BIGContacts & ActiveCampaign Integration Guide


BIGContacts integrates seamlessly with ActiveCampaign to let you create & run email campaigns for contacts added to your CRM. 


This User Guide will show you how to get off to a quick and successful start with our optional Marketing Module powered by ActiveCampaign.




Table of Contents
Step 1: Synchronize Your Contacts
Step 2: Review 3 Types of Campaigns to send
Step 3: Create A Marketing Campaign
Step 4: Review Your Campaign Results
Questions? Check out our Support Resources

Step 1: Synchronize Contacts with the Marketing Module

There are 3 different ways to synchronize your BigContacts contact records with the Marketing Module. It is important to know that ONLY the contacts that are synchronized will be eligible to be included in your email marketing campaigns.

Import your Contacts from a Spreadsheet

You can import a NEW list of contacts and mark them as "Marketing" contacts or you can "reimport" existing contacts to update their marketing contact status. 
Add a new column in your spreadsheet and label it "marketing contact". You will enter the value of "yes" in that column for each and every contact row you what to be marked as a "marketing" contact. Enter a “no” for any contact that you do not wish to include/ synchronize with the marketing module.

Important Notes:

  • If attempting to update EXISTING contacts into your BigContacts account via the Import tool, check that all contacts on the spreadsheet have a first name, last name, AND an email address that match exactly what is already entered into your BigContacts account. Having these three fields match an existing contact record will allow you to update the Marketing status to get that contact synchronizing WITHOUT duplicating the contact record in your BigContacts account.
  • You DO NOT want to import contacts directly into the Marketing Module as the contacts imported directly will NOT be synced to BigContacts and will limit many of the benefits of this amazing integration.

Directly from inside a Contact Record in BigContacts

From any contact record, you can click on the " action items" button and then click on the " edit contact" link. When the edit pop-up opens you can scroll down and on the lefthand side of the edit screen just under the "assigned to" field you will see an option labeled " Sync to Marketing". 
By checking this field you are telling BigContacts that you want to include this contact in your marketing campaigns. After you save the contact changes you will now see on the contact record next to the "marketing" field the value of "yes". Any time you see a contact record that has "yes" next to the marketing field you will know that this contact has been synchronized with the Marketing module.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The first email address you enter in a contact record will be considered the “primary” email address & is the address we will sync with the Marketing module.

Synchronize multiple Contacts using the “Contact Table”

If you have a large number of contacts already in your BigContacts account that you wish to synchronize to the Marketing Module you will want to utilize the "contact table". 
To utilize this feature you will first click on the "Admin" tab. In the upper lefthand corner of the screen, you will see a section labeled "Manage My Account". You will select a link in this section labeled "edit multiple contacts (contact table)".

What email address will synchronize with the Marketing Module?

Below is a detailed explanation of the logic of how this synchronization works between BigContacts and the Marketing Module
  • (Business email address only) - If you only have a business email address in the contact record - BigContacts will synchronize the business email address with the Marketing Module.
  • (Personal email address only) - If you only have a personal email address in the contact record - BigContacts will synchronize the personal email address with the Marketing Module.
  • (Both a personal AND a business email address) - If you have BOTH a personal and a business email address in the contact record - BigContacts will synchronize the email address that was added first to the contact record with the Marketing Module.

What fields in the contact record synchronize with the Marketing Module?

Following is a list of fields in your BigContacts contact record that we synchronize with the Marketing Module. You can use any one or combination of these fields to create targeted campaigns that you can send to a specific segment of your larger contact list.
For example, you may want to send an email to all of your “prospects” that are located in “Florida” and are interested in “Product A”. With all these fields being synchronized, you have a tremendous amount of flexibility to create a targeted campaign.
  • First name
  • Last name
  • Email address
  • Contact Type
  • Assigned to
  • Street
  • City
  • Postal code
  • Country
  • Date of birth
  • Tags
  • Any custom "text" or custom "date" fields that you create
PLEASE NOTE: currently "Contact Groups" (pick lists) do not synchronize to the marketing module.

Step 2: Review the 3 Types of Campaigns you can send

Now that you have your contacts synchronized, you are ready to get started and create your first marketing campaign! Below are the steps you can take to get started with your first “Standard” email campaign.
Before we walk through all of the steps of creating a “ Standard Campaign”, we wanted to let you know that there are actually 3 different types of campaigns that you can choose from within the Marketing Module. Below is some of the important information you will need in order to properly set up each type of campaign.

3 types of Email Campaigns

1. Standard Campaigns
You can send a one-time email blast to a list of customers. This could be anything from a monthly newsletter to an email to promote some special offers. On the following pages, we will show you the steps for creating this type of campaign.
2. Automations
You can also create an Automation that can be  triggered in 1 of 3 different ways.
a) Using your webform - Let’s say you have a webform on your website to capture leads. The moment a new lead has completed a form, an entire series of events can be triggered to automatically occur… Including an automated email(s) that get sent to this new lead.
b) Using a Tag - Let’s say you are using tags to identify and segment your contacts. You can set the system up so that the moment you add a specific tag to a contact record that it can automatically trigger an email or entire series of emails to be sent to this contact.
c) Using your Sales Pipeline - If you are using the Sales Module to track your sales opportunities, you can have an email or an entire series of emails trigger based on where a prospect or customer might be in your Sales Pipeline. These automated emails are triggered based on the sales stage that you place a contact into.
CLICK HERE to see how you can have the Sales Pipeline automatically assign a task to follow up with the new lead AND even trigger the Marketing Module to send out an email (or even a series of emails) after the contact has been loaded in your BigContacts account.
3.  Date Based Campaigns
This type of campaign can be set to trigger an email based on a special date (or dates) that you have entered into your contact records. This could be anything from your contact birthday, anniversary, contract renewal dates, or any other custom date you would like to create. In addition to this standard "Date of Birth" field, you can create any number of "Custom Date Fields". All date fields automatically synchronize with the marketing module and are available to be used to trigger new campaigns.
CLICK HERE for more information on how to create " Custom Date Fields" in your account so that you can use them to automatically trigger emails to your contacts based on these special dates.
CLICK HERE to learn more about how to create a Date-based email campaign.

