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5 Best ActiveCampaign alternatives – in-depth comparison

19 min

So you’ve used ActiveCampaign, and you didn’t quite like it.

Perhaps it was its high pricing, unresponsive customer support, or even not-so-intuitive user interface

Some reviewers also mentioned that setting up automation can be complex and very time-consuming.

We get it – no tool is perfect.

Luckily, after researching and testing around different ActiveCampaign alternatives, we think we found a few worthy challengers.

Below, we’ll go through the following tools:

  1. GetResponse
  2. Brevo (formerly Sendinblue)
  3. Mailchimp
  4. HubSpot
  5. ConvertKit

Short on time?

Here’s a TL DR.

TL;DR: 5 Best ActiveCampaign alternatives

  1. Choose GetResponse if you’re looking for an advanced email marketing solution for building funnels, sending emails, and making your life easier with automation at a cost-effective price.
  2. Choose Brevo (formerly Sendinblue) if you’re looking for a reliable, cost-effective ActiveCampaign alternative with amazing customer support
  3. Choose Mailchimp if you’re seeking a budget-friendly, easy-to-use ActiveCampaign alternative with plenty of documentation and automation capabilities.
  4. Choose HubSpot if you know you’re going to utilize its CRM, sales features, and advanced reporting capabilities to take your enterprise to the next level.
  5. Choose ConvertKit if you are a creator with a clear monetization plan looking for a simple ActiveCampaign alternative for your unique needs.

How did we choose the best ActiveCampaign Alternatives?

We’ll judge the five tools based on the following criteria:

  • Ease of use — how easy it is to onboard and use the email marketing software.
  • Email deliverability — comapring the deliverability rates of the various email marketing platforms
  • Customer support — speed and efficiency.
  • Feature score — how feature-rich the email marketing platform is compared to the other ActiveCampaign alternatives from this list.
  • Pricing — how affordable and cost-effective the tool is for what it does.

Before kicking off our review, let’s start by understanding the various reasons that force users to look for ActiveCampaign alternatives.

Why switch to an ActiveCampaign alternative?

ActiveCampaign is a unique customer experience automation platform (CXA) that delivers everything from email marketing and automation to CRM tools that help you keep track of your valuable customers.

ActiveCampaign helps 130,000+ businesses in 150+ countries meaningfully engage with their customers.

Unfortunately, the tool has quite a number of issues that we noticed while testing it. A quick look at customer reviews on platforms like G2 and Capaterra also highlights other challenges ActiveCampaign users face. Let’s go through the main ones:

  • Advanced marketing automation – Their marketing automation is praised because it is simple and easy. You can create automated workflows in no time with their drag and drop automation builder.
  • CRM capabilities ActiveCampaign’s CRM was designed to complement their email marketing software. The use is easy and straightforward, and the price makes it even more desirable.
  • Great deliverability – 91%, in fact, according to Email Tool Tester’s March 2021 testing. 

What users don’t like about ActiveCampaign

  • Overwhelming dashboard and UI – The dashboard is not very intuitive. If you are not experienced in email marketing and automation, it can take some time to get used to it. Another thing that makes the learning process even harder is that you must make everything from scratch. There are no shortcuts and pre-built features.
  • Somewhat more expensive than its alternatives – Other alternatives offer similar functionalities at a far lower price. Sendinblue and GetResponse come to mind.
  • CRM is not as advanced and robust as other standalone solutions – If you’re looking for advanced CRM functionality, you’re better off with standalone solutions like SalesForce, HubSpot, or something else.

ActiveCampaign pricing

ActiveCampaign starts at $39 per month with monthly billing, but realistically, you’ll probably have more than 1000 contacts.

With that out of the way, here are the top 5 ActiveCampaign alternatives.

1. GetResponse

Yep, it’s our tool on the list. 

But we’re not here to show off – GetResponse is one of the best ActiveCampaign alternatives, and we’re constantly working on making it even better. We’ll do our best to provide you with a 100% unbiased review and comparison (true pros and cons.)

