9 ActiveCampaign Users Share Their #1 Tips

ActiveCampaign users and reviews


ActiveCampaign has been getting a decent amount of praise and attention lately. We thought we’d take the opportunity to highlight some of our favorite coverage and give these users a chance to share their ActiveCampaign tips with the community.

Anne Headen

Anne is a virtual support professional. She specializes in handling launches and getting clients set up with functional WordPress-based websites.

She came to ActiveCampaign from Mailchimp and was blown away by all the additional marketing automation features she gained. In fact, she immediately switched some of her clients over.

When I asked her why someone should choose ActiveCampaign over another solution, she said, “ActiveCampaign will take your email marketing to the next level with automations, tagging and segmenting. It’s incredibly feature rich and I’m just scratching the surface of what it can do. It’s also a fraction of the cost of Infusionsoft and way more powerful than Mailchimp or Aweber.”

Anne has a fantastic video overview of creating a marketing automation in ActiveCampaign on her website.

#1 ActiveCampaign tip:

“My top tip if you’re new to ActiveCampaign is to sit down, brainstorm and plan how you will use the tagging feature before you start off the cuff tagging. Otherwise you’ll soon get in a mess!

Create a framework and set up a Google form/spreadsheet listing tag type i.e. [lead magnet], abbreviation to use [LM] and purpose. Next create a second sheet with all your tags and descriptions so you can remember what each tag is for – share it with your team so they’re all working to the same system.”

Anne was kind enough to share her tag framework spreadsheet with us and has a video on this topic she will release on her blog in a few weeks.



Rob Sobers

Rob is the creator of the SaaS app Munchkin Report and the author of “Learn Ruby the Hard Way.” As he’s promoted his various endeavors, he’s become an experienced online marketer familiar with many platforms.

On ActiveCampaign, he says, “The UX is better than any marketing automation platform I’ve ever used (and I’ve used lots of them!). Specifically the workflow tool is just perfect– the visual flowchart UI helps you see all the different branches of your workflow and makes it easy for everyone on the team to understand the marketing funnel.”

Rob has a great post detailing his “$9 Marketing Stack” that is worth checking out.

#1 ActiveCampaign tip:

“Spend some time thinking about the most important behaviors your users can take on your site (and in your app, if you’re a SaaS company) and map them out in a spreadsheet. Once you’re happy with them, start sending those events into ActiveCampaign via Segment or directly via the ActiveCampaign event tracking API.”



Ian Brodie

Ian specializes in helping consultants, coaches, and professionals get more clients. He hosts several podcasts and wrote the highly-rated Amazon bestseller, “Email Persuasion.” When it comes to effective email marketing, he literally wrote the book on it.

One of the major reasons Ian recommends ActiveCampaign over other solutions is how the pricing works. For instance, at 5,000 contacts with unlimited sending, ActiveCampaign is $45. Infusionsoft with 5,000 contacts and a 25,000/month cap on emails is $299. 25,000 emails might sound like a lot, but it’s really only 5 campaigns a month — far less than you’d need for effective email marketing.

#1 ActiveCampaign tip:

“There’s a lot of power “under the hood” so take things step by step and get to know how the system works. Set up basic funnels and automations and monitor your contacts closely to see how things work.”



Chris L. Davis

Chris is the head of marketing automation at LeadPages. He blogs about marketing automation on his site, AutomationBridge.com. He’s a power user of all the major marketing automation platforms, Infusionsoft, Ontraport, and ActiveCampaign, so we consider his positive comments about our platform high praise.

His favorite thing about AcitveCampaign is its functionality. “With a little bit of creativity you can pull off practically any type of automation you need. It packs a punch but won’t hurt your wallet ;)”

#1 ActiveCampaign tip:

“My #1 tip would be to Install web analytics (Site Tracking) ASAP. It’s priceless being able to tie web activity to your contact database.”



Jeremey Dawes

Jeremy could see the benefits of marketing automation the moment he heard about them while looking into Infusionsoft. He was sure being able to trigger messages automatically, in response to contact behavior, was going to save him time and allow him to make a more profitable business.

