Understanding how lists, campaigns, and automations work

Recording of Office Hours hosted by Chris Davis on July 20, 2018.
Topics covered in this session:

  • How lists, campaigns, and automations work
  • Using deal custom fields
  • Auto re-sending campaigns
  • How to update campaigns and campaign templates
  • Migrating from Kajabi to ActiveCampaign


Chris Davis: 00:00 All right, so let’s get started here, Amy. Hey, Amy. I don’t believe I’ve seen you on. This is nice to meet you. Very nice to meet you. Thank you for participating for the first time. Here in Office Hours, at least with me. Amy asks, oh great, Amy. She says she’s super new. Amy, I’ve got a couple resources I want to send to you and then … yes, at least one, I want to send one resource your way. Let me answer this question first. Amy says, “How do I know whether to make something a list, a campaign, or an automation?”
Oh, my goodness. I love this question already. You may have won the day. Let me get this to you, though. This is our newly created manual, it’s called getting started with ActiveCampaign. Amy, I am putting this in the chat for you, the link is there. It’s going to go over, I highly suggest watching this video, getting started in six minutes. You get a checklist, which … here, let me show you. Which will walk you through just some basic steps. “Hey, watch this, do this. Watch this, do that. Watch this do that.” Really simple to get your bearings under you. Then, we’ve got a few resources here that will help reiterate what I’m about to answer in this question. We’ve got introductions to list, introductions to campaigns, and then we’ve got your getting started with the automation.
These three will be answered in this manual. But Amy, I’m … [inaudible 00:01:42]. I’m going to answer these live, because I think you, believe it or not, Amy, believe it or not, you exemplify a lot of our user base. Okay? I want you to feel welcome. There are a lot of people that are super new, and they just kind of like, “Hey, how does all of this [inaudible 00:02:01]?” The first things first is, a list, think of a list as a home, the home for all of your contacts.
One of the rule of thumbs that I kind of like to train people early, just best practices, every contact should exist on at least one list. All right. Make sure that you have a list created, and if you’re really new to just marketing automation in itself, not just the platform, but just marketing online, the easiest, first list to create is one that’s called all contacts. Just create a list called all contacts, it’s self-explanatory. That’s literally where all of your contacts go until your needs mature or grow, then you can start creating more lists. So the first thing you do is yes, you want to create a list, because your list is where all of your contacts will be housed. The contacts that add themselves to your database, and the ones that you import. They’ll all go in a list.
A campaign is a email that can be sent off as a one-off email, or it could be sent via an automation. You’ll actually need all three of the things that you listed, you’ll need all three in the order that you listed, Amy, see? You know more than you realize already. First thing is create a list, second is create a campaign. What is that email that you want to send out? The third is an automation. The automation could send out that email or the automation could do something else. But those three things that you listed, Amy, are the core, the three things that when you’re getting started with ActiveCampaign, you should have set up. You need all three. One is not greater than the other, they all work together. All right. For that.
Let me see if there’s anything else I want to highlight. Yeah, this is going to be great for you. Because this is going to allow you to dive a little deeper. Even if you never heard of marketing automation before, and you don’t know, you can listen to this podcast and get you started. One more thing that I would say, I would recommend, Amy, is we have … I did a while back a series on segmentation. Segmentation is the process of grouping your contacts based on their interest or their behaviors. This is what helps you talk to your audience in a lot more targeted way and increase the effectiveness of your marketing. Check this out. I’ve got episode seven, eight, nine and 10. I think are going to be perfect listening for you, because it talks about how to approach personalization through segmentation.
I go over when to use tags, when to use custom fields, and when to use lists. This is a great, great series for you to start off with. Like I said, it’s a four-part series starting at episode seven. I’ll put the first episode in the chat for you as well. There we go. So you can listen to that at your leisure. Thank you, thank you, Amy. Let me know if there’s anything else. You are not limited to one question on ActiveCampaign Office Hours. Paul, hey, Paul, good to see you back. Great. Paul is doing exactly what we should be doing, and that’s using each other to … let me see this. I’m going to paste this Paul, and then I want to read it. Using each other to help each other. Paul has an idea and he is doing exactly what he’s supposed to. [inaudible 00:06:11]. He’s getting some feedback. Listen to this. All right. B2B Focused Deals, Adding a contact from deal copies information. Yes, I remember this one, Paul. Every time I have a new contact with a deal, I’m working … take a lot of time. Yeah, yeah. It takes a lot of time to re-enter all of the information I have for that contact. I need to double-enter the address, custom fields and have no clue what is going on with the business. A company view or system to auto-add the information that is there would be invaluable or at least subscribe them.
