Time-saving tips for faster ActiveCampaign

by | Jun 22, 2021

Why is ActiveCampaign so slow?

I don’t know why ActiveCampaign runs slow sometimes, but I do know how to work faster with ActiveCampaign.

Literally every working day, I work in multiple ActiveCampaign accounts, doing complicated ninja stuff, and making it look easy, even when ActiveCampaign is having a bad-hair-day.

ActiveCampaign page loads can be really slow, so I have found ways of not going crazy waiting for ActiveCampaign.

Want to know how?

Sure you do – unless you’re a total weirdo who likes doing things the hard way…

So here are the secrets of speedier ActiveCampaign, brought to you by the laziest, most easily frustrated efficiency nut ever, aka me, Kay Peacey, ActiveCampaign certified consultant.

Here are my top 5 time-saving tips for faster ActiveCampaign, so that you get a better ActiveCampaign experience, and use it to its full potential to build your business.

Follow these steps to get things done faster in ActiveCampaign:

Use your brand colours easily in ActiveCampaign emails

Sometimes we’re guilty of not finding and using the features that are available to save time in ActiveCampaign.

This one I was painfully slow to discover, and saving brand colours is now first on my list of things to do with every ActiveCampaign account I work with. 

This is great for brand-consistency as well as faster ActiveCampaign email building

Here’s how to save your brand colours in ActiveCampaign:

  • Have your brand colour hex codes handy, including neutrals and shades of grey
  • Open any ActiveCampaign email in design view
  • Select any object that has a colour setting available, and click in the colour block
  • Paste in a # hex code
  • That colour will now show up in RECENT colours in the colour picker
  • Click on the colour in RECENTS and hit the + button just below and to the right, where it says SAVED.

Behold, your brand colour will now be available to you as a SAVED colour in the ActiveCampaign email builder, for whatever object you want to pretty-up.

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To apply the colour to selected text, click the More > option.

I like to add black, white and transparent as saved colours too, to save even more time in ActiveCampaign.

Here’s the ActiveCampaign help doc on using hex colours in ActiveCampaign emails and forms.

Find ActiveCampaign automations, campaigns and forms quickly with labels

This ActiveCampaign time-saving tip is great if you’re fed up of paging through forms, automations, and campaigns or using the search bar and waiting for it to load.

You can filter by label in one single click. 

There are three places to create and use them: forms, automations and campaigns.

The reason you may not have noticed them is that the “Add Label” option doesn’t always appear unless you have an item selected, using a tick in the little box to the left of the item name.

Select a form, campaign or automation, hit the “Add Label” button, then create a label.

You can even choose from a nice selection of colours for easy-on-the-eye label-spotting.
It gets easier from there, with “add or remove label” appearing when you select, and then choosing from your list of labels.

The best bit now is being able to filter automations, campaigns and forms by label.

NB. If you want to edit labels after creating them, you can do this from the forms list, and it has to be on a form for you to be able to edit it.

Here’s the ActiveCampaign help document on using labels for campaigns

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De-clutter your ActiveCampaign account

I do love a nice clean and tidy ActiveCampaign account, with nothing left unused, lying about the place to trip me up and slow me down.

But actually deleting an automation, form, email, or list, can be fraught with danger in ActiveCampaign.

If you definitely want it gone for good, along with all its associated contact activity records and email sends, then you’re ok to say “yes!” to all the warnings, and delete completely.

But lots of times, you’ll want to retire some thing or process, but hang on to the data it generated, or keep as an example of what to do (or what not to do!). 

Think of it as an archive, like the box of letters and cards you’re not quite ready to throw out, and keep stashed out of sight in the back of the cupboard.

Here are two sneaky moves for an easy ActiveCampaign cleanup, so you can keep stuff in your account as archive without it cluttering the place up, and so that you, or anyone else working in your account, will know it’s an archive thing.

Clean ActiveCampaign – sneaky move 1

ActiveCampaign just loves to put things in alphabetical order, and you can turn this to good use here.

Adding zz to the front of the name of archive items immediately moves them to the very back of the alphabetical cupboard.

