Actionetics Review: Should It Replace Your Current Email Service?

With ClickFunnels, you have the choice of what email service to use with it.

It pretty much integrates with all the popular email services out there.

If you want something simple, you might go with  Aweber.

If you need something more powerful, you could use ActiveCampaign or Drip.

But did you know that ClickFunnels comes with its own powerful marketing automation platform as well?

Actionetics Review

Last updated: Nov 23, 2018
Initially published on: Nov 23, 2015
Product rating: 4.2 / 5.0

tl;dr Summary
Actionetics helps you increase conversions by adding email marketing capabilities to your ClickFunnels account. It’s quite powerful and gives you the option to drop your current email marketing service.

Visit the website

It’s called Actionetics.

Actionetics unlocks powerful marketing automations for ClickFunnels, without having to pay for a separate email service.

And you can use it to create personalized targeted sales funnels and email sequences that will drive your conversions through the roof.

But is it worth the upgrading to the highest priced ClickFunnels plan to get access to it?

Lets find out.

Actionetics logo

Here is what I’m going to be covering in this Actionetics review:


What is Actionetics?

Actionetics is an email marketing automation platform that’s built directly into ClickFunnels. It’s not available with the standard $97/month package, but it’s unlocked when you upgrade your ClickFunnels to the $297 a month Etison Suite plan.

Actionetics wasn’t part of the original ClickFunnels launch, but added later in 2015 along with Backpack.

It works similar to other email services in that it stores your contacts, create email lists, and sends out both broadcast and automated emails. It also has its own form of lead scoring (called an Action Score) that will automatically rate each contact’s engagement.

However, Actionetics is completely tied to ClickFunnels. So you can’t use it to create forms that will embed into your WordPress site. And it won’t work with your favorite lead generation software like Thrive Leads or OptinMonster.

So it only works with the sales funnels you create with ClickFunnels.

It also requires you to integrate with a separate SMTP service to actually send out emails. This has both its advantages and disadvantages which I’ll detail later.

What are my favorite features of Actionetics?

#1: Automatic email segmentation with Smart Lists

Actionetics allows you to create email lists like most other email services. But one unique feature of Actionetics is the ability to create Smart Lists. To create one, you just need to turn on the ‘Smart Lists’ option when creating an Email List.

A Smart List will automatically add or remove contacts from an email list, based on a set of rules you specify. There are a lot of rules to pick from and you can mix and match them together to create a rule group. These are the most common ones I use:

  • Contact Rules – match a contact by Action Score, tags, and any contact fields like email, name, etc.
  • Funnel Rules – match a contact who visits a specific step in your funnels.
  • Product Rules – match a contact who purchased a certain product.
  • Email Step Rules – match a contact who opened a specific email in your funnel.

Using these rules, I can do a lot of my email segmentation automatically, which is a huge timesaver!

Here are some examples of Smart Lists I’ve created.

  1. Have one list of highly engaged contacts and a list of lower engaged contacts by using Action score.
  2. Create a list of VIP buyers from people who have bought my products.
  3. Have a list of people who have opted into my funnel and haven’t purchased yet.

#2: Unlimited Contacts

Most email services have a pricing structure that scales up with the more contacts you have. For example, ActiveCampaign will cost you $399 a month on their Plus plan once you hit 25,000 contacts. Ontraport hits $297 a month once you hit 10,000 contacts. And if you grow your list much bigger than that?

The monthly bill for your email service can easily reach thousands of dollars a month.

While Actionetics, may seem expensive at first glance, one nice thing it allows you to add unlimited contacts to your account. So you can scale your email marketing up as much as you want, and your cost remains constant.

This means more profits in your pocket.

#3: Flexible Action Funnels

Action Funnels are Actionetics way of creating automations which I’ll go into more detail below. But they consist of a series of steps, where you can either send an email or perform an action.

What is interesting are the Actions you can perform. Actionetics allows you to integrate with a variety of third party services, including Facebook, Twilio or Shopify.

This allows you to:

  • Add contacts from Actionetics to your FB custom audience so you can retarget them later with ads via the Facebook integration.
  • Send SMS messages with the Twilio integration.
  • Send product purchase info to your Shopify store for product fulfillment via the Shopify or Shipstation integration.

All really cool stuff and as ClickFunnels adds more integrations to Actionetics, you will be able to create even more powerful marketing automations.

