Last updated on October 10th, 2022 at 05:11 pm
ActiveCampaign is one of the best sales and marketing platforms around, with tools for email marketing, customer relationship management (CRM), sales management, and marketing automation. But it doesn’t matter how great ActiveCampaign is if you don’t have a way to generate customer leads and grow your email list.
There is an ActiveCampaign plugin for WordPress, but it’s not great for creating lead generation forms. For one thing, you can’t create forms directly in the plugin, and the options are limited if you’re on a lower-tier plan. To maximize the success of your lead generation efforts, you really need a much more powerful plugin for creating WordPress forms.
Enter Ninja Forms. Hands-down, this is the most flexible WordPress form builder plugin I’ve ever used. The base plugin is 100% free forever, and there are dozens of add-ons available to purchase (or you can choose a membership bundle instead). One of Ninja Forms’ many add-ons is the ActiveCampaign add-on that connects the Ninja Forms WordPress plugin with your ActiveCampaign account, allowing you to easily send your contacts to ActiveCampaign, segment your lists, and much more.
In this guide, I’ll show you how to connect ActiveCampaign to Ninja Forms, set up custom fields, and organize your lists into different segments.
How to Use ActiveCampaign With Ninja Forms – 5 Easy Steps
Time Needed : 30 minutes
Connect Ninja Forms to your ActiveCampaign account for advanced email marketing.
Sign up for a free trial of ActiveCampaign (or log in to your existing account).
ActiveCampaign offers a 14-day free trial, risk-free, with no credit card required.
Install the Ninja Forms plugin on your WordPress website and purchase the ActiveCampaign integration add-on.
The basic Ninja Forms plugin can be installed from your WordPress dashboard. To use the ActiveCampaign integration, you'll need to purchase the add-on ($49)
Connect your Ninja Forms and ActiveCampaign accounts.
Follow the step-by-step guide below to connect your ActiveCampaign account with Ninja Forms
Create your first lead-generation form and add it to your website.
Ninja Forms makes it really easy to create forms in WordPress.
Start receiving leads in your ActiveCampaigns dashboard.
If you've chosen to use segmentation and conditional logic, then your leads will be automatically sorted into ready-to-use targeted lists.
- Ninja Forms plugin
- ActiveCampaign Ninja Forms add-on
- ActiveCampaign account
Integrating Ninja Forms with ActiveCampaign
With Ninja Forms and the ActiveCampaign add-on, you can connect your ActiveCampaign account to Ninja Formsin a matter of minutes, and the great thing is that you’re able to purchase the add-on as an individual product without being tied into a membership. Of course, if you want to purchase several Ninja Forms add-ons you may want to consider one of the membership bundles.
There are three essential things you need in order to connect ActiveCampaign with your WordPress forms:
- Free Ninja Forms plugin (download here)
- ActiveCampaign account. You can sign up for free (no credit card required) and take advantage of the 14-day free trial.
- ActiveCampaign add-on for Ninja Forms
Once you installed and activated the plugins, you can connect your forms to ActiveCampaign. For help with installing the add-on for ActiveCampaign, check out Ninja Form’s detailed installation instructions (it takes less than 2 minutes).
STEP 1: Log in to Your ActiveCampaign Account
In order to connect your forms to ActiveCampaign, you’ll need your ActiveCampaign URL and API Key from your ActiveCampaign account. Navigate to the dashboard and visit the Settings page.
Once in the Settings area, click on the Developer tab from the left. Next, copy the URL and Key values within the API Access area.
Step 2: Authenticate Ninja Forms with ActiveCampaign using your ActiveCampaign URL and API Key
Now that you’ve copied your ActiveCampaign URL and API Key, go back to your WordPress dashboard and go to your Ninja Forms Settings. Scroll down to the ActiveCampaign area and paste in your ActiveCampaign URL and API Key.
That’s it! Ninja Forms is now connected to your ActiveCampaign account.
Send Contacts From Your WordPress Forms to Your ActiveCampaign List
With your ActiveCampaign account connected to Ninja Forms, you can start sending contacts to the ActiveCampaign list whenever someone submits a form on your website. You’ll need to set this up via an ActiveCampaign action.
Navigate to your form editor and click Emails & Actions. Click the blue plus icon in the lower right and add ActiveCampaign action. After choosing the ActiveCampaign option, you will see a list field. Here, you’ll want to select the list where you want to add your contacts.
Set up the lists you want to use (perhaps a different list for each different form, or a single list for all form submissions on your website) in ActiveCampaign before proceeding with the next steps.
Once you select the list, the List Field Mapping section will expand with the list of form fields. The fields that show here are from your ActiveCampaign account, these include both AC’s built-in fields and any custom fields you define.
To map fields from your WordPress forms to your ActiveCampaign fields, you’ll need to click the merge tag icon on each field where you wish to create the mapping.
The Ninja Forms ActiveCampaign add-on also allows you to assign tags to your Ninja Form that will be assigned to contacts who submit a form. You can easily assign multiple tags to a form in a comma-separated format.
You can also choose to use a double opt-in confirmation when adding a contact to your list using ActiveCampaign but to do that you’ll actually need to create a form inside ActiveCampaign (not very convenient, unfortunately). Ninja Forms has a step-by-step guide for this – check out the Ninja Forms documentation page here.
How to Send Custom Data From Your Form to Your ActiveCampaign List
This is especially helpful if you are having a long registration form or any type of multi-step form and you want to send custom data to your ActiveCampaign list. This is an effective way of creating segmentation in your ActiveCampaign Master List.
Step 1: Create a Form Field in Your WordPress Forms
In the example below, I created a Checkbox List field to collect information about what products users are particularly interested in.
You need to fill in the value of each checkbox field option and match it to be exactly the same as the label.
