ActiveCampaign Site Messaging: A Cool New Way to Engage With Your Visitors

It’s no secret that ActiveCampaign is one of the best email marketing platforms out there right now. (Hint: We use it here at SBT.)

But did you know it also offers some advanced marketing automation features that’ll make your head spin if it isn’t tightly screwed on?

We’ve already talked about lead scoring in another article, but we’ve yet to talk about the power of Site Messaging to engage and convert your visitors in real-time.

So if you’re an ActiveCampaign user, pay attention. We’re about blow the lid on what Site Messaging can do for your business.

Here’s what I’m going to be covering in this article:

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What Is Site Messaging?

Site Messaging provides a way to communicate with your website visitors directly from your website.

It allows you to display a prompt on your site (or a particular page) so that when someone visits, they’ll see something similar to this:

These can be used in various ways, such as sharing information with your visitors, extracting information from your visitors, or even funneling them to a specific area of your website.

We’ll talk more about use-cases in a moment, but let’s first cover WHY you’d want to use something like this in your business.

What Are The Benefits of Site Messaging?

This feature opens up a new marketing channel for you to connect with your audience directly from the page they’re on.

The obvious benefit here is adding more touchpoints. The more interactions you have with your prospective customer, the more likely they are to drop the “prospective” part.

But that’s not all it’s good for.

Site Messaging allows you to reach your audience without having to rely on them receiving, seeing and opening emails, but also provides a way to instantly communicate with prospects at a time when they’re most engaged.

Even with all the recent advancements in email marketing, you just don’t get those same benefits.

Admittedly, this isn’t a new concept. Online marketers have been doing this kind of thing for years using popups, Hello Bars and chat-bots.

ActiveCampaign’s Site Messaging feature does have a distinct edge over traditional solutions, however.

Here’s why…

1. Access to Comprehensive Automations

Anybody who uses ActiveCampaign for email marketing knows just how deep the automations go.

In fact, ActiveCampaign crushes the competition in that department, including big players like ConvertKit, Aweber and MailChimp.

Fortunately, Site Messages benefit from many of the same comprehensive automation abilities found with email automation.

For example, you can automatically show a Site Message based on a user’s location, specific pages they’ve visited, specific products they’ve purchased, or even their personal interests.

2. Ability to Personalize with Existing Subscriber Data

Since Site Messaging works off your contacts list , you’ll be able access contact data in your message content. And you absolutely should.

This data might only cover the basic such as their email address and name, or it might include more personal information such as their job title, organization or personal interests.

We all know personalization in marketing works, so why stop at emails?

3. It’s Already Included In Some Plans

You don’t need to be a mathematician to know the cost of marketing tool subscriptions quickly begin to add up.

Typically, displaying messages on your site is exactly the kind of thing that’ll add another tool (and expense) to the list.

With ActiveCampaign, however, the ‘Site Messaging’ functionality is already included as part of the Professional and Enterprise plans.

While this won’t be beneficial for those with smaller lists (and inherently lower-tiered plans), it’s still a nice perk for those who do currently use these plans.

Practical Examples of Site Messaging

So you know what Site Messaging is and why it’s a good idea to implement on your website, but what can you actually do with it?

Let’s cover a few practical examples.

1. Push Visitors to a Sales Page

Got a product for sale?

Site Messaging is a great way to tell active website visitors about your product without completely pulling them away from the content.

In this case, you’d use a Site Message to hooks people into your product, and a button to lead them to the sales page.

You can leverage this for digital products like courses and ebooks, as well as physical products and even services.

2. Promote Your Promotion

Offering a discount? Running a limited-time sale?

Rather than expect your visitors to know about an ongoing promotion, use Site Messaging across your website to let everyone know about it.

You can set up a temporary message that focuses on urgency or scarcity, and a button that leads them directly to the promotion page.

3. Ask Visitors to Make a Booking

Do you run a service-based business? Need to take bookings?

Much like the previous example, Site Messaging can also be used to drive visitors to a booking page.

While this is still a call-to-action, there’s a difference in the message, the copy on the button, and the page it links to.

In this case, you’d link to a calendar/booking system as opposed to a sales page.

4. Drive Visitors of a Recent Blog Post

Just hit published on an awesome new blog post and want to drive some extra eyeballs to it?

Your existing subscribers are always a good place to start.

You can target return visitors with a Site Message to let them know, or trigger it when sending out your next email.

5. Share an Important Update

The previous examples are “CTA focused”, meaning they make use of a button in order to get visitors to take a specific action, or funnel them to a specific page.

But you don’t need to use call-to-actions.

You can use Site Messaging simply to share information to your readers, whether that be a company-specific update or just a website-specific update.

How to Set Up Site Messaging in ActiveCampaign

Now let’s talk about the implementation of Site Messaging inside ActiveCampaign, step-by-step.

Step 1. Install the Code Snippet

Before we do anything, it’s important to check that you have the ActiveCampaign code snippet installed on your website.

ActiveCampaign works without this snippet, but any automation features that need to communicate with your website won’t.

You can set this up through Settings > Site Tracking

As the image above shows, you’ll need to enable Site Tracking, add your website URL, and install the code snippet.

The code snippet should go in the footer of your website. If you use WordPress then a simple plugin like Embed Code will make this easy.

Adding it here will allow ActiveCampaign to track every page on your website that uses a footer (which is likely every page).

If you only plan to use this feature on a select few pages, you can also add this code to individual pages using the same plugin. This will prevent the script from loading on pages where it isn’t being utilized.

If this part intimidates you, get a developer to help.

Step 2. Create a New Automation

With Site Tracking in place, it’s time to set up the automation for Site Messaging (yes, it counts as an automation).

You do this the same way you’d set up an email automation, through ActiveCampaign automation workflow feature.

