Small Updates and Refinements

At ActiveCampaign we don’t believe on resting on our laurels.

We’re always working to add new features and incrementally improve our software to make your experience faster, simpler and more productive.

In general we update our software in waves. We go from section to section updating areas as we have the last year with our email designer, automated series, site trackingintegrationsreports etc. However this does not preclude us from sneaking in small things from time to time.

We’ve got some really big stuff around the corner but we thought it was time to highlight some of the smaller changes that make big impacts, the unsung heroes of updates if you will.

New Localizations

First off, and we can’t take credit for this one alone, but our partnership with OneSky for community driven translations have been a huge success. In February we were able to introduce a near complete Indonesian localization thanks to the hard work from Victor and Irna from Doxadigital.com. Also this week we also rolled out a near complete Vietnamese localization with the help of a few very hard working contributors! A big thanks to all of our language contributors, we’re really excited to see where things go next. If you’re interested in contributing to a translation you can learn how here.

Importing with Tags

Tags have been a bit of a pet project within the platform. We have a lot of ideas of what we can do with tags long term that have yet to be realized but we’ve recently introduced the ability to import tags as part of a contact record from a .CSV file and just this week added the ability to tag a whole list on import.

Sorting Contacts in Reports

By and large the reception to our new reporting system was positive. However there were a few small things we missed in rebuilding things from the ground up and you guys definitely let us know.

We’re pleased to announce we’ve re-added the ability to sort your contacts in reports by date, email address or number of opens/clicks etc.

Additionally we’ve modified the overview page to show additional decimal places on the percentages and added a numerical hover for the exact number of clicks etc.

API Access to Automate Series

Previously the automated series was completely invisible to the API. However we’ve added new calls to change things a little. Using some new API calls you can now: view all automations in the system, add or remove a contact from an existing automation, view all contacts from an existing automation, and view automation details for a specific contact.

For more information about this check out our API documentation.

Apps Page

Lastly and certainly not least we’ve added a new section for all the different Apps you can integrate with ActiveCampaign. This new page can be found from the Integrations tab under Apps and Integrations. or by going to /apps/ inside your account.

As i mentioned before, these are just some of the small changes we’ve made recently. We’re always tweaking and adding little things and most of the time these go unmentioned. Many of these changes came from valuable feedback from our customers and we encourage you to contribute more whenever you come across things.  It’s our goal to be the best email marketing and marketing automation platform available and we’ll stop at nothing to get there.

How to Pay More Money and Be Happy about It!

Nobody likes price increases, and I’m certainly no different there. But there is one time when paying more *does* put a smile on my face.

I don’t know about you – but whenever I get that notification saying that I have to pay more this month than last because my list has grown – I get a warm happy feeling inside. It’s one of the few times that paying more is *good* news, because it means my list has grown – more people are interested in what I have to say, and I have more people I can market to directly and repeatedly (and with ActiveCampaign – intelligently using marketing automation flows). (more…)

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.

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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!

Taking the “Creepy” Out of Social Data

There’s a lot of talk these days about data. And there should be. We’re dumping more and more of it onto the open Internet every  single day. Each day that dawns, consumers should be more interested in the use of that data than the day before. The “creepy  line” keeps getting nudged forward.

Img: Jeremy Keith via Flickr

But we’re all better off because of it. (more…)

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

Revamped Reporting

We just rolled out a large number of updates to reporting within ActiveCampaign.  It’s no secret that our reporting was starting to look a bit… aged.  The data was useful but the whole section reminded us of ActiveCampaign 4 years ago in terms of style and flow.   We set out to correct that and add some reporting for more recent features (such as automated series, SMS, etc..)

Let’s take a look at how the new reporting looks:

Here is a summary of what we added:

  • A pretty large UI update to make things cleaner and easier to navigate
  • A new way of viewing all of your campaigns in a list.
  • New GEO reporting including real-time GEO map, a time-lapse, and a heat map.  Available at the world or country level.
  • We have introduced contact cards that will show up when you hover over a contact (this will be rolled out throughout the platform in time)
  • You can now use a single folder to store regular campaigns and automated series together
  • New automated series reporting
  • SMS reporting showing engagement, replies, etc…
  • Ability to view the email clients your contacts use at a campaign level or global/list level
  • An updated side nav that will help you explore the various reports

You will notice that we removed the old “User Report” and “List Report”  We have new reporting in the works that will make these pages redundant.  If you still need to view this data you can look at the old report pages by going to “main.php?action=report_user” and “main.php?action=report_list”

What’s next?

We will be adding some minor options (such as sorting of data) to all of the reports.  There are some new reports we are working on adding such as the ability to compare campaigns, greater contact insights/explorations, and reports for other types of data (CRM/Deals, Site & Event Tracking, etc..)

Did you have a specific type of report (or reporting option) that you would like to see added?  Let us know in the comments.

Don’t use a Yahoo email address as your “From”

Yahoo recently updated their DNS to have a DMARC record that let’s ISP’s know to reject any mail with a Yahoo email address as the “from address” if it is not coming from Yahoos mail servers.

That means that you can’t use your Yahoo email address as the from email with our service (or any service that isn’t Yahoo)  If you do, ISP’s that respect DMARC records (Gmail, Hotmail, etc..) will bounce your email.

We have updated the campaign creation process to alert users should they try to use a Yahoo email address.  We would also suggest to avoid using free email addresses as your “from” email in general.

If Yahoo changes this in the future we will update things immediately to allow you to use a Yahoo email address as a “from” email again.

Learn more about DMARC and the Yahoo changes

Earth Hour 2014 is this Saturday, March 29th

At 8:30 pm local time on Saturday, March 29th, millions of people around the globe will shut off their lights for one hour. This is part of a movement called Earth Hour. The movement, which was started by the World Wide Fund for Nature, started as a “lights-off” event in Sydney Australia in 2007. Since that time it has expanded to 154 countries and over 7000 cities and towns worldwide.

You may remember that last year we featured how Earth Hour utilized ActiveCampaign’s ERJA data to interact with its contacts. This year is especially exciting for us, as our home city of Chicago has been named the 2014 Earth Hour capital of the United States.

One of the goals of Earth Hour is to build a global community and in 2014 they are  moving away from a common email signup form and using ActiveCampaign’s specialized lists and specialized auto responders to give out specific messages and call-to-actions to individuals, corporates, government organizations, event organizers. Look at EarthHour.org to see different pages on the website with a specific auto response. Earth Hour is also using ActiveCampaign’s Marketing Automation to further engage with its audience.

This year Earth Hour is striving to go even further and inviting people to host their own events.

The great people at Earth Hour are also taking the opportunity to bring attention to some great crowd funding initiatives to help communities all over the world and bring attention to some amazing crowd funding initiatives. The goal of which is to keep the momentum going beyond Saturday night and make an even bigger difference through the year.

ActiveCampaign is a proud supporter of Earth Hour and even prouder to be the email marketing platform of choice for this noble cause.

Gmail’s Experimental New Promotions Grid

In August of last year Google rolled out Gmail’s new tabbed inbox interface. This included the introduction of the new Social, and Promotions tabs. While this first gave some email marketers pause, we can say, almost six months later, that this has not significantly hurt open rates.

The way we look at it, anything that makes managing your inbox simpler is a net win for everyone. Email marketers especially. The Promotions tab means that the people who are interested in receiving your messages will have an easier time doing so, while the spammers will be buried further. It’s because of developments like this that Google has been able to start caching images and loading them by default.

Now that people have had some time to get used to Promotions, Google is looking to improve it further in new an exciting ways. Today the company announced a new experimental grid view for promotions.

This new grid view takes advantage of the image heavy nature of email marketing to create beautiful feature tiles for each message. This will make sorting through promotions easier than ever for your contacts, while also giving you a leg up at grabbing their attention beyond just the subject line.

We’re excited about this feature and think you should be too. The feature is currently experimental and those who want to try it out need to opt-into it at this point.

As this feature catches on we will look into how we can make optimizing your messages for the Promotions grid as easy as possible to take advantage of it. Though Google has already released some developer documentation so individual coders can get a head start today!

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!

Gmail Promotions Grid

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