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 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

Why We Turn Away Millions In Revenue

We send a lot of email on behalf of our users. Billions. Despite a large volume of email being sent we work every day to ensure our compliance standards are being met and the recipients actually expect and want the email. By having such high standards (more than some other ESP’s) we close many paid accounts on a daily basis. We don’t enjoy closing accounts, but when our end user is unable or unwilling to modify their marketing practices we have no other choice. By doing so we maintain a high level of deliverability and promote/allow responsible marketing.

Let’s look at some figures

We ran a report to find the revenue we have turned away within the last year. These are users who have signed up, converted, and wanted to use our platform.
And that is recurring revenue…   The true revenue we are turning away over time is many times more.  Mind you these are not fraud orders and they are often not even people with horrible intent. They are companies within markets we don’t support or people who wish to market in a way that we don’t believe in.
If we dive into the data deeper we start to find some interesting things. The average person that we have to turn away is not your stereotypical spammer. Instead they are simply misinformed or operating in a high risk market for sending email.

Why we do it

There are the obvious deliverability concerns that come with questionable senders. By only allowing the best practices and best senders we are going to get better deliverability overall. But that pales in comparison with our own views, our hatred of spam, and wanting to ensure we only contribute to a positive email ecosystem.

What’s the solution?

Email remains a powerful and high ROI marketing option for businesses.  Sadly it is often abused.  We want to make sure we are on the right side of things and help to make email lower in volume while being more relevant and useful.
We will continue to educate those who are not aware of the best practices.  By educating people about quality being greater than quantity we have helped them improve their overall marketing effectiveness.

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:

How to optimize email campaign content when relying on marketing automation software.

Today’s era of business is exceptionally fast-paced. Modern marketers have become spread thin due to historically recent advances in technology and online community. To say that time is of the essence would be an understatement, but with so many web publications and news feeds updating us with the same information all at once, it seems competition is less about the source and more about the content. (more…)

JustUno and ActiveCampaign’s case study


Going into 2014, 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’s lofty 2014 goals.


The CEO decided that faster social fan base growth would help 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). aimed to grow its social audience, while also reducing shopping cart abandonment rates, using Justuno Social Incentives on her website ( 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. 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?”


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 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, 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 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.


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…)

Subscribe by SMS now available & free

You can now offer people the option to subscribe to your list(s) via SMS message.

Here is how it works:

  1. You promote a phone number and a keyword.
  2. Users send a text message containing your custom keyword to the phone number we provide you.
  3. They receive a text back asking for their email address.
  4. The contact replies to that message and is added to your list.

To get started simply login to your account, click on Lists, and then find “Subscribe by text message” in the “Integrations” menu for the list you wish to use.   This is a free feature for all paid plans.