This is … Paul and I, well, we all talked about it last week. He’s got a case that I think does apply to more than one business. This is not [inaudible 00:07:03] case, but just being able to take the content from one deal, especially if it’s multiple people within that organization, be able to transfer content, or transfer captured information over from one deal to another. Paul said, this is awesome, [inaudible 00:07:27]. Oh man, you got to warn me, before you put one like that in there, Paul.
Yes, the link. Paul has the link in there, but let me just make sure I’ll put it back in there for those of you who are CRM users. This is a great one to rally behind, especially if it fits your business case. Then, Paul says, “Also, everyone switch the chat.” Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s right. Paul makes a good point. Make sure when you’re chatting you switch it from all panelists, there’s an option somewhere, to all panelists and attendees. So everybody can see the questions. All right. Great. Then, I have a few questions. Here’s what we’ll do. I’m going to go answer some of these questions I received via email. At any time, everybody, just chat your question in there, I’ll pause, answer your question and then get back.
But I did get an email that I want to honor here. Alice is kind of like you, Amy, where she’s getting started through migration. I’m going to … I’m going to copy these over. All right. Cool. Let’s walk through here. This is going to be very educational for a lot of you. For some of you, it may just reaffirm what you already know, either way, we’ll all be better by just revisiting. Listen, marketing automation is one of those spaces where it’s not like you have it, and then you keep it forever. It’s like, “Okay, I have it all, I don’t need to learn anything.” Stuff is always changing. A good example is Facebook. Did you see how Facebook just like a year or so ago didn’t even have video. You didn’t scroll through and see videos, it was all pictures, [inaudible 00:09:27] just all picture-based.
Then, you started seeing videos. Then the videos started auto-playing. Then they added live, and it changed the way that people consume content. As a marketer, we can’t stay stuck and say, “Oh, well, just keep sending those emails with pictures.” Now you’ve got, you may have to send that picture, but have a play button superimposed over so that they know it’s a video. So that when they click it to watch it. Maybe you have to shorten the length of your videos, because of how consumption trends are changing. Yeah. It’s always good to revisit some of these questions, because things have changed within the platform and within the space.
All right. Can you attach a link to an image? How? Absolutely, you can. I will go to manage templates, and some of these will probably be able to answer. One will maybe answer the other. Linking an image, let me pick one that has an image. Linking an image is the same as you would link text in an email. I’m assuming you mean an email. If I wanted, whenever they click this tickets button right here, this tickets image button, I want them to go to a particular place on my website. I’m going to highlight the image, so you is highlighted and look like that, link. I can just put my link in. ActiveCampaign.com/ tickets. Okay. Now when they click this link, it’s going to go to that URL.
Can you move around picture boxes to the login box? How? I don’t know what a login box is. Can you move around picture boxes to the login box? How do you delete boxes? Okay. Can you move around picture boxes, I think she means the button. You think like it’s this, can I do this, Paul? Like grab this and move it somewhere else. I think that’s what she’s referring to, probably. Right. If so, that’s how you do it. Highlight it, get the little arrow cursor, and move that element. You’re not limited to … she says box, so yeah, this is how you move a box. This is how you move the box. Grab the cursor and just move it around. All right.
Oh, okay. Like log in here, or the picture, okay. Yes. All right. Great. Then, in that event, if you did want this button to say, you know, like log in, log in. Here, something like that. You can change the text, highlight that button, and just like with the image, put a link in there. All right. How do you delete boxes? Sure. You go, hover over the box that you would like to delete, what do I want to delete. I don’t want to delete anything. I’m going to delete this one. When you hover over it, you just click this gear, and you delete this. Are you sure? Yes. It’s gone. If you said, “Oh no, wait minute, I didn’t mean to delete that. How do I get it back?” You see here where it says saved? Select this, okay. No, actually I want to [inaudible 00:13:06].
You see this clock right next to it? You select it, and these are all of the auto-save versions. So if I hit this preview, you see that’s there, I can use this, and restore. See? Now it’s back. All right. Okay. Amy, let’s take a break real quick. I want to get Amy‘s question. Amy have a question. All right. Is it possible to add custom fields to deals? For example, as a public speaker, each request for my services may be tied to a specific date. Can I capture that date in the deal space? Right now I have it in the custom fields for the contact, but seems clunky. Check this out, Amy.
I think I can … look at this, custom fields for deals. Look at that, it is planned, because it has 151 votes and it has been one of the most requested items. Honestly, I will say transparently, this is one that took us a bit longer than usual, partly because we were in fast growth, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But look at this. It is planned and it is ready to start being worked on. So you will see that. In the meantime, I believe you should have this, Amy. But it’s good to see that that is in the planned, so you will see that, you will see that in the [inaudible 00:14:51], as soon as it’s there. We will announce it.
