Palmetto Fortis increases sales by 20% through ActiveCampaign


open rates (up from 22% with Mailchimp)


increase in click-through rates


increase in sales year-over-year

The Challenge

  • Poorly integrated systems led to siloed information between Mailchimp and Salesforce CRM, leading to non-strategic communication to contact database
  • Lack of automation capabilities hampered growth and scalability
  • Sales process was manual and cumbersome

The Solution

  • Seamless integration between ActiveCampaign and Salesforce allows for highly personalized communication with contacts based on role, interest, and lead score
  • Robust automation capabilities allow both marketing and sales managers to scale client support exponentially
  • Automated lead scoring and engagement tagging nurture leads and surface high-value leads to salespeople, streamlining processes and delivering greater results for clients
“People joke when I talk about ActiveCampaign, they say it sounds like I’m a paid spokesperson. I have to tell them no, I actually really believe in it because it has made my life so much easier.” -Meagan Ingersoll, Marketing Director

Founded in 2017, Palmetto Fortis is an organization empowering private and charter schools and education partners with inside sales support...

United States
Company Size
1-100 employees
ActiveCampaign for Marketing

Founded in 2017, Palmetto Fortis is an organization empowering private and charter schools and education partners with inside sales support and training, leveraging the extensive background of its founders in curriculum development and marketing. Over time, the company’s growth necessitated an expansion in its marketing strategies. Meagan Ingersoll, Palmetto Fortis’ Marketing Director shared, “The company has grown rapidly, and over the last two years, we realized the need for a change in our marketing tech stack.”

Challenges of Growth and Integration

Palmetto Fortis had outgrown its previous marketing solutions. “Initially, we were using Mailchimp, with about 14,000 to 15,000 contacts, but we weren’t engaging with them as strategically as we could. Salesforce wasn’t integrated with Mailchimp, which was part of why we weren’t growing”, Meagan reflected. The scattered approach and broad-stroke communication strategy were stifling their potential.

Bringing her extensive experience and innovative perspective from the world of B2B software, Meagan saw the need for a cohesive and intuitive marketing platform. “After researching and consulting with multiple companies, we chose ActiveCampaign for its ease of use and because it met our specific needs.” ActiveCampaign’s comprehensive and intuitive marketing automation would help streamline and unify Palmetto Fortis’ marketing systems and help them level up their customer engagement and business intelligence.

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Painless migration helped the team hit the ground running

“The ActiveCampaign team provided exceptional support during our transition, going the extra mile to ensure a smooth onboarding experience”, Meagan recalls. A testament to both ActiveCampaign’s intuitive platform and the support received through onboarding, Meagan was able to migrate from Palmetto Fortis’ previous tech stack in record time. “I dedicated two weeks to migrate our system to ActiveCampaign and build it out. It’s been transformative, and I’m genuinely grateful”, Meagan said.

Automation Helps a Lean Team Make a Big Impact

ActiveCampaign’s automations quickly became integral for Palmetto Fortis’ lean team to power their ever-growing business. “ActiveCampaign’s automation features have significantly eased my workload—comparable to adding one or two full-time employees to the team”, Meagan shared. “Right now we have 23,000 contacts. 18,000 of them are on my primary communication list. There’s no way I could handle our database manually.”

Palmetto Fortis deploys a cadre of eight sales reps to handle sales for curriculum partners, offering comprehensive services including in-house design and end-to-end sales process management. ActiveCampaign allows the team to support all of their clients at scale.

Intelligent Automation and Personalized Marketing

Having better tools also facilitated better engagement strategies. “Our previous approach was scattered—we were just blasting our database of teachers and administrators and curriculum decision makers and it wasn’t growing.” The move to ActiveCampaign gave Meagan and her team the tools needed to more effectively engage both customers and partners. 

Marketing in the education sector can be tough. Teachers and administrators are often wary of change, so Palmetto Fortis is careful about nurturing these relationships subtly and gradually for their customers. 

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As prospects engage with content, tags are added to contacts to understand their areas of interest and what role they play in the procurement process. From here, Palmetto Fortis can segment contacts and automate personalized communications to education professionals, who tend to be hypervigilant about traditional sales tactics. 

