Isn’t it overwhelming when you’re faced with so many choices for an email marketing service for your small business? How do you know which one is the perfect fit?
Email marketing is something to be taken seriously. On that note, it follows that we should also choose our email marketing tools carefully. Only choosing the best is an email marketing best practice.
In this ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign review, we’ll put two of the most sought-after email marketing services under the spotlight: ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign. We’ll delve into their features, weigh their pros and cons, and determine who each platform caters to best.
By the time you reach the end of this post, you’ll have a clear understanding of which platform aligns with your business needs.
So, let’s dive in, shall we?
Introduction to ConvertKit vs. ActiveCampaign
In the realm of email marketing, finding a solution that’s custom-fit for your business is essential to thrive. Ultimately, the goal of marketing is to cultivate relationships with your customers and prospects, leading them to purchase your products or services.
ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign stand out as two top-notch email marketing platforms in the market. While both services boast an extensive array of features, their approach to marketing sets them apart from each other.
ConvertKit emerged as an email marketing solution tailored for professional bloggers, authors, and online businesses. Established in 2013 by Nathan Barry, a successful blogger and author disenchanted with existing marketing options, ConvertKit has since garnered millions of customers and continues to grow.
This popular email marketing software offers users a plethora of features such as customizable email templates, a visual email designer, autoresponders, and in-depth email tracking.
What sets ConvertKit apart from its competitors is its unwavering commitment to providing a user-friendly and intuitive experience.
With its beginner-friendly design, ConvertKit is the ideal platform for businesses that are either just starting out or lack the time to devote to intricate marketing campaigns.
Established in 2003, ActiveCampaign boasts a long-standing presence as an email marketing tool in the market. It provides users with an array of features, encompassing marketing automation, segmentation, and a visual campaign builder.
ActiveCampaign appeals to businesses across the spectrum, from small-scale enterprises to large corporations. Their feature-loaded platform and dedication to innovation have positioned them as a frontrunner in the email marketing domain.
Additionally, ActiveCampaign offers extensive integration capabilities with widely-used business applications, making it a breeze to incorporate into existing workflows. As a potent and user-friendly instrument, ActiveCampaign empowers small businesses to optimize their marketing and sales operations.
Pros and Cons
Email marketing tools are an integral part of digital marketing, providing essential features for automating email communication, creating and managing campaigns, subscriber management, and more.
In this analysis, we’ll compare two popular platforms: Convert Kit and ActiveCampaign. Each tool has unique strengths and weaknesses that suit different business requirements.
Convert Kit Pros
- User-friendly with live chat support: Provides an easy-to-use platform and offers real-time support to address any queries or issues.
- Unlimited email sending on all plans: There are no restrictions on the number of emails you can send, no matter your plan.
- Liquid or dynamic content is allowed: Offers the ability to create personalized, dynamic content for subscribers.
- Broad integrations are available: Offers compatibility with many other digital platforms for seamless data sharing.
- Good deliverability rates: High percentage of emails successfully reaching the intended recipient’s inbox.
Convert Kit Cons
- Expensive for creators: Pricing might be relatively high, especially for individual creators or small businesses.
- The free plan is not so good compared to competitors: The features offered in the free plan might be limited or inferior compared to similar tools.
- Limited features for landing pages, forms, and reporting: The options and customizability available for these aspects could be better.
- Needs a better interface and templates for emailing: The design and user experience of the interface and email templates could be improved.
- The learning curve when setting up: It might take some time to get accustomed to the tool during the initial setup phase.
- Powerful marketing automation and advanced segmentation options: Provides comprehensive automation features and advanced targeting options.
- The email editor is easy to use with a whole host of email types: The email editor is intuitive and supports a wide range of email formats.
- Excellent deliverability rates: Emails sent through ActiveCampaign often reach the intended recipient’s inbox.
- Live chat support is beneficial: Offers live chat that is instrumental in providing quick help and resolution.
- Professional and higher plans offer 1-on-1 training: It provides personalized training sessions to understand the tool better for higher-tier subscribers.
