ConvertKit vs. ActiveCampaign has been the subject of discussion for quite some time now. If you find yourself constantly wondering which of the two is better, you are not alone.
Both of these two automation tools come with some impressive features to make your email marketing campaign successful. So, how do you choose the best automation tool for your business from the two?
In this review, we will take a detailed look at the two platforms and their features. Hopefully, this helps you make a more informed decision.
Although this platform is fairly new, having been introduced in 2015, many people already swear by it. The backing by popular email marketers like Pat Flynn gave the platform an excellent starting point in the scene.
The email marketing scene is already flooded with enough marketing tools. So, how does ConvertKit manage to stand out from the rest?
Nathan Barry, the brains behind ConvertKit, identified a new target audience and designed the platform to suit them. ConvertKit is an excellent tool for professional bloggers and small business owners. The platform is user-friendly and comes with several features, all of which help online content creators connect with their audiences better and grow their income as a result.
With ConvertKit, you don’t only get an automation tool. Through the platform, you can quickly design sign-up forms that allow you to turn readers into subscribers in no time. The email designer allows you to send automated emails that feel personal and aim for increased conversions.
ConvertKit also allows you to create beautiful landing pages aimed for conversion. The platform also supports several integrations to help you connect to some of your favorite blogging tools.
If you are not yet 100% sure you want to commit to this tool; you could get started with the 14-day free trial. During this time, you get access to all the features available for your chosen pricing plan.
- Comes with a landing page builder as well
- Users can create forms of various types
- The visual automation builder is simple to use, yet quite effective
- Users can create emails with merge tags
- The A/B testing functionality is quite limited
- Customization for forms and email templates is also limited
Unlike ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign has actually been around for some time-since 2003. It is, therefore, no surprise that many veteran email marketers prefer this platform over others.
ActiveCampaign is an excellent platform for business owners who want to stay in touch with their clients and manage their contacts. The email automation feature is the platform’s strongest feature. Thanks to all the available tools, users can quickly and easily automate all their emails without doing too much work.
ActiveCampaign also lets you design subscription forms for your readers. However, the platform goes a step further and adds tags depending on readers’ interests, sends notifications for your team to follow up on potential high-value leads, and segment your contacts for easier management.
Besides email automation, ActiveCampaign also lets you track your website, create custom integrated forms, and offers an advanced report of your email marketing strategies to help you determine what’s working and what isn’t.
Custom messaging, machine learning, and sales automation are some of the additional features available on the platform.
Like ConvertKit, you could get started with the 14-day free trial before you decide to use the platform for your business.
- The platform offers a variety of automation tools with advanced features
- Subscriber management allows for both lists and tags
- A/B split testing is very thorough
- Responsive support is available for users via live chat and community groups
- The user interface can at times lag
- There are limited pre-designed email templates to use
ConvertKit vs. ActiveCampaign Features Comparison
Given that the two are both email marketing tools, they come with some shared features.
What are these features, and how do the two platforms compare against each other? Let’s take an in-depth look at the features comparison below.
ConvertKit vs. ActiveCampaign Price Plans
As an email marketer, the price of the tool that you intend to use is an essential deciding factor. You probably have a budget to stick to, and you, therefore, want to get the best features for whatever amount you have set aside.
How much does ConvertKit cost?
Whatever plan you choose when using ConvertKit will depend on the number of subscribers that you have. For up to 1000 subscribers, you will part with $29 per month. You will pay $49 for up to 3000 subscribers and $79 for up to 5000 subscribers. If you have more than 5000 subscribers, ConvertKit will set a price for your plan, depending on the number.
To save a bit of cash on the plans, you can opt to pay annually. By doing so, you get to pay for only ten months.
It is quite impressive that all the pricing plans offer the same features, with the only difference being in the number of subscribers that you are paying for. Some of these features include unlimited customizable forms, subscriber tagging, integrations, and support, among others.
If you have more than 5000 subscribers, however, you also get to have free concierge migration, to help make your switch to different email marketing tools simpler and faster.
Recently, the platform launched the freemium price plan. Nathan Barry explained that the need for a free plan arose from the fact that many users opt to start on free plans first, before making the switch to ConvertKit. The free plan will allow users to get started on ConvertKit and grow their audience.
The free plan lets users create landing pages that they can use to get their first subscribers. Once you have a substantial number, you can opt to either upgrade to a paid plan, or use the referral program to unlock subscriber management.
How much does Active Campaign cost?
ActiveCampaign, on the other hand, also offers four pricing plans. Just like ConvertKit, the plans differ in price depending on your subscribers. However, the features available for each plan are also different. You also get the option to have your billing done annually or monthly.
The Lite plan is at the lowest tier, and for only $9 a month, you get unlimited sending, email marketing, marketing automation, and chat and support. The lite plan only supports up to three users.
For $49 a month, you get access to the Plus plan. The plan comes with all the features available for lite. It also includes some additions such as Facebook custom audiences and integrations. The plan is also suitable for up to 25 users.
