves a special shout out. We found the integration built by Spokal to be pretty interesting. If you use WordPress to manage your site in any way, you need to see for yourself what they have done.

You can always learn more on the Spokal landing page highlighting the integration, but here are a few teasers of how Spokal + ActiveCampaign can be used to improve your current use of the WordPress platform for managing your website.

  • Add the entire top of funnel/inbound marketing automation capabilities from ActiveCampaign, from keyword search, to SEO grading, content creation, social sharing, social curation, and monitoring across all channels (web, email, social)
  • Lead Scoring
  • Sync between ActiveCampaign and contact information gathered on WordPress site
  • Marketing Automations triggered within ActiveCampaign from data gathered through Spokal
  • An enterprise quality collaborative solution at a price affordable to small and medium sized businesses

Zapier’s Email Parser Integration

Zapier Email Parser Demo Graphic

Last week, our integration partner Zapier rolled out many new integrations including a powerful new free email parser.

This powerful new tool allows you to send automated messages directly to Zapier which then can be parsed for email addresses and other contact information of your choosing which then can be passed off to any other integrated tool Zapier supports. Which of course includes ActiveCampaign. And due to the direct integration with Zapier built inside every ActiveCampaign account this is available to every ActiveCampaign customer free of charge.

To give you an idea, one way this could be used is to integrate ActiveCampaign directly with WordPress’s new Jetpack Contact Form. Their new form builder lets you directly add a form to any WordPress post or page simply within the WordPress admin panel. When someone files out these forms it sends an email to you with the form data.

By using Zapier’s email parser you could have these messages parsed and added directly to ActiveCampaign with very little setup required.

The possibilities for this new tool are nearly endless. We’re excited to see what you’ll do with it. Got some cool ideas? Let us know in the comments.

Check out the parser here: http://parser.zapier.com/

JustUno and ActiveCampaign’s Panties.com case study

Problem

Going into 2014, Panties.com CEO, Lila Williams, decided that social media marketing would become a major strategy moving forward to grow revenue, and that in particular, she wanted to focus on growing her email subscribers. Their natural fan acquisition rate hovered around 30 emails a month, or, about 1 new email subscriber a day. Our initial analysis showed that, despite tools such as “Follow us on Facebook” or “Submit your email for weekly deals”, the Fan Acquisition Rate (FAR) was lower than desired. A new, faster acquisition would be required to hit Panties.com’s lofty 2014 goals.

Decision

The Panties.com CEO decided that faster social fan base growth would help Panties.com hit their 2014 revenue goals. Ms. Williams decided to work with two providers: one social engagement platform, and one email marketing automation provider (Justuno and Active Campaign, respectively). Panties.com aimed to grow its social audience, while also reducing shopping cart abandonment rates, using Justuno Social Incentives on her website (www.Panties.com). After the email address was acquired, Active Campaign would be used to drip a series of two emails once the email address was obtained. These emails were focused on customer engagement and obtaining more information about the individual contacts. The case study was run over the 30-day period of November 27th – December 27th, 2013.

The three parties drafted up a plan of action: Justuno would provide the social incentives “hook” on the homepage, and active Campaign would manage the email campaign after the email was captured by the Justuno Social Marketing Widget. Panties.com would retain the creative portion of this effort, and came up with a clever Holiday campaign: “PantyClaus has a list, and he’s checking it twice. Have you been naughty or nice?”

Results

As you notice form the graph above, there was as a dramatic spike in volume of new subscribers during the time period involving the case study. During the previous month, which is our comparison time frame, there were 30 new subscribers for an average of .97 subscribers per day. While during the time of the case study (same length as previous months measurement), there were 285 new contacts who signed up which is a 843.33% increase over the previous month. Additionally (not seen in graph), customers who had previously been on other lists were able to re-engage and sign up for the JustUno special discount. The JustUno widget netted 196 contacts who were already in the panties.com data base, providing opportunity for rengagement. In total, 481 contacts signed up to join the new mailing list; an increase of 1483% over the previous month. Again, this includes contacts who have already been other other mailing lists, but it was a viable sales opportunity with both new and existing contacts.

With all of the data being gathered, the high number of new subscribers would be an exceptional month of sign ups for any email marketer, and there are a couple of macro reasons which can be associated with this. The case study was launched just before Black Friday and ran through Christmas, and the Christmas season is obviously a great time to run specials. It should be noted that the highest day of the month for subscriptions was Cyber Monday. Typically the results from JustUno’s sign up widget are expected to be about a 300%-400% increase over the previous results seen through a generic subscription form. With that being said, panties.com has continued to use JustUno and within four weeks they are right on track to be within the 500% range greater than the month prior to the case study.

