ActiveCampaign has established itself as the go-to email marketing tool for pro marketers with its multi-channel marketing automation. You can automate virtually everything - campaign deals, email series, website notifications, and post-sign-up emails.
Besides automation, it also shines with its sales CRM, sign-up form builder, and drag-and-drop template editor. Each feature offers advanced functionality like hide/show content blocks, conditional logic in forms, and automation.
Even though it offers a 14-days free trial and pricing starts as low as $29/month, it quickly becomes expensive as your list grows. Is this tool worth paying so much for?
We'll find that out in this in-depth ActiveCampaign review based on our analysis of this tool and its customers' feedback.
Table of contents
What is ActiveCampaign?
ActiveCampaign is a multi-channel marketing platform specializing in email marketing and automation. The tool features powerful automation, a drag-and-drop landing page and email template builder, SMS campaigns, and more.
Even though an email marketing beginner can use this tool, it's much more oriented towards advanced marketers as almost all its features are much more advanced than other ESPs.
What are ActiveCampaign's core features?
Here is a detailed breakdown of key features of ActiveCampaign:
1. Drag and drop email designer
ActiveCampaign email builder lets you create emails in three ways: design an email, create plain-text emails, or upload custom HTML code. You get 250+ premade email templates, 7 layout blocks, and 21 basic templates.
The template editor is intuitive and easy to use. One of the interesting features is conditional blocks. You can show or hide certain content blocks by applying conditions to your contact list. You can also show and hide blocks on mobile and desktop devices.
Apart from creation, you can preview them on mobile and desktop and test them. ActiveCampaign also offers inbox previews for five email clients. But this is only available to users on plus and professional plan.
2. Landing page builder
ActiveCampaign's landing page builder comes with 62 premade customizable templates free for all users.
The interface was easy to understand and navigate. You can add multiple blocks like navigation, embeds, videos, and inline forms. One downside is that there is no option to move an element up or down and duplicate a specific section. It will be useful if you want to create a look-alike section as you won't have to create it from scratch.
One useful feature is customizing your landing page by adding conditional logic. For example, you can add hide/show conditions to show specific elements to specific uses. This helps target users with similar attributes like geography or previous purchase history.
Note: You cannot create or make a landing page live if you're on the ActiveCampaigns Lite plan.
3. Marketing automation builder
ActiveCampaign has become one of the most advanced and powerful email automation tools. They have made it possible to create almost any automation.
They have 750+ premade automation recipes (templates) divided across 15+ industries and 5 languages: Portuguese, French, Italian, German, and Spanish. With so many options available, finding your desired workflow might become overwhelming. But, ActiveCampaign offers a filter and wishlist to find the workflow you want to work on.
You get 20+ trigger options across users' behavior and actions, email activity, ecommerce, sales & CRM, and website properties. One cool feature is their predictive sending option. With this trigger option, the tool will send emails based on when the user will most likely open them.
Moreover, you can add emails or conditions with the + option. This is where automation shows its true potential. You can automate emails, SMS campaigns, website messages, and more. This helps you create more customized and relevant workflows to target the right recipient.
4. Sales CRM
Sales CRM is easy to use, and drag-and-drop functionality makes moving deals through stages smoother. You can create a customizable sales pipeline by setting up multiple deals and adding various stages to reflect the status of the current lead.
The dashboard is clear and left navigation helps you get a bird's eye view of all your sales pipeline. You can get an overview of your deals, track sales performance, add upcoming tasks, and more.
You can also apply scores to each lead to prioritize them and increase your chances of closing deals.
This feature is not available for Lite plan users. Pricing starts at $23 for users on plus and higher plans, and this seems affordable, given all the options you can use.
5. Sign-up form builder
The sign-up form creator is straightforward to use. You can create four types of forms: Inline forms, floating bars, boxes, and models. There are two types of fields you can add: contact fields and account-based fields. You can also add custom fields according to your preferences.
Another advantage is that you can create automations based on sign-up form triggers. When you're on a free trial or lite plan, you can't remove ActiveCampaign branding. Only plus and professioanl plan users have this benefit.
