In a Nutshell
- Low cost and easy to use
- Responsive customer service
- Limited collection of templates
- Slow loading times
Why Choose ActiveTrail
ActiveTrail does not require any sort of marketing or tech expertise, and even first-time users can easily use the dashboard and construct messages on simple, elegant templates. It is an ideal option if you’re looking to start an email marketing campaign, but are worried your emails will go to the spam folder or simply won’t get read.
The predictive delivery collects data on who opened the emails and when, and helps you adjust accordingly, so that messages sent to your contacts go out at the time of day when they’re most-likely to get opened.
The platform also allows you to heavily personalize the messages so they don’t come off as form letters or spam, and includes detailed reports and analytics on your messages. The autoresponder helps you schedule future messages to contacts (for birthdays and the like), helping you keep up with the sort of personal interactions that are so important for a business. ActiveTrail offers a free 30-day trial, so there’s little to lose by taking it for a test run.
- Easy-to-use newsletter and email editor
- Competitive pricing plans
- Landing page creator
- Autoresponder campaign creator
- SMS campaign creator
- Survey and polling tools for message recipients
- Predictive delivery of messages
- Detailed reports and analytics
- Solid customer service
- Compliant with spam regulations
ActiveTrail currently offers 30 templates for newsletters and 25 for landing pages. While that is a relatively sizable collection, there isn’t much variety, especially not compared to website builder sites that offer hundreds, even thousands of potential templates. Nonetheless, there are a fair number of options.
The platform allows you to save your templates for later repeat use. The templates range from blank or very threadbare ones to more colorful and dynamic presentations. There are templates suited for cosmetics companies looking to highlight deals, car dealers, holiday-themed Christmas templates, food and dining-themed templates, and ones for families and holiday-goers.
The offerings seem to rely somewhat heavily on stock photos and simple, even generic layouts, but each option is highly customizable.
ActiveTrail offers a variety of pricing plans that are competitive enough to encourage even users who may be a bit skeptical about trying a messaging service.
*Prices last updated May 2018
**When you purchase the package annually
Users who don’t want to commit to a monthly plan can opt for an email package, which start at $25 for 1,000 emails, up to $109 for 7,500 emails in total. The SMS only packages begin at $41 for 500 messages, up to $344 for 5,000, which comes out to 6 cents per text.
ActiveTrail is often compared to competitor MailChimp, and its prices stack up favorably. MailChimp offers a $20/month plan that provides unlimited emails to 1,001 – 1,500 customers, up to $35/month for unlimited email for 2,501-2,600 customers. MailChimp’s pay as you go email plan charges $9 for 300 emails, up to $150 for 7,500, coming in at 2 cents per email.
Ease of Use
The ActiveTrail interface is easy to use and should be somewhat familiar to anyone who has used a simple website builder. It allows you to easily import your contacts or enter them manually, and walks you through every process. When create an email you receive 5 options: -
- Regular email (either with a template or your own HTML code)
- A/B split email (create two versions and see which works best)
- On event email (an email to be sent to the person automatically on certain dates – such as a birthday)
- Triggered email (one that is sent when a person unsubscribes or subscribes)
- RSS email (an email that will be sent automatically based on an RSS feed).
After clicking on your selection, a template loads with an easily customizable box of options. Here you can upload images and create a gallery in your account in order to easily pull images.
The sending options are easy to arrange according to contact lists that you can update at any time. This allows you to make multiple versions of a targeted campaign for multiple lists of people with different traits and interests, which you can track through the analytics system.
This same ease of use applies to creating landing pages and SMS campaigns.
ActiveTrail’s predictive delivery is an effective tool for determining when and how each and every contact reads emails, so you aren’t just carpet-bombing your contact list and hoping for the best. You can test out what works with an initial campaign or two, and then use the system to personalize the messages for your customers.
The autoresponder and event emails take the brainwork out of keeping up with customers’ birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and the like. The triggering emails also give users a way to reach out to customers if/when they decide to opt out.
The landing page creator is a simple way to create a special promotional page for one-off events or sales, and with the site’s survey and polling tools, message recipients have the means to weigh in about what works and doesn’t—and then incorporate that data in future campaigns.
Helpful customer service is a strong feature of ActiveTrail—and no small thing when it comes to your business’s promotions. Questions sent to the customer service representatives were answered effectively. A customer service question sent through the site’s contact form at 9pm CT on a Saturday night was answered 4 hours later, while an email sent to the customer service email at the same time was also answered 4 hours later.
Regardless of the topic at hand, the customer service responses were kind, helpful, and asked for clarifications so that they could be of more assistance.
That said, compared to other tech sites, ActiveTrail’s customer service can fall short. There is no live chat window or 24/7, 1-800 hotline to contact in the heat of the moment.
ActiveTrial is a headache-free email and SMS marketing campaign manager, suited for small and large businesses with price scaling to match. ActiveTrail’s system collects data about message recipients which is put at the users’ disposal to better craft their targeted messaging.
It has a variety of email and SMS options (from newsletters to event messages) as well as a landing page creator that is highly customizable. Overall, it is an easy-to-use and affordable option to help integrate email and SMS messaging in your business promotion.
ActiveTrail was founded in 2004 by RealCommerce group and today has branches in USA, Israel, Germany, France, and Latin America. The company counts among its customers businesses like Lufthansa, Avis, and United, and also tailors services to far smaller businesses.