The short answer? It depends.
The long answer? It depends on what you are looking to achieve for your business or for your agency.
Despite the sometimes buggy interface, slow load speeds, and curious formatting issues, Active Campaign is a powerful email marketing platform for small businesses and agencies alike.
Nowadays, automation is the name of the game, and software that doesn’t serve this objective is ‘automatically’ disqualified from the competition.
If you can’t automate, you can’t scale. If you can’t scale, revenues plateau. If revenues plateau, then, well…
Active Campaign is a sophisticated and faithful companion in this regard.
Tags, triggers, if-then statements, wait times, conditions, conditional formatting, split-tests, and campaign goals move contacts seamlessly from one stage of the customer journey to another.
Pre-built recipes and an easy-to-use drag-and-drop email builder help the initiate get started.
And in-depth reporting, automation maps, pipeline management tools, attribution parameters, predictive sending, and predictive content enable more experienced users to observe the results of their marketing efforts in real time, assume a bird’s eye view of their entire email ecosystem, adjust and adapt to what’s working and what’s not working, collect actionable behavioral data, and respond appropriately to consumer intent.
The possibilities here are limited only by the marketer’s imagination.
There are, however, some important things to note.
Active Campaign is designed to do one thing and do that one thing very well – email.
But in order to send an email, one needs a contact to send it to. And to get a contact, one needs an opt-in form. And when one has an opt-in form, one needs to host that opt-in form on a landing page. And when one has a landing page, one needs a landing page builder. And, when all that’s said and done, one needs to share that landing page link so people can find it, opt-in, and receive one’s email.
Okay: Active Campaign offers embeddable forms and a native two-step landing page builder.
Just create your page, embed your form, post it to your favorite social media channel, collect your leads, and greet them with a customizable thank you page.
But, suppose that one is feeling adventurous.
That one wants not only to collect contact info and an email address, but one also wants to offer a downsell, an upsell, a cross-sell, an order bump?
Well, now one needs a funnel builder.
And because one has such a great offer, one buys some media to share it with as many people as possible, and decides that a Facebook lead-form is the best and cheapest opt-in option for their target market.
Wait – who’s collecting the lead again? Is it Facebook, my funnel builder, or Active Campaign?
Turns out, the lead magnet was a compelling offer, but traction diminished toward the upsell.
To recapture interest, one enters all non-purchasers into an Active Campaign free discovery call automation.
Excellent plan – but now, of course, we need a separate calendar link courtesy of an additional booking software, and one that, hopefully, allows for pre-qualification questions.
Still, these insufferable leads won’t convert!
Let’s drive them into a nurturing sequence followed by an urgent, one-time, and very scarce offer to try the beta version of our brand new, never-before-experienced membership program.
Right, now we need the help of Kajabi, or a custom – and terrifically expensive – custom website build.
By this point, we’ve built an ironclad network of complementary technologies, sewn together by every marketer’s loyal tailor, Zapier, and which rests on a solid foundation of recurring subscription fees.
To make sense of all this, Active Campaign’s attribution settings do make it possible for users to observe what actions customers and potential customers are taking at various corners of their technical landscape, and to monitor this activity for remarketing efforts. But when one element in the landscape changes, as happens often, these UTMs have to be rewritten accordingly.
To make matters even more exciting, these tracking capabilities – as with most of the cool and innovative features touched on above – are only available on Active Campaign’s Plus to Enterprise plans.
On the Lite plan, but you want to add another email user to your account, or conditionally segment a campaign, or see where leads are in your pipeline?
You’ll need the Plus plan.
On the Plus plan, but want to split-test your automation, track customer behavior, and cater content accordingly?
You’ll need the Pro plan.
On the Pro plan, but want custom SMS sending tools and the option to connect a custom domain for maximum email deliverability?
“Excuse me, but have you heard about our Enterprise plan?”
Not to mention that the cost of every plan, no matter what one chooses, is determined by the size of one’s list.
25,000 contacts on the Lite plan will cost you $372 per month.
But you’re a professional – your business needs the features of the Pro plan.
$892 per month.
That’s $892 per month, per account, per client.
On top of everything else you’re already paying for to satisfy the demands of integration with Active Campaign.
In short, the more sophisticated your marketing efforts become, and the more you grow as a business or agency, the more money you’ll have to spend with Active Campaign.
At Go High Level, they get it.
As marketers and agency owners themselves, they understand intimately the frustrations of systems that don’t operate together as they should.
They understand the pain of patchwork integration and the tracking nightmare that ensues.
They understand the importance of email marketing as essential within a broader ecosystem, but don’t believe that effective email marketing should come at the expense of all the other tools marketers need at their disposal.
Automation should take the complex and make it simple – not more complicated.
Do you want a sophisticated email automation system with tags, triggers, if-then statements, wait times, conditions, conditional formatting, split-tests, and campaign goals?
Their Workflows have you covered.
Do you want easy-to-build websites, landing pages, and multiple step funnels to bolster your front-facing marketing initiatives?
That won’t be a problem.
Do you want to use forms and surveys to collect actionable zero and first party data either at the point of lead-capture or deeper in your funnel?
Do you want to conveniently schedule calls with any of your leads?
Their in-built calendars can help with that.
Do you have, or have thoughts of developing, a membership program for your business to deepen engagement with your community?
They invite you to say hello to their membership portal.
Are you hoping to incorporate SMS and telephone conversations into your outreach?
Yes, yes, it would appear they have those items in stock.
In a word, they’ve taken everything business and agency owners need to succeed and they’ve centralized it in one place, with email humming at the center, fueling your marketing engine.
Automated workflows, funnels, surveys, calendars, memberships, pipelines, analytics dashboards, reputation management, and unlimited support…
It’s all here and available for one, flat monthly fee – a fee that also guarantees unlimited users and unlimited client accounts under one master dashboard at no extra cost.
There is also the option to downgrade your plan to one account, on which, for a lower but still flat monthly fee, you retain access to Go High Level’s entire suite of features.
There is a third option, too – an upgrade from the Agency Unlimited plan. Here, entrepreneurs can turn their HighLevel dashboard into a branded, out-of-the-box profit center, by white-labeling our technology to their clients, and earning a return on the investment other platforms might prefer to keep for themselves.
So, as indicated at the beginning of this article – what platform you choose depends on your needs.
If you have committed yourself and your business to genuine long-term growth, adaptability, and sustainability, and appreciate the importance of economy, efficiency, centralization, and profitability – then there is perhaps no more suitable choice than Go High Level.
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