The most popular plan is the professional plan that supports up to 50 users. You will part with $129 a month to get access to this plan. Besides all the features available in plus, you get predictive content and sending, split automation, site messaging, among others.
The Enterprise plan caters for unlimited users and goes for $229 per month. With this plan, you get access to all the features available for the Professional plan, in addition to some features like custom domain, free design services, and a dedicated account representative.
It is worth mentioning that all the prices mentioned above for ActiveCampaign lets you send emails to up to 500 contacts. ActiveCampaign gives you more customization options in that it lets you choose the number of contacts that you want to manage. The price for any of the four plans will change to reflect the number of contacts that you want to manage.
We will have to call it a draw between the two platforms in terms of the pricing plans. ActiveCampaign lets you customize your pricing plan by choosing the number of contacts that you want to manage. ConvertKit, alternatively, offers all the available features for all four plans regardless of the number of subscribers that you have.
ConvertKit vs. ActiveCampaign Landing Pages and Opt-in Forms
One of the most important strategies to attract subscribers and grow your list is by building converting landing pages and including opt-in forms.
Both ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign offer a simple and user-friendly form builder to help you achieve this.
With ConvertKit’s form builder, you can create simple two-field forms to help you collect names and email addresses. The builder is quite standard, with few customization options. You can, however, customize color. You will need some CSS knowledge for any other styling options.
Thanks to ConvertKit’s official plugin, you can add the forms that you create to WordPress seamlessly. You can also use a short code snippet to add the forms to static HTML sites.
ConvertKit allows you to choose from three form display options. You could choose to display the forms either in-line, slide-in besides some other content on your site, or as modal dialog boxes.
You can also create some landing pages using the four available templates. While these templates are very basic and may not work great for PPC campaigns, they are ideal for building lists. The landing pages you create will especially be excellent for Twitter and Facebook promotions.
A major downside to using ConvertKit’s landing page builder is that you can only customize color, images, and text content.
The form builder on ActiveCampaign offers more customization options, allowing you to create eye-catching and responsive opt-in forms. The builder lets you add custom fields to your forms such as checkboxes, list selectors, and CAPTCHA for increased security and to reduce spam messages. The builder also supports custom styling using CSS.
Besides the three form display options available for ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign also lets you display your forms as a floating bar.
Again, we will have to call it a draw between the two platforms. ConvertKit allows you to build custom landing pages and forms. Activecampaign doesn’t offer a landing page builder. However, it comes with a wider range of customization options for the form builder.
ConvertKit vs. ActiveCampaign Email Automation
Of course, this is the main feature that we are concerned with. So, how do the two platforms compare?
Both ConvertKirt and ActiveCampaign offer several automation tools to help you create an email series that converts and sells. However, because ConvertKit is primarily designed for bloggers and small business owners, while ActiveCampaign focuses on email marketers and sales teams, there are bound to be some significant differences in the automation tools.
Convertkit refers to the email sequences as automation or email courses. Immediately a subscriber joins your list, you can add them to an email course. You then get to schedule when the subscriber will receive your email.
The platform performs some basic traditional email marketing functions like sending broadcasts and scheduled autoresponder content. Besides these functions, the platform offers a variety of automation options.
Convertkit is an ideal tool even if you have never used an email automation tool before. Thanks to the available automation blueprints, you can quickly create a new email course. Automation Rules allow you to set your own triggers using an ‘If this, then that’ logic.
You don’t need any programming skills to use ConvertKit for your automatic emails. You can also use the platform to create automation for live webinars and product launches. You also get to choose how you want your subscribers to receive your emails. You could, for example, include an upsell after a user makes a purchase using a specific funnel.
Like ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign comes with all the basic features necessary for email automation. Users choose whether to use the platform with autoresponders and broadcasts or using rules and interaction-based segments.
ActiveCampaign also offers a visual workflow builder that makes it easier for you to build a sequence from start to finish. The builder offers an easy-to-use interface and features the ‘If this, then that’ logic as well.
It is quite impressive that the feature can be as complex or as simple as you would like.
ActiveCampaign lets you add different actions for your automation. You can fork your campaigns to create different pathways depending on how your users behave after an event. By doing so, you can send more relevant content to your contacts, increasing the conversion rates.
ActiveCampaign is certainly in the lead in terms of email automation. Although the process of building an email course is not as straightforward as is the case with ConvertKit, the platform comes with a wider range of automation tools.
These tools, coupled with some other lucrative features like CRM integration, make Active Campaign one of the best email automation software tools available.
ConvertKit vs. ActiveCampaign Segmentation and Tagging
Although email automation will help improve your marketing strategy, you must learn how to segment your lists. Dividing your audience into segments based on their behavior helps you send more personalized emails that generate more sales.
ConvertKit is a tag-based system that offers a better way to manage subscribers and automation.
Before you can use the platform, you will need to add your subscribers to ConvertKit. You can achieve this in three ways- adding a single subscriber, importing a CSV file, or importing the subscribers from another platform.