Step 2: Create a Custom Field in your ActiveCampaign Account
Now that you have your field created on your WordPress form, you want to head to your ActiveCampaign account to create a custom field. Navigate to your Lists > Manage Fields. Here you can add a new field. You want to make sure the Field name in ActiveCampaign matches the Field name on your WordPress form exactly.
I used the Checkbox List field, so in this example, you want to select the Checkbox as a Field Type. The Options should match the Values of your Checkbox List field on your WordPress form. If there isn’t an exact match, the fields won’t be mapped and data won’t be sent to your ActiveCampaign. Click add and that’s it for this step!
Step 3: Create an ActiveCampaign Action and Map the Fields
If you’ve done all the above, now you’ll want to create an ActiveCampaign action and map the fields to the correct list so the data is sent over to your ActiveCampaign automatically.
As mentioned before, to map fields from your Ninja Forms to your ActiveCampaign fields, you’ll need to click the merge tag icon on each field where you wish to map the fields.
That’s it! Now you can send custom data from your WordPress form to ActiveCampaign.
Organize Your Contacts By Sending Them to Different Lists
If your account has multiple lists, it can be incredibly time-consuming to organize your lists manually. What if you need to signup new users to different newsletter lists based on their selection on the form just like this one:
By using the Conditional Logic add-on for Ninja Forms, you can easily ensure that signups and leads will be automatically added to specific lists. This means you can target your email marketing campaigns and only send your subscribers information and offers that they’re really interested in.
Step 1: Create a form field on your WordPress forms
In order to sort your users into different email lists, you need one of the Ninja Forms fields that work with conditional logic:
- Checkbox List
- Select Image
- Radio List
In this form example, I’m using the Checkbox list to sort new subscribers into different lists. (Men Shoes, Women Shoes, Both.)
You want to make sure the field’s Value is filled out, just like in the screenshot below.
Bonus Tip: By default, the Checkbox list is displayed vertically in your form. If you’d prefer to display the list of options horizontally, you can navigate to Display > Custom Class Names > Container, and enter a three-col-list for a 3-column display.
To create a form exactly like the example shown above, you’ll need an HTML field (image & text), a Checkbox field, Email Field, and Submit button field. You can change the width or color of the button without coding using the Layout & Styles add-on by navigating to Styles > Element Styles > Width or Background color.
Step 2: Create an ActiveCampaign Action
Now that you have your form ready, go to the Emails & Actions tab and click the blue plus sign icon. As you have already installed and connected the ActiveCampaign add-on to Ninja Forms, you will see the option for ActiveCampaign.
Add this action to your form. If you have multiple email lists as shown on the form, you have to create multiple ActiveCampaign actions for each list. The screenshot below illustrates how that will look when you’re setting up the actions.
In the example, I created three ActiveCampaign actions on my WordPress form because users can select from three options. You now need to map each ActiveCampaign action to the correct email list.
As I mapped the ActiveCampaign action for my segment Women Shoes to my list in ActiveCampaign called Women Shoes, I did the same for the rest of the ActiveCampaign actions.
If your form has any custom fields, you’ll need to create custom fields in your ActiveCampaign account under Lists > Manage Fields. These form fields need to match exactly, otherwise, they will not be imported.
Step 3: Determine when the action gets processed
Each action you create has Conditional Logic settings where you want to set the correct conditional triggers. Once again, you need to do this for every action. In the example below, when you click on the ActiveCampaign Women Shoes action, you’ll see the Conditional Logic settings.
This is the place where you set up your conditional triggers.
To segment my list, I created a trigger so that when someone selects Women Shoes on the form, they get automatically sorted into the Women Shoes ActiveCampaign email list.
Now you’ll have to do the same for the rest of the ActiveCampaign actions and that’s it! After following these simple steps, your new signups will be automatically categorized to the list or audience of your choice!
Maximize Your Digital Marketing with Ninja Forms and ActiveCampaign
By combining ActiveCampaign’s powerful email marketing tools and automations with Ninja Forms’ user-friendly WordPress plugin, you can create mighty marketing campaigns that ensure your subscribers get the offers and information they really need.
Even if you’re a digital marketing newbie, the combination of these two great products makes managing your campaigns a simple process. You can get ActiveCampaign free for 14 days with its free trial, but even after the trial ends its pricing starts at just $9/month for up to 500 contacts.
The Ninja Forms ActiveCampaign add-on does require a purchase ($49/year), but I find the subscription cost worth the initial outlay because it makes using ActiveCampaign with WordPress so much easier. If you’re using multiple Ninja Forms add-ons, you can choose one of the membership options – but only the Agency plan ($299/year) will get you the ActiveCampaign add-on (along with every other add-on available, including future releases!)
Frequently Asked Questions
Does ActiveCampaign integrate with WordPress directly?
Yes. ActiveCampaign has a free WordPress plugin that you can use to add forms created in ActiveCampaign to your WordPress website. The downside to using the official WordPress plugin for ActiveCampaign is that you can’t create forms within the plugin itself – instead, you have to create forms from within your ActiveCampaign dashboard.
Is the Ninja Forms plugin free?
The basic Ninja Forms plugin is 100% free forever, but to integrate it with ActiveCampaign and other email marketing tools, you’ll either need to purchase individual add-ons or choose a membership bundle subscription.
Is ActiveCampaign worth the cost?
In my (humble) opinion, yes, it’s worth it. While there are some email marketing and lead generation platforms that you can use for free (or that offer free plans for a limited number of contacts), ActiveCampaign’s automation features make it great value for money.
Is it easy to create forms in Ninja Forms?
Absolutely! Ninja Forms is one of the most beginner-friendly builders for creating WordPress forms I've tested. You can find out more about building forms with Ninja Forms in my step-by-step guide.