ActiveTrail Review

Ideal for

  • People launching targeted fundraising campaigns by way of email

  • Businesses—especially restaurants—looking to drum up word of mouth and highlight new specials and events

  • Larger companies that can use the company’s data-based email targeting system to better streamline their email and SMS-based campaigns.

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Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Low cost

  • Landing page builder

  • Easy to use

  • Responsive customer service

Cons:

  • Somewhat limited collection of available templates

  • Some users report slow loading times

The Bottom Line

ActiveTrail is a great option for companies looking to build automated communication
campaigns by email and SMS. With the company’s predictive delivery, these messages should actually get read. Though the company counts among its customers such giants as Avis, United, Visa, and Wix, its flexible and affordable service plans are well-suited to small companies as well. Monthly packages start at $7/month for unlimited emails to up to 500 contacts. With scalable pricing ActiveTrail is a good match for growing companies that need to expand their outreach.

Why Go With ActiveTrail

ActiveTrail.com does not require any sort of marketing or tech expertise, and even a first-time user can easily walk through the dashboard and construct messages on simple, elegant templates. ActiveTrail is a good option if you’re looking to start a message campaign but you’re 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.com offers a free 30-day trial, so there’s little to lose by taking it for a test run.

What It Offers

  • 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

More Reasons to Choose ActiveTrail

No one would suggest operating ad campaigns solely by email these days, especially with virtually everyone carrying a smart phone with them at almost all times. The ActiveTrail SMS marketing platform brings your messaging to SMS, targeting your contacts with quick, immediate notes.

With ActiveTrail you can create online surveys for your customers to give you feedback, helping you develop better campaigns. It is also effective at integrating other applications into your messaging, including PayPal, WordPress and Salesforce.

The landing page builder is optimized for mobile users and is easy for novices with no coding experience to navigate.

Setting up triggered emails is a great way to ensure automatic interaction with customers whenever they leave a message list, helping you follow-up and preserve your contact base.

ActiveTrail’s sign-up forms are easy to create and can be incorporated in multiple ways in your email and newsletters. Just like almost everything else on ActiveTrail, the forms are highly customizable.

Templates

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.

Pricing

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. The cheapest plan is $7/month and offers unlimited emails for up to 500 contacts, followed by at $12/month plan for up to 1,000 contacts, $24 for 2,5000 contacts, and $38 for 5,000.

Monthly Plans

Cost/monthSavings/monthMax Contacts
$7/month$2/month500
$12/month$3/month1,000
$24/month$5/month2,500
$38/month$7/month5,000

 

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, followed by $49 for 2,500, $79 for 5,000 and $109 for 7,500. Their SMS only packages begin at $41 for 500, 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 $9.00 for 300 emails, up to $150 for 7,500, coming in at 2 cents per email. MailChimp also offers a $199/month “pro” package that includes targeted sending, predicted demographics, and comprehensive testing, among other features.

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 you hit on “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), and 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 which you easily pull images from later on.

The sending options are easy to arrange according to contact lists that you can update at will. 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 ActiveTrail’s analytics system.

This same ease of use applies to creating landing pages and SMS campaigns.

Features

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.

Their 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.

ActiveTrail’s competitive pricing plans are well-suited both to small boutique business with a small number of customers to contact, and large corporations who can scale up to massive plans. The user has the leeway to decide which plan works best for them.

The landing page creator is a great 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.

Customer Support

Helpful customer service is a strong feature of ActiveTrail—and no small thing when it comes to your business’s promotions. Queries sent to ActiveTrail’s customer service representatives were answered effectively. A customer service question sent through the site’s contact form at 9pm on a Saturday night (CST) 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 may leave something to be desired. There is no live chat window or 24/7, 1-800 hotline to contact in the heat of the moment.

Review in Short

An easy to use, 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 are highly customizable. An easy to use and affordable option to help integrate email and SMS messaging in business promotion.

About Benchmark Email

ActiveTrail was founded in 2004 by RealCommerce group and today has branches in USA, Israel, Germany, France, and Latin America. The company counts among their customers businesses like Lufthansa, Avis, and United, and also tailors services to far smaller businesses.

Physical Address

Begin Road 48, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel

Contact Details

Phone: +972 3-688-5050

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/769515

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ActiveTrail_com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ActiveTrail-Marketing-Platform-1611187332443957/

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