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What is email marketing

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Learn the in's and out's of this very popular strategy used by millions of marketers.


Is email marketing effective for your small business
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23 best practices for email marketing
There are things you should and shouldn't do when it comes to email marketing.


How to conduct a email marketing campaign
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ActiveTrail Review

ActiveTrail is an email autoresponder service that boasts some neat features that their competitors definitely don’t have, in addition to a lower-tiered pricing plan compared to other similar services.


All of your traditional features are here. Email marketing, followup campaigns, easy opt-in form generation, in addition to an entire landing page creation utility are all easily found within ActiveTrail.


If you’re looking to build rapport, prestige and relationships with your subscribers and buyers, but you don’t have a big budget yet you still want exciting features that can benefit your business tremendously then this review is worth checking out.
ActiveTrail has an interesting feature that allows you to send SMS broadcasts to your mobile subscribers.


Considering the number of your subscribers who use mobile is constantly increasing, this could be a vital asset to your campaigns now, and increasingly so in the future.


ActiveTrail boasts an easy to use landing page builder so you can instantly build beautiful looking landing pages that will look great across all landing devices, whether it be a desktop device or almost any mobile platform.


ActiveTrail makes writing newsletters easy without knowing a single line of code.


ActiveCampaign also has a built in image editing software so you can remove red-eyes, crop, and edit your photos using a simple what you see is what you get editor.

Activetrail Review
ActiveTrail Advantages

Low Cost – ActiveTrail is definitely cheaper than your average email autoresponder service providers. Even though they are priced at a lower tier than their competitors, they boast some exciting features that are hard to find elsewhere.


Landing Page Builder – A dynamic and easy to use page builder isn’t something that all email autoresponder services provide. Most other email autoresponder services allow you to build email opt-in forms, but having a separate landing page builder is definitely an advantage that ActiveTrail can brag about.


SMS Messaging – The ability to send SMS messages to your subscribers is a rare feature that can benefit your campaigns in ways that most other email autoresponder companies can’t provide.

ActiveTrail Disadvantages

Questionable Scaling – The largest pricing package that ActiveTrail promotes is 20,000 email subscribers.


This leads one to believe that they cater to smaller businesses and email marketers, so if you already have a large email marketing presence you’ll have to contact them in order to get a quote.


That being said, after conducting additional research, it would seem that ActiveTrail does conduct business with some very large companies. That being said, it’s prudent to note that ActiveTrail doesn’t list the prices for subscription bases exceeding 20,000 subscribers.


Limited Support For Noncustomers – Upon browsing their website, it would seem that ActiveTrail doesn’t offer a wide variety of support services. There is no live chat feature to noncustomers and finding a support telephone number isn’t readily evident.


Upon further investigation it’s true that ActiveTrail provides one-on-one support for their paying customers, in addition to a live chat feature. However, their lack of a live chat feature for noncustomers is worth noting.


Lack Of Upfront Pricing Transparency – If you run a large organization who requires robust email marketing features in addition to on-demand support, you’ll have to contact ActiveTrail for a quote.

Who Is ActiveTrail Ideal For?

ActiveTrail is perfect for startups. In fact, a little-known benefit to using ActiveTrail is that they will give you a free account for 6 months if you meet their criteria. Their rules state that you must have less than 15 employees, your company must be less than 2 years old, and your funding must be $1,000,000 or less. If you meet those criteria, definitely inquire about obtaining a free 6-month account.


What ActiveTrail does, they do very well. If you’re a small to medium business and you’re investigating ways to manage your email subscribers, ActiveTrail might be an ideal choice.


They are statistically cheaper than the majority of email marketing services in their class, and they don’t lack any of the key fundamentals that you need to run a comprehensive email marketing campaign.


Their low cost, simplistic features and easy to navigate email marketing interface makes them ideal for bloggers, email marketers, affiliate marketers, ecommerce startups, network marketers, authors, publishers, coaches and consultants.


You can proceed with confidence if you intend on keeping your subscribers up to date, and even if you prefer to send SMS messages instead of emails, or in conjunction with your emails, ActiveTrail has you covered.

ActiveTrail Signup Process
ActiveTrail Signup

Signing up for ActiveTrail is very easy and only takes a few minutes. Upon visiting their homepage you’ll encounter an invitation to try their service for free.


The signup process isn’t difficult at all and there’s no credit card required to give their service a try.


It’s also important to remember that if you’re a small business and meet their criteria (that most startups would meet) that you can qualify for 6 months of free use.


So definitely check out this option if you operate or represent a small business.