First, start by creating a new automation from scratch:

ActiveCampaign will then prompt you to add a trigger.

This is where ActiveCampaign can become overwhelming, but for the majority of use-cases you’ll want to use the ‘Web Page is Visited’ trigger.

From here, you’ll choose which pages you want to apply the automation (not the Site Message specifically), leaving the field blank to apply it globally.

So that’s the trigger, but it doesn’t actually trigger anything… yet.

Clicking the next step in the workflow will open the ‘Actions’ panel, with the option to add a Site Message instead of a typical email.

You’ll be able to select any existing Site Messages if you’ve been through this process before, otherwise, select the option to create a new one.

ActiveCampaign will then take you a new interface that’s specifically designed for Site Messages.

And that brings us nicely to the next step.

Step 3. Create Your Message Content

First of all, this is the interface you’ll be working with:

It looks and feels like the rest of ActiveCampaign, but with a few unique tools that’ll help you build effective Site Messages.

For now, let’s focus on the message content itself.

In the top left-hand corner, you’ll notice that Site Messages have two states; the initial message state and detailed message state.

The ‘Initial Message’ is what shows before a visitor engages with the messages in the form of a click. (If you’ve ever seen a live chat widget on a website, you’ll know how this works.)

The goal here is to hook the reader with a concise and targeted message, evoking enough curiosity to make them click for more information.

Typically, the best approach is to hit on the pain-point while also hinting at a possible solution.

Here are some examples:

  • Struggling to get more leads for your business? Try this.
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Switching tabs, the ‘Detailed Message’ is what shows after a visitor engages with the messages in the form of a click.

This needs to be an expanded version of the previous message, and specifically the possible solution you hinted at earlier.

(Remember, a button can also be used here to direct visitors to a specific offer or booking page.)

Here are some examples:

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Since this is ActiveCampaign, you won’t be surprised to know that dynamic data fields can be used in Site Messages.

These are called “Attributes” and include both personal and date-based information.

For example, you can address subscribers by name to add an extra level of personalization to each message.

Of course, this is just one possible way to use this. ActiveCampaign gives you the full range of subscriber data to play with.

The only downside to this is a lack of fallback option, in case any of your subscriber records are missing that information for whatever reason.

Step 4. Style Your Message Box

Writing your message content is the hard part.

When it comes to styling your Site Messages to match your branding and stand out on the page, there’s actually not much to it.

First, head back over to the ‘Initial Message’ tab and take note of the layout settings in the right sidebar.

These apply some small but worthwhile changes to your message, which are:

  • Adding a title
  • Adding an image
  • Adding a title and an image

This is useful for not only adding more information through the title, but also boosting credibility and conversions by adding a photo.

With your layout chosen, you’ll want to customize the appearance of your Site Message.

In the right sidebar, you’ll find a section called “Messages” which will allow you to match the color scheme of your website and brand.

These options include:

  • Either a light or dark overall theme
  • A highlight color (left vertical strip)
  • An icon style, including the ability to upload a custom icon
  • The icon background and foreground colors

Like I said, nothing crazy here. It’s mostly color-oriented so you won’t find any typography, padding or border settings… unfortunately.

Moving on, the last configuration is found under ‘Options’ in the sidebar.

Pretty self-explanatory, but for the sake of being thorough:

  • ‘Initial Effect’ is to set the animation of your Site Message, of which there are only two options; slide and fade.
  • ‘Position’ is to set where on the screen your message will display. (Strangely, changing this will open up an entirely new interface.)

Finally, switching over to the ‘Detailed Message’ tab will allow you to change the ‘Box’ setting in the sidebar.

This dictates how the expanded message will display on the screen, whether it’s the default ‘Pinned’ style (as shown above) or a floating box.

Overall, customization is easy and intuitive, but I would have liked to see more styling options as well as the ability to preview this on my website.

Step 5. Sending Your Site Message

This is where the magic happens.

Selecting your new Site Message from the workflow, you’ll be asked to choose where to display your site message.

Note: The automation trigger (from step 2) dictates which pages start the automation, but this part dictates where exactly the Site Message will show on your website. Yeah, it had me a little confused too.

In this case, I chose to display it on my course page, but you can show it globally across your site or individually add multiple pages.

Clicking save will apply your Site Message to the automation.

The final thing you’ll need to do is to end the automation using the ‘End Automation’ action, and that will finalize our workflow.

With everything in place, you’ll now simply need to activate the workflow to push this Site Message to your website visitors.

You can do this in one-click from the workflow itself, or from the workflow management screen.

Curious to see how it looks on the front-end?

This is the Site Message we just created in the ‘Initial Message’ version:

 

And this is how it looks once clicked, which is the expanded ‘Detailed Message’ version:

Don’t forget that Site Messaging will only work with existing contact, so if they haven’t previously subscribed through a form or clicked a link in one of your emails, your message won’t show.

Aside from that, the Site Messaging feature works just as you’d expect.

Final Thoughts

Site Messages provide yet another way to communicate with your website visitors, nurture your subscribers and ultimately increase your conversions.

Best of all, if you’re an existing ActiveCampaign user, you may even have this included as part of your plan already.

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Site Messaging Pros

  • Direct communication with your website visitors
  • Short and expanded message variations
  • Utilizes ActiveCampaign’s advanced trigger and action automations
  • Can be personalized using existing subscriber data
  • Sales-based and informational use-cases
  • Full color customization to match branding
  • Included in high-tier plans

Site Messaging Cons

  • Limited styling options outside of color and basic layout
  • Limited animation settings
  • No fallback on variable attributes
  • Could be confused with a live chat widget
  • Only works with existing contacts/subscribers, not anonymous visitors
  • Not included in low-tier plans
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