ActiveCampaign Review [2021] – Is This The Smartest Email Marketing Software?

ActiveCampaign is worth a look if you are searching for a powerful autoresponder email marketing service? 

This ActiveCampaign review will focus on the most important features, pricing plans, free trial, affiliate program  and how to leverage this autoresponder for email marketing.

What Is ActiveCampaign?

Active Campaign is a powerful email marketing, marketing automation, sales automation and CRM software platform for small-to-mid-sized businesses.

What sets ActiveCampaign apart from other popular email platforms like Aweber, ConvertKit and Get Response is the ability to build very powerful marketing automation.

Uniquely, it also has sales CRM functionality.

Active Campaign is therefore used across a broad range of businesses from solo-entrepreneurs to large enterprises.

Lead generation and email marketing are the backbone of any business venture.

ActiveCampaign integrates seamlessly with landing page software like ClickFunnels for lead generation and billing software like FreshBooks.

ActiveCampaign Features

The basic email marketing process involves automations, campaigns and and one to one emails.


ActiveCampaign has an easy to use drag and drop automation builder.

You can build both simple and the most complex automated workflows in minutes.

Automations are useful for setting up a sequence of events to be followed from a starting point.

Once the scenario to be replicated is defined at any point along the automation, ActiveCampaign has the ability to execute.

Typically this will involve activation of a series of emails  when a certain event occurs. 

For example the event could be someone joining a list, being tagged or completing a form.

The email series may be used for pre-sale nurturing of a contact or for upselling to a customer. 

Automations can also be triggered when certain goals are attained.

For example you can create rules for those that engage with your emails, buy a product or service…

…and another rule for those contacts that have never opened your emails.


Email campaigns are one-off emails sent to a list of opted-in contacts.

Common use cases would be:

  • Sending out product updates
  • Newsletters
  • One-time promotions

One-to-one emails

One-to-one emails are personal emails sent to a single contact from an account user.

They can be used to send a single, direct email to a contact without using an automation or campaign.

Other common use cases would be:

  • Sending a follow up email to a lead. 
  • Reaching out directly to your most engaged contacts with coupon codes or other special offer.

Email Marketing Features

Site Tracking

You can enable site tracking of your website through your account settings.

This a java code you add to the footer of your website.

Site Tracking is key to many ActiveCampaign automations.

You can track what pages, services or products visitors to your website are interested in.

This allows you to retarget them with your marketing and increase your conversion rate.

Event Tracking

Event Tracking follows what people are doing in your app, membership site, website, or online portal.

For example you can track video views, button clicks, orders, logins, and in-app behaviors.

You can then follow them up.

Email Segmentation

Click-throughs and conversions can be increased by targeting specific groups of contacts.

ActiveCampaign allows segmentation of your contacts by demographics, location, behavior, custom fields, tags, and more, so the exact contacts to reach can be contacted.

Subscription Forms

Forms that do more than just capture emails are present on ActiveCampaign.

There is a choice of four proven display modes:

  • In line form
  • Floating Box
  • Modal Pop-up
  • Floating Bar

Forms give the ability to perform more automation by allowing an action to be performed the moment forms are submitted.

This will include adding contacts to Deals and to lists and  adding tags.

Notification by email when a new lead is captured can be set up.

Dynamic Content

With ActiveCampaign’s dynamic content features you’ll be able to easily keep your campaigns current and automatically adapt your content for individual contacts.

Split-Testing Campaigns

ActiveCampaign has the ability to split test your campaigns to see which version converts better.

With split testing you’ll be able to improve and refine your email marketing.

The detailed engagement reports make it clear which version works best.

You are able to find the ideal combination of call-to-action placement, colors, layout, product photos, or any other variable you wish to test.


This is a new feature recently added by ActiveCampaign.

Customer attribution shows you which marketing channel converts best.

You can identify your top-performing lead sources.

Attribution lets you see every step of a customer’s journey…

…from the first time they touch your site to the moment they convert.

Lead Scoring

ActiveCampaign is a powerful sales CRM software.

One of the cool features is lead scoring.

Lead Score is a simple number that goes up or down based on how contacts interact with your business.

Do they visit your site? Open an email? Submit a form?

The scores add up so you can see how engaged each contact is at a glance.

You can track engagement and give more attention to your best leads.

Share Automations

Another standout feature of Active Campaign is the ability to share email automations with other Active Campaign users.

They can import the share automation straight into their account.

This feature can be used as a powerful lead magnet for lead generation.

There is a drop down arrow next to each automation on the automations page.

