Brian Cliette

Mastering ActiveCampaign: A Comprehensive Guide to Sending Your First Email Campaign

Diving into the world of email marketing? You’ve made a smart choice with ActiveCampaign. It’s a powerful tool that can help you connect with your audience, boost your brand, and drive sales. But how do you send a campaign with ActiveCampaign? Let’s demystify this process for you.

ActiveCampaign isn’t just another email marketing tool. It’s a robust platform that empowers you to create personalized, automated campaigns. If you’re new to ActiveCampaign or just need a refresher, you’re in the right place. We’ll walk you through the steps of sending your first campaign.

How to Set Up Your ActiveCampaign Account

Stepping into the world of email marketing? ActiveCampaign is your go-to destination for personalized and automated campaigns. Setting up your ActiveCampaign account is your first essential step. Don’t worry – You’ll find it surprisingly straightforward.

Here is a quick and easy guide for you:

Step 1: Sign Up
Navigate to the ActiveCampaign’s official website. Look for the “Try it Free” button on the top right corner of the homepage. Click on it and let the journey begin. Fill in your email address and click on the “Get Started” button. Remember that creating an account is totally free!

Step 2: Choose Your Plan
There are various plans to choose from depending on your business needs. The plans include Lite, Plus, Professional, and Enterprise. Select wisely as each plan comes with a unique set of features beyond basic email marketing.

Step 3: Add Your business details
Provide your business details such as the name, website, and the number of contacts you’ll be interacting with. ActiveCampaign uses this information to tailor specific features for your business needs.

Step 4: Set Up your email settings
This part requires you to set up your email settings. Enter your sender’s email address and name. This is how your subscribers will see you in their inbox. Fill these sections carefully.

Your ActiveCampaign account is now set up and ready to roll out your first campaign.

Let’s move towards some exciting aspects: designing and sending your first email campaign. These aspects would need in-depth insight and are covered in the following sections of the article.

Creating a New Campaign in ActiveCampaign

You’ve done some solid preliminary work by setting up your ActiveCampaign account. Now it’s time to ramp things up. Creating and sending email campaigns can be an effective way to connect with your audience, propel your marketing strategy forward and boost conversions. We’ll dive into how to accomplish this.

First off, hover your mouse over the “Campaigns” tab on your account dashboard. Click on “New Campaign” to kick things off. You’ll quickly notice the flexibility offered by ActiveCampaign, with options to select Standard, Automated, Auto Responder, Split Test, and RSS-Triggered campaigns. Each of these campaign types has distinctive benefits, so choose the one that aligns best with your marketing goals.

Often, Standard Campaigns are a good place to start for beginners. Pick this, and you’re on your way. The next step involves choosing your audience. Depending on your strategy, you can either select all contacts or narrow down your audience based on factors like tags, custom fields, or contact actions.

After defining your audience, it’s time to name your campaign and set the subject line. Remember, your subject line plays a big role in email open rates, so ensure it’s compelling and engaging. Take advantage of the personalization options ActiveCampaign provides, such as inserting a contact’s first name.

You’re now at the juicy part – designing your email. ActiveCampaign offers a plethora of sleek, professional templates. You can also create your own layout from scratch using a drag-and-drop builder. Customize everything from colors, text, images, to buttons until you’ve got it just right.

Don’t forget to preview and test your email, fixing any issues before hitting that “Next” button. ActiveCampaign boasts robust testing tools, enabling you to assess how your email looks across different devices and email clients. You can even send test emails to a handful of contacts to get some immediate feedback.

Selecting Your Campaign Type

Knowing how to select the right campaign type is crucial for your email marketing efforts with ActiveCampaign. ActiveCampaign offers four primary campaign types: standard, automated, autoresponder, and RSS triggered.

A standard campaign is what most people think of when talking about email marketing. This campaign type is designed to send out an email typically once. You decide when it goes out and who receives it. It’s ideal if you’re conducting a one-time event, a sale, or some other one-off communication.

Next on the line, we have automated campaigns. These are trigger-based emails. It means that once certain conditions are met, the campaign is triggered to send out an email or a series of emails. Automated campaigns work wonders if you’re trying to nurture leads or drive customer engagement.

If you’re running a blog or often update content on your website, RSS triggered campaigns might be your go-to. These campaigns send out an email every time new content pops up in your RSS feed.

Finally, autoresponders are based on dates or events, for instance, you can use them for annual or monthly subscriptions, or when celebrating user birthdays.

For the sake of continuity, assume that we’re setting up a standard campaign for your first email marketing venture.

To select a campaign type in ActiveCampaign, follow these easy steps:

  1. In the left navigation panel, click on “Campaigns.”
  2. In the top-right corner, click on “New Campaign.”
  3. Select the appropriate campaign type from the options provided.

This campaign selection isn’t a forever commitment. It’s quite flexible. Should you realize another campaign type fits your needs better in the future, ActiveCampaign allows for easy amendments.

