- Drag and drop email editor
- External integrations
- Automated workflows
- No landing page builder
- No free plans
ActiveCampaign is an email marketing platform that serves as a competitive alternative to other mainstream platforms like Mailchimp. Though this software lacks a landing page builder and features no “freemium” user access, ActiveCampaign works well and has a dedicated customer base.
What is it and how does it work?
ActiveCampaign is an email marketing platform that features digital marketing automation tools. The software is like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and Campaign Monitor regarding the ease of use, pricing, and general effectiveness. Just like any email marketing software, ActiveCampaign offers its users the ability to create, segment, and edit email lists while offering a sending-action functionality via HTML editors and automations. ActiveCampaign is a browser-based experience featuring a drag-and-drop email editor and campaign management suite complete with detailed surface-level analytics (open rates, click-through, etc.). Users can augment their experience on the platform with a large selection of external integrations with CRMs, social media networks, relational databases, and hosted web assets.
ActiveCampaign has built-in automation mapping features allowing users to create workflows, customer journeys, and other automation functions. Like Oracle Eloqua’s enterprise automation mapping, ActiveCampaign’s mapping is built on custom “recipes” or automation formulas that are created by a third-party developer, the users themselves, or by the company. Mostly, the proprietary automations that ActiveCampaign offers include social media engagement actions and new email subscriber series. Users can also build their own automations via their exclusive triggers and activities which can also cross-integrate among platforms. ActiveCampaign holds some distinction here. Because Mailchimp and Constant Contact only specialize in automations focused on email marketing, this software has a unique difference. Keep in mind that both Mailchimp and Constant Contact have integrations with other software like Active Campaign, nonetheless.
ActiveCampaign has a powerful form builder. Like an email editor, the form builder is a drag-and-drop experience allowing users to create pop-up subscription forms for websites. There is no dedicated landing page editor, however. Mailchimp, for example, has a form builder and landing page builder.
Ease of use and experience
In general, user sentiment, gauged on G2 Crowd and TrustRadius, is quite positive. In our own experience with the platform, ActiveCampaign is clean and easy to navigate, though the user experience and initial launch dashboard tend to be crowded. One high mark was the “Recent Activity” stream on the right-hand side of the initial launch dashboard which features data tracking email performance, social media engagement, and sub-unsub activity for email lists. The HTML visual editors were also easy to navigate and highlight similar functionality to the visual editors found on Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Campaign Monitor, and Drip.
ActiveCampaign doesn’t have a “freemium” plan as Mailchimp does. Pricing depends on sending scale and changes month to month. All arrangements are available at a monthly rate or annual rates. For example, it is $9 per month for a plan that allows a user to send to 500 subscribers. Enterprise plans are available. Compared to its competitors, ActiveCampaign is competitively priced. Constant Contact has basic plans that start at higher price points — $20 per month for 500 subscribers — while Mailchimp begins at $10 per month for unlimited subscribers. Looking at pricing, Mailchimp is the better deal. ActiveCampaign serves as a competitive alternative that features similar functionality with different features.
What we think
ActiveCampaign could easily hold its own against the likes of Mailchimp in the marketplace. The experiences are similar with enough differences to merit ActiveCampaign’s classification as a “competitive alternative” to a tool like Mailchimp. Organizations and users who don’t mind paying for their email marketing platform should give it a spin. And, while they’re at it, a team’s marketing coordinator or digital strategist could enjoy the automation mapping features. If an organization is looking for landing pages or a “freemium” solution that requires minimal spend, go elsewhere.
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