As a bit of a side note, we saw tremendous results with the automated series ActiveCampaign designed as follow ups to the case study. Our first email went out immediately after subscription with a call to action of requesting more information beyond a simple email address. This campaign had a 65.30% open rate and a 28.13% interaction rate with our call to action. Once the call to action was acted upon, a second email was sent with a reminder of the discount code, and several links back to the panities.com website.

This campaign had an 87.76% open rate. Not only was the overall list building efforts a success, the follow ups were as well.

Summary

ActiveCampaign continuously strives to build the best platform possible. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is to partner with companies like JustUno who have a specific area of focus which complements the ActiveCampaign platform. In the short time of a month, an ActiveCampaign customer was able to successfully increase the size of their contact list at a dramatically higher rate than previously possible through the implementations of our JustUno integration which was the entire goal of this case study. The rapid rate of list growth through a the JustUno subscription form far exceeded the initial expectations had and proved to be an incredibly strong indication of what can be accomplished when a powerful 3rd party platform is properly integrated in ActiveCampaign.

 

12 Contest Ideas for 2014 That Can Grow Your Email List

When you offer a downloadable pdf or a redeemable coupon in exchange for subscriber data, you are in effect bribing potential subscribers, in order to grab their attention.

The next level of bribing is running contests and sweepstakes! As co-founder of Antavo, a lead-generation platform I have seen a lot of good examples.Consider these the Big Bribing Brothers of pdf-s and coupons. (more…)

Attentive.ly brings social media and email marketing closer than ever!

As most people who are serious about digital marketing know, there is huge advantage to being able to connect various marketing channels together in order to paint a better picture of what is taking place with your contacts. The reason this is so valuable is that it increases the effectiveness of your interactions with contacts. ActiveCampaign has always been a firm believer that email marketing and social media were destined to work with each other, and although we have social media integrations, we’re not a social media company at our core… So, in stepped Attentive.ly! (more…)

Integrate ActiveCampaign with WHMCS

We are very excited to announce an integration with WHMCS for reseller functionality! The integration (which was developed and managed by a 3rd party) features include:

  1. Fully manage your ActiveCampaign reseller accounts directly through WHMCS.
  2. Set your own product pricing through the WHMCS control panel.
  3. cPanel users can have custom domains created for reseller accounts for true brand identity.

This integration is available now from 123Coders in the WHMCS app store. Please refer to the developer’s site for questions and support.

WordPress Plugin Update

We’ve updated our WordPress plugin to make it easier to embed your forms onto a post or page. You can still paste the ActiveCampaign shortcode anywhere, and now you can also choose it from the toolbar:

image

The form you click will appear as a shortcode in the post body. This way you don’t need to know the form ID, or copy/paste the shortcode from the settings page.

image

Note: You’ll still need to connect to your ActiveCampaign account from the settings page and choose what forms you want to use.

When the page is loaded on the public side, the subscription form will appear in place of the shortcode!

image

Let us know if we can improve our WordPress integration any further.

3 Lessons We Learned From Our Clients about “Design vs Content”

This is a guest post from our Friends over at PadiAct

It seems that people love the debate of “design vs content”, they love to argue about which one is more important than the other. Is it design because it delivers the overall first impression? Is it content because it delivers the message? By now, I’m sure you realize this is a chicken – egg problem, and it has no possible outcome that will make anyone happy. So, instead of debating whichever trumps the other, what if we look at how a balanced approach between design and content can make everything better and help us capture more leads? Sounds cool to you? Great, let’s dive in…

So far, Padiact collected over 2,456,085 leads for our customers (we have a real-time counter on our website), so we have a few insights that we want to share with you. We’ve seen thousands of subscription forms, and we learned a lot from all of these, and today we are sharing 3 of these lessons with you.

1. When in doubt, A/B Test your assumptions

“Web design and content are like the yin and the yang, perfectly balancing one another. Or, if you prefer to think of it in terms of form vs. function, great website design is the Form that creates the vital first impression. Content is the Function, the device that attracts search engines, intrigues your audience, and drives measurable results.” – Jeff Kline, Accrinet 

Cool quote, right? Well, we also have a great experiment to back it up.

A big apparel company has used PadiAct to capture more subscribers for their email lists, and they ran an A/B test, to see if they can further tweak their results. These are the 2 Subscriptions Forms they created for the A/B Test.