ActiveCampaign pricing details
|Number of contacts||Lite||Plus||Professional|
Get a complete analysis of ActiveCampaigns' pricing plans
ActiveCampaign's key strengths and weaknesses
Based on ActiveCampaign's customer review, we have highlighted the pros and cons of the tool:
- Extremely advanced automation: ActiveCampaign has become one of the most powerful marketing automation builders. It has many customizable workflows, trigger options, and actions to create highly targeted campaigns. By choosing their bundle plan, you can combine various channels to trigger automation: marketing campaigns, SMS, forms, etc.
Automation is the reason we use ActiveCampaign. The automation platform is robust but also extremely user-friendly and intuitive. There are also a ton of native integrations that make workflow a breeze. - Reviewer on G2
Good deliverability: ActiveCampaign has maintained an excellent deliverability rate throughout all the tests conducted by the EmailTool tester. ActiveCampaign score #1 spot in EmailToolTester's latest test with an average deliverability rate of 93%.
In-depth analytics: The reporting dashboard gives in-depth insights into email activity, automations, website, and deal progress. You get data points such as click-maps, geo-tracking, email client trends, etc. Its 'recommendations for you' section is also helpful in getting the most effective results from your campaigns.
No free plan: ActiveCampaign only offers a free trial, not a lifetime free plan. It might be discouraging if you want to test this tool for a specific time before becoming a paid user.
Extra charges for email client preview: Even though ActiveCampaign lets you see your email preview in various email clients, you have to pay extra to avail of this feature. Even after payment, you get a limited preview - 5 previews every month for plus and professional plan users. If you're on a lite plan, you must pay extra to get these previews.
Price increases steeply as subscribers increase: The pricing seems affordable initially, but as you grow your email list, it increases steeply.
ActiveCampaign is expensive, compared to most email marketing platforms. Although I don't think the pricing is unreasonable, I'd prefer a more affordable plan, especially for those just starting out with email marketing. In my opinion, if you are a beginner, go for the cheaper options available. Reviewer, Gartner Peer Insights
Is ActiveCampaign the right tool for you?
The biggest question is whether you should use ActiveCampaign as your email service provider. We've listed key points to help you decide:
When it's recommended
You rely heavily on marketing automation: ActiveCampaign is the most comprehensive tool with extensive trigger options, premade workflows, and integrations. You can set up almost every automation you want - sales follow-up, abandoned carts, post-event follow-up, etc.
You want multi-channel marketing: Apart from marketing automation, it offers a landing page and sign-up form builder, Sales CRM, and SMS marketing. The excellent part is you can choose their bundle plan and run smooth multi-channel marketing campaigns.
When it's not
You want a free trial before investing your money: There is no free ActiveCampaign plan, only a free trial for 14 days. This doesn't give you enough time to choose the right tool.
You want simple yet helpful automation: If you want simple email automation, such as a welcome email or onboarding email series, it's smart to choose more affordable alternatives, such as Mailmodo. Its automation builder is easy to use, offering 12 trigger options with required conditions and events to create targeted series.
You are a beginner email marketer: ActiveCampaign is an advanced tool, and it might take some time to learn it.
Check out these ActiveCampaign alternatives that are much cheaper and might be the right choice.
Mailmodo is one of the emerging and leading email marketing platforms that helps you create and send interactive AMP emails, build automated journeys, and create trigger campaigns. Apart from this, the tool is much cheaper than ActiveCampaign and known for its excellent customer support.
💡Check out the comparison between Mailmodo and ActiveCampaign
ActiveCampaign vs. Mailmodo: Which one should you use?
|No-code email builder||For both AMP and HTML emails with 200+ premade templates to start with.||For HTML and plain-text emails with 250+ pre-made email templates.|
|AMP email support||✅||❌|
|Transactional emails||Available on all plans||Purchase a separate plan for these emails.|
|Customer support||Email, chat, video & phone support||Email, Live chat, knowledge base, training videos, and community support. Phone support is only available for professional and enterprise plan users.|
|Custom template import||Available on all plans||Available on all plans|
|Email automation||12 trigger options divided into 5 categories:
- Contacts added to a list,
- Change in contact property
- Contact enters or leaves a segment
- Occurrence of date
3. AMP activities
4. Custom events
Occurrence of an event.
