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ActiveCampaign simplifies the email marketing madness

Email marketing can be a tricky business. Sending out emails that fit your branding and getting them into the inboxes of the right clients is crucial to spreading your businesses’ message effectively.

Chicago-based email marketing startup ActiveCampaign makes this process a breeze with its simplified platform, focusing on personalized marketing, custom brand design, social media integration, and valuable reporting and analytics, all within a price range that even smaller businesses can afford.

We took some time to talk with ActiveCampaign founder Jason VandeBoom, who shared his entrepreneurial past that goes as far back as age 12, along with his advice to never fear the pursuit of any venture you truly believe in.

What was the inspiration behind ActiveCampaign?

Ten years ago I was working on a variety of freelance projects when I realized there was a common need for a marketing platform to send basic newsletters. The market lacked competition, and I found myself doing the same thing over and over for clients.

Within months, I stopped all freelance work and devoted 100 percent of my efforts towards a marketing platform. We have seen incredible growth (and maintained profitability) ever since.

When did you know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

I’ve always had a desire to create things. My dream at a young age was to run a creative firm of some sort. It just so happens it is what I enjoy doing in life -- so that’s what I do now.

What was the first job you ever had?

I worked picking strawberries around the age of 12. Looking back I’m not sure if it was even legal -- I have always just wanted to work from a young age, and would beg my parents to let me work.

Jobs like that led to me being interested in crafting a company that challenges existing norms and with a work style/environment where people could enjoy their work.

If you could pick one theme song a theme song for your startup, what would it be?

We are more like a Spotify playlist with tons of random genres and songs. We like to keep things extremely agile and fast moving.

What is your idea of happiness?

Enjoying what you do and who you spend time with, whether that’s work or something outside of work. If you don’t have that, life would be pretty miserable.

What advice would you give to any beginning entrepreneurs out there?

Don’t be afraid to try something if you believe in your idea. Try to have an actual business model in mind that could provide revenue to help you grow. Don’t be reliant on investors or a buyout if at all possible.

Networking, talking, etc. is all great but if you have an idea, implement it. Don’t waste all your time thinking and discussing the potential.

What’s in store this year for ActiveCampaign?

We are currently growing our service as we increase our brand awareness (from what used to be a private label focused company to a more visible ESP) and have some exciting projects underway that will change the way people design emails.

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Corey Cummings