Up Next: Choosing Your Audience for Campaign

After selecting your campaign type, the next task at hand is to define and select your audience for the campaign. This is a critical part of the process because you’ll want to reach the subscribers who are most likely to engage with your campaign …

Designing Your Campaign

At this point, you’ve chosen your campaign type and audience. Now, let’s talk design. It’s time to translate your idea into an engaging email. ActiveCampaign has plenty of features to help you craft that perfect message.

Your first step is to choose your email template. The menu offers you a variety of templates intended for different purposes. Whether you need a simple text email or a full-blown newsletter, you’ll find it in under your template options. You’ve got a pretty good selection at your fingertips. Furthermore, you can create custom templates if you have a unique design in mind. Remember, it should resonate with your audience and mirror your brand aesthetics.

Next, fill in your email content. Make sure it’s engaging and specific. People generally scan emails rather than read them word for word. Your goal is to create an email that’s scannable. Use short paragraphs and bullet points to break up your content. Opt for large, legible fonts and contrasting colors. Also, keep your keywords in mind and strategically place them throughout your content to improve your SEO.

Always add a clear call-to-action (CTA) in your emails. A well-placed and persuasive CTA can motivate your audience to take that next vital step, whether it’s making a purchase, downloading a resource, or just visiting your website.

And finally, preview and test your campaign. ActiveCampaign provides a testing tool that helps you know how your email will look on different devices. Besides, it allows you to send test emails to yourself or your team, ensuring the design looks as intended before hitting that ‘send’ button.

Remember, the design process is iterative and it’s okay to tweak your designs based on what works best for your audience. Keep that exploration hat on and get your creative juices flowing. After all, it’s all about crafting an email that your audience can’t resist. In the next section, we’ll delve into the nuts and bolts of sending your first campaign.

Adding Personalization and Automation

Delving deeper into ActiveCampaign, you can add a touch of personalization and automation to your email campaigns. Think about it, you’re always more likely to engage with an email that speaks to you directly, aren’t you? This is where ActiveCampaign shines with its robust personalization features.

To add personalization, start by inserting personalization tags into your emails. These tags pull information from each contact’s details. An example is the simple {% first_name %} tag which inserts your recipient’s first name into the email. But it’s not just about names, you can customize your messages based on location, signed up events, and even specific interests.

Mixing your tailored messages with automation will level up your email marketing game. ActiveCampaign’s automation builder is a magic wand in your hands. With it, you can build workflows to trigger special emails based on particular actions. Imagine a potential customer clicking on a product in your email and then unexpectedly getting a discount offer for that specific product. It can be a difference-maker in your conversion rates.

The magnificent part of it is that setting it up is easy. You’ll find the ‘Automations’ tab on the top, and from there it’s a matter of building your automated pipelines. A series of ‘If this, then that’ style triggers can automate your emails based on user behaviors.

Remember, effective email marketing is as much about creativity as it is about data. Let your creativity run wild, and don’t forget the fact that ActiveCampaign is a tool that’s crafted to cater to your needs and preferences. Experiment with different personalizations and automations to find out what resonates with your audience the most.

The following section will discuss how to track your campaign’s performance and improve future campaigns based on that data. Remember that you’re not aiming for perfection from the get-go. It’s a process of constant growth and optimization.

Testing and Previewing Your Campaign

After you’ve poured time and effort into crafting compelling content and striking visuals for your email campaign, it’s pivotal to see your finished product as your customers would. Through ActiveCampaign’s preview and test features, you can view your campaign not only from the visual aspect but also how it renders across various devices and platforms.

When you preview your email, you’re provided with an instant view of what your email looks like in different email clients, and how it appears on both mobile and desktop. This is essential as every individual recipient might view your email on a different client or device. With the preview feature, you eliminate the chance of your email breaking or looking disorganized in some inboxes.

Once you’re content with the look and feel of your email, you’ll want to send a test email. Why? To ensure that all the elements of your email are working perfectly. Broken links, incorrect personalization tags, or malformatted images are few common errors you’d want to avoid. A test email helps catch these glitches before your campaign gets to your audience. Given that recipient’s inboxes are swarming with marketing emails on a daily basis, a small mistake could lead straight to the ‘unsubscribe’ button.

Just as important as what’s inside your email is it’s deliverability. ActiveCampaign allows you to test your spam score before the email is sent. The spam test checks if your email could be marked as spam by filters, helping you take necessary measures, be it tweaking your subject line or adjusting the content to avoid the spam folder and land straight into your recipient’s inbox.

One thing to remember: the design process is iterative. You might need to go back and forth with adjustments according to test results until you’re confident that your campaign will work as intended. Continuously improving and experimenting via testing and previewing is a trademark of effective email campaigns. The next step, after all this rigorous testing and tweaking, is to press the ‘send’ button and make your email live.