You’ll hardly know they’re there, and if you do stumble on one, you’ll know it’s an archive by the dusty zz scribbled on the lid of the box. 

This works on all ActiveCampaign objects, and is invaluable for not accidentally wasting time using a long-gone form, or picking the wrong automation from the drop-down.

Clean ActiveCampaign – sneaky move 2

This one is easy now that you know about labels.

For forms and automations, deploy a red label called archive.

This is especially useful for forms, where you can’t set them to inactive.

It’s time to have fun with an ActiveCampaign cleanup!

Top Tip: If an automation is not in use, set it to inactive (learned by me, the hard way, so you don’t have to!)


Discover ActiveCampaign contact notes

Welcome to a massively underused ActiveCampaign feature – the contacy note!

A lot of time is mis-spent by ActiveCampaign users all over the world trying to figure out what happened with a contact.

The huge ActiveCampaign time-saver here is Contact Notes

ActiveCampaign Contact Notes literally just keep a running record of what happens to contacts, that anyone can read back, like a diary.

Use Contact Notes to save time in ActiveCampaign

  • Look at the very bottom of the contact screen for the Notes tab.
  • You can add a note manually by clicking “Add a Contact Note” on the floaty grey bar. Great for when you’ve done something manually with a contact for obscure reasons.
  • Notes get the time and date, and the ActiveCampaign user who created the note, added by ActiveCampaign.
  • Notes show up in contact activity feed, and if you include a link, the link is clickable.
  • You can add notes with an automation step too – and add any contact fields to the note using the %FIELDNAME% personalisation tags. I’ve started using these more, for that “running record” effect – it has saved me much pain trying to figure out what order stuff happened in.
  • Notes can also be added by Zapier and other API integrations, at a more advanced level.

For faster ActiveCampaign, start by knowing where Notes are, and getting your team to start using them more.

Navigate ActiveCampaign faster using bookmarks

If you are experiencing slow page load in ActiveCampaign, read on.

Here’s the easiest time-saving tip for ActiveCampaign: use your browser “bookmarks” feature to save the urls of the AC pages you visit most.

This applies especially to the ones that take more clicks than they should to get to (eg. tags manager, forms page and fields manager).

Extra tips to work quicker in ActiveCampaign

And then get crafty by adding things like ?limit=100 on the end of the url to see more than 20 contacts at a time. To see this in action, look bottom right on automations, contacts etc, and select a bigger number per page – that will give you the url you want to save.

When you’re working on a process, get a folder on your bookmarks bar and save the automation, email design, and form urls.

This alone will save you hours of clicking and waiting and clicking and waiting, slowly losing your marbles and going grey.

Pro Tip: You can also bookmark the url for searches, segments, reports – anything you visit regularly.

There are also services that let you share bookmark folders with team members, which is very handy for collaborating.

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Get your ActiveCampaign work done faster and easier

Working with ActiveCampaign can undoubtedly be a clicky-page-loading wait-for-ages pain, but there are ways to reduce clutter, find stuff easier and get there quicker.

Just a few changed habits will save you and your team hours of time, and, perhaps more importantly, reduce the frustration that comes with waiting, getting lost, working on the wrong thing, and generally hamster-wheeling about the place, feeling like you’re getting nowhere fast.

Speedy ActiveCampaign – parting tip 1

Subscribe to the ActiveCampaign status page and head there first if it seems like ActiveCampaign is having a bad day.

I have learned that there are times when it’s better to go do something else, and try again later, or even the next day.

Speedy ActiveCampaign – parting tip 2

And if you just read that and thought no way, I can’t because I’m launching at 9am tomorrow… you need this one:

Don’t leave it up until the last minute, or even the last day, to set up your ActiveCampaign automations.

It’s too risky, and one day it will bite you on the bum (Been there, got bitten. Spoiler: it’s not fun!)

Come and tell me your time-saving tips with ActiveCampaign (or let’s troubleshoot slow ActiveCampaign) in my free Facebook group

Watch the video below for my full expert walkthrough of how to test and troubleshoot ActiveCampaign automations, complete with Lego minifigs.

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