It turned out that he was spending too much time dealing with the platform and felt that, while the concept of marketing automation was worthwhile, there must be a better option. He found ActiveCampaign randomly, but describes that experience as a “breath of fresh air.”

He was most impressed by how clear and useable the automation builder was. You can read his comparison of Infusionsoft and ActiveCampaign on his website as well as an updated overview of ActiveCampaign.

#1 ActiveCampaign tip:

“Draft a few sample pre sales sequence emails before doing any process setup so that you have them ready to drop in to the email templates and get a quick motivating win in ActiveCampaign. If you are stuck for content then subscribe to some competitors mailing lists to get ideas.”



Africa Archield

Africa is known for her infectious enthusiasm and business savvy. She has a very thorough video review on her website.

Since switching to ActiveCampaign, she has built automations that have created a 28% increase in her list engagement by “engaging individual list members exactly where they are.” Rather than sending just timed messages, she is able to trigger emails based on webpage visits and link clicks within other emails so her marketing “responds” to her contact’s behavior.

She says, “I’ve had people on my list email me asking how I was able to be so in the moment with them. They are surprised and relieved when I share my big secret – ActiveCampaign – because they know they can provide the same customer centered experience for their list.”

#1 ActiveCampaign tip:

Do a simple three to five email automation for people who are new to your list. It will get you use to using automation and increase your know-like-trust factor with your new tribe members.”



Ellory Wells

Ellory helps people create online businesses from their existing skills. He’s a huge proponent of email marketing over other channels (such as social media) and has experience with a lot of the major email marketing and marketing automation tools on the market.

He helps familiarize people with the tools and technology they will need to start a successful business so we are honored that he picked ActiveCampaign as the number one email marketing and marketing automation tool.

He credits his transition to ActiveCampaign as causing the moment when subscriber flow, segmentation, and auto responders all “made sense” to him. He could see clearly how everything worked together to create more effective marketing. He says that’s important because when those concepts make sense “to the blogger / business owner they will make more sense to the people going through the automation. ActiveCampaign makes that easier than almost everyone else.”

#1 ActiveCampaign tip:

“One tip that I would have for new ActiveCampaign users is to get into the automation series and play around and see what’s possible. I think people will be really amazed. I would tell them to get creative because the only limitation that I have found is what I can imagine.

After using ActiveCampaign, subscriber flow, segmentation, and autoresponders now make more sense to me. And once they make sense to the blogger / business owner they will make more sense to the people going through the automation. ActiveCampaign makes that easier than almost everyone else.”



Carl Taylor

Carl runs an automated marketing agency that handles a wide variety of technical and design tasks for clients. He had heard of ActiveCampaign but didn’t bother giving it a try until a friend called him up saying, “Dude, you’ve got to check out ActiveCampaign its amazing.” With that, he signed up for a free trial. He has since switched his agency and many of his clients over to ActiveCampaign.

Coming from Ontraport (OfficeAutoPilot), he was impressed by the features ActiveCampaign offered for the price. He also appreciates how the platform focuses on deep integration with third-party solutions, for things like landing pages and e-commerce, rather than forcing half-baked solutions on users.

You can read his great review, “Why I’m Moving to ActiveCampaign… and you should too,” here.

#1 ActiveCampaign tip:

“Get clear on how you plan to use lists, will you use 1 list and just use tags. Or will you create lists like Nurture, Clients, Prospects etc.. as a higher level segmentation method.”



Justin Brooke

Justin is the “Traffic Guy.” He owns IMScalable, a media buying firm. He came to ActiveCampaign from Hubspot.

Justin was impressed by the marketing automation and email marketing features ActiveCampaign offers at such a low price. He described it as, “just as good at a fraction of the price.”

When it comes to specific features, Justin is most impressed with our automation workflow. “When you combine the automations with site tracking enabled, you’re able to create very powerful marketing. For example, an automated email offering a discount for a product that someone was looking at on your website 24 hours ago. That level of marketing power was once only held by the Amazon.com’s of the world. Now, with ActiveCampaign we can all have that kind of precise marketing power.”