#4: Flexible Email Delivery

Another difference between Actionetics and other email services is that it doesn’t directly send emails itself. Instead, it relies on a separate SMTP service to do so.

While you initially might see this as a negative, I actually see this as an advantage because it gives you additional flexibility.

First, this means you won’t be limited to the type of email marketing you can do by your email service. Some email services like ActiveCampaign and MailChimp frown upon people doing affiliate marketing type emails. But because you are using your own SMTP service, this is not a problem.

Second, this will help you avoid email deliverability issues. With an email service like ConvertKit, you’re sharing a SMTP service (Mailgun in this example) with all their other users. If any of them are doing bad things with their email marketing, it could affect your email deliverability.

This won’t happen if you use your own SMTP service, but if for some reason your emails do get blocked, you can swap out your SMTP service with another and get going again.

What I don’t like about Actionetics

#1: Expensive for small lists

If you have a small list, or are just dabbling with email marketing, then it might hard to justify the $297 cost to get access to Actionetics. For most people, it’s not worth it just for that.

You can easily make due with a cheaper ActiveCampaign account and use ClickFunnels just fine with it.

#2: No Support for Custom Fields

Unlike other email services, there’s no support for adding custom fields. So you’re limited to the built in fields that Actionetics gives you.

If you need the additional flexibility that custom fields provide then you will need to look elsewhere for your email marketing.

#3: It’s completely tied to ClickFunnels

If you’re all-in on ClickFunnels, then it makes sense to use Actionetics as well. You just need to keep in mind that if you ever stopped using ClickFunnels, you would also have to stop using Actionetics and move over everything over to another email service.

Actionetics does let you export all your contacts though, so you you don’t have to worry about losing them. But converting all your Action Funnels to your new email provider might be a pain. So that’s something you need to consider.

An Inside Look at Actionetics

Once you’ve upgraded your ClickFunnels account, you will get access to the Actionetics menu which contains 4 items:

Contacts

The contacts page of Actionetics is fairly standard. You’ll see all your contacts in a table with their information That includes their profile picture (if they have one) and you can customize the table columns to show the info you want.

Actionetics Contacts

Drilling down into a specific contact will show you some more interesting info. You’ll see the components that make up their action score, and you can see their purchase history and whether they are in any of your memberships.

Actionetics Contacts Details

One annoyance with contacts I found is that it’s not easy to delete them. You can only archive them, and it’s a multi-step process to do so. You also can’t easily bulk archive contacts either.

Email Lists

On this page, you’ll see all the email lists you’ve created. For better organization you can group lists together by tags which is a nice feature.

To create a list, click the + Add New List button.

Then you’ll give your list a Name, optional Group Tag and the option to make your list a Smart List.

Actionetics New Email List

I talked about Smart Lists above, but to summarize, they allow you to dynamically add contacts to your lists based on rules you specify. It will definitely save you some time overall but you do need to plan up front what rules you want when creating your list.

One thing to note is that you can’t change this setting once your list is created.

Broadcasts

Broadcasts allow you to send one-off emails to your customers. These are useful for time sensitive content or announcements that don’t make sense as part of an autoresponder sequence.

To create one, just click on the + New Email Broadcast button.

You’ll be taken to another page where you will specify the Subject Line and From fields of your email. You also need to choose 1 or more Email Lists that your broadcast will be sent out to.

Actionetics Broadcast Settings

One nice setting is that you can send your email to only subscribers that have been active in the past X days.

You will also need to choose whether you want to send your email immediately or at a specific date and time.

Actionetics doesn’t let you send pure, plain text emails. Instead you will always have to pick from one of 12 available email templates:

So to proceed you need to click on one of the templates and choose Use This Template.

This will show you a preview of your chosen email template and you can click the Open Email Editor button to edit it.

What’s nice about the Email Editor is that it works very similarly to the ClickFunnels editor. So making your emails look how you want them is a fairly simple process.

Actionetics Email Editor

Once everything is done, you can press the Save & Send Test email to make sure everything is working. Then click the Send Email to send your broadcast email out to the world.

Action Funnels

Action Funnels are the heart of Actionetics.

To create one, click on the New Action Funnel button.

In the resulting popup, you’ll enter in your Action Funnel name, a group tag (for organization purposes), the list it should be associated with, and the SMTP configuration you want to send with.