If you go, one of the things that … let me do … Phil. One of the things they’ve added is this description field. This serves as kind of like an “olive branch” to hold everybody over until custom fields for deals comes. You could easily put “Proposed speaking date, September 4th, 2018.” Save. Then you have that data, you can have that data on the deal record. Just using the description, using the description custom field. But you’re right, it is a bit clunky because you have all of these dates on your contact record. It just muddies up, it muddies up the appearance of the contact record, it makes it hard to define stuff. Thank you for asking your question, Amy, hopefully that was useful.
How does the first name personalization tag, how do I link it up so it automates with people’s first names? In order to do that, if I was doing this. Instead of saying, “Hey, soccer fan” that’s very impersonal, I can go here and select this, personalize and do first name. Now you see this %FIRSTNAME just like Alice is asking. What’s going to happen here is, if there is a value in FIRSTNAME, it’s going to to display that. If you have captured their first name, it will display their first name. That’s how it works.
If you don’t have a value, it will display nothing. I think there is a way to set a default to it. Person … oops. I think it’s this one, personalization tags. Check this out. I don’t know if you are new to this. Did I hit search? I think I did. [inaudible 00:17:19] okay. Check this out. I think this is the one. Maybe this one. Let me see. This is the one. I think there is a personalization tag that allows you to set a fallback. It’s like first name pipe something. This is not [inaudible 00:18:09]. Okay. Here we go, FIRSTNAME TITLECASE. I’m closer. Here we go. All right. This is UPPERFIRST, TITLECASE. Then here we go. I may be thinking of something else.
I just wanted to make sure there wasn’t a fallback that would display a value if there was not … okay. [inaudible 00:18:44]. All right. Here’s what I’ll recommend, especially if you’re using FIRSTNAME. If you’re using FIRSTNAME, I would go and grab this one. FIRSTNAME, UPPERFIRST, because that means if somebody used all caps when they put in their email address, I mean in their first name, or if they use all lowercase, what this is going to do is regardless of how it’s formatted on its way into your database, it’s going to capitalize the first letter and lowercase all of other letters. Okay. That’s how FIRSTNAME works.
She says, “We’ll be importing contacts from Kajabi.” You’re just going to want to make sure that you have their name. If you don’t have their name, I mean, there’s nothing we could do, because the data that this displays is the name that has to be personal. All right. How do you make the social link central on a page? Again, I’m not sure. Maybe it’s these links, these social links here. I don’t know if I can even click on … yeah. Maybe you just mean how do I make these … I’ll drag these up. And put them more in the middle. If so, that’s how you do it. I think that’s what you’re asking, because these are our social links and email, and this would be central to the page. So that’s how you do that.
How do I remove a border on an image? You can’t do any photo manipulation in ActiveCampaign as far as like removing borders, and actually modifying the file. What we allow you to do is take this picture for instance, and if I do edit image, I can do things like crop it, rotate it, lighten it up, all kind of things, annotate it. But one of the things that you’re not going to be able to do is adjust it, like edit the image. The image is what it is. Most images don’t have a border, by default images should have no border, but if you’re saying that yours has a border that’s not part of the picture, just click on it, and you’ll see the right change, go to border, and just hit down towards zero.
Because if I increase it, look at that, it adds a border around it. But if I decrease it … I will say this, not all templates are created equal. Some templates have different layouts than others. Others may or may not look better with or without the border. Just something to keep in mind. [inaudible 00:21:39] stretch this back out. Anyways, that’s how you do it. If there is a border, it could be the template that you are using when you import a picture, it automatically adds a border. Select the image, push this down to zero, that’s how you remove the border.
How can I activate the upgrade your subscription link? I hope I’m getting this right. Update your subscription link, you can … I’m going to say activate it, by activate it you mean how can I use it … if you go to where you want to use the update your subscription link, put your cursor there, go to personalize, and then on message, click on message, and then hit update, where is it? Update subscription account link. You select that, and now I can say … instead of saying click here to update your info, I can say, “update your info here.” And click okay. Look what it’s going to do. See? Update your info here, when they click on that, it’s going to take them to the update your subscription page. Or, just following up, I can go back into the personalization, go to message, and see the unsubscribe link. Unsubscribe from everything. There we go. Now I have two links. Update your info here or unsubscribe. They both go to two different destinations. That’s how you activate or update … upgrade your subscription and unsubscribe link. Lastly, it’s where do I insert the opening line of the email? I don’t know what that means. I’ll use this for an example. Right here, this is the opening line. If someone is using it … oh, the subject line. Amy, thank you, Amy. Okay. The opening line of the email. I think you’re right. Amy to the rescue, Amy [inaudible 00:24:06].