Click on this and select the ‘Share’ menu item.

This will generate a unique share URL that can be shared with someone else.

How To Start Email Automation

Add A Start Trigger

Email automations are easy to start in ActiveCampaign.

An automation starts with a trigger.

The common triggers to commence an automation include when a:

  • tag is added to a contact (most commonly usd by me).
  • contact submits a form
  • contact subscribes to a list
  • an event is recorded
  • email is opened or read.
  • link in an email is clicked.

Add A New Action

Once the trigger is set, click on the + sign to Add A New Action.

The options are to send an:

  • email campaign
  • SMS
  • notification email
  • website message to a contact.

Conditions can be set like when the email should be sent, split testing, starting or ending an automation and setting goals.

Inside ActiveCampaign Dashboard

When you log into your ActiveCampaign account, you will be presented with a dashboard similar to above.

It gives you a bird’s eye view of all your activity.

On the left is a navigation bar of the key features.

Active Contacts is the number of contacts that have opened your emails.

If you toggle on the drop down arrow you will find the number of all your contacts. These extra contacts have not engaged with you.

Unlike many alternative email service providers, your unsubscribed contacts do not count towards your paid subscriber number.

You can see your Top Contacts.

These are the contacts that have engaged the most with your email marketing and so deserve special attention.

There is a Contact Trend that shows a visual graphical view of your subscriber growth.

You will also find your most recent automations and campaigns.

On the right is a list of recent activity like new contacts and those that have clicked on a link in your emails.

Free Tools and Resources

ActiveCampaign have several free tools and resources to help with training, to improve your marketing and boost sales.

For example there is a free marketing automation course.

Subject Line Generator will help you generate effective and high converting headlines.

Up to 75% of shoppers add items but leave without buying.

The Abandoned Cart Calculator shows you how much abandoned carts cost you…

…and how much you could make by adding an abandoned cart email.

Is Active Campaign Easy To Use?

The new user may find all the features ActiveCampaign is packed with a bit daunting.

There is therefore a high learning curve to get through.

ActiveCampaign is conscious of this and has developed numerous training courses and tutorials.

Once the basic concepts are mastered, ActiveCampaign is quite easy and straighforward to use.

How Much Does ActiveCampaign Cost?

ActiveCampaign has four pricing plans – Lite, Plus, Professional and Enterprise.

For most small  businesses and individuals the Lite Plan has the full autoresponder features and is more than enough.

The Lite Plan starts at $15 per month for up to 500 contacts and is therefore an affordable way to start.

As more contacts are added, the price increases at set points.

The price rises from $29/month for 500-1000 contacts to $49/month for 1000-2500 contacts and so on.

For comparison, AWeber starts at $19 a month for 500 contacts.

ConvertKit costs $29 a month and Get Response $15 a month for the first 1000 contacts.

Annual subscriptions attract a discount.

ActiveCampaign is therefore one of the cheapest options to start with.

Another key advantage as mentioned above is that unsubscribers do not count towards your paid count.

Also a single contact on multiple lists is only counted as a single subscriber.

ActiveCampaign is a powerful and easy to use email marketing, marketing automation, and CRM software
Monthly Pricing Plans
Active Campaign is a powerful and easy to use email marketing, marketing automation, and CRM software
Yearly Pricing Plans

Does ActiveCampaign Have A Free Trial?

Yes ActiveCampaign has a free 14 Day Trial.

This is enough time to try out the features, integrate a landing page and funnel and start building your email list.

Onee good news about the free trial…

… no credit card details are required.

Does ActiveCampaign Have An Affiliate Program?

Yes ActiveCampaign has an affiliate program.

Depending on how many referrals an affiliate has, commission is paid on a tiered basis.

This starts from 20% for the Silver tier…

to 25% for the Gold tier when an affiliate brings in $100 of new monthly business in the previous 3 months or has $500 worth of active accounts.

The top Platinum tier pays 30% commission when an affiliate has brought in $500 worth of new monthly business in the past 3 months or has $2,000 worth of active accounts

How I Use ActiveCampaign In My Business

My primary online business is affiliate marketing where I receive commission for promoting products and servvices.

I use forms on my website created with ActiveCampaign to collect leads and then put them through my automations.

My affiliate offers are delivered through landing and bridge pages built with ClickFunnels.

ActiveCampaign integrates seamlessly with ClickFunnels allowing me to generate leads from my affiliate landing pages.

I also use Group Convert to collect emails when people join my Facebook group.

These are added to my ActiveCampaign list via Zapier.