This personalization strategy even extends to in-person events at conferences and trade shows. “At conferences, we’ve moved from paper forms to digital lead capture using QR codes, which has tripled our conference lead growth within a year of using ActiveCampaign.” Bridging the gap between these physical interactions and their digital relationship with prospects adds another layer of personalization and allows Palmetto Fortis to continue to nurture and build strong relationships. 

The Impact of Strategic Personalization

“Our migration to ActiveCampaign allowed us to better segment our audience once integrated with Salesforce,” the team observed. This ability to craft more personalized marketing messages resulted in a significant increase in engagement rates, with open rates climbing to an average of 33%, and click rates doubling to over 4.5%.

One of the most striking success stories comes from their newsletter strategies: “We’ve experienced tremendous growth in audience engagement, especially in our newsletters, where we sometimes see open rates as high as 52% and click-through rates as high as 12%.” Palmetto Fortis didn’t just use ActiveCampaign; they harnessed it to build long-term relationships. “The automation tools in ActiveCampaign have been crucial in sustaining long-term communications with potential clients.” These long-term nurture strategies are critical for the education sector, as the sales cycles can sometimes last years.

This database of leads is one of the main sources of value that Palmetto Fortis brings to its curriculum partners. Because they carefully nurture each contact in a traditionally very tough-to-sell industry, having warm contacts is essential for these clients to achieve sales success. 

Lead Generation and Scoring Excellence

At the heart of their marketing and sales processes lies a robust lead generation and scoring mechanism, aided by ActiveCampaign’s robust Salesforce integration. “Our lead scoring is dynamic, assigning points based on customer interactions with various products, which then segments them into appropriate lists for targeted communication.” Meagan has set up automations to add and remove tags to distinguish customers as “engaged” based on their interactions with Palmetto Fortis’ email communications, website, and other key touchpoints. Once an “engaged” tag is added to a contact that was previously disengaged, they are automatically added to various nurture flows based on the contact’s interests. It’s a comprehensively automated lead nurture process that allows the team to add monumental value to their clients.

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Additionally, Meagan shares, “We’ve set thresholds within our system to gauge product interest, prompting a handover to sales reps for qualification.”  From this dynamic lead score, contacts are then prioritized for outreach and sent to sales reps. The small but mighty sales team is then able to manage sales pipelines for multiple curriculum partners effectively and efficiently. 

Strategic Insights and Continued Learning

ActiveCampaign has fueled data-driven growth both within Palmetto Fortis and with its service offering. The team routinely evaluates campaign performance, refines marketing strategies, and ensures all communication aligns with industry regulations and data privacy standards. Because Palmetto Fortis also provides sales support to these companies, these analytics are essential to showing the growth and impact of their services and allow them to share direct metrics with their clients.

“We have created a nurturing ecosystem that respects the intelligence and integrity of educators, which they appreciate and respond well to,” the team shared. ActiveCampaign’s analytics have provided valuable insights, aiding in automating responses and crafting consistent messaging that solidifies educators’ trust and paves the way for their curriculum partners to bring innovation into schools.

Resulting Growth and Efficiency

Palmetto Fortis’s journey with ActiveCampaign is a resounding endorsement of the software’s ability to scale marketing efforts while maintaining a personal touch. “ActiveCampaign has not only been cost-effective but has also significantly improved our marketing efficiency,” and with the integration of ActiveCampaign with Salesforce, they’ve seen a “20% increase in sales compared to the previous year.”

As a quick summary by the numbers, partnering with ActiveCampaign has allowed Palmetto Fortis to achieve: 

  • Up to 52% open rates (up from 22% with Mailchimp)
  • 2x increase in click-through rates
  • 20% increase in sales year-over-year
  • 300% growth in conference lead generation within one year of using ActiveCampaign and their shift from paper forms to digital lead capture via QR codes

Their story with ActiveCampaign goes beyond the numbers; it’s about the transformation into a more strategic, data-driven, and customer-centric organization. This has allowed them to honor their commitment to educational excellence and customer care–values that continue to guide their trajectory to success.

For those looking to replicate Palmetto Fortis’s success, it’s evident that ActiveCampaign’s blend of marketing automation, personalization, and efficiency is a formidable catalyst for growth. As they look towards the future, Palmetto Fortis stands as a testament to the transformative power of the right marketing automation platform in the education sector.

If you’re looking to empower your business journey like Palmetto Fortis, start with ActiveCampaign’s 14-day free trial today!

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