Why We Replaced ActiveCampaign with HighLevel

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And Why Replaced Our Third-party Reputation Management System With One That We Created For Ourselves With HighLevel

A Servant’s Heart Web Design and Marketing is a digital marketing agency that specializes in working with local businesses. We have historically focused on generating more revenue for companies and other organizations that serve the elderly and their families, and now we are expanding to serve all small businesses in the United States.

One key component of digital marketing for local businesses is online reputation management, often referred to as “ORM”. ORM consists of soliciting favorable online reviews from our clients’ customers and then responding to those reviews and sharing them to social media channels. Online reviews, especially Google reviews, are critically important in helping our clients (1) rank more highly in local search results and (2) be chosen by prospective customers who see them in those search results.

“One of the really great things about HighLevel is that it provides tools that even non-programmers can use to make all manner of sophisticated automations.”

— Tim Colling, A Servant’s Heart Web Design and Marketing

Prior Solutions

In the past, we utilized SaaS (Software as a Service) ORM products from third parties (GatherUp and Grade.us) to provide ORM services to our clients. While these third party products worked for us for a while, they had several disadvantages for us including the following ones.

  1. They were very expensive to use.
  2. Support for one of them was very unreliable (taking several days to respond, or not responding at all in a few cases) and very slow for the other one. 
  3. They were inflexible. They only did things one way and you had to settle for those constraints. They were not very customizable. 
  4. They treated all of our clients the same, that is, we could do little or no customization for how they worked for each individual client. 

We were also trying to use ActiveCampaign for marketing automation purposes but we were not very satisfied with it, for the reasons shown below as well as others.

  1. It is very expensive to use.
  2. It was unreliable in a number of odd and unpredictable ways.
  3. Support was very slow or sometimes even completely unresponsive.
  4. New features were very slow to be added and seemed to be ones that we did not need.
  5. The company was strangely defensive, deleting comments in its facebook group that were even slightly critical.

Our New Marketing Automation choice: HighLevel

We decided to change to HighLevel instead of ActiveCampaign for marketing automation purposes. We are very glad that we did so, and we have found it to be a much better tool for us than ActiveCampaign had been, for the reason shown below as well as others.

  1. Pricing is affordable.
  2. It offers a rich and rapidly growing set of marketing automation tools.
  3. It has adopted a very transparent communication style with its customers.
  4. The CEO is actively involved in support for customers and with the customer community, in Facebook groups, Slack channels and in weekly zoom “town hall” meetings. 
  5. They deliver Rapid Innovation And very frequent new Feature Releases
  6. There is a strong and growing community of Third Party add-on providers and consultants.

One of the really great things about HighLevel is that it provides tools that even non-programmers can use to create all manner of sophisticated automations. For example, we have created our own custom ORM solution, as described below, but we have also created many other useful automations including the ones shown below.

  1. New customer onboarding sequences for new clients that sign up for service with us.
  2. Email marketing campaigns for our clients and our own agency, to attract new clients.
  3. Automated processing of new lead generation emails that our clients receive from third party lead generation sources, adding them to our clients lead nurturing automations.
  4. Websites and funnels built with HighLevel instead of WordPress, which are in many ways easier to create and maintain.
  5. Online calendar appointment creation and reminder systems, integrated with Google calendars and Zoom video conferencing.
14 Day Free Trial Of HIghLevel

Our New Marketing Automation and ORM Solution Based on HighLevel

After learning and developing a number of marketing automation tools for our clients, we decided to build or buy a replacement ORM system based on HighLevel’s rich automation tools. We reasoned (correctly) that by building or adopting an ORM application based on HighLevel, we could maintain and enhance it in the future without any additional expense and save money by no longer having to pay third party ORM providers. We were correct and have completely achieved those goals. 

Our Approach

We surveyed the market and found that we could purchase a solid ORM foundation based on HighLevel from a third party at a very fair price. This third party system provides complete source code and can be offered to an unlimited number of clients, because we could buy it at a fixed price. 

We purchased that system and successfully switched all of our ORM clients over to it. We currently have twenty or thirty clients on it and we add more every month as we add new clients to our company’s family of clients. Adding new clients to our HighLevel-based ORM is quick and easy and it is very effective at soliciting new reviews for our clients via email, text messages, or both. 

Now we can innovate and enhance our ORM to add new features for all our clients. Even more importantly, we can create specialized customizations for individual clients by utilizing the tools that are part of HighLevel itself.

Also, we can offer other benefits to our clients that are based on HighLevel’s features including the use of HighLevel itself. That’s right, we can allow our clients to utilize HighLevel’s marketing automation features themselves due to the unique manner by which our HighLevel agency license allows us to allow an unlimited number of clients to use HighLevel themselves, for as long as they are our clients. 

Summary

With HighLevel, we now have the ability to create and manage the automation of almost all of our critical business processes, for everything from marketing to operations as well as online reputation management. With HighLevel, we can do it all.