ActiveTrail Ease of Use
Activetrail Dashboard

ActiveTrail has a very simple user interface so you can import your existing list without headache or so you can build a lead capture page and begin promoting immediately. If you import leads, they do not have to confirm their subscription.


The processes of adding subscribers, broadcasting emails, setting up lead captures and creating opt-in forms are all very intuitive because the interface is straight forward.


The overall learning curve would be low even if you don’t have much email marketing experience. If you do have any email marketing experience, you’ll quickly master the fundamentals and shall deploy email marketing campaigns with ease and without any problems.

ActiveTrail Features
Activetrail Features

Advanced Landing Page Creator – The majority of email marketing service providers only provide an op-in form generator. ActiveTrail separates itself from the pack by having a fully-fledged landing page creator, so you can create beautiful landing pages from within the email autoresponder service itself. No third party software or expensive scripts are required to make awesome lead generation pages, and you never have to learn a single lick of code.


Ability To Send SMS Messages – You can’t deny that a large portion of your audience uses mobile devices more and more. That’s why you might find this rare tool from ActiveTrail to be enticing. So you can send SMS messages to your subscribers, reaching them where they are, even if they’re on the go.


Easy To Use Autoresponder Campaigns – Imagine how it would feel to automate email followups, so you can build rapport with your subscribers without any ongoing work. Instead, you can setup a prewritten campaign that builds relationships, polls your audience, and builds rapport while at the same time selling your products and services. All of this is easily setup using ActiveTrail.


ActiveCommerce – ActiveCommerce is a propriety app used for ActiveTrail users that allows you to integrate with your commerce stores. Integrate with your leads and buyers to keep in touch, sell more products, and add your buyers to your list automatically without any third party scripts or software.


Built In Survey Tools – One of the best ways to outmuscle your competition is by outthinking them. The surest way to accomplish that is by knowing your end user demographic better than anyone else. That’s why ActiveTrail wisely puts easily deployable survey and polling tools in your hands, so you can figure out the pain points and requirements of your end user demographic, making it all the easier to deliver content that will make their lives better.


Easy Opt-In Forms – So you can create beautiful opt-in forms using sleek tools even if the idea of graphic design makes you tremble in terror.


Active Bounce Management – ActiveTrail boasts a high deliverability rate. They attribute high deliverability to several variables, including active bounce management. So if your subscribers change or delete their emails, you get feedback so you can remove inactive email subscribers, making your email deliverability skyrocket thereby saving you money on redundant subscribers.


Campaign Triggers – Setting up behavioral campaigns is surprisingly easy using ActiveTrail. So you can segment and send content based upon the actions that you define within the campaign management tools.


Split Testing – Have you ever wondered what subject lines, or even what types of colors will convert better than others? Put your curiosity to test while at the same time optimizing performance beyond your wildest imagination. This is all easily accomplishable with ActiveTrail A/B split testing.


Geographic Reporting – You might be shocked to learn where your subscribers are coming from. Would you like to get real-time statistics so you can see where your emails are being opened from all over the world? These statistics will provide valuable insight as to who is reading your emails, at what time, and from what geographic region your subscribers are from.

ActiveTrail Integration's

WordPress – If you’re using WordPress to blog or establish any type of web presence, you can download the ActiveTrail plugins to easily turn your web presence into a lead generation tool. All of this is easily deployable so you don’t have to pay graphic designers or coders high fees for easy WordPress integration.


Social Media – Add social media sharing to all of your emails. So you can prompt your subscribers to become your own marketing force. Easily integrate Google +, Facebook and Twitter share buttons in all of your email campaigns.


RSS – If you blog frequently, you can connect your RSS feed to your ActiveTrail email campaigns so as to keep your subscribers updated without doing any extra work.


SalesForce – Do you have customers in SalesForce? If that’s the case, you can easily add those subscribers into your ActiveTrail contact list without any messy forms or complications.


Google Analytics – Google Analytics might be the best tracking software on the planet. That’s why ActiveTrail wisely implements with your email campaigns, so you can see not only who is opening your emails, but you can see what devices they’re using, and a wide range of demographics that are difficult to obtain elsewhere.


Excel – If you have a current email autoresponder service, you can easily export your leads from almost any other service and import them into ActiveTrail using an Excel spreadsheet. ActiveTrail also allows you to export your statistics and reports to either Excel or PDF, so you can create external presentations for all of your campaign data.