- Expensive for first-time users: The cost may be a barrier for those just starting to use such tools.
- Learning curve is steep for beginners: With many features available, beginners might find it challenging to understand and use them all initially.
- The form builder doesn’t have templates: It lacks pre-designed templates for creating forms, which may make the process more time-consuming.
- Conversion attribution reporting is only available to professional plans: This advanced reporting feature is only available in higher-priced plans.
- Doesn’t offer a free plan: No free trial or free usage tier is available, which could be a hurdle for those wanting to test the tool before purchasing.
Both Convert Kit and ActiveCampaign provide robust features for email marketing but also have some shortcomings. The choice between the two largely depends on your specific business needs, budget, and level of familiarity with such tools.
By weighing the pros and cons, you can make an informed decision about which platform best suits your email marketing strategy.
Experience Using ConvertKit & ActiveCampaign
My hands-on experience with these platforms offered a mix of triumphs and challenges. Other creators, marketers, and business owners can takeaway a thing or two from this when reviewing their choices.
With ConvertKit, I appreciated its user-friendly nature and the availability of live chat support, which proved incredibly helpful when I faced issues.
Moreover, its unlimited email-sending capability was a relief as it allowed me to reach my audience without constraints.
However, I found ConvertKit quite expensive as a creator. Even the free plan wasn’t as competitive as other platforms I’ve used.
It’s also worth noting that setting up ConvertKit required me to climb a steeper learning curve than expected, which could be daunting for newcomers.
On the other hand, ActiveCampaign offered powerful marketing automation and advanced segmentation options that genuinely elevated my email marketing game.
The ease of their email editor also streamlined my workflow significantly. But it was not all smooth sailing.
The form builder’s lack of templates was a noticeable drawback as it added to my workload. The pricing also felt prohibitive for beginners, and the fact that ActiveCampaign doesn’t offer a free plan might deter many from giving it a try.
In the end, both platforms have their strengths and weaknesses, and it is crucial to align your choice with your needs, budget, and level of comfort with such tools.
Remember, an informed decision can significantly impact your email marketing success and overall business growth.
Who Should Use What?
Choosing the right email marketing platform depends greatly on one’s specific needs, business size, and marketing goals.
Based on the distinct features and characteristics of both ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign, it’s possible to suggest which type of users would benefit most from each platform. Here are some examples:
Best Users for ConvertKit
- Bloggers and Independent Content Creators: ConvertKit’s user-friendly interface, live chat support, and unlimited email sending makes it ideal for independent creators who wish to engage their audience without getting overwhelmed by complex tools. Its dynamic content feature also allows for personalized communication.
- Businesses in need of broad integrations: ConvertKit’s wide array of integrations with other platforms makes it suitable for businesses that need seamless data sharing across various applications.
- Users who prioritize email deliverability: For those who value their emails reliably reaching their audience’s inbox, ConvertKit’s high deliverability rates would be a significant advantage.
Best Users for ActiveCampaign
- Businesses with robust email marketing campaigns: ActiveCampaign’s advanced marketing automation and segmentation options make it perfect for businesses running complex and varied email marketing strategies.
- Users who want a flexible email editor: ActiveCampaign’s easy-to-use email editor supports a wide range of email types, making it suitable for users who wish to have the flexibility to create a variety of email formats.
- Professionals requiring detailed reporting: With one-on-one training available for the professional plan and higher, ActiveCampaign is ideal for professionals or larger organizations that need a comprehensive understanding of their campaigns’ performance and detailed reporting.
A Closer Comparison
Now that I’ve given you a brief overview of each platform let’s compare them side-by-side on key features. My comparison will help you determine which tool fits your business best.
Regarding features, both ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign offer a wide range of options. However, there are some critical differences between the two platforms.
ConvertKit offers a wide range of features to its users. Some of the most notable features include:
- Automations: Email marketing automation is a crucial feature of ConvertKit. It allows users to create automatic email sequences triggered by certain events, such as subscribing to a list or making a purchase. This can save a lot of time for businesses that send out repetitive emails, such as welcome emails, sell digital products, or follow-up emails.
