How I Use ActiveCampaign to Capture Subscribers on My Blog

In:

I’ve been using ActiveCampaign for about 3 months now to capture subscribers on my blog. I’m going to share with you a behind the scenes look at why I picked ActiveCampaign and what my setup looks like.

Why I chose ActiveCampaign

I’m an active user of Marketo, Silverpop, Pardot, and Salesforce Marketing Cloud, which are all great tools, however, all those tools are too expensive for a personal blog. So I decided to check out some cheaper options. Mailchimp was one of my top contenders and it’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers but I decided to not go with it because I wanted more marketing automation features.

Well Designed

The interface is so well designed I didn’t need to do any training up-front.

Pricing

Their pricing model is hard to beat. For $9 a month you can get all the marketing automation features and email marketing features. They have no setup fees and you can cancel at any time, making it perfect for a personal blog.

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List Setup

The first thing I did was create 2 lists within the platform. The first list was for newsletter subscribers, the second list was for resource downloads.

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Fields

I then created all the fields for each of the lists.

Newsletter List Fields

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Email Address
  • Blog Segment
  • Blog Source

Most of these fields are pretty standard except for blog segment and blog source. Since each one of my blog posts has an option for a person to subscribe at the bottom, I wanted to be able to track which posts were generating the most subscribers. The blog source field is setup to capture the post name of the blog post where the form is located. The blog segment field captures the category that the blog post is under.

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Resources List Fields

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Email Address
  • Newsletter Opt-in (checkbox)
  • Resource Download Name
  • Segment

The resource download name field is used to capture the name of the resource. Having this field allows me to have 1 list setup for all resource downloads, then have separate automated campaigns based on that field.

Forms

After all my fields were created it was time to use their form builder. I create 2 forms (one for each list).

Newsletter Form

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As you can see from the screenshot, my form contains all the fields I set up previously in my list and blog source and blog segment are hidden fields. There are some options to customize the theme/style of the form, but I knew I wanted to embed the form code on my website so I didn’t play around with it.

The form generates some HTML so you can easily integrate it with any site. The default HTML code looked something like this:

I pasted the generated form code into Sublime Text and stripped out all the CSS and generated DIVs, leaving me with a clean HTML form to embed on my website.

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I implemented this form on every single blog post page by putting it in my WordPress theme. Since it’s located inside my WordPress theme, I can use standard WordPress code to populate the hidden fields dynamically.

Resource Form

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I pretty much followed the same process for this form as I did for the newsletter form. The only difference is I did not put it into my WordPress theme since it will only be needed for specific posts. Instead, paste the form HTML into each post that has a resource download.

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Automations

The last thing I did was create some automations. I have 3 automations currently setup.

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Newsletter Opt-in

I created a simple automated flow to alert me when someone signs up for my newsletter.

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Newsletter Opt-in Through Resource Form

This automation is to subscribe anyone who fills out the resource download form and selects “opt me into the newsletter”, to the newsletter list.

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Resource Download Notification

This automation is to notify me when someone downloads a particular resource.

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That’s it!

That’s all I’ve setup in ActiveCampaign so far. Did you find this post helpful? Do you have any questions? Email me, or send me a tweet @jennamolby.

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7 comment(s)
  • Loralee

    10/01/2016 at 11:26 am
    Reply

    Hi Jenna, Love this article... And your approach with 2 lists. I've been attempting to just use one main one in AC, like many other people recommend - but this method makes so much more sense to me. I'm curious about the last image in this post. Was it originally going to be an automation workflow vs the download screenshot? If so, I'd love to see your process. Thanks again! This post really helps!

    • Jenna Molby
      to Loralee

      10/01/2016 at 11:59 am
      Reply

      Hi Loralee, So happy you found this post helpful! You are absolutely correct, it was supposed to be an automation workflow vs a download screenshot. Here's a screenshot of the last step in my process.

    • Loralee
      to Jenna Molby

      10/01/2016 at 12:08 pm
      Reply

      Thank you! :)

  • stefano

    10/11/2015 at 5:24 am
    Reply

    hi jenna, i try to import an active campaign form on my blog but when I copy the html code i have a lot of blank space between my last sentence and my form. How can i remove it? it's something about html codes but I don't know which parameter should i fix.

    • Cindy
      to stefano

      01/09/2016 at 12:40 pm
      Reply

      Hi Loralee. Great explanation here. I'm curious - how do you then communicate your new posts to your subscribers? I imagine it's simply creating a new campaign or automating but both seem like time consuming methods. Do you have anything setup (through Wordpress, ActiveCampaign or third party integrations) that sends an email to your subscribers once you post a new blog? I'm trying to figure out a simple way but can't seem to find one.

    • Cindy
      to Cindy

      01/09/2016 at 12:42 pm
      Reply

      Oops, I meant Hi Jenna.

    • Jenna Molby
      to Cindy

      02/09/2016 at 9:16 am
      Reply

      Hi Cindy! I have a template set up in ActiveCampaign that I use when I post a new blog. Currently, I do it as a manual process since I want to have more control over what I'm sending out, but ActiveCampaign can automatically send out blog subscription emails based off an RSS feed.

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