Back to the point.

Several things make GetResponse an Amazing alternative to ActiveCampaign. For starters, GetResponse is a robust email marketing software for small, medium, and enterprise businesses (yes, businesses of all sizes).

Secondly, our solution provides advanced tools to take care of most of your marketing needs. It includes a website builder with a drag-and-drop email editor, email marketing, conversion funnel management, paid ads, signup forms, and AI functionalities. 

That means GetResponse can help streamline your tech stack, boost your team’s productivity, and possibly save you cash. How? Instead of jumping between multiple tools or handling complex integrations, our solution brings all the vital marketing tools into one neat platform for seamless performance.

Now, we’ll be the first ones to admit that GetResponse is not for everyone – no marketing tool ever is, if we’re being honest. So, let’s explore GetResponse’s pros and cons.

Reasons to choose GetResponse over ActiveCampaign

  • It’s very intuitive to use – getting started is a breeze. And, if you’re switching from another platform, you’ll quickly get used to the new UI and begin rocking your email campaigns and designing perfect funnels and websites with the landing page builder.
  • Perfect fit for complex workflows – GetResponse allows you to create well-detailed workflows for your automation. It also allows you to visualize the process as you set up specific triggers, which is quite helpful with complex sales pipelines.
  • Unlimited emails – what do we mean by that? GetResponse will not charge you based on how many emails you send but by how many contacts you have on your list. So it doesn’t matter whether you send everyone a single bulk email in 3 months or 2 beautiful emails daily. This is unlike ActiveCampaign, which has a limit on the number of emails you can send to your contacts per month.
  • Stellar customer support – you’ll usually receive a reply within a minute or two.
GetResponse customer support.
  • Cost-effectiveness – GetResponse starts at $19 per month for up to 1000 contacts, yet ActiveCampaign’s plans start at $29 per month. Even by choosing packages with higher pricing, you’ll likely save money in the process and get many features you can use. 
  • Free plan – ActiveCampaign does not have a free package. The best you can get is a limited free trial. Meanwhile, GetReponse gives you a decent free package for a contact list of up to 500 (capped at 2,500 newsletters /month).
  • Create perfect websites, conversion funnels, and landing pages – similar to ClickFunnels, GetResponse makes it easy to create successful conversion funnels even if you’ve never made them before and close more sales than ever. More specifically, you can utilize webinar funnels, sales funnels, and even lead funnels. Check out this Clickfunnels vs GetResponse guide for more details.

Reasons not to choose GetResponse over ActiveCampaign

  • Fairly steep learning curve for enterprises – GetResponse will help you grow sales, automate email sequences, build audiences and funnels, and create personalized campaigns. Admittedly, the UI can get a little cluttered and confusing as you start to run more campaigns. Thankfully, our customer success team is always there to assist, and if you opt for the MAX account, you’ll have a dedicated account manager at your disposal.
  • Fewer integration options – despite getting a whole lot of features right from the start, you’ll probably want to integrate GetResponse with external platforms. Compared to an ActiveCampaign alternative like Mailchimp, ours offers fewer integrations (around 150). Still, you can connect with main providers using API or special tools like Zapier or PieSynch. Nothing to worry about!
  • Limited automation options in the basic plan – automation capabilities in the most affordable package at $19 per month are very limited. If you can make real use of it, opting for a more expensive package will prove cost-effective and smart in the long term.

GetResponse pricing

Paid plans start at $19 per month for up to 1000 subscribers and go up to $119 per month for the Ecommerce Marketing package (billed annually).

Each paid package will provide all the previous plan’s features plus additional functionalities, helping you crush your email campaigns. There’s also GetResponse Max, which offers custom pricing. This gives you access to personalized onboarding and premium customer support.

Pro tip: GetResponse also offers several discounts – 18% off when you choose an annual plan, 30% off for a biannual plan, and 50% off for nonprofits.