Scheduling and Sending Your Campaign

In crafting an effective email campaign, it’s not only the content and design that matter but also the timing of its release. With ActiveCampaign’s robust scheduling feature, you can meticulously plan when to deliver your campaigns to your subscribers.

Navigate back to your campaign dashboard and choose the “schedule” option. Here, you’ll see a variety of controls that let you determine the precise logics for sending your crafted emails. Notably, ActiveCampaign allows you to send your campaign at a specific date and time. This feature comes in handy when you want your emails to land in your subscribers’ inboxes when they’re most likely to check their emails.

If your audience is based in different time zones, worry not. ActiveCampaign has the “Time Zone delivery” feature. With this, your emails roll out according to your subscribers’ local times, ensuring they receive your messages at the most optimal time. You can also go further and personalize delivery times based on individual contact’s habits using the “Predictive Sending” feature. Remember, optimizing when your emails are sent, together with what’s in them, can significantly boost open and click rates.

Now that you’ve planned the delivery timing, it’s time to release your campaign. Click on the “Review & Send” button on the top right of your screen. This section allows you to have one final glance at your campaign. Check all details ensuring everything is set up properly. When ready, hit the “Send” button. Congrats! You’ve officially sent out your first email campaign.

Proud moment – But hold back the confetti! There’s still more work to do. Sending out a campaign is not the finish line. It’s an ongoing process of refining, measuring and iterating. ActiveCampaign provides an array of analytics tools to help you understand the performance of your campaigns and identify opportunities for improvement. So make the most out of these data-driven insights to ensure your email marketing efforts continuously bear fruit.

Analyzing Your Campaign’s Performance

Once you’ve hit the ‘send’ button on your campaign, your job is not over. It’s just the beginning of a goldmine of information and potential. In ActiveCampaign, you’ll find a host of analytics tools to help you understand your campaign’s performance. With this data, you can uncover insights that’ll enable you to refine and improve your email marketing strategy. Remember, email marketing isn’t a one-and-done deal. It’s a dynamic, ongoing process.

Open rate and click-through rate, or CTR, are two key metrics that you should be monitoring. These will help you understand how engaging your emails are and whether your call-to-action is effective. High open rates typically indicate attractive subject lines, while a high CTR tends to suggest your email content is resonating with your audience.

Keep tabs on your bounce rates too. Simply put, a bounce happens when your email is not delivered to the recipient’s inbox. A high bounce rate can harm your sender reputation, so it’s essential to keep it as low as possible.

Let’s talk a bit about unsubscribe rates. Some unsubscription is inevitable but keep an eye on any sudden surges, as this could indicate a problem with your campaign content or frequency.

Finally, check your spam complaints. ActiveCampaign helps you understand who marked your emails as spam. Try to keep this number as low as possible to ensure high deliverability.

Here’s a quick glance at these essential metrics:

Metrics Importance
Open Rate Indicator of attractive subject lines
Click-Through Rate Effectiveness of content and CTAs
Bounce Rate Delivery issues (keep it low)
Unsubscribe Rate Content or frequency problems (watch for spikes)
Spam Complaints Delivery issues (Keep it low)


You’ve learned how to set up an account, design an email campaign, add personalization and automation, preview, test, schedule, and send your first campaign with ActiveCampaign. Remember, it’s not just about hitting the send button; it’s an ongoing process of refining, measuring, and iterating. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different designs, personalizations, and automations. Keep an eye on key metrics like open rate, click-through rate, bounce rate, unsubscribe rate, and spam complaints to understand your campaign’s performance. Use these insights to refine and improve your future campaigns. With ActiveCampaign, you’re not just sending emails; you’re creating meaningful connections with your audience. So go ahead, put your newfound knowledge to work, and start making an impact with your email marketing today.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I sign up for an ActiveCampaign account?

The registration process involves choosing a plan, providing your business details, and setting up your email settings. The article discusses this process in detail.

How do I design my first email campaign in ActiveCampaign?

ActiveCampaign allows you to choose an email template, add engaging content, and insert calls-to-action. It recommends creating an email that represents your brand and resonates with your audience.

Why is personalization and automation important in email campaigns?

Personalization enhances engagement by customizing messages based on contacts’ details. Automation allows triggering of specific emails based on customer actions. Both can drastically improve your campaign results.

What should I do before sending my email campaign?

It is crucial to preview and test your email across different devices and platforms, as well as check its spam score to ensure it won’t land in the spam folder.

When should I send my email campaign?

ActiveCampaign allows you to schedule emails and personalize delivery times based on individual contact’s habits. Review all details before hitting send.

How do I measure the performance of my email campaigns?

ActiveCampaign provides analytics tools that track open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates, unsubscribe rates, and spam complaints. These key metrics help evaluate campaign success and guide future improvements.

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About me

My name is Brian Cliette; I help brands and entrepreneurs find sustainable paths to sales growth on the social internet.

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