You’re keeping me on the straight and narrow. If you’re in the campaign itself, click on this gearbox, and then … no. Wait a minute. This is a template, I’m sorry. I’m in a template. You can’t change the name of a template, subject line of a template. If I go into campaigns. And I’m in a campaign, not a template, keyword campaign. What did you ask me? [inaudible 00:24:44] Now, if I choose this design. First off, now I can set it up to where it is showing the subject line for me to type in. I could type the subject line in there, if you happen to … okay.
If you’re actually in the builder, which I don’t know how you would be able to get into the email builder without setting the subject line. But maybe you want to change the subject line after you’ve set it. You can click on the gear and now you’ll see the subject line. Right there. If you wanted to, I could do open this, and then do first name. Insert. And exclamation. Here it is. Now the subject line is, “Please, open this, Chris.” All right. That’s how you do that. There’s a round two. For everybody, you can ask your questions at any time.
All right. Last batch. Okay. Does getting our contacts from Kajabi affect what type of automation we use? Yes, yes it does. Everything affects what type of automation you use, because you’re going to build your automations relative to the action that you’re taking, and the action you want your user to take. All right. If you’re importing contacts from Kajabi, the question here is, what’s the first thing you want to happen once they exist in ActiveCampaign? If that answer is I want to fire off an email, then that’s not a problem. Right? You can set up an automation to send off that email, and when people subscribe, or when people from Kajabi get imported, you can just add them to that automation, and it’ll do whatever you want it to do for new folks.
[inaudible 00:27:25]. Yeah. I would say, if they’re coming from Kajabi, make sure you have permission. Kajabi is a course platform, so there may be a good chance that they bought a course from you, and the only information or email communication they’ve been receiving is from Kajabi. Your domain by itself doesn’t have much validity with the email service providers. But … yeah. Just something to take into account coming from Kajabi. You’ll be sending from ActiveCampaign from here on out. All right.
For the automation product interest targeted follow-up, how do you apply a product interest tag? Let’s look at that. If I click new automation … Alice is talking about this pre-built automation. Let’s go into it, and any and all of these are for use at your disposal. Just so you know. I have to start from scratch. Take me through this wizard of two steps. Done. All right.
She’s asking, how do I apply this tag right here? Tag interested. Alice is asking, how do I apply this tag? Where does it come from? That’s up to you to define. What activity inside of your ActiveCampaign account warrants the application of that tag? If somebody is … they have interest in your product, and they’ve been getting a targeted follow-up, then you’ll want to tag them. By tagging it could be as simple as selecting the plus anywhere, contacts, add tag. Then the name of the tag. Then the tag is added. In this event, when that tag is added, it fires off as a start trigger, and all of this starts. Okay?
How do I add emails to an automation? This end does not have a mailing address. What does that mean? This end does not have a mailing address. Maybe, I don’t know, I’ll show you how to add an email to an automation. There’s two ways. You could hit the plus and go to sending options, and select send email. From here, you can create a new email, or you can pull from existing emails like a email that is already in the sequence, which there’s not many reasons to do that. But if you crate a new email, it’ll take you back to the template library and allow you to select from a template and build your email that way. That’s how you add an email to an automation.
Amy. Amy says, “It’s worth noting that automations have to be set to active.” Yes. Make sure you activate all of your automations as you build around, and complete them. I couldn’t figure out why my tags weren’t triggering the automation, but I hadn’t seen that I needed to set the automation to active. Yes, great point. Great point, Amy. Setting automations to active is almost like the power button, right, like somebody calls, “Hey, my computer is broke.” Someone is like, “Hey, did you turn it off? You know and turn it back on?” That’s what you’ll find automations active and inactive, you always forget, and you’ll be kicking yourself like, “I told myself to set it to active next time.” It’s one of those things that we could probably make a little easier, more pronounced. But yeah, good things to keep in mind.
All right. How do I attach … where am I? How do I attach an existing email in campaigns as the email to send an automation? Perfect. Yeah. Let’s tie them together. Let’s say you wanted to send an immediate email out, they receive this tag, and you want to send an email. So you click send email, create new. Right there, it’s going to take you to the template library. Now, out of all … remember, you were building out this template. Let’s use that subject line. Hit continue. Now it should take us into the campaign. All right, there it is, same campaign we’ve been working on. Looks good, save and exit. Now, would you look at that? It’s there in the automation ready to be sent out immediately. That’s how you attach an existing email to an automation.