- Visual campaign builder: One thing that sets ConvertKit apart from its competitors is its visual email editor. This easy to use editor makes it easy to create and edit email campaigns, even for beginners.
- Email templates: Another great feature of ConvertKit is its email templates. These templates are designed to help businesses save time and create professional-looking emails.
- Sequences: When you need to automate a series of emails, ConvertKit’s sequences feature is here to help. You can create an email sequence and trigger it based on subscriber behavior, such as subscribing to a list or making a purchase.
- Broadcasts: Email broadcasts allow you to send one-off emails to your subscribers. Unlimited email broadcasts help announce sales or promote new products.
- Landing Pages and Forms: ConvertKit offers a landing page builder that makes it easier to create and customize landing pages. You can also use ConvertKit’s forms to gather subscriber information, such as name and email address.
ActiveCampaign also offers a wide range of features to its users. Some of the most popular ActiveCampaign’s features include:
- Automated campaigns: One of the most powerful features of ActiveCampaign is the ability to automate your email marketing campaigns. With automation, you can send targeted emails to your contacts based on their interactions with your business. For example, you can set up an automated campaign that sends a welcome email to new subscribers and then follows up with emails over the next few weeks. This is a great way to nurture your relationship with new contacts and turn them into customers.
- Segmentation: ActiveCampaign allows you to segment your contact list to send more targeted emails. Segmentation is important because it allows you to personalize your messages and improve your open and click-through rates. A/B testing. A/B testing is a split-testing of two versions of an email to see which performs better. This is a valuable tool for optimizing your email marketing campaigns.
- Funnels: Another powerful feature of ActiveCampaign is the ability to create marketing funnels. A funnel is a series of emails designed to lead a contact through your sales process. For example, you can create a funnel that sends a discount code to first-time buyers or offers a free trial to new subscribers.
- Sales and CRM features: ActiveCampaign sales and CRM features make it easy to manage your sales process from start to finish. These features allow you to track your leads, create quotes and proposals, and manage your deals.
- Landing pages: The ability to create unlimited landing pages is another excellent feature of ActiveCampaign. Landing pages are single-page websites designed to capture leads and convert them into customers.
- Smart autoresponder: One of the best features of ActiveCampaign is the smart autoresponder. With this feature, you can send automated emails triggered by specific actions, such as when a contact subscribes to your list or opens one of your emails. This is a great way to nurture your leads and convert them into customers.
Seamless integration with other tools and software is a highly sought-after feature in email marketing platforms. It enables you to automate your workflow and save time by managing all your marketing tasks from a single, central hub.
ConvertKit offers nearly 90 integrations, allowing you to connect with popular tools such as WordPress blogs, Shopify, and Squarespace. Additionally, it integrates with payment processors like Stripe, SMS marketing, and PayPal, simplifying the setup of a subscription-based business.
Their documentation is user-friendly and easy to follow, ensuring a swift and straightforward integration process. If needed, their team can also help with custom landing page integrations.
In contrast, ActiveCampaign boasts over 250 integrations, enabling connections with widely-used tools and software. The sheer volume of integrations may appear daunting to some users; however, their team provides helpful documentation to guide you through the process.
ActiveCampaign’s API also supports custom integrations if you need to connect with a tool not included in their list.
Ease of use
Every tool and software comes with a learning curve, but some platforms are more user-friendly than others. In this regard, ease of use is a vital factor to consider for these platforms.
ConvertKit is crafted with simplicity and usability in mind, catering to basic marketing needs. Its platform is easy to navigate, and features are clearly labeled.
The drag-and-drop editor allows for effortless creation of visually appealing email newsletters, while the automation features are simple to configure.
ConvertKit’s team provides top-notch customer support if you need assistance with any of their features. They maintain a comprehensive knowledge base complete with articles and tutorials covering all aspects of the platform.
ActiveCampaign, on the other hand, is a feature-rich platform that may be overwhelming for some users. Nevertheless, their team has compiled helpful documentation to guide you through the process.
They also offer exceptional customer support for any assistance you may need with their features. The team is prompt to respond and always eager to help.
