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September 5, 2019

ActiveCampaign and Salesforce: A Match Made in CRM Heaven

ActiveCampaign announce their integration with Salesforce Essentials, opening up many opportunities for users of both platforms.

When you first attend a Salesforce event such as Dreamforce or Word Tour you’ll be in awe of the scale of things and the size of the ecosystem that has grown around the platform: consultancies, app developers, solutions partners, etc… With the announcement of their partnership with Salesforce I’m expecting to see an ActiveCampaign stand at future events too.

But small business owners attending soon find themselves back to earth when they start asking about prices. Indeed, Salesforce Essentials is priced for small businesses and solo operators the low pricing is reflected in the limited feature set.

This is what Salesforce Essentials can do out of the box, as mention on their website:
For $25 a month,* Salesforce Essentials makes it easy to:

– Deliver support across email, phone, chat, and social channels
– Manage contacts, accounts, and support cases for up to 10 users
– Track emails and meetings automatically
– Create custom dashboards and report

CRM sits at the heart of all sales and marketing activities but small business owners need a tool that can execute marketing too. So you need to extend Essential’s functionality but you can forget about Marketing Cloud or Pardot as they come with a significant price tag. You’ll need to look into their AppExchange for something more affordable.

If you don’t know what CRM is best heading over to Salesforce for the what, why and how, including why CRM is better than spreadsheets.

Boosting Essential’s marketing capabilities with ActiveCampaign

The ActiveCampaign Salesforce integration was released last month and opens a world of possibilities to those that have aspired to build sophisticated marketing automations but not break the bank.

The integration syncs contacts across both platforms allowing you to manage them via Essentials powerful CRM features and engage with them using ActiveCampaign’s Campaign, Automation and Forms functions.

Here are a couple of use cases:

  • Lead gen – Build a form to capture and qualify leads, push them to Essentials and identify high-value ones for Sales to follow up on
  • Email campaigns – Scheduled or one-off broadcasts targeting segments defined in Essentials (eg. via a specific field)
  • Marketing automation – push a prospect that you have added to Essentials into a nurturing sequence in ActiveCampaign

An much more if you tap into ActiveCampaigns other functions such as SMS, Conversations, Facebook audience integration and its own app and integration ecosystem.

Getting a better Deal

ActiveCampaign users that have outgrown the Deals function will want to have a look at Essentials which is a much more sophisticated CRM for sales and support. For example, ActiveCampaign has recently updated their Accounts (Organisation) view but it remains a very simple dashboard to display data of the companies you’re engaged with.

Another big advantage is Essential’s email integration. You can use it pretty much as an email client to send and receive emails, as well as leverage Gmail and Outlook integrations to view contact CRM details as you correspond with them. ActiveCampaign has these features too, but are not as good — particularly on mobile.

Essentials does a better job reporting on key business metrics too.

$25 + $9 = Very Cheap!

Starting price for the ActiveCampaign and Salesforce Combo is $34 USD a month, which is a steal considering what the platforms can do together. Many competitors with a fraction of the features cost multiple times that.

Concluding thoughts

ActiveCampaign and Salesforce have found a great fit to fill each other’s gaps: ActiveCampaign users needing an Enterprise-grade CRM and entry-level Salesforce clients requiring a powerful marketing tool but not having a budget that can stretch across Pardot or Marketing Cloud.

It will be interesting too see which group will grow faster as well as other use cases. For example, prospective Pardot users may want to use ActiveCampaign to prototype their marketing automation designs before signing up.

The integration will be also welcome to those that have achieve the same via a tool like Zapier — native solutions tend to be more reliable and the less moving parts you have, the lower the risk of something breaking.

Salesforce Essential users: give ActiveCampaign a go

ActiveCampaign offer a 14-day free trial, don’t ask for your credit card and have designed a very fast sign-up process too. Give it a go and within 10 minutes you’ll get a sense of how ActiveCampaign can extend your Salesforce CRM efforts.

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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.