At ActiveCampaign, we use ActiveCampaign to… teach people how to use ActiveCampaign.

Pretty meta, huh?

ActiveCampaign has dozens of people who focus on support and customer success – and all of those people need to become experts in the ActiveCampaign platform themselves.

We use ActiveCampaign to onboard and teach new hires.

How does it work?

  • ActiveCampaign new hires go through training in their first week
  • In week 2, they get a series of automated emails that prompt them to answer training questions
  • A mentor grades their responses and gives feedback on common training situations

Why week 2?

Well, the automation starts sending emails after the first week because those first few days are filled with:

  • HR onboarding
  • Paperwork
  • Learning 163 names
  • Office tours
  • Basic product training
  • Forgetting 163 names
  • Ordering lunch
  • General new hire shenanigans

Here are the details.

How to automatically train a team using ActiveCampaign

When a new team member is hired for our Success team they get added as a contact in the internal ActiveCampaign training account. A “CS Trainee” tag is added to the contact. Each new hire is also assigned to a current ActiveCampaign Success team member as their mentor.

ActiveCampaign uses the “tag is added” automation start trigger to add the new hire into the training automation.

Creating the “Tag is added” start trigger in the automation builder

Once we apply the tag the system knows what to do, and begins the automation.

Here’s what the finished automation trigger looks like

The automation has a wait condition that places a hold on emails until the day of the week is Monday, and the time is 7am CST.

In other words, the automation begins on Monday morning of week 2.

When Monday morning rolls around, the automation sends an intro email to the new team members.

It’s Monday morning. Are you ready?

An example of an onboarding email

On Monday, automated emails start landing in the new hire’s inbox. Each one highlights a certain feature of the ActiveCampaign platform. The series starts with common questions and basic issues that customers face.

Day 1 asks new hires questions about:

  • Adding and deleting contacts
  • Using SMS with ActiveCampaign
  • Segmenting contacts with lists and tags
  • Site tracking
  • Bulk import of contacts

Each mock email has a different tone. Some are grateful and others are demanding. This creates a realistic experience for the new hires as every customer email is different.

The difference in tone also makes sure the new hires respond in different ways. New hires reply to each email, and their replies are routed to a shared inbox. Their mentors have access to the inbox and read each of their trainee’s responses.

The mentors grade the responses for:

  • Tone
  • Clarity
  • Correctness
  • Thoroughness

The mentors reply with feedback if they have any edits or suggestions. This corrects any mistakes and communicates need for improvement in tone or content right away.

Once the automation sends Monday’s 10 emails, the automation pauses until Tuesday morning.

The wait condition puts the trainee into Tuesday’s automation before ending the Monday’s automation.

Take note of the last 2 steps in this automation. Each contact is added to tomorrow’s automation before today’s ends. Each trainee progresses through the week’s automations automatically. It’s a small detail, but it removes all manual process from the entire mock email exercise.

Once the “CS Trainee” tag is applied, ActiveCampaign automation takes care of the rest.

  • The contact is created (manually)
  • The “CS Trainee” tag is applied (manually)
  • Wait until Monday morning (automatic)
  • 50 mock emails go out over the course of a week (automatic)

Tuesday’s mock emails challenge the new hires with more complicated customer issues. The questions get harder as the week goes on, and the new hires need to get creative with their answers.

They have to go further into the platform to learn nuances and better understand how ActiveCampaign works.

Difficult situations are introduced as well.

  1. “I want to downgrade.”
  2. “Please cancel my subscription.”
  3. “I think I need to find another platform.”

Wait! No! Help them!

These situations are tough, but trainees have to be prepared for them. It’s also important to identify opportunities in customer questions.

  • Expansion of current plan use
  • Plan or contact level upgrades
  • Partnerships

Scenarios like this are an opportunity to educate customers about our Facebook integration and upgrade their accounts to include more powerful features.

“It ramps up to simulate what it’s like. They will be managing up to 50,000 customers in the queue. Volume is a big thing to get ramped on.” – Kallie McConkie, Director of Customer Success at ActiveCampaign

By the time the trainees complete their second week at ActiveCampaign they have had formal product training, and answered 50 mock emails with 50 different scenarios. Thanks, ActiveCampaign automations!