TAM 025: T20 – ActiveCampaign Integrations
In this Tactical 20 episode I talk about how you can quickly and easily create ActiveCampaign integrations with your other favourite applications such as LeadPages, ClickFunnels, Optin Monster, HelpScout and more.
Optin Monster API Integration
LeadPages API Integration
We chat about:
- API integrations
- Zapier Integrations
If you would like to have a chat about how you could be using marketing automation to grow your business join us in the Automation Nation private Facebook group.
Links Mentioned In The Show
Barry: Hi. It's Barry Moore, back with another Tactical 20 Podcast.
Announcer: Welcome to the Active Marketer podcast, where we talk about how to design, automate, and scale your business to the next level using sales and marketing automation. You can find out all the tips, tactics, and techniques you need to get more customers and sell more stuff over at theactivemarketer.com. Now, here's your host, Barry Moore.
Barry: Hi. I'm your host, Barry, and this is going to be another Tactical 20 podcast. The Tactical 20 podcasts are all about giving you an actionable tip, technique, or tactic that you can take away and implement in your business in less than 20 minutes.
Hello, and welcome back to another Tactical 20 podcast. This week, we're going to be talking about integrations. Been getting a lot of questions, email online and on the Facebook group about how to integrate ActiveCampaign with other products. I thought I'd take a Tactical 20 podcast to cover off a couple of those. There's basically four different ways, two of which are a bit more technical and would take more than 20 minutes, so in this period of the Tactical 20, a quick tip you can take away, we'll talk about two of those methods of integration, and we'll cover the other two methods later in later podcasts.
In this podcast, we're going to talk about two quick ways you can integrate your ActiveCampaign set up with other systems, and that is through direct connexion via an API, which we'll talk about in a moment, or through a third party integration site like Zapier. Let's start with what an API connexion is. An API connexion is basically a direct connexion between two systems that will allow you to pass information back and forth between two systems. In order to get this set up, you'll need your API key from ActiveCampaign, and you find that under the “Accounts setting” area in the upper right. Just go to your settings, and you'll find API. There'll be two strings there. There'll be an API URL, which basically identifies your installation of ActiveCampaign, and then there'll be an API key, which is a long string of characters, which basically is a basic way to authenticate the other system. You give the other system both of those two pieces of information, and that other system will be able to talk directly to ActiveCampaign.
Some of the big products out there that have direct API connexions to ActiveCampaign, things like Leadpages, you can set up direct API connexions from Leadpages to ActiveCampaign or ClickFunnels, Instapage, MoonClerk for payments. There are a number of different systems out there that will use that API connexion to basically connect via a one to one connexion between your, say, your implementation of Leadpages and your Leadpages account and your ActiveCampaign account, and Leadpages will push that information to ActiveCampaign via the ActiveCampaign API, which is application programming interface, basically just a bunch of instructions like “create a new user” or “update the notes value on a user” or “create a new deal.” Those are kind of the commands that you can invoke by the API.
Again, to do that, you just get your API keys from ActiveCampaign, the two API values you find under your account settings, and then you go to whatever the other respective system is if it has API integration, and you copy and paste those values across, and those two systems should be able to talk to each other. Now, this doesn't work for all systems. Basically, that other system like Leadpages or ClickFunnels will need to put into the work behind the scenes to use the ActiveCampaign API to talk back and forth, and that usually requires some programming on their part, so some companies will do it, and some companies will not. Check to see if there's API integration with ActiveCampaign first, and we'll circle back to that API integration in just a minute.
The other way to set up integration between our two systems is through a third party like Zapier or If This Then That. If you're not familiar with those types of systems, basically they act as a switchboard between the two different systems. Basically, they sit in the middle, and they listen, and you can connect them, kind of like a switchboard, to trigger events in both systems. For example, a common example is you might have a help desk system like Help Scout, for example, and whenever you receive a help desk ticket from somebody, you might want to update their record in ActiveCampaign. Now, those two systems don't have API integration, so they can't talk directly to each other, but they can talk to each other via a third party like Zapier.