#1 ActiveCampaign tip:

“If you’re new to ActiveCampaign and you don’t have this setup, do it immediately. Create an automation that starts when anyone subscribes to any list. Then have it wait for 30 days and check to see if they HAVE NOT opened or clicked any emails. If they HAVE NOT then tag them as inactive. From here you can do all kinds of campaigns to re-engage them, but first identify and tag them. That’s crucial.

Second, make sure you have lead scoring setup to give 5 point to anyone who opens an email and 10 points if they click a link. Now create an automation the starts when anyone subscribes to a list and waits 30 days. After 30 days have check to see what their lead score is and anyone with 50 or more points is tagged as a VIP.

Do these two simple automations and you can now easily target your best and worst leads. Everyone should have that setup. In fact I wish those two automations came already setup when you sign up.”


If you’d like to be highlighted in a future post, please send me a link to your article that discusses us. We are always interested in hearing how our users leverage ActiveCampaign to improve their marketing. 

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  • Nice. Thanks for posting.

  • Thanks so much for including me.

    Loved all the other tips too. Totally agree with Anne. You can end up with “tag soup” very easily if you don’t take an hour aside to think through it strategically and setup a system. So worth it!

    • carldtaylor

      Love your VIP tag idea Justin, so simple yet powerful :)

      • Thank you Carl, it’s been a huge help in our email marketing. I’m sure it will be for yours too.

    • Owen McGab Enaohwo

      Justin Brooke you never cease to amaze! You two tips are priceless.

      The one on removing in-active keeps only engaged people in the list

      and the other one allows one to quickly identify highly engage people in the list so that we can literally call them on the phone! This way we can turn content marketing into actual sales.

      I am implementing these right now as we speak in my AC account.

      1) Regarding configuring both automations, I know I have to choose the “Select list” “Any list” option, but for the for the “Runs option” do I choose “Once” or “Multiple Times”?

      2) For both automations, I know once configured will apply for future leads, but how do I apply them retroactively to the leads I already have or does that not matter?

      • Hey Owen,
        1.) The question is, do you want this to happen every time they join a list or just the first time?

        2.) You can use the advanced search option on Contacts and then the bulk Edit option on the top left to bulk add existing contacts to an automation, list or tag.

        • Owen McGab Enaohwo

          Thanks @localcelebrity:disqus

        • Owen McGab Enaohwo

          @localcelebrity:disqus when configuring the lead scores (<<<— not the automation itself), are they retroactive too?

          • Lead scores are binary and retroactive.

            What i mean by this is if you set a rule for “if contact ‘has opened any campaign’ add 5 points” it will look at your entire database and add 5 points to anyone who has ever opened a campaign.

            People who have not opened will get 5 points when they newly open a campaign in the future.

            However this rule is not cumulative. It’s 5 points for having opened a campaign. Not 5 points each time. Get it?

            You’d use an automation to add points each time.

          • Owen McGab Enaohwo

            @localcelebrity:disqus but do they get 5 points for opening any email campaign in the future?

            I get that score is not cumulative for past event’s but will the contact get 5 points every single time they open an email in the future?

            What I am looking for is a situation whereby next week I send the contact 2 emails and the open both emails then at the end of next week their score will be 10.

          • “I get that score is not cumulative for past event’s but will the contact get 5 points every single time they open an email in the future?”

            Nope. The rule is binary. It happens once and that is it. If you wanted to add 5 points each time they opened an email you’d have to have an automation that was set to do that.

          • Owen McGab Enaohwo

            @localcelebrity:disqus now I am confused. Since you know what I am trying to do, please show me a screenshot of how you will set up the Lead Score and How you will set up the separate automation as well.


          • Hey @PropertyLion:disqus blog comments are not the proper venue for this sort of training. I’m not sure how I could be clearer and we don’t want to get too much in the weeds publicly. If you need further help I would suggest signing up for a training appointment at http://www.activecampaign.com/training/ or sending a support ticket to help@activecampaign.com Thanks

  • carldtaylor

    Great tips from everyone. Thanks for sharing my tip and review post

  • Thanks very much for including me.

