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November 16, 2018

ActiveCampaign announces custom fields for Deals

This is big news: their simple (but effective) CRM tool has just become much more powerful.

If you’ve used alternative pipeline apps you’ll be well aware of the limits of ActiveCampaign’s version, called “Deals’.

I wouldn’t recommend it to Sales teams pushing hard to achieve their targets – an audience ActiveCampaign isn’t targeting anyway. Deals is better suited for smaller operations with less sophisticated sales pipelines, as well as non-sales workflows where you’re tracking a task across different stages.

This upgrade, though, opens up many more use cases. I’ll cover a couple later, but first will explain what has changed.

You can now create custom fields associated to single Deals very much in the same way as you can for Contacts, so navigate to the Lists page and click on Manage Fields. You can also access this page from a Deal – look out for the Add field button.

This is how the field screen for Deals looks like:

Once you’ve created the new fields you’ll find them listed in a Deal under the Deal Info screen.

New custom fields for Deals: use cases

ActiveCampaign mention a few in their announcement, but for me the really exciting stuff relates to using Deals like a relational database. So that a single contact can be associated to multiple items, which can be a product they bought, an even they signed up for or services they have subscribed to.

You can typically achieve this using more sophisticated platforms that support one-to-many relationships for their records, so good to be able to do a similar job with ActiveCampaign.

Custom fields for Deals allow you to capture the information you need about each of these records. So, if you’re wanting to capture a webinar registration as a Deal then you would create new fields for the event name, date, URL, and so on.

If you’re selling products, digital or not, then you’ll be able to create fields to describe them, their value as well as the date they were purchased.

Disclaimer: I haven’t actually implemented any of the above, but it in principle… it should work!

Using custom fields for Deals in automations

This is where ActiveCampaign’s real power shines through: your CRM pipeline is fully integrated with your marketing platform. No, that’s not even correct: CRM is part of the marketing platform.

Which means that you can create conditions in your automation logic based on values in your Deal’s custom fields, as well as updating them – see the image here on the side.

Continuing with the webinar example, you can use Deals to manage registrations for multiple webinars and a single automation that sends emails comms checking if the webinar date is in the past or not.

The more I think of it the more I believe all of the above will work very well for those that run multiple events.

What next?

If you have Deals already your account will have been upgraded already to feature them.

If you’re on the Lite plan this may be a good reason for you to upgrade.

If you’re not using ActiveCampaign you can try it for free for 14 days, without needing a credit card. You will have access to the Deals function as part of the trial.

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I've spent half my career building and managing website and the other half marketing them, and have been working in the data-driven marketing space since 2011.