5. External Platform
API/Webhook, Zapier, Make, Integromat, Influencer Bit.
|20+ trigger options across users' behavior and actions, email activity, ecommerce, sales & CRM, and website properties.|
|Dynamic email & personalization||✅||✅|
|Reports and Analysis||✅||✅|
|Subject line A/B testing||✅||✅|
|Supported integrations||20+ integrations||750+ integrations|
|Pricing||- For 40k contacts:
Lite - $199/mo
- For 100k contacts:
pro - $459/mo
|- For 50k contacts:
- Plus: $699/mo
- Professional: $1011/mo
When should you choose Mailmodo over ActiveCampaign?
There are various reasons for choosing Mailmodo over ActiveCampaign:
- When you have a huge email list but a low budget
Mailmodo is cheaper than ActiveCampaign and offers similar features. For instance, you can send emails to 40,000 contacts for only $99/month with Mailmodo's Silver plan, while the cost for the same number of contacts is $486/month on ActiveCampaign's lite plan.
- Excellent 24/7 customer support matters to you.
Customer support is our top priority, and we have earned our customers' praise for reliability and excellence. CS can resolve your queries and point you in the right direction even if you have a free account.
- If you want to embed interactive elements in your emails.
Mailmodo is one of the ESP that helps you create and send responsive and engaging interactive AMP emails. It offers 20+ AMP email widgets you can add to your emails using its no-code email editor. So, if you want to create highly engaging AMP and HTML emails, Mailmodo is your go-to ESP.
Other ActiveCampaign alternatives
Check out these ActiveCampaign alternatives that are much cheaper and might be the right choice.
|ActiveCampaign vs. MailerLite||ActiveCampaign vs. Sendinblue||ActiveCampaign vs. Mailjet|
MailerlIte is an alternative to ActiveCampaign due to its lifetime free plan. It's one of the most reliable ESP, offering free plan users access to almost all its features. It's also an ideal tool for beginners as it's easy to use and understand.
💡Check out the comparison between MailerLite review
Sendinblue offers the best price on the market. It offers some of the most impressive features in this price range - automation builder, free sales CRM, landing page builder, and more.
💡Check out the comparison between Sendinblue review
Mailjet is another extremely affordable ESP with super easy features for email marketing beginners. It offers multi-user collaboration, which is a feature many ESPs don't offer, including ActiveCampaign.
💡Check out the comparison between Mailjet review
ActiveCampaign's rating overview
|Ease of use||⭐⭐⭐⭐||ActiveCampaign is an easy-to-use tool with detailed onboarding and clear navigation. The entire interface is user-friendly. But, it is known for being an advanced ESP, and beginners might struggle to get the hang of it.|
|Email template editor||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||The drag-and-drop editor is straightforward and offers many options to create and send an engaging email. You can create custom blocks and save them for future emails.
One cool feature is that it has a separate option to format your emails for mobile devices. Another interesting feature is that if multiple people work on a single template, you can track the version history and save the edits made by them like GDocs.
Adding conditions based on various factors to hide/show certain content blocks is an exceptional feature.
|Premade templates||⭐⭐⭐⭐||ActiveCampaign also stands out with its vast library of 250+ responsive email templates, 7 layout blocks, and 21 basic templates. You can preview each template before customizing them.|
|Email automation||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||The automation builder of ActiveCampaign is unbeatable. The feature is easy to use and helps you create personalized and targeted email workflows. You can choose an email series from 50+ premade workflows and customize them using a variety of triggers and actions.|
|List management||⭐⭐⭐||Management of contacts is fairly easy as you can segment users immediately using filters and conditions.|
|Sign-up for builder||⭐⭐⭐⭐||You an build four forms: Inline, floating bar, floating box. Based on the sign-up form response, you can trigger various automations. By integrating with Shopify, you can embed code directly in your store.|
|Landing page builder||⭐⭐⭐⭐||A landing page builder is easy to use and has 50+ premade compelling templates.
You can host your page on a custom domain and subdomain, but not if you're on the Lite plan. You can add conditional content based on the user's interaction with your web page.
|Email deliverability||⭐⭐⭐⭐||ActiveCampaign performed well in EmailToolTester's deliverability tests. It ranked #1 in its January 2023 test with a 93% deliverability rate.|
|Reporting and analytics||⭐⭐⭐⭐||You get reporting on different metrics - opens, click-maps, and geo-tracking. By integrating your Ecommerce apps, you'll obtain reports on ecommerce platforms.