Almost Any CRM Platform - ActiveTrail’s easy API will allow you to integrate with almost any CRM, so you can synchronize real-time statistics between ActiveTrail and your third party websites. This can allow you to better segment and add buyers to your email list, so you can better communicate with your subscribers and buyers throughout the entire sales and lead acquisition process.


PrestaShop – If you sell products with PrestaShop, you can begin integrating your customers onto your ActiveTrail subscriber base without complications or any additional tools. This way, you can establish ongoing relationships and even sell your new customers future products on an ongoing basis.


Magento – Magento is one of the world’s leading cloud ecommerce providers and integrating with ActiveTrail is surprisingly simple. If your organization conducts business and makes sales on Magento, you’re missing the boat by not adding your customers to an email campaign.


Shopify – Do you have a Shopify store? If that’s the case imagine how it would feel to instantly and automatically add all of your buyers onto your ActiveTrail email campaign without suffering from technical overwhelm? If it would feel good, then you’ll definitely love this integration.

ActiveTrail Pricing
Activetrail Pricing

ActiveTrail pricing is based upon your number of subscribers. One thing you’ll find is that the cost of ActiveTrail is marginally lower than most of their competitors.


So if you have up to 500 subscribers, the monthly fee is $13. If you have up to 5,000 subscribers, the monthly fee is $42. If you have up to 10,000 subscribers, the monthly fee is $59. And if you have over 20,000 subscribers, you must contact ActiveTrail for a quote.


These prices are arguably best in class when compared to similar email marketing service providers.


It’s also important to note that ActiveTrail has an entirely different pricing model in the event that you don’t want a subscription. For example, ActiveTrail offers “SMS Pricing Plans” upon which you can send 3,000 SMS messages for $306 ($.10 Price Per SMS), and the price for 10,000 SMS messages is $900 ($.09 per SMS). 


ActiveTrail also allows you to purchase “Email Packages”, so if you want to avoid a recurring charge and send onetime email blasts, they can accommodate you.


For example, the price for 5,000 emails sent is $99 ($.02 Price Per Email), and the price for 10,000 emails sent is $149 ($.015 Price Per Email).


ActiveTrail also allows you to preview their service for absolutely zero cost without using a credit card. You can register, import your list of leads using an Excel document, and preview their services without any risk on your behalf.

ActiveTrail Support

Upon first glance it would seem that ActiveTrail is hard to get a hold of. It’s true that they don’t actively promote a support phone number or a live chat feature on their site like many of their competitors do.


This is in all probability a mechanism upon which to reduce costs, so they can provide to you a better deal on their actual services.


This isn’t to say that ActiveTrail leave you hanging as a customer.


If you ever need support with setting up your lead capture pages, importing your leads, or planning a campaign ActiveTrail has personalized training available to their customers, so you can always rely on getting the help that you need and deserve.

ActiveTrail Reputation

After engaging in copious research regarding the reputation for ActiveTrail it can be noted that they’re known for their low cost services with surprisingly good deliverability.


ActiveTrail is known for serving small Internet startups and entrepreneurs who might not have the biggest marketing budget on the planet.


The notion that ActiveTrail is willing to provide free email marketing services to certain startup companies speaks volumes, because as you know actions often speak louder than words.


You probably realize by now that every dollar counts in your marketing these days, so if your company can get by while spending less money on tools and services, you can probably benefit over the long-term.


ActiveTrail exerts great effort to serve Internet startups, and have an excellent reputation and will even provide to you free service if you meet their startup criteria.

Active Trail Conclusion

If you’re a small startup on a budget, yet you still realize the immense benefits that email marketing can bring for your business, then ActiveTrail might just be a dream come true.


Maybe you realize how tight money can be in today’s economy. That’s why ActiveTrail is such a commendable email marketing service, and why their reputation among startups is potentially unrivaled.


Not all businesses have million dollar budgets, and a staff required to create beautiful landing pages that can yield awesome email marketing results. That’s why ActiveTrail might be on a short list of the best services that your business can use.


ActiveTrail shines in being able to provide some of the most innovative email marketing technologies such as geographic targeting, campaign triggers, SMS marketing, and a comprehensive page builder at lower prices than their competitors. This is because they’re passionate about helping the little guy (or little gal).


So if you’re a small business owner, an independent Internet marketer, affiliate marketer, coach, author, publisher or consultant, you might consider giving ActiveTrail a go.


So you can build rapport and prestige and automate sales in a way that works, and without forking over more than you can afford during the crucial startup phase of your company.


About Mike DeVincent

Mike researches and reviews products for Top 10 Marketing Software. Mike has vast experience in blogging, teaching and internet marketing. See Mike's profile on Google+.

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