Read more: GetResponse vs. ActiveCampaign in-depth comparison

2. Brevo (formerly Sendinblue)

Brevo is an ActiveCampaign alternative you may want to consider if you are a small to medium-sized business. This solution provides marketing automation and email marketing capabilities, helping you get the most out of emails and SMS messages to engage with your audience.

It shines in helping you manage your marketing and transactional emails all from one platform.

But let’s explore deeper.

Reasons to choose Brevo over ActiveCampaign

  • It’s more affordable than ActiveCampaign – Starting at $25/mo, Brevo is more affordable than ActiveCampaign, whose cheapest package is $29/mo. It’s also worth pointing out that Brevo charges per email sent and not the size of your contact list. This can affect how much you spend. More on this in a bit. 
  • Nice free plan – You can take advantage of Brevo’s free plan if you want to send no more than 300 emails per day to your contacts. A useful free plan is always a plus in our book.
  • Many attractive email templates available – It should come as no surprise that Brevo provides more than 60 high-quality email templates optimized for various use cases.
  • Easy to use – Getting started with a campaign is easier than ever. Give your campaign a name, craft compelling subject lines, import email addresses, and you’re good to go. You can play around with more advanced settings and personalize your emails further with custom fields.
  • Great for transactional emails – If your business often utilizes time-sensitive transactional emails (things like password resets, order updates, etc.), you’ll be able to send them through Brevo’s dedicated SMTP server.

ActiveCampaign does not have a transactional email server. This means that if you heavily rely on transactional emails, you’ll have to spend an extra $$$ for another service.

Also, Brevo can help you reach your target audience on different platforms. It supports SMS marketing, social media marketing, live chat, and push notifications. With these features, you can create a more personalized experience for customers.  

For example, the WhatsApp marketing feature makes it easy for you to send broadcast messages to customers with ease. 

Reasons not to choose Brevo

  • Fewer automation functionalities compared to ActiveCampaign – ActiveCampaign enables you to send an unlimited number of contacts through automation workflows, while Brevo limits you to 2,000 contacts.
  • Fewer 3rd party integrations – While it offers 50+ integrations, it’s still not near other ActiveCampaign alternatives that offer 100+ integrations. It’s worth checking if your tools integrate with Brevo so you can get most of the benefits.
  • Lacks more personalization features – While it’s easy to use, it also lacks the depth that ActiveCampaign or other alternatives like GetResponse intended for enterprise businesses. On the other hand, many people will utilize it for quick experimentation because it’s easy to use.

Brevo pricing

Unlike GetResponse, this ActiveCampaign alternative prices its packages based on the number of emails sent as opposed to the number of contacts on your email list.

You can start with their free plan, which allows you to send up to 300 emails per day and gives you access to key features for designing a decent email. As your business scales, you will upgrade to paid plans that offer more functionality that can help you generate bigger ROI.

The Starter package is typically a basic email plan, which you can get for $25 per month. With this plan, you’ll be able to:

  • Send up to 10,000 emails per month
  • Send as many emails daily as you want (as long as it doesn’t cross the monthly limit)
  • A/B test
  • Use email support
  • Use advanced statistics
  • Remove brand logo

Premium packages offer additional features and increase the upper limit to how many emails you can send per month.

This cost-effective monthly pricing throughout all packages is what makes it an excellent ActiveCampaign alternative with many of ActiveCampaign’s features built-in. 

Related: GetResponse vs. Brevo review

3. Mailchimp

Mailchimp is one of the most popular email marketing and automation providers in the world. 

While it’s an affordable tool mainly suited for SMBs, and many believe it’s a beginner’s tool, we’ve increasingly appreciated its broad utility. 

This ActiveCampaign alternative is more user-friendly and is used by marketers of all experience levels. It’s pretty easy to turn subscribers into customers, even if you’re not techy. In contrast, ActiveCampaign is more suited for more experienced, technically savvy marketers who’ve used different tools before.

Regardless, here are the pros and cons of this marketing automation platform.