Basically, what happens is Zapier sits in the middle, and it listens for events on both sides. You've got ActiveCampaign on one side and Help Scout on the other side. Whenever a new ticket is created in Help Scout, that triggers and event, or that triggers some communication to Zapier, and Zapier goes “[Heyo 00:05:20], there's a new help desk ticket in Help Scout with this particular email address. I've got a instruction here, or what Zapier calls a Zap. I've got a Zap here. Whenever I get a new help desk ticket in Help Scout, I want to see if I have a matching email address in ActiveCampaign. If I do, I want to update that customer's contact record in ActiveCampaign. If I don't, maybe I'm going to create a new customer record in ActiveCampaign using the email address and information inside that help desk ticket, that Help Scout ticket.
Basically, Zapier sits in the middle and pass information between the two systems, and you connect those two systems by creating a Zap. Zapier's a third party system. You can use Zapier without using ActiveCampaign or anything like that. You could go and create a Zapier account. Typically, you have to pay for those things, and you can set up Zaps between a number, a vast number of different systems, but the great thing about ActiveCampaign is it comes with Zapier support built in already, so you don't have to go and create a new Zapier account. It comes as part of your ActiveCampaign installation. The way you get to that is you go to ActiveCampaign. You click on the “Apps” menu, and that will take you to a screen there, and in the upper left hand corner, you'll see a little panel that says “Your favourite apps,” and you can view all the apps there. Those are all the different kind of applications that you can set up Zaps to.
Again, Zaps is just a … A Zap is a discrete set of instructions. It says “Pass this particular amount of information from system A to system B.” For example, if someone buys a product in PayPal, you can Zap their name and email address over to ActiveCampaign, or if somebody, again, fills in a help desk ticket, you can Zap that information across, or they check out with a product in WooCommerce or Shopify, for example. You can Zap that information into ActiveCampaign simply by creating that Zap or that set of connexion instructions between the two systems and telling it what even trigger on each side of the communication you want to set off the Zap. For example, a new help desk ticket is the event trigger to set off a Zap, and then what information you want to push to the other side of the transaction. New help desk ticket, I want to create a Zap that fires any time there's a new help desk ticket in Help Scout and pushes that email address across into ActiveCampaign or updates an existing record inside ActiveCampaign. That's how you do it. You go to “Apps”, find the app that you want, and then just follow the instructions to set up your Zap, and make sure, of course, that you test it. I'll have some example Zaps in the show notes so you can have a look at what one looks like.
All right. Now, let's circle back to the API stuff we talked about before. Let's say you're setting up an API connexion between a lead capture system like Leadpages or ClickFunnels or Thrive Leads or OptinMonster or any of those major kind of opt-in tools will have API integration to ActiveCampaign. Now, the rub is they all treat that integration slightly differently. If you've read my post on “submits form” versus “joins list” or you've listened to the other podcast about action lists, the API integrations can be slightly problematic in that some API integrations will only allow you to specify what list you want some to join in ActiveCampaign, which makes it difficult to take them and fire an automation as they opt in.
ClickFunnels is an example of that, and it only allows you to specify what list people are going to join. If you want to fire off an automation as they join your list, which you almost certainly will, because you're going to want to tag them and take certain steps based on the opt-in, so say they downloaded lead magnet ABC. You want to tag them with ABC, send them the lead magnet, and then maybe follow them up with some more topics based around what that lead magnet's subject was. You're going to need automation for that. You're going to need tags for that, and joining a list won't let you do that. In that particular kind of instance, you're going to need an action list and I'll link to, in the show notes, I'll link to what an action list can do for you.
