This is an expert walk-through of five proven, brilliant moves for using LifterLMS and ActiveCampaign together, to build an automated, effective and profitable course or membership system, to serve your audience better and save you work.
ActiveCampaign with LifterLMS is my preferred the CRM + LMS tech stack, and it’s the one I know best. If you’re using a different CRM or email automation platform, or a different learner management system, the principles that follow still apply.
These 5 brilliant moves can all be fully automated, so that they run without needing your day-to-day attention, and free up your time for high value human-touch interventions where it matters, and to grow your courses and memberships business.
I’ve used them with multiple highly successful clients to drive their success, helping them to serve their audiences even better, to find consistently high quality leads to grow their businesses, and to thrive as educators and entrepreneurs.
5 Brilliant Moves using LifterLMS with ActiveCampaign
- Auto-enrol leads to a free course when they fill out an opt-in, for instant-gratification.
- Use tracking, tagging and fields to keep track of what all your contacts do in LifterLMS
- Watch for key moments to deliver timely intervention and build student success
- Identify hot leads and nurture them into raving fans
- Match lead-sources to high lifetime value customers so you know exactly where to find more
There’s a video for each section, to watch in addition to or instead of the text. Read and watch for maximum value!
But first… a little preparation and context on the tech front so that LifterLMS and ActiveCampaign can unite their knowledge and skills and reach even mightier super-powers…
How to join the dots between LifterLMS and ActiveCampaign
ActiveCampaign and LifterLMS are each incredible as separate tech tools.
The truly amazing super-powers come when you connect them, and have data flowing smoothly in both directions. This enables them to work as a team, with full information on both fronts.
The techy term is integration but I think of it as joining the dots. We need this to be able to do the really brilliant moves.
For LifterLMS and ActiveCampaign, there are two main options for joining the dots without needing a developer or coder:
Option 1: Zapier – you can do it, but it gets fiddly
If you’re good with Zapier, everything in this guide can be done with that tool. However, it gets fiddly fast, and it’s mostly one-directional, so you need two zaps for many things – one from LifterLMS to ActiveCampaign and one from ActiveCampaign to LifterLMS.
This gets expensive, and as you grow it gets more costly and complex, and can also be challenging to troubleshoot and maintain for non-experts.
Option 2: WP Fusion – much easier to use, learn and maintain
WP Fusion is a WordPress plugin that creates a two-way, comprehensible, editable and well supported connection between WordPress users and CRM contacts.
It’s an incredible tool, and you can read more about it in my WP Fusion Recommendation post if you don’t have it already.
WP Fusion is way easier to work with than Zapier for joining the dots between LifterLMS and ActiveCampaign, and I use it with all my course and membership clients in my consultancy work. You can check out my WP Fusion recommendation here for more information on the ridiculously extensive capabilities of WP Fusion for integration between WordPress and ActiveCampaign.
From here on, I’m assuming use of WP Fusion, but everything can be done with Zapier if you lean that way. If you want my advice, and you have the funds, go for WP Fusion – it will earn its keep many times over.
1. Auto-enrol leads to a free course when they fill out an opt-in, for instant-gratification.
How to take a new lead from first optin to consuming your amazing free course content in 10 minutes, without you lifting a finger.
- Lead fills out an optin form somewhere, gets to a thank you page with welcome and “go check your inbox”
- Form data to ActiveCampaign, creates or updates contact and adds a tag
- Webhook from ActiveCampaign, creates or updates WordPress user
- LifterLMS auto-enrols the user due to the tag
- ActiveCampaign emails the contact with login link, username and password
Boom! Usually done in 10 to 15 mins.
Your lead can now go immediately to the content and start consuming your incredible content and learning how valuable it is to them.
2. Use tracking, tagging and custom fields to know everything that happens in LifterLMS
Once a student is enrolled, Lifter has a rich, detailed and constantly updated record of exactly what they do, alongside all the other user fields and data that WordPress captures and records for every user.
Get that data into ActiveCampaign, and you can deliver highly personalised email content at exactly the right moment in the student journey through your content, always up to date, always on point, just at the moment they need it.
This makes you seem like a magician, and your students will absolutely love it, because even though you have a lot of students, you’re helping them to feel a connection from you and with you.
WP Fusion allows you to easily match custom fields from WordPress users to ActiveCampaign contacts, and to sync the contents from one to the other. This includes all the LifterLMS custom fields.
You can also add and remove tags based on pretty much any LifterLMS action you want to keep a watch on.
The connection via fields and tags is endlessly customisable, and limited only by your creativity as a provider to decide what you want to do with all this wonderful information. Throw in the usual site-tracking as well and you have a complete picture of every user’s WordPress activity in their ActiveCampaign contact record.
To give you an idea of what you have to play with, here are a handful of my routine choices to track into ActiveCampaign – joining date, expiry dates, last login, survey & quiz data, assignment submission, community participation, last course completed, country, timezone…
I routinely use this data to support onboarding, retention, win-back, reward and nurture automation for my clients, freeing up their time for high-touch interventions and business growth.
3. Watch for key moments, to deliver timely intervention and build student success
With all the rich data in ActiveCampaign, and having freed up your time to develop and build intentional processes, you can now get to work on interventions to create a truly exceptional student experience, and use your human-touch in the most targeted and high-impact situations.