A crucial factor when selecting a marketing platform is the quality of customer support. Since any platform can face issues occasionally, it’s vital to have a responsive team that is always ready to help.
ConvertKit delivers outstanding email support. Their team is prompt to respond and eager to assist. They maintain a comprehensive knowledge base, complete with articles and tutorials covering all aspects of the platform.
The team can also help with any feature-related queries or free migration assistance.
On the other hand, ActiveCampaign provides excellent support. Their customer support team is highly responsive and willing to address any issues you may encounter. They offer a vast library of resources, including video tutorials, webinars, and a knowledge base.
Additionally, they provide one-on-one training sessions to ensure you’re up and running swiftly. In summary, customer support is top-notch.
Marketers worldwide send billions of emails daily, but not all of these emails reach their intended inboxes. A significant portion of emails either end up in spam or are bounced back.
That’s why deliverability is critical when selecting an email marketing platform – you need to ensure that your messages reach your subscribers successfully.
ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign adopt distinct approaches to deliverability.
ConvertKit employs a system called “smart sending,” which involves distributing your emails across multiple servers to enhance the likelihood of successful delivery.
In contrast, ActiveCampaign utilizes a single server. They believe this approach grants them greater control over deliverability, enabling them to guarantee that your messages reach your subscribers.
Email Analytics & Reporting features
Email analytics is a vital tool for any marketer, as it allows you to understand how your subscribers engage with your emails. This information can be used to enhance your email campaigns and boost conversions.
ConvertKit offers basic email analytics, displaying the number of people who opened your email and clicked on the links.
ActiveCampaign goes a step further by providing in-depth email analytics. Their platform reveals not only how many people opened your email but also the number of times each link was clicked.
Additionally, they offer automation reporting, insights on the most clicked links, and details about who unsubscribed from your list. This advanced reporting can be highly valuable in refining your marketing campaigns.
ActiveCampaign also includes a CRM feature that enables you to track your subscribers’ interactions with your website.
Another crucial factor when selecting an email marketing platform is the capacity to automate sales processes. Email automation workflows can save time and effort by automatically sending messages to your subscribers.
ConvertKit offers a few basic email automation, such as welcome emails and abandoned cart emails. In contrast, ActiveCampaign boasts a far more extensive email automation system.
Their platform enables you to automate your emails based on various criteria, including subscriber behavior, email engagement, blog posts, and website activity.
This allows you to establish automation rules for sending highly targeted and personalized messages to your subscribers automatically.
Furthermore, ActiveCampaign empowers online marketers to create intricate sales funnels using their email automation workflow system, which aids in lead scoring.
Spam & Design Testing
The internet is full of spam. Over 85% of all email is spam (What’s On the Other Side of Your Inbox – 20 SPAM Statistics for 2022 (dataprot.net)). This is why it’s important to have a platform that can help you avoid being marked as spam.
Both ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit have tools to help you design your emails, so they don’t end up in the spam folder. I personally prefer ActiveCampaign because they have a built-in Spam Score Checker that will test your email before sending it and let you know if there’s anything that could trigger spam filters. ConvertKit doesn’t have a similar tool, but they have excellent documentation on avoiding being marked as spam.
Creating custom opt-in forms is essential if you’re organizing an event or course, and the ability to integrate these forms with any platform is crucial.
ActiveCampaign boasts native integrations with numerous popular platforms, such as WordPress blogs, Shopify, and WooCommerce. This makes it simple to create a registration form and add it to your website or online store.
ConvertKit also offers integrations with these platforms and features an opt-in form builder, but they aren’t as seamless as ActiveCampaign’s.
The opt-in forms themselves differ significantly. ActiveCampaign’s forms are highly customizable, allowing you to incorporate conditional logic and custom fields.
This means you can display or hide fields based on a user’s response to a question. On the other hand, ConvertKit’s forms are basic and lack advanced features like conditional logic.
Here is the pricing information for both ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign:
- Free: This plan includes unlimited landing pages & forms, email broadcasts, and the ability to sell digital products & subscriptions.