All right. How do I change how many days to wait for? That one is fairly simple, hopefully, is whatever you have set it to wait, just click on it, and change it right there. Yeah. That’s how you change how many days to wait. Select it, wait for, I can do 10, because it’s more than eight. Then now, that wait is going to wait for 10 days instead of one. All right. The last but not least, how do I not double up on sending emails out to people who have already signed up?
Just inherently, in ActiveCampaign, you cannot send duplicate emails. If you send one email, and let me backup. The reason why this happens is because email marketing platforms, email list of people, so if person A is on … if somebody is on list A and list B, and you send an email to list A and list B, that person is going to get that email multiple times. Okay? That’s how it works in email marketing. Marketing automation, every contact is an individual. There are ways to group your contacts, but at the end of the day, we’re sending an email out, we’re just sending it to individuals, we’re not sending it to their counterparts or you know anything like that. It’s just going straight to that person.
Even if they are on list A and list B and in another segment, and you send one email across all three, it’s going to say, “Hold on, wait a minute. This is just one person. Send them one email.” You won’t have that problem, Alice, as far as double up on sending emails. Unless you don’t send them all at the same time. The key is sending them all as a broadcast emails at the same time and you will not double up at all. All right? Let me put this up here. Right there with Amy. Amy says, “Can you auto-resend a campaign to people who didn’t open the original email? This was a prompt in the platform I used previously, but I don’t see reminders or automations for that in ActiveCampaign.” You can build it out in an automation if you’d like to. But look at this, Amy. If I go to, where do I go? If I go to reports. Then, I do all campaigns, these are campaigns that I’ve sent. I can go into [inaudible 00:35:51]. I think I can … all campaigns. There it is. When you click on that actual email, look at that, it has resend options. You can send them, you can create a new one, a new campaign based on this one. You can send to new contacts. These are people who did not exist in your database at the time of sending. These are new people. Yeah, you’re very welcome, Amy. Then of course, what you asked for. Send it to contacts who have not read or opened this campaign? That is where that option is.
Then, lastly, oh yeah, we already did that how do I not double up. Yes. Yeah, sure, sure, Amy. Let me start from the beginning. Let’s say you just logged in, you want to go here to reports, and then from reports, you can click on all campaigns, and that should display every email that you send out. All right? If I go here into … here, let me just do that from all campaigns first. Campaign reports, all campaigns, then select the email. So if I want to say Jeff RSS, and I see its performance, I can go up here and say, “Wait a minute, that’s not right. Let me resend this to somebody that I know. Right, or somebody that I know will receive it, instead of nobody getting [inaudible 00:37:20]. That’s the path. That is the path.
All right. I’ve lost my train of thought, I wanted to mention something, I was down here. Resend options. All right. Keep the questions rolling. If you all have any, we’ve got 10 more minutes. If not, we can take off early, take off a little early on Friday. Oh, I’ve got a very important announcement too. Is that … ready. I wanted to show you all something. Look at this. Office Hours is back to twice a week. By a popular demand, this is our new EU-Friendly time, 9:00 a. m. on Tuesday. We’ll do Office Hours every Friday at 1:00 p.m. and then every, what is it called? Every Tuesday at 9:00 a.m., so I wanted to make sure I got that information to you all.
Amy says, “Do you offer landing pages such as for events?” Right now, Amy, we do not, so we integrate with a lot of landing page software, whether it be Unbounce, Leadpages, Instapage. Pretty much any landing page software we integrate with so that when they fill out that form on the landing page, they can easily get into our application. Yes, we do offer landing pages. Yeah. All right. If we don’t have any questions, I’m going to take that as I’ve done a good job answering all of your pressing questions.
I want to thank you all for attending Office Hours. I really appreciate you taking the time out and asking, watching, listening, lurking, whatever you’ve done or are doing, or watching the replay. Thank you for that as well. It is greatly appreciated. Amy, you are very welcome. I’m glad you found it helpful. Again, come back, Amy, you are not limited to one of these, in fact, everybody listening, every Friday and Tuesday, feel free to come back and ask questions. Incremental progress is what leads to exponential growth. Step-by-step, and you’ll get there.
Report back. Amy, I’d love to have you next week, just come back and say, “Hey, this is what’s working. This is what’s not.” Let the community … you know, it’s bigger than just me talking and even you getting your questions’ answers. It becomes a service to the community. Somebody else is stuck in your same situation, and because you asked that question, you got help and so did they. I appreciate you all. I will say have a great weekend, everybody. Relax, take some time out for you, push away from that computer screen or that cellphone, whatever it is that preoccupies your time, be present with somebody this weekend that you care about. Give them the gift of your undivided attention. I’ll see you all next week 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday.