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ActiveCampaign Virtual Assistant in Canada

5 Ways ActiveCampaign Blows Other Email Marketing Systems Out of the Water!

Are you looking to start building an email list of prospects or are you unhappy with your current email marketing system?

The last month or more I’ve been working on migrating from my old all-in-one shopping cart and email marketing system, called 1ShoppingCart, to a combination of ActiveCampaign and SendOwl. That’s been my main focus, so I thought I’d talk today a bit about my experience with that. I’m really only going to talk about ActiveCampaign today but, briefly, SendOwl is one of several shopping cart systems that integrates nicely with ActiveCampaign, and includes the ability to use product upsells and has an affiliate system.

I had no intention of moving from the system I’ve been using because it’s so nice having everything under one roof, everything from email marketing, to products and upsells, to an affiliate platform. At one time, 1ShoppingCart was considered to be more of a top-of-the-line system. It’s still a great starter system in many ways and it has served me well over the years. However, it is very limited in its marketing features. Once you’ve used a system that has advanced marketing features like Infusionsoft, ActiveCampaign and even ConvertKit, it’s hard to be satisfied with a system that doesn’t offer these advanced features.

I realized I could get the marketing features I wanted for a heck of a lot less per month with the combination of ActiveCampaign and SendOwl. Originally, I was going to switch to ConvertKit for email marketing because of their stellar email deliverability claims. I really liked the platform. It was very easy to use and had some great features, but it still didn’t give me the ability to do everything I was looking for and I felt too confined.

I decided to go with my gut and give ActiveCampaign a try. I am so happy with my decision. I went with the basic package and I found it to be very affordable for small and medium sized lists. With the combination of ActiveCampaign and SendOwl, which integrate nicely, I’m not only paying less per month than I was with my old system, but I’m also getting more features.

Why is it taking me so long to make the switch?

I’m doing it in my spare time, between client work and life. I have two main websites (and two old ones that will be disappearing when I have time to deal with them), but I have way too many landing pages and sales pages on these two sites, and too many autoresponder lists set up.

I didn’t want to just import my list in whole and start over. I wanted to tag everyone according to their interests, their past webinar sign ups, free gift downloads, and product purchases, which slowed me down.

So I had to set up all of the tags I wanted. I had to set up the email sequences and automations that I wanted for opt-ins and product purchases. I had to create the web forms and change them on the landing pages and opt-in boxes on my websites, and then test them.

I’m still working on updating the payment buttons on sales pages on one of my sites and connecting them to SendOwl, but I hope to have that finished by the first of next week.

Here are my 5 Reasons you should consider ActiveCampaign and why it blows the rest of the email marketing systems out of the water:

  1. It’s budget friendly. It can grow with you and your business. The basic package starts at $9 US per month, depending on the size of your email list. The higher level package includes a CRM (customer relationship manager) if you need to track and follow up with prospects and sales calls.
  2. It’s easy to design nice-looking emails and web forms with their drag and drop builders, and it’s extremely easy to add the forms to your website. If you’re using WordPress, you can use a simple short code.
  3. It has a drag and drop automation builder with so many options, including if this then that, adding and removing tags, starting and ending other automations, identifying subscribers who aren’t engaged and aren’t opening your emails so you can set up an automation to attempt to automatically re-engage them or remove them from your list, and so much more. You can keep things as simple as you want, or you can build complex automations and triggers.
  4. You can tag people for anything and, as I already said, remove the tags automatically at any time, so you can track people’s actions and interests, and target them appropriately with your marketing activities.
  5. It’s not so complicated that the average person can’t figure out how to use it. You may choose to have a virtual assistant to do things for you and take advantage of all of the features, because as a coach, speaker or consultant, playing around in technology yourself to avoid making sales calls isn’t going to make you money, but if you need to go into the system to do something or find something, it shouldn’t make you cry. There’s a reason Infusionsoft is referred to as Confusionsoft – and there have been times in the past that it has almost made me cry.

I have used most of the email marketing platforms and many all-in-one shopping cart/email marketing systems out there, and this one has turned me into a die hard fan so far. I’ve switched a couple of clients over too. I’m still learning awesome ways that their features and automations can be used to improve subscriber experience and list quality.

For anyone interested, here are the links to learn more or get a free trial (disclaimer – these are affiliate links):

ActiveCampaign
SendOwl

I would also like to invite you to schedule a Complimentary Discovery Session with me if you feel you need help with your email marketing, creating landing pages, or anything else.

Canadian Virtual Assistant For Coaches Joint Ventures

How Joint Ventures Benefit Coaches & What’s Required

Coaches & Joint VenturesMany coaches get involved in joint venture partnerships, and as a virtual assistant who is familiar with the technical processes involved, I often have newer coaches asking why they would want to do joint ventures and what would be required.

In case you’re not really familiar with what I mean by a joint venture partner, it’s simply someone you can team up with to help sell your products or services. Coaches will often choose to enter a joint venture partnership to share strengths, grow their email lists, and increase their exposure to a targeted audience of potential clients in their niche. JV partners may help each other to make more sales through the increased exposure to each other’s community and email list, and both of you benefit from this through affiliate commissions.

The partnerships and activities may take a number of different forms. Some common examples for coaches are: 

  • Guest blog posts
  • Cross promotion in newsletters
  • Giveaway events (you donate an information product for free to help grow your email list)
  • Joint teleseminars or podcasts (you may be a guest being interviewed or you may interview your partner, giving them exposure to your online community)
  • Telesummits
  • Joint webinars
  • Joint coaching and/or online training programs, etc.

If the idea of doing these activities intimidates you but you still wish you could, you need to work with a business coach who has clients successfully doing these activities. I feel this is very important for my clients who are new to JV partnerships and are nervous about it, yet still interested. You need that kind of support, guidance, and accountability. You know you are limiting your business growth if you never step outside of your comfort zone.

So, you’re interested in doing joint ventures, you’ve found a coach to help you set goals and an achievable plan of action, now what? Before you make a firm commitment to be a JV partner, you have to know what systems you want and need set up to support your activities.

If you’re only looking to do activities to increase your list size, you may only need an account set up with an email marketing system, which you should already have, and a free gift. If it’s a giveaway event, the free gift may need to be something different than your regular freebie offered on your website, and with a higher value.

However, if you’re looking to have others promote and sell your products or programs for you, you need to have a reliable affiliate system. There are various options, but 1ShoppingCart (and private label systems) and Infusionsoft are two of the most commonly used systems that my clients use. If you plan to host teleseminars, webinars, or telesummits, you also need to decide what conferencing system you’re going to use. There are many to choose from, depending on what you need the system to do for you.

Most importantly, when choosing someone to partner with, you want to make sure that their message and offering is in alignment with your business and that it will be valuable to your contacts, but also that what you are offering will be of great value to your partner’s contacts. 

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Do I Need An Opt-in Box On My Website?

“Do I Need An Opt-in Box? Why Would I Need an Email List? What System Should I Use?

An opt-in box is important for your website because you can build an email list database of your ideal clients and other interested people. If people are just landing on your website and leaving, you have no way to contact them to lure them back. If you can collect their email addresses, you can send updates and e-zines/newsletters full of valuable information and tips. It’s a great way to keep in touch and let others know what is happening with your business! The more you put yourself in front of your potential clients, the greater the chance they will remember you and your services.

Opt-in boxes are created through email management programs such as 1Shopping Cart (and private labels), AWeber, iContact, Constant Contact, MailChimp and InfusionSoft, just to name a few. Which one you choose really depends on what level your business is at now and your potential needs. The systems vary in price and services.

MailChimp is free and has a lot of great features, but it is very restrictive in that you must upgrade to be able to use autoresponder messages (emails set up in a series to send automatically after someone opts in), and MailChimp does not allow you to market affiliate products and services. According to the terms of service, doing so can cause your account to be seized and you may lose your entire email database.

AWeber, iContact and Constant Contact are some that are used for general email marketing and newsletters.

InfusionSoft offers every feature you can imagine and is crazy expensive. It is a really great platform. I generally recommend upgrading to this once you are making $10,000 per month or close to it. I’ve seen too many coaches get talked into using this too soon when they aren’t making enough money in their business to be able to support the cost. Then they end up downgrading to something more affordable. In doing this, you’ve lost the $1500-2000 set up fee, and if your business grows later on and you decide to go back, you’ll have to pay that all over again.

If Infusionsoft is just too expensive for you at this point in your business, you may consider Ontreport (some similar features to Infusionsoft but less expensive) and 1ShoppingCart. In many cases, if you need an all-in-one system with email autoresponders, a shopping cart system and possibly an affiliate system, 1ShoppingCart will do what you need at a much more affordable price. Most of my clients use either 1ShoppingCart or Infusionsoft.

The last thing you really want to do is to start a list with one system and then have to move it because it’s not serving you well. Sometimes it is necessary to do that because your business grows or changes in a way that you couldn’t have anticipated earlier on. The biggest problem is that you could lose a percentage of your subscribers in the process due to mandatory double opt-ins of some of the systems. If you do choose to move your large list via single opt-in, do check with the company you are transferring to. Make sure you meet their requirements and that your account won’t be flagged as suspicious.  Otherwise, you risk losing your list.  Because of the actions and abuse by some users, it sometimes causes problems for innocent users as well.

You never want to do your email marketing through your regular email account (ex. Gmail, your regular domain/hosting email, etc.). Not only is this inefficient, but it can get you into trouble with the CANSPAM CASL laws. The email marketing systems have measures in place to prevent both them and you from getting into trouble. These measures often consist of double opt-in, a spam score, displaying your company name and mailing address, privacy statement, disclaimers, and the option to automatically unsubscribe.

If you’re not sure what type of system you need for your business, you should do some in-depth research into the features of each one, or consult with a knowledgeable Virtual Assistant and have them automate the process for you.

Need help? Check out my Email Marketing Services or schedule a Complimentary Discovery Session below.

 

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