Watching what people do is important, and equally important is to watch what they don’t do. Scrutinise key segments of activity and learn the signs so you can step in to support, divert, or re-activate.
The action that is triggered may be fully automated, but often the best ones are a blend of automated sending, connected social ads, and prompts for high-value human-touch interventions.
|LifterLMS Activity||ActiveCampaign Action|
|On-boarding stalled, student not engaging||Automated prompt to send a bonjoro or personal check-in email|
|Crux lesson – student hasn’t moved past this critical point||Support sequence triggered, with additional resources and follow-up|
|Reduced engagement and progress||Re-engagement automation, tailored to stall-point|
|Stale login – eg 6 weeks with no login||Automated reminder then personal reach-out|
|Pre-exit intent – reduced or long-term-stale login||Intervene to head-off cancellation – personal contact, offer pause|
|Cancellation or refund||Ensure reasons to stay are seen and clear, and process of leaving is positive, and capture reasons|
|Win-backs after cancellation||Automated win-back process, timed to suit, including matched social ads|
4. Identify hot leads, and nurture them into raving fans
When we know who is most likely to convert to a paying customer, we can, and should, spend a higher proportion of our resources, money and energy on those leads.
Use site tracking to watch page visits, monitor logins and LifterLMS activity for engagement with free content, and combine that with email clicks, opens and replies.
You could watch all those things separately in theory, and figure out which leads to spend some extra time, money and energy on, but there’s a much better, and truly scaleable, way.
In ActiveCampaign you can use Lead Scoring (Plus plan and above) or the Perform Math feature (all plans) to set a value on any and all of those actions.
Once a lead score or calculated value hits a trigger point, use that to focus some love and attention on that contact, because they are now labelled as a hot lead.
The shape that love and attention takes is enormously variable depending on your business.
Here are a few of the things I’ve used to great success with clients: flagging with the sales team leadership, a personal bonjoro message from your CEO, a cheeky discount code to nudge them in, a facebook ad agitating a pain point and the solution you offer, a message on Instagram from you, getting famous on their feed with a week of carefully chosen story ads…
You get the idea though – quantify what makes a hot lead, keep count of those things, and trigger action when the count hits certain points.
And because you know so much about them, and have connected and made them feel special, they are the ones most likely to become raving fans who will spread the word about how splendid and marvellous the experience has been.
Win Win Win.
5. Match lead-sources to high LTV customers, so you know exactly where to find more
This part is where the circle goes right round to the start again. Remember those leads in number 1 above?
Here’s how you to use your data to know exactly where to look for new fans for consistent high-quality leads that will trigger your lead scores as hot leads and develop into high LTV customers.
The data you need to know
There are two critical data points you need to have to do this:
- The source of each lead that joins your site or contact list
- The lifetime value of each contact in your system
More on how to get that data below.
What to figure out with that data
Once you have it, the mission is to figure out two things:
- Which of your lead sources perform best in consistently generating high LTV contacts?
- What is the lead source that generates the majority of your high LTV contacts?
I realise these look the same at first glance, but they are subtly different angles on the same data. To find the answers to both angles, my favoured method is to export the LTV and lead source values to AirTable and crunch the numbers using groups and roll-ups.
If you’re feeling more adventurous and get a taste for this, throw in some more data, like entry date & conversion dates to see which leads convert fastest….
How to leverage the answers to find more great leads
This is the fun part.
You know now where to put your effort and marketing spend, because you know the source of your highest LTV leads
You also know more about what to offer them as bait, because you know which lead sources consistently develop into high LTV customers.
- Use your high LTV customer list to build an audience in Facebook
- Build a lookalike audience from this
- Show the lookalike audience your best free content on your site
- Re-target with lead magnets that echo and amplify the bait that you know draws in high LTV customers
Make it dynamic, with ActiveCampaign’s Facebook Audience integration driving a constantly updated base-audience, and you’ve got a full-blown self-propelling marketing machine on your hands.
How to capture lead source
Capture at the point of entry. This will typically be at the optin form or user registration.
There are fancy systems you can buy to do this, but they are often out of reach for small business.
Happily, you can DIY it, and once it’s set up you can leave it to harvest the lead source for evermore without further intervention or effort. Phew! It’s a bit techy, and you might need a paid assist from someone to get it working, but it’s totally worth it.
- Lead opt-in forms of just about any sort, built on just about any tool, can be set up to capture values from a referring url into ActiveCampaign. For ActiveCampaign forms, it’s as simple as making a hidden field to include on the form. You can capture standard utm parameters, or your own custom lead source values.
- WP Fusion can capture utm parameters for new users at point of registration with your site. So if a signup come in on a url that has utm_source for example, this gets stashed by WP Fusion and can be synced to an ActiveCampaign field.
- WP Fusion can capture leadsource or other custom parameters in the same way – requires a little more planning, but handy for custom leads – like if you give an ambassador or fan a share-the-love link, you can include a leadsource parameter in the link, and this will be captured on registration.
How to capture LifeTimeValue
This depends on your business, but is usually straightforward.
For example, if you’re using WooCommerce, WP Fusion handles it beautifully, and for most e-commerce it’s going to be a setup and walk away thing.
If your transactions are not e-commerce it can be manual updates, or a blend of manual and automated. Zapier has saved my bacon a few times for this, enabling me to feed transaction values to ActiveCampaign to be added to the LTV field using the perform math feature.