Step 3: Create Your First Marketing Campaign


Step 3.1:



Step 3.2: 



Step 3.3: 




1) Click the “Create New Campaign” button
Click on the “ Marketing” tab and then in the upper right-hand corner of the marketing Dashboard you will click on the “ Create New Campaign” button.

2) Name your Campaign & choose the type of Campaign you want
On this next screen, you will first name your campaign. Please note that is for internal use only and your contacts that receive this email will NOT see this. After you name the campaign, you will then choose the TYPE of campaign you want to create and then will click on the Next button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
PLEASE NOTE: In the example and steps are shown below, we are creating what we call a “Standard” campaign – which is a one-time email that we will send out to a targeted list of our contacts.

3) Choose the List of Contacts to include in your Campaign
On this next screen, you will choose the LIST of contacts that you wish to send this email campaign to. On the screenshot below, you will see a list labeled “ BC  Contacts (DO NOT DELETE)”. This is THE list you need to use as it is where all contacts synchronize between the CRM portion and Marketing portion of your account.
After you check this list you will also see a link here in the great header labeled â€œ Segment Selected List(s)”. It is optional to click on this link but by doing so you can create a targeted list for “segment” of your total list so that you are sending only to a portion of all of your contacts that have synchronized with your Marketing Module.

4) Segment your list for a more targeted campaign
After you click on the link labeled “ Segment Selected List(s)” as shown above, you will see the screen below. You can now set the filters needed to create your segmented list.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You do NOT want to import contacts directly to the marketing Module or create any other lists in the Marketing Module as they will NOT synchronize between the two programs. It is very important to synchronize contacts as described in Step 1 above and that you do not import contacts directly to the Marketing Module.
5) Choose a template and begin designing your email

After you have chosen the template that you would like to use as a starting point to design your email campaign. Carefully go through and update text, insert new images as needed and when the customization is complete, you will move the next and final step to review the email before you send it out.
It is important to use a bit of imagination here when looking at these templates. We always encourage customers to look at the overall “layout” or “framework” of the email. Do you like the way it looks overall in terms of how it is organizing and displaying photos and how it is creating differently? If you like the overall layout and flow then use this template as your starting point. It is important to understand that you can always change photos, and even delete photos wherever needed. Because of this like a puzzle where you can move around and even remove some of the puzzle pieces as needed.
Finally, you can change the color palette to meet your exact color requirements. These templates are highly customizable so again simply choose the overall layout that you like best and then begin customizing your design.
6) Review your email & prepare to send it

In this step of the process, there are a number of things you can review in preparation of launching your email campaign.
  • Review and modify the subject line if necessary.
  • Make adjustments to the filters you are using to ensure you have just the right segment of contacts that you wish to include in your email campaign.
  • Choose the tracking options that you want to enable.
  • Send a test email to yourself to ensure that it is formatted correctly and will display exactly the way you envisioned it.
  • Finally, you can preview how your email will look when opened from other email programs including Gmail, Yahoo, Apple Mail, Outlook (various versions), iPhone, and iPad

Step 4: Review Your Campaign Results

There are 2 levels of reporting that makes the BigContacts Marketing Module very unique. First, you have the “ Global Level” reporting that will show you the overall results of each campaign. These reports allow you to start at a 30,000-foot view and drill all the way down to the individual contacts to see an actual list of contacts and how they each interacted with your campaign.
1) “Global Level” Reporting
In the screenshots below you will see how you start at the 30,000-foot view and can ultimately drill all the way down to the individual contacts. See the overall/ top-level results and ultimately drill all the way down to see the individual contacts that were included in your campaign and how they interacted with the information you just sent to them.

2) “Contact Level” Reporting
In addition to the traditional “Global Level” reporting that most Marketing programs provide, we break this high-level information down into very usable pieces of information.
For the very first time, you can now see all of the marketing activities for each contact. Maybe you’re getting to call on an important customer or a large prospect – NOW in addition to all your important notes, you can see all marketing campaigns they have received and how they interacted with each campaign – all from a single dashboard!

We hope you found this QuickStart Guide very helpful in getting you on the road to success with your marketing campaigns. This guide is designed specifically to get you started and we realized that you may have additional questions as you get more involved with your marketing campaigns and we want you to know that we are there for you every step of the way!
If you have any questions at all we have listed a variety of support resources available to you on the next page. We have listed all levels of support that you can take advantage of as needed.
Good luck with your marketing efforts and we look forward to hearing from you!
Questions? Check out our Support Resources
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