Hundreds of new integrations are now available

We have teamed up with Zapier (who has been connecting over 250 web apps) to provide a seamless in-app experience for all ActiveCampaign users. This means that you (and your users) get the full power of Zapier without needing to pay for a Zapier account or have a separate login area on their website to manage your integrations.

Everything is done within your ActiveCampaign account. Simply pick what you wish to integrate, authenticate with that external service, and you are set to go! All of the integrations continuously run to automate your syncing of data.

Here is just a sampling of the services we now integrate with:
  • DynamoDB
  • Appointlet
  • Base CRM
  • Chargeover
  • Chargify
  • Clertim CRM
  • Close.io
  • Desk
  • Eventbrite
  • Evernote
  • Fluidsurveys
  • Formdesk
  • Formstack
  • Formitize
  • Freeagent
  • GotoMeeting
  • GotoTraining
  • GotoWebinar
  • Google Glass
  • Gravity Forms
  • Gumroad
  • Inboundnow
  • Instantcustomer
  • Jotform
  • Jumplead
  • Keepintouch
  • MSSQL
  • MySQL
  • Mojo Help Desk
  • Microsoft Dynamics
  • Nutshell CRM
  • Onepage CRM
  • Pipeliner
  • Podio
  • PostgreSQL
  • Quickbase
  • Quickbooks
  • Recurly
  • Samange
  • Solve360
  • Stripe
  • SurveyMonkey
  • Tendersupport
  • Uservoice
  • Vision Helpdesk
  • Woocommerce
  • Xero
  • Many more…

How many integrations are allowed?

Free & trial accounts are allowed up to 3 integrations. Small business accounts are allowed up to 15. Enterprise accounts allow unlimited integrations. We are not charging extra for any of our plans to utilize this new feature.

Out with the old and in with the new

With this change we will be removing the current MySQL, MSSQL, and PostgreSQL sync feature. It wasn’t an automatic import so by replacing it with our set of integrations (which will include those databases) you get even more power out of connecting with those databases.

Gmail is caching images… We’re happy about it.

You may have already heard that Gmail is starting to cache images.  Everyone seems to have their own opinion.  Some are writing sensationalized headlines claiming it is the end of email marketing as we know it.  Others say its much to do about nothing.    So what does it really mean and how will it affect you?

We can still track opens/reads

The caching of images is taking place when the contact opens your email.  Not when Gmail receives it.  Gmail has to fetch the image at that time so we are able to track the open/read.

We can’t track the contact’s GEO location with opens

Since Gmail is downloading the image we can’t determine the contacts location from the open alone.  We can however determine it once they interact (click a link), subscribe through forms, visit your site, etc..

It’s harder to track multiple opens/reads from the same contact (but it may not matter)

Since Gmail is caching the image they only need to fetch it once.  While there is some confusion over the cache life and methods to try to get around caching, we would not track two opens if a contact opens the email multiple times within a couple minutes.  Over time the cache would clear (5 minutes, hours, days?) and we would record that they opened that email again.  
UPDATE: We are once again able to track multiple opens/reads without any issues now.

It doesn’t affect everything (so far)

Email clients that use IMAP (such as the Apple mail app) are not affected by this.  We have only seen this with the Gmail web interface so far.

This may be a good thing…

Gmail is making it pretty clear that they care about a contacts privacy.  By caching, nobody can grab referring information (IP, user agent, etc..) and you can open emails with images without being exposed.  At the same time Gmail is making it fairly clear that they are OK with open receipts.  So much so that displaying images will be the new default option within Gmail (without having to click to display images)
That means we will have a much more reliable unique open rate as going forward the default setting will be to always show images without requiring your contacts to click to display images.

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:

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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.

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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!

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

Tag your contacts

We just introduced a new way to categorize, segment, and explore your contacts…. Tags.

Our custom fields allow you to store anything about your contact’s using a name and value concept.  There are times you may prefer to only have an identifer that is on or off for contact’s without the need of all the power/options fields have to offer.  Tags allow you to do just that and are very free-form.  There is no need to set options for the tags; simply tag a contact with whatever you want, whenever you want.  The free-form nature of tags allow you to quickly categorize contacts, use tag data in your automation work-flow, and segmenting your lists.