The feature also offers you recommendations based on your campaign performance. Other reports include contact trends, deal reports, chat conversions, automation reports, etc.
You can also get custom reports, but only on the Enterprise plan.
|Personalization||⭐⭐⭐⭐||If/Then/Else logic is available via 'conditional content' in the email template builder. Using this, you can segment users and show them specific content to make your email more targeted and relevant.
With the updated signature personalization tag, you can now add personalized signatures to your one-to-one emails.
|Authentications||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||SPF, SKIM, and DMARC|
|Own domain||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||You can only use a domain for your account on a plus and professional plan. The custom domain isn't available for users on its lite plan.|
|Spam and design testing||⭐⭐⭐||Inbox Preview (Email client preview) - NA for Lite plan users. And limited to 5 per month for professional users.
You can preview your emails for mobile and desktop and send test emails.
|Bounce management||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Soft bounces are counted as hard bounces after three times. These contacts are added to an exclusion list.|
|Blocklist||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||All the blocked email addresses are added to an exclusion list. You can export this list or import contacts into it.|
|Interactive elements||❌||Not available|
|Integrations||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Due to its advanced automation, ActiveCampaign offers many integration options, including Shopify, Paypal, Big Commerce, Zapier, and more. It has 870+ integrations.|
|Languages||⭐⭐⭐⭐||The website and customer support are available in English and 5 other languages. Besides, you can change your user profile in any of the 20 available languages. (Indonesian, Italian, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Slovenian, Spanish)|
|Customer support||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||The customer support team is reliable; you can expect fast and friendly answers to your queries. They have a knowledge base, and you can find answers to almost all your queries.
They also have video tutorials, webinars (live and archived), community support, and one-to-one training on the 'Plus' plan. Live chat is also available on all plans, but no phone support.
|Overall ratings||- 4.5/5 (G2)
- 4.5/5 (Gartner)
- 4.5/5 (EmailToolTester)
|ActiveCampaign has advanced marketing features like an automation builder, SMS marketing, and transactional emails. Its free trial is also an ideal place to start, but it doesn't give you much flexibility to learn about all its features.|
In a nutshell, ActiveCampaign is hard to beat as it shines in almost all facets of marketing.
It offers one of the most advanced email workflow builders with 250+ premade templates, multiple triggers, and conditions to target the right users. With their predictive sending feature, you can ensure the highest engagement on each email you send.
The customer support team is reliable, and you can expect fast responses. Besides, they have a well-curated knowledge base, training videos, and a community to answer your queries quickly.
But, the pricing makes it expensive to use. The initial pricing is much cheaper, but as you go higher, the pricing increases tremendously. And as it is an advanced tool, beginner marketers might face issues getting the hang of it.
Mialmodo offers a solution to these drawbacks. It's one of the most cost-effective alternatives to ActiveCampaign regarding pricing and learning curve. The tool is suitable for beginners and pro marketers as all the features are catered for this audience. You can start your 21-day free trial and explore all that Mailmodo offers.
Can you build a website in ActiveCampaign?
ActiveCampaign has a drag-and-drop landing page builder for creating compelling landing pages. You can embed sign-up forms on your landing page and use the data to trigger automation.
What are ActiveCampaign's benefits?
ActiveCampaign has several benefits:
ActiveCampaign has established itself as one of the most powerful marketing automation builders. It has 850+ customizable email workflows, many trigger options, and actions to create highly targeted campaigns.
It has a very high deliverability rate. It even scored the #1 spot with an average deliverability rate of 93%.
The reporting dashboard offers an in-depth breakdown of various metrics for email, web, and SMS activity.
The tool has one of the most powerful landing page builders with 50+ templates and an easy-to-use drag-and-drop builder.
Can I use ActiveCampaign as a CRM?
Yes, ActiveCampaign offers a built-in CRM that you can use to keep track of your leads, manage them, and get a report of your progress. You can even trigger automation based on CRM progress.
Can I use ActiveCampaign for free?
ActiveCampaign offers a 14-day free trial without a credit card. But it doesn't offer forever-free plans.