Subscription form no. 1 looks simple and cool. It inspires action, courage and initiative, Subscription form no. 2 looks kinda “boring”, compared to the first one. No image, but it’s more straight to the point. The copy is exactly the same. So, which one do you think captured more emails? The first one, or the second one?

………………………………………………………………………drum rolls………………………………………………………………………

Here are the results:

The A Variant is the “boring one”. Somehow, it provided 30% more subscribers than the first one. WHY? We can speculate a lot, but most of the people would assume that the more stylish subscription form would’ve delivered betters results, just because it looks better. But as you can see, that wasn’t the case. Better looking doesn’t equal better results. If the guys from the apparel company would have cared only about the design of the subscription box, they would have earned 30% less subscriptions. Considering that 30% translates into 1431 less potential customers, that bias towards choosing more stylish/pretty forms would have costed them a lot of money. Good thing they used PadiAct and A/B tested their assumption, right? This is what you should do too. You should A/B test your assumption every time you have the chance to do that.

2. Context is key

People say they have a problem with pop-ups, but I don’t really believe that. What I do believe, is that people have a problem with a bad selling propositions. Let’s say I’m browsing a big electronics ecommerce website, and I’m mainly focused on the laptop, desktops and tablets section of the website. I’m there for more than 10 minutes, and I think I checked out a dozen products. I even added a few to my wishlist and compared two products against each other. Then, out of the sudden, the website is showing me a subscription form, and it’s asking me if I want to subscribe to get their newsletter. I gracefully hit the “X” mark on their subscription form. Why? Because they didn’t adapted to the context. They didn’t targeted me in the right way.

How could they improve their copy? Easy as 1-2-3. I only visited a section from their website. They could’ve analyzed my browsing behavior and displayed a customized subscription form, asking me for my email and giving me a discount or free shipping or something else if I would have ordered in the next 30 days. Target me like that and you will earn a sale from me. Why?Because is specific, personal & based on my needs. You are showing me that you care about the context. You are analyzing my behavior to give me a better deal. That effort matters to potential customers.

Here’s a great example from a sports apparel customer.

They realized they had 2 types of visitors: men and women, so they used this in their targeting and showed this form.

It makes sense, because men don’t want offers designed especially for women, and viceversa. So, next time you design a subscription form and make sure you also think a lot about the copy, and put it in context, so that it makes sense for the potential client. You can use Padiact to target people based on their browsing behavior, and you can show them the right copy, at the right time.

3. Stick to the essentials & get permission, and then ask for more

The tendency for marketers is to (try to) capture as much information from the user is possible, in order to personalize the newsletter, whenever they send out a email marketing campaign. The initiative for more personalized emails is great, but you must remember that people are usually reluctant to share information with marketers. Why? Because marketers either abuse the trust or they simply forget to personalize the offers in any way. That’s why you have to be clever and have a more common sense approach when asking for personal information. First of all, to capture that lead, only ask for the essentials. If you can work only with an email address, just ask for that. Make everything else optional.

 If you need more info, follow-up with an email survey that your subscriber can fill in for a prize or a discount, an incentive can help drive better results. Once the subscriber has done that initial step, he will be more willing to give you more info, especially if he’s incentivised. Because the subscriber made that first step, he basically, gave you permission to send him marketing offers, and he wants those offers to be top notch (that means personalized).

MEGATIP & TRICK: if you are a smart marketer, like most of our clients, you can design a sequence of forms like the one bellow:

Firstly, our client asked for the email, which was essential for him, and then, in order to further segment his list, he provides the user with some options to select from, so that he can afterwards, use them for more targeted campaigns. He’s already using PadiAct to collect emails for a specific segment of his traffic, and he is very smart in going further with the segmentation.  Clever right? We love our clients.

I hope the examples we gave you based on our clients’ experiments, offered you at least the same amount of insights we got from them. Instead of preaching about design vs content, we showed you that it makes more sense to search for the middleground. Use the right amount of design, with a cleverly written copy. Don’t just stick to one solution, but A/B test a few against each other, so that you make sure you don’t miss out, just because you went with your first idea. Use PadiAct, not just because it’s easy to use and to integrate with Active Campaign, use it because it’s going to help you get targeted email leads, and that can help you drive more revenue, short-term and long-term.

 “Not enough designers are working in that vast middle ground between eye candy and usability where most of the web must be built.Jeffrey Zeldman

Your focus shouldn’t be on the eye candy, but on what drives better results for your business. So, don’t waste more time on stuff you shouldn’t, it won’t make you happy, and it won’t make your customers’ life better.

What other tips & tricks can you share with us, that are closely related to the “design vs content” debate, that can translate into better results when you choose middleground between the two?