ActiveCampaign Pros

  • Can be used to build very powerful automations.
  • Has multiple features for lead generation and conversion.
  • It is reasonably priced and affordable.
  • Automations can be easily shared with other users.
  • You do not pay for unsubscribed  contacts.
  • Contacts on multiple lists are counted as a single contact.

ActiveCampaign Cons

  • There is a higher learning curve than most competitors because of the features built into the software.
  • ActiveCampaign have a strict policy about promotions that link directly to affiliate products. You have to be cautious if promoting JVZoo, WarriorPlus or ClickBank products. I use ActiveCampaign for my affiliate business. The key is to link indirectly through a bridge page, blog or YouTube videos.

Final Thoughts

No business can afford to ignore email marketing.

Over 81% of  businesses surveyed in an eMarketer study, cited email as their top-performing marketing strategy for lead generation.

Over 88% of marketers worldwide use an email marketing software in a dotmailer study.

Email marketing generates the highest ROI for marketers – $38 for every $1 spent.

So if you are not using email marketing in your business…you are literally leaving money on the table!

ActiveCampaign is a powerful and affordable email automation software.

Investing in ActiveCampaign is one of the best business decisions you will ever make.

I have leveraged ActiveCampaign in my business promoting products like ClickFunnels and Knowledge Business Blueprint.

If you want to apply email marketing to your business, then take advantage of the 14 day free trial from Active Campaign.

ActiveCampaign Bonuses

Did my ActiveCampaign review tweak your interest in taking that free 14-day ActiveCampaign trial?

If so, I can sweteen the deal for you.

Why not get some extra help to start your ActiveCampaign journey with these exclusive ActiveCampaign bonuses.

Here is what you will get:

Bonus #1: T5 Mega Software Bundle – 7 amazing software.

  • RoboContact – A complete lead generation and contact software built to find and contact highly targeted prospects on autopilot from one easy-to-use dashboard – $297/mo.
  • Text In Bulk – Platform that allows you to easily send and receive text messages from a computer plus pre-recorded, and live phone calls from your browser. It also has in built lead generation – $297/mo.
  • DomainLeads – Lead generation software that lets you search and find all the newly registered domains and the ones that will be expiring in the next 30 days. You’ll get all their contact information and also be able to filter by location, top level domains and keywords – $197/mo.
  • Magic Zap – Software that will allow you to present personalised dynamic websites to your visitors. You can also send follow up emails, calls, SMS or chatbot messages while your visitors are on your site engaged and ready to buy – $97/mo.
  • Link Wizard – Powerful link management software to create custom short links, track link clicks and get in depth analytics. You can add multiple tracking pixels to your short smart links and fire off custom pixel events – $47/mo.
  • Invoicing You – Custom invoicing software that gives your clients an easy way to pay you online for your products or services – $97/mo.
  • Sticky Reviews –  A social proof software that displays real reviews from your customers. Increases conversions by over 15% – $47/mo. 


  • Bonus #2: ClickFunnels Share Funnel Library White Label Rights ($497 value)
  • Bonus #3: Lifetime Recurring Affiliate Programs List White Label Rights ($297 value)

  • Bonus #4: Group Convert Silver Plan Account ($197 value)– chrome extension to collect the email addresses of members in your FB group.

  • Bonus #5: Bonus Vault with access to over 40 different bonuses you can use as bonuses or lead magnet($97 value)

  • Bonus #6: Free copy of DotCom Secrets or Expert Secrets ($7.95 value)

  • Bonus #7: Affiliate Marketing White Label Mini Course ($197 value)

  • Bonus #8: ClickFunnels White Label Mini Course ($197 value)

  • Bonus #9: Email Swipes Folder White Label ($197 value)

Get more details of these bonuses and how to get hold of them from my ActiveCampaign bonus page.

Affiliate Disclaimer: I hope you got value from this Active Campaign Review. Please take note that some of the links inside this article may be affiliate links. That means that if you buy through one of our links, we may get an affiliate commission for it. If you do click on one of our links, we really appreciate it! Any money we make keeps this site running smoothly and allows us to keep producing these high-quality reviews.

ActiveCampaign Review [2021] - Is This The Smartest Email Marketing Software?

Chinedu Chiana

Chinedu Chiana is an Investor, Entrepreneur, Business & Financial Coach and Author of 'The Smart & Common Sense Investor'. He helps business owners with skills and strategies to create, build and grow profitable online businesses particularly with funnels, social media & email marketing, business automation and marketing advice.