    Loved all the other tips too – there’s always more to learn!

  • I really like the 30 day inactivity tag idea Justin, I’m off to implement that now :)

  • #1: I set it to “once”

    #2: As you’ve seen applying it retroactively is not easy. That’s why I say it’s so important to have these setup from the beginning. I was able to use the ActiveCampaign list pruning tools to remove a lot of my previous inactives. However, for the VIP list… they’ll just have to click links and increase their scores to land their way into the VIP list. The main concern is knowing that all future leads will have these rules applied.

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  • Hey – the link to Anne’s website has a typo. Great post though!

    • Brian Gladu

      Thanks for finding that, Arvell. It’s fixed now. Glad the post was useful!

  • Rob

    Okay, I have a question (regarding segmenting vs. tagging)! I’m currently setting up my first automation for people who get in touch via our webform. For this there are two main groups of people who could do it: (1) individuals interested in buying our product, and (2) business owners who are interested in advertising within our product. My question is: should I have ‘individuals’ and ‘business owners’ identified as different SEGMENTS of my prospect list, or have them both as ‘prospects’ and apply different tags to them (i.e. tag 1 = individual/customer, tag 2 = business owner) and then segment them that way. Still not sure where and in which situations the advantages and disadvantages lie in segmenting vs tagging. Thanks for reading!

    • Brian Gladu

      Hi Rob! This is a good question. If you aren’t in danger of having an overwhelming amount of lists, I’d be tempted to go as far as having separate prospect lists (rather than just segmenting a single prospect list) simply because (I assume) you are going to treat these contacts vastly different once you’ve identified them.

      If that’s not the case, and you want a single prospect list, I would recommend applying a tag and then using that tag to create a segment. That way, you are hitting two birds with one stone — you’ll be able to see the tag when you have a contact record open (with a segment there wouldn’t necessarily be a clear indication on the contact record) and you can use that tag to create your segment. Removing the tag would remove them from the segment too, which makes managing the segment easy.

      • Rob

        Thanks for the super quick reply! I guess what I’m looking at doing is using a custom drop-down field in my webform which allows them to select an option that best describes them, and then was hoping to identify them and send a targeted email to them based on that. But was hoping to have all of this done within one webform on my site if that makes sense. Is it possible to use the same webform (with that custom field identified) to add them to different lists? I hope I’ve explained this clearly enough. What I DON’T want to have to do is have two different webforms on the page of my site that a user would manually have to select between; one webform that identifies and splits accordingly is the goal. Thanks again for the help with this.

        • Brian Gladu

          Ah, I see. You could create an automation that uses the “Field changes” trigger to apply a tag based on what they selected and even move them to a separate list based on their selection. If you really want to keep it simple, and so don’t want to use an automation, then yes, you could create segment(s) based on that field, and when the submit your form they’ll be automatically added to the appropriate segment. That is probably the most streamlined way to do things but I still think there are advantages to moving them to different lists or applying a tag. For instance, it’s a bit of work to see how many contacts are in each segment versus just filtering your list by tag or viewing the number of contacts in a list (on the List Overview page). Let me know if you have any other questions… here to help!

          • Rob

            Thanks a ton, Brian. Really appreciate the insight and will keep playing with this to see what I can get done.

          • Brian Gladu

            You’re welcome, Rob. We’re happy to have you as a new ActiveCampaigner! Welcome aboard!

        • Brian Gladu

          If you are new to the platform, creating this automation might be a little intimidating so I created an example automation for you that applies a tag based on a custom field value. You can import this automation using this link: http://tplshare.com/s4upPG4

          If it’s unclear, let me know. To import this automation, copy that link, click “Automations,” then “New automation,” then “Import.” Here’s a short video demonstration: http://screen.ac/1l3Y0l3C0E3A

          • Rob

            Amazing, thank you!