- Creator: Starts at $9/month, billed annually for $108, for up to 300 subscribers. It includes everything in the Free plan, plus live chat & email support, a creator network, free migration from another tool, and tons more.
- Creator Pro: Starts at $25/month, billed annually for $290 for up to 300 subscribers. It includes everything in the Creator plan, plus unlimited team members, a newsletter referral system, subscriber scoring, and advanced reporting.
For all plans, the price increases as the number of subscribers increases. For example, for 3,000 subscribers, the Creator plan costs $49/month, and the Creator Pro plan costs $79/month.
ActiveCampaign offers four main plans, each with different features and pricing:
- Plus: For small teams crafting excellent experiences across the customer lifecycle. It costs $49 monthly, is paid yearly, and can cater to 3 users.
- Professional: For teams that want to experiment and optimize their marketing efforts. It costs $149 monthly, is paid yearly, and can cater to 5 users.
- Enterprise: For growing teams in larger organizations looking to personalize their marketing at scale. The pricing for this plan is customizable and can be discussed with their sales team.
ActiveCampaign also offers pricing for specific needs, such as sales teams and bundled marketing automation + sales CRM. The pricing for these plans ranges from $19 to $386 per month, depending on the specific needs and features.
Please note that the prices mentioned are when paid yearly and may vary if you choose to pay monthly.
Which Should You Choose? – ActiveCampaign vs ConvertKit
The two platforms differ significantly. ConvertKit is a fundamental email software ideal for beginners, while ActiveCampaign is a more advanced platform suited for businesses with complex needs.
So, which one should you choose?
It depends on your specific requirements. If you’re just starting and need a straightforward platform, ConvertKit is an excellent choice. It’s also suitable if you’re on a tight budget. However, this doesn’t mean that ActiveCampaign is a poor choice – it’s a fantastic platform for businesses requiring more features and functionality.
If you’re seeking a more advanced platform with automation and a built-in CRM tool, ActiveCampaign is the superior option. Regardless of the platform you select, you’ll be able to create impressive marketing campaigns to help grow your business.
While ActiveCampaign offers more than ConvertKit, the latter has a lower monthly price. If you’re new to internet marketing, I recommend starting with ConvertKit. Automation is essential but not necessary when first starting – you can always upgrade later.
As your business expands, you may want to leverage ActiveCampaign’s more sophisticated features, such as sales funnels and CRM integrations. For now, though, ConvertKit is an excellent place to begin.
While ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign have proven their value with robust features and capabilities, it’s always a good idea to explore other alternatives in the market. These options can potentially better suit your unique needs or provide a more cost-effective solution.
Below are three viable alternatives to ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign, highlighting why they could be ideal for your email marketing strategy.
This platform is one of the most well-known email marketing services, offering a robust free plan and a user-friendly interface. It’s an ideal alternative if you’re looking for affordability, simplicity, and powerful features similar to those found in ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign.
Known for its excellent automation and transactional email features, Brevo can be an effective alternative. Its free plan and competitive pricing for advanced features make it an excellent choice for businesses looking for budget-friendly yet powerful email marketing solutions.
HubSpot might be your best alternative if you need a comprehensive platform that includes email marketing, CRM, sales, and service hubs. It’s especially suitable if you’re ready to scale and require a more holistic approach to your marketing than what ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign focus on.
The following are some frequently asked questions about Convertkit vs. Activecampaign:
Selecting an email marketing platform hinges on your individual requirements. ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit provide excellent features, but they cater to distinct audiences.
Throughout this article, we’ve examined the crucial distinctions between ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit. We’ve discussed each platform’s pricing, features, automation, and integrations with the aim of assisting you in determining the ideal platform for your business.
We trust that this article has been informative and has enhanced your understanding of the two platforms.
Brian Shelton is an entrepreneur, marketer, and life-long learner committed to helping businesses achieve impactful results. He founded Grow Predictably to provide tailored marketing strategies to generate predictable, profitable growth. With over a decade of experience in the industry, Brian has helped businesses, large and small. reach their goals and drive positive change in the world.