ActiveCampaign recently revealed the latest feature addition to their product: Pages. The ability to create and host landing pages is now available. But has ActiveCampaign managed to meet the expectations? Find out in my ActiveCampaign Landing Page builder review.
ActiveCampaign brands itself as “Customer Experience Automation”. It offers a complete package. There’s email automation, forms and lead scoring, and basic CRM functionality.
As of early 2020, it serves more than 90,000 clients worldwide. It’s growing in popularity thanks to its complete feature set at a competitive price. But one feature that was missing from this package was the ability to create landing pages. Until now.
Why you should definitely use landing pages
Why are landing pages so important? They are a vital tool in any marketer’s toolbox. A landing page is a page where a visitor ‘lands’ after clicking on an ad, link in an email or social media post, for example. Unlike a regular webpage, a landing page has one goal only: get a visitor to take a specific action.
Because of that, most landing pages have a simple layout. There’s usually no site navigation or other outgoing links, and the copy is clear and to the point. Marketers often need to be able to create these landing pages on the fly.
Other landing page builders like Clickfunnels and Leadpages capitalized on this. They offer easy to use drag-and-drop editors. Today, marketers can create landing pages without having to write a line of code.
ActiveCampaign Landing pages: is it any good?
So now ActiveCampaign has added their own landing page tool into the mix. It’s available to everyone on the Plus tier and up. Here is our ActiveCampaign pricing and plans guide. There are no limits to how many pages you can create. The editor uses the same drag-and-drop principle found in many landing page editors today.
I have to say, they’ve managed to create a solid and refreshing experience. I created a few landing pages, and found almost everything I wanted.
I did run into some issues getting forms to work. This is critical of course, since the main goal of most landing pages is to collect visitor information. I expect ActiveCampaign will fix this shortly.
How do you create landing pages in ActiveCampaign?
Here’s the process to build a landing page using ActiveCampaign Pages:
- Go to the new Site section in the left hand menu and create your new page.
- Select from over 40 landing page templates, or start from scratch
- Add, edit and remove sections, rows, columns and elements to your liking. The controls are simple and intuitive. Everything is fully responsive.
- Give your page a title, meta description, social image and favicon.
- You add any analytics code, like Google Analytics or Facebook Pixel. Fun fact: ActiveCampaign actually reminds you to do this!
- You publish your page on the default domain: <accountname>.ac-page.com. You can also use a custom domain, for example marketing.mywebsite.com
You build a page by placing sections, which contain rows, which in turn contain columns. You can fill these columns with elements, like text areas, headings and images. There’s also a good selection of widgets like forms, buttons, countdown timers and social follow links. Every element is easy to customize. There are controls for spacing, and visibility toggles for desktop and phone.
Some landing page builders can be quirky, buggy and not very responsive – *cough* looking at you, Eloqua. *cough* But working with Pages in ActiveCampaign is very pleasant and flowy.
Read our full ActiveCampaign review here
Creating a blog for ActiveCampaign
If you want to create a full blog though, in theory you could do it with ActiveCampaign pages. But that isn’t wat this landing page builder is good at. So best to look at some other options. Obviously WordPress can be a companion, but next to that there is also Dropinblog that has special functions for creating blogs in ActiveCampaign.
What I like about ActiveCampaign’s Pages
- The editor is easy to use and flows pleasantly. There are plenty of options to customize every element on the page, but it never feels like too much.
- There are easy to learn hotkeys. In the editor use Ctrl-Z for Undo, and S, R, C and E to filter your mouse to only select Sections, Rows, Columns or Elements. Handy!
- The color palette feature is a nice time saver! That is, once I understood how it works. You add your company’s colors in the ‘Theme’ section of the editor. Like a painter, this is now your actual palette. It limits your selection of colors, so it’s easy to stay on brand. And if you change a palette color, all elements on the page are updated automatically.
- You can add navigation to create a microsite – or even use it as a website builder if your business is simple enough.
- There’s a good selection of elements to add to your page, like a countdown timer, buttons and social follow links.
Landing pages are included in the Plus subscription tier, which starts at $49/month. ActiveCampaign Plus includes features like marketing automation, lead scoring and CRM. That’s very competitive when compared to similar software like HubSpot.
It wouldn’t surprise me if the price goes up soon, so grab it while you can.
What they can improve:
- There seems to be no connection (yet) between Pages and the rest of ActiveCampaign. I can create a form on a landing page by adding individual fields to the Form element. But there’s no way to control what happens with the form data.