The other types of integrations with APIs will allow you to specify, instead of specifying which list you want to pass the information to, they will allow you to specify which form you want to pass the information to. Leadpages is a perfect example of this. If you do the API integration with Leadpages and you create a Leadpage, it will ask you “Okay, what integration do you want to use to pass this information?” You would say “ActiveCampaign,” and then it will say, it will bring back a list of forms inside ActiveCampaign. You'll be able to pick which opt-in form you want to pass the information to. You can have automations that fire based on the “submits form” trigger, which can have all those different automation steps we just talked about. It's a better, tidier way to do it.
The other option is, for example, Thrive Leads. They have API integration, but again, that API integration only allows you to specify a list to join, which can be problematic, so now you've got to create a new action list and join the people by an action list, so your ActiveCampaign [implemation 00:11:16] starts to get a little bit messy in the backend, because you've got a number of lists there that are just solely there as a workaround to the limitations of the API integration. The way you can get around that with some systems is, instead of using the API integration, you just copy and paste your form code from ActiveCampaign into Thrive Leads, and so you use a HTML copy and paste form of integration rather than the API integration, and that will allow you, again, to utilise an ActiveCampaign form to fire your automation triggers rather than having to create an action list for no particular reason.
Then, there's kind of people that live halfway in between. OptinMonster, for example, is a good example. They will allow you to specify a list to join rather than a form, which can be problematic, as we said, but the way to get around that and the way OptinMonster implements the API to get around that is it allows you to specify what list you want that contact to join but also what tags you want to pass as they join the list, so not only do they join the list, but they join the list with some tags attached. Now that you can have your automation fire based on tags rather than a form submit so that it's more useful than just specifying a list, because then those tags can act as trigger to fire off whatever automation you need to fire off. In our example, that lead magnet automation, you can now use those tags that are being passed as part of your OptinMonster opt-in, and those can fire off the automation as opposed to the trigger of “submits form”.
Remember, automations can have multiple triggers, as well, so the automation might fire based off of “submits form” action or “has tag ABC” action, as well. Both of those actions could fire off the implementation. You could, in theory, you could have a Leadpages form that fires based on a Leadpage join. Then, you could have the opt-in box on your, OptinMonster opt-in box on your website, which passes a tag to fire the automation, as well, so that you can actually fire that automation to deliver your lead magnet using either of those two different opt-in methods.
That's a little discussion around how you can integrate your ActiveCampaign with other systems using either the API connexions in ActiveCampaign or using your free built-in Zapier support inside ActiveCampaign, as well. The other two ways you can pass information between two systems are using webhooks, which allow you to pass a string of information via HTTP or via a URL string, and then the other way is event tracking, which you need to custom code into whatever system you want to pass information between. We'll cover those other two in later topics, but I want to keep this to something you can implement in 20 minutes. Have a think about how you're going to integrate those other systems, Leadpages, ClickFunnels, Thrive Leads, OptinMonster, via an API, whether you need to create an action list, whether you need to copy and paste the HTML form, whether you can actually pass tags along as part of your opt-in. Then, if you're going to create a Zapier integration, you want to think about what trigger in system B is going to trigger Zapier to listen and pass information back to system A and what information is going to be passed along as part of that discrete set of instructions, which is known as a Zap.
Once again, you can find everything over on the show notes at theactivemarketer.com. See you a little bit later on for another Tactical 20 podcast, but next week, we've got a fantastic interview coming up with Taki Moore from Coach Marketing Machine. It's a really, really great master class in how to set up your automations for webinars. Look forward to that one. It's a really good interview, and we'll see you next week.
All right. That's our Tactical 20 podcast for this week. If you have any questions or any topics you'd like to see covered on future Tactical 20 podcasts, you can always send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what you'd like to see. Also, if you head over to the show notes for this episode and just leave a comment or leave a comment in any of the episode show notes, tell us what you'd like to see, and we'll make sure we cover it on an upcoming episode. Get out there and design, automate, and scale your business to the next level using sales and marketing automation. See you next week, everybody.
Announcer: Thanks for listening to the Active Marketer podcast. You can find the show notes and all the latest marketing automation news over at theactivemarketer.com.