The system lets you add tags to your leads and subscribers based on their actions. You could, for example, add a tag when a user clicks a certain link in your email. These targets then let you target that user specifically later on.
You can further merge tags to create a dynamic email. This action will allow you to send a single email to a user, depending on all their tags.
Segmentation, on the other hand, lets you arrange the tags and create mini audiences. You can create these segments based on several factors, such as whether they bought a specific product, or where they came from.
ActiveCampaign offers a more diverse approach to segmentation. The platform supports both lists and tags to manage subscribers. You can add several specific conditions to help you create more direct segments.
From your contacts list, you get access to all the information that you will need about your subscribers. This information includes the lists and segments that they belong to.
Managing subscribers from several websites may be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be with ActiveCampaign. This automation tool lets you isolate the subscribers from each site so that you create separate lists to make managing easier.
While ActiveCampaign’s segmentation is quite impressive, the ultimate prize comes in combining these features with the site’s tracking and sales. Doing so helps you tag your subscribers, depending on their interactions. As a result, you get to learn more about your subscribers' interests, making it easier to send more personalized emails.
Although both platforms come with impressive segmentation features, ActiveCampaign takes the lead yet again. The combination of lists and tags in subscriber management makes the platform more lucrative and offers a choice in which method to use.
ActiveCampaign also lets you manage multiple sites and comes with site tracking abilities. Both of these features are not available for ConvertKit.
ConvertKit vs. ActiveCampaign Ease of Use and Support
An ideal email automation software should be effective yet easy to use. A tool’s functionality will play an integral role in your overall experience with the tool, and ultimately, what you achieve with the tool.
Convertkit is, hand down, quite an easy platform to use. Once you log into your account, you get access to all the information you may need from the access bar. The site also uses the drag-and-drop functionality throughout the site. Customizing landing pages and opt-in forms is, therefore, a quick task.
However, the simplicity offered by the platform may be a bit too much. ConvertKit only features basic forms and landing pages templates that may not be ideal for people who are after something more than just basic.
When it comes to support, ConvertKit offers both email and live chat support for its users across all plans. Although the live chat team takes a while to respond, it is an effective means to get some quick help. Customer support is available during weekdays from 8 a.m to 8 p.m EST. You can also choose to use the online support forum and get help from other users.
The platform also incorporates the ‘Knowledge Base’ that you can access from the Help button. The Knowledge Base contains some useful information on how to use ConvertKit.
ActiveCampaign is a bit more complex than ConvertKit, thanks to the available variety of options. Unlike ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign’s dashboard contains different types of tools that offer more functionality.
Getting around the comprehensive platform will not be easy. It is for this reason that the tool also includes a ‘Getting Started’ Guide that provides you with all the information you would need to launch your online campaign. The guide also helps you to design your first opt-in form.
ActiveCampaign also comes with several email templates. However, unlike ConvertKit, the platform allows for a variety of customization options. You can even use CSS styling for some customization on the platform.
ActiveCampaign offers both email and chat support to users on all the paid platforms. To get phone support, you will need to purchase the highest tier plan- Enterprise. You could also choose to take a more personalized approach by using the Help button. This will give you access to the knowledge base, where you can access all the information that you may need.
If you are looking for an easy-to-use platform, ConvertKit is the go-to tool for you. This tool lets you perform all the basic email marketing functions without going to too much trouble. Besides, the platform has a very strong support forum, making it easier for users to access information about ConvertKit.
Although this was a close call, ConvertKit takes the lead on this, simply because it is ideal for all users, including those who are not tech-savvy.
ConvertKit vs. ActiveCampaign Stand Out Features
Although both ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign are effective email automation tools, the latter platform comes with various unique features.
- CRM Integrations- ActiveCampaign features built-in CRM that makes it easier to share information across different marketing tools. You can also opt to not use the built-in CRM and instead take advantage of the CRM sync to connect to some popular CRM tools like Zoho.
- A/B Testing- Tracking your emails is an integral part of email marketing. Although both platforms claim to offer tracking and testing, ConvertKit doesn’t seem to offer much in terms of A/B testing.
With ActiveCampaign, users can perform split testing in two ways to determine the best email that will generate better sales.
Given that both platforms present some striking features, which of the two is the best? And how do you choose a specific platform for your business?
Use ConvertKit if:
- You are an online content creator and are looking for a tool to automate your marketing strategies
- You are looking for a tool with a few options, and that is easy to use
- You are just getting started on email marketing, or your small business is just picking up.
ConvertKit is an ideal platform for anyone who doesn’t want to get into all the nitty details of email marketing. Check out their 14-day free trial to help you get started.
Use ActiveCampaign if:
- You are an experienced marketer who's looking to scale their business
- You are looking for an effective tool for B2B marketing strategies
- You are after more than just the basic email marketing functionalities.
If you are ready to check out all the available features on ActiveCampaign, you can get started with the 14-day free trial by clicking here.