How to add tags to contacts:

  • Contact view page
    When viewing a contact you can see all their existing tags and add new tags to the contact

  • One-time automations
    From the automations page you can have tags created based on triggered events
  • As part of automated series
    Add a tag as part of your automation logic/work flow in an automated series

How to use tags:

  • Segments
    Narrow down your lists to only contacts that have (or do not have) specific tags
  • Conditional content
    Show personalized content within a single email based on whether or not tags exist
  • Automations
    Within automated series you can add conditions to only do things if they have specific tags

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?

Antavo guest Webinar


 

Recently I interviewed Zsuzsi Szabo, Co- Founder of Antavo.com, a new integration partner with ActiveCampaign. You can watch the full interview on the vimeo player below. Here is a quick snapshot of the topics covered during the interview.

  • We talked about Antavo and what their service does (hint — they build email list…Quickly)
  •  I learned about the differences and benefits of each of the 3 specialties they focus on
  • Discussion on how to attract the right type of subscribers you want for each of the various promotion types
  • Measuring the success of these the list building tools
  • The best way to follow up to ensure engagement with contacts

Antavo from ActiveCampaign on Vimeo.

Boost your email list with viral Facebook contests

As a marketer, you rely on email. And it works! But how can you reach more people with your  campaigns? Grow your list (which is exactly what Antavo means)!

According to the recent research published on Marketing Sherpa 4 out of the 7 possible ways to grow email lists are about giving incentives to your customers: a coupon, a sweepstakes or a gift.

ActiveCampaign has made it easy for you to boost your email list by partnering up with Antavo, a simple to use social lead generation tool.

With Antavo you can easily put together viral sweepstakes (draws, quizzes, polls), contests (photos, videos, essays) and deals (group offers, coupons, giveaways) without the help of a developer. In a campaign spanning 2 to 3 weeks, you can collect thousands of new email subscribers (and new Facebook Page Likes) and also collect quality data about those subscribers. (See case studies on Antavo’s page.)

Learn more about how this integration can grow your lists in the ActiveCampaign app store.

Once you have signed up to Antavo, you should connect it with your ActiveCampaign account. In case of any difficulties, we’ve prepared a great help article to help you .

“New List” Webhook Available

We’ve added a webhook notification that runs whenever a new list is created for an ActiveCampaign account.

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Since the software is mainly driven by lists, this is useful if you need to be notified whenever a new list is created. Resellers utilizing common webhooks across all of their accounts will also benefit from this because all other webhooks require at least one list relation, meaning your accounts will always have the necessary hooks set up even when new lists are created in the future.

Here is an example webhook payload that ActiveCampaign will send when a new list is created:

type: list_add
date_time: 2013-09-25 15:31:45
initiated_from: api
initiated_by: api
list[id]: 7
list[userid]: 1
list[name]: List 3 (API)
list[sender_addr1]: 123 S. Street
list[sender_addr2]:
list[sender_city]: New York
list[sender_state]: NY
list[sender_zip]: 88383
list[sender_country]: USA
list[sender_url]: http://test.com
list[sender_reminder]: You signed up on our website.
list[fulladdress]: My, Inc., 123 S. Street , New York, NY 88383, USA

With this data you could create additional webhooks that notify you of account activity for that list:

$post_data = array(
  "name" => "Test",
  "url" => "http://example.com/webhook-subscribe.php",
  "lists[7]" => "7",
  "action[subscribe]" => "subscribe",
  "init[public]" => "public",
  "init[admin]" => "admin",
  "init[api]" => "api",
  "init[system]" => "system",
);

$response = $ac->api("webhook/add", $post_data);

Another thing you could do is create custom fields for that list:

$post_data = array(
  "title" => "interest",
  "perstag" => "interest",
  "type" => "1",
  "req" => "0",
  "show_in_list" => "1",
  "p[7]" => "7",
);

$response = $ac->api("list/field_add", $post_data);

Above we create a text custom field called “interest” that is associated with the new list.

Anything that requires the new list ID can now easily be done using this webhook.