Create Action Funnel

Next, you will need to add 1 or more Action Funnel Steps which you can do by pressing the + Add New Step button.

In the Action Funnel Step popup, you have to give your step a name, and specify a time period when you want your action to be triggered. Finally you need to choose whether you want the step to Send an email or Do an Action.

Sending an email has similar settings to sending a broadcast. You first need to pick a template and then edit it with your email’s content.

Action Funnel Step

However, what makes Actionetics special is the ability to add Rule Groups which I’ve talked about above with Smart Lists. This is how Actionetics does email segmentation and by using these rules you can make sure that each email in your sequence is sent to the most targeted group of people on your list.

Take advantage of this to keep your list as engaged as possible with the content that each customer wants to see.

If you choose the Do an Action funnel step you will be taken to a different popup window. What actions are available to you depend on the integrations you have setup in your account.

You can look at the integrations available by clicking on your profile picture on the top right and selecting the Integrations menu. Some actions are straightforward like integrating with your existing email service. But ClickFunnels can also integrate with most popular webinar services for example to register your leads.

You can also send text messages with Twilio or browser push notifications with Pushcrew.

And when ClickFunnels adds more integrations, you’ll be able to do more and more.

As you add steps to your ActionFunnel, they will be automatically added in order of their trigger time. The timing is displayed on the left hand side so you can easily see when each step is going to run.

Example Action Funnel

Once your ActionFunnel is live, you will be able to click on each step to look at the stats. For your email steps you will see how many emails have been sent and their open and click through rates. Action steps will show how many times a particular action has been run.

Actionetics Pricing

As I’ve mentioned a couple of times in this review, Actionetics is only available as part of the $297/month Etison Suite plan.

It’s a little hard to compare on price with other email service providers, since Actionetics is not a standalone service. So it’s not really an apples to apples comparison.

To use Actionetics, you also need to use a separate 3rd party SMTP server to send emails. SendGrid has a free option or you can use the SMTP services of your web hosting account (if you have one). Otherwise, you might have to pay extra if you want to use a service like Mandrill.

While there are no explicit Actionetics discounts I’ve seen anywhere, you can save money on the Etison Suite plan by purchasing Funnel Hacks.

You pay $997 up front, and you’ll get 6 months free of Actionetics. If you do the math, this brings the cost down to about $167 a month which is a great deal. I highly recommend going this route if you are going to upgrade.

Actionetics vs ActiveCampaign

So how does Actionetics compare to my current favorite email service, ActiveCampaign?

First, ActiveCampaign’s visual automation builder is awesome and it’s much more flexible and powerful then anything Actionetics can do.

Since Actionetics doesn’t support custom fields, you can’t use it to create more sophisticated automations like CF Followup Pro for example.

Plus, you can even split test your automations which will help boost your conversions.

Price wise, ActiveCampaign is also much cheaper if you have a small list.

Actionetics does have a few advantages over ActiveCampaign.

First, it’s directly integrated with ClickFunnels so you don’t have to switch over to an entirely new software to handle your email marketing. Everything is right there in the same place, which many people like.

Plus it has the same ClickFunnels user experience for designing emails so you don’t have to learn and remember how to use two different software products.

Finally, it scales with you much better as your business gets more successful and you start building a bigger and bigger email list. With ActiveCampaign, your monthly cost would keep increasing while with Actionetics, your price is fixed.

Final Thoughts

If you’re going to immerse yourself in the ClickFunnels world, then it makes sense to try Actionetics for your email marketing. It’s pretty easy to use and it has a lot of useful features.

It also seamlessly integrates with ClickFunnels which will allow you to make one less monthly recurring payment for your email service.

While it does require upgrading to the ClickFunnels’ Etison Suite plan to use, if you were going to use this plan anyways, then I would definitely recommend giving Actionetics a try as your email marketing platform.

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Actionetics Pro

  • Create Smart Lists for dynamic email segmentation.
  • Use Action Score to market to your best leads.
  • Ability to share your Action Funnels with others.
  • Can add unlimited contacts at no extra cost.
  • 14-day free trial. Funnel Hacks also has 30 day money back guarantee.
  • Can swap out SMTP servers.
  • Tracks purchase history and page activity of your contacts.

Actionetics Cons

  • Expensive for small lists.
  • No visual automation builder.
  • Not all types of automations are possible to build.
  • Can’t customize how Action score is calculated.
  • Requires ClickFunnels to use.
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