I can’t retrieve the submitted data, let alone use the form submit as a trigger in an automation. I suspect AC will fix this pretty fast though, given how critical it is to make the best use of it.
- They could communicate the color palette feature a bit better.
At first, I thought I was only able to select from a handful of shades of blue, for any element. Turns out, you add colors to your palette – think like an actual painter – that you can then apply to the elements on the page. Handy, but a bit counter-intuitive at first.
- You can’t save blocks for re-use. Sections, rows, columns or elements, you can’t make them “standard” to re-use later. This is a feature that’s great about ActiveCampaign’s email editor, but hasn’t made it to Pages (yet). You can copy and paste between pages, but that takes some more clicks.
- Form creation feels a bit cumbersome compared to the rest of the editor. I expected to be able to insert forms that I created in ActiveCampaign’s Forms section into the page. Instead I have to create the form from scratch on the landing page. While this process isn’t too difficult, it feels counter-intuitive.
- It’s still missing A/B testing. Most standalone landing page builders in the market offer A/B testing. As a workaround, you could always create separate pages, then use ActiveCampaign’s Campaign builder to A/B test. But you’d limit yourself to visitors from email.
- There are no widgets to integrate eCommerce on your Pages. It should be possible with the custom code widget, but I wasn’t able to test this. Of course ActiveCampaign as a whole integrates with e-commerce providers like Stripe or Shopify. So I wouldn’t be surprised if they add this feature some time in the future.
9 tips for creating stellar landing pages
If you ask me, the ability to quickly create and launch landing pages is essential for any marketing team. Good marketing is all about taking action. Don’t strategize forever, but go out there and execute.
Come up with an offer – of information, time, education – then build and launch it to see what it does. Every offer is an opportunity to learn about what works for your target audience. Ultimately, the more offers you make, the more sales you’ll make.
This is why I always check in with clients to see if they can quickly get a landing page up and running. Some marketing teams have to request a change from Joe the web developer first, who has to get permission to put it on his roadmap, etc. etc. That takes way too long, so I’ll always recommend a good landing page builder that marketing has full ownership of.
Creating a stellar landing page can be daunting. So here are 9 tips to make your next landing page convert like hotcakes.
1. Don’t get hung up on design details.
The beauty of these tools is that you can very quickly create and modify landing pages. Trust me, it doesn’t matter if the logo’s position relative to the body copy is exactly according to the brand guide. Or if the margin between two elements is 40px or 50px. Build it and launch, then let data tell the story.
2. Work that copy
What is important is the copy. Spend the majority of your time crafting a headline and body copy that clearly describe who the offer is for and what they will get. Be concise and to the point.
3. Use the power of one!
A landing page is about getting the visitor to do that one thing that you want them to do. Sign up for your webinar, download your guide, book a strategy session. Anything on the page that doesn’t directly contribute to making that happen, can harm your conversion rate.
4. Don’t use leaky links
The power of one goes double for links. If a visitor clicks on a link, they leave the page and you miss a potential conversion. Scrap any link that doesn’t lead to the desired conversion. No site navigation, no links to further reading, blog posts or social media. If it’s relevant to your offer, put it on the page.
5. Make it easy to scan the page
Avoid large clusters of text. Use bullets and sub headers to make it easy to scan the page. If you do have a lot of information to share, divide the page into sections with different background colors. Incorporate playful elements like images, icons and different layouts to break the monotony of text. This is easy to do in builders like ActiveCampaign’s Pages.
6. Experiment with different lengths.
Sometimes a page that fits above the fold is plenty. But others have had great success with giant landing pages that go on forever. They address every question and concern the reader might have about whatever’s on offer.
7. Break up text with video.
A customer testimonial, an explanimation or just you, sharing expertise.
8. Introduce yourself for visitors from paid
If your visitors come to the page via paid advertising, there’s a good chance they have never heard of your business before. So devote some real estate to introduce yourself, your business and perhaps your process/core values.
9. Don’t forget the confirmation page!
Once the conversion is done, you can unleash the links! For example, you can point out blog posts or resources related to the offer they just converted on. Or you can show a next step they might take in their buying journey, like booking a call with you. A quick and personal thank-you video also works wonders.
ActiveCampaign Landing Pages, my conclusion
With Pages, ActiveCampaign has introduced a fantastic and much needed addition to their package, provided they iron out the issue of no connection to the rest of the software. The landing page builder is easy to use, intuitive and robust. It has all the features you’d expect and none too many.
Creating and publishing a landing page is super quick. Combined with all the other features, it makes ActiveCampaign’s bang-for-buck ratio skyrocket.