Reasons to choose Mailchimp

  • Decent range of automation options – while ActiveCampaign offers plenty of automation capabilities with fantastic depth, Mailchimp doesn’t fall behind. Its marketing automation features allow you to set up personalized customer journeys, transactional emails (similar to what ActiveCampaign has), dynamic content, behavior-based triggers, date-based automation, postcards, and more.
  • 200+ integrations – With 200+ integrations available, it’s easy to integrate your Mailchimp account into your existing email workflows and start using it right away. For example, it integrates with popular ecommerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, and Woocommerce, allowing you to set up email automation for abandoned carts and welcome email campaigns.
  • User-friendly – Mailchimp’s user-friendly interface, drag-and-drop editor, and a wide range of customizable templates make it quite straightforward to use. In contrast, ActiveCampaign can be a bit more complex with a less intuitive email builder and fewer templates.
  • Decent pricing – compared to many of its competitors, it continues to be one of the most cost-effective email marketing solutions on the market. 

But, keep in mind that their automation options, in general, are not as robust and feature-rich as ActiveCampaign’s.

Reasons not to choose Mailchimp

  • Strict email sending limit – Mailchimp limits the number of email subscribers you can have in your lists, and that’s okay. However, it also limits the number of monthly emails you can send. Within the basic plan, you can send only up to 10 emails per subscriber.
  • Slow customer service – It took over two days to get a customer support reply for our issue while testing.
  • Slightly outdated email designs – Mailchimp’s free email designs and templates aren’t all modern. You might find it hard to match your branding, and if you want to custom-code it, you’ll need to buy the Standard package.

Mailchimp pricing

Mailchimp offers a free plan that lets you have 500 subscribers on your list and send up to 1,000 emails per month, along with some other basic features.

The cheapest pricing plan costs $13 per month for up to 500 contacts. You’ll be able to create and test custom designs with this plan. You’ll also access basic scheduling features.

If you start with the free plan, have 2500 contacts, and subscribe to the Essentials plan, expect to start paying $39.5 monthly—typically, the higher your number of contacts, the higher the prices for each plan.

The Standard plan, for up to 25,000 contacts, costs $270 per month. This plan is mainly used by businesses with a bigger list, bigger momentum, and can afford this additional monthly business expense.

Read more: Mailchimp alternatives and competitors

4. HubSpot

HubSpot can be confusing at times. What exactly do they do? It seems as if they do everything related to digital marketing. That’s why it’s famously called the all-in-one solution for marketing.

But HubSpot has three core aspects:

  1. Email marketing capabilities – from sending emails to creating landing pages. It covers everything you need to handle email marketing.
  2. CRM – HubSpot’s CRM functionality is included for free in every paid plan. 
  3. HubSpot Sales – from making calls to keeping track of leads and using its lead scoring system, everything sales-focused, you’ll find here.

As such, HubSpot is a good option if you’re looking for an ActiveCampaign alternative that does more than just email marketing. The platform offers additional tools under its CMS, Sales, Service, Operations, and Commerce Hubs. 

Let’s explore some reasons why you would (or would not) choose this ActiveCampaign alternative.

Reasons to Choose HubSpot Over ActiveCampaign

  • HubSpot’s CRM platform – HubSpot’s CRM connects all the data points, allowing you to provide excellent customer experiences, as well as support and encouragement to your whole team.
  • Email marketing – Even though ActiveCampaign is mainly an email marketing tool, HubSpot is designed to help marketers connect and tell stories to their audience. HubSpot’s email marketing tool has holistic CRM personalization and dynamic send times, while ActiveCampaign doesn’t.
  • Growth – HubSpot is great if you want more than an email marketing automation tool. It helps you manage websites, SEO, Social Media, Chatbots, and many more. They also provide various tools like a help desk, customer feedback, and knowledge base tools.
  • Advanced reporting features – Compared to ActiveCampaign, its reporting capabilities are far more robust. While ActiveCampaign provides basic reporting on its automation, goal statistics, and email marketing campaigns, with HubSpot, users can create customized reports based on source data, event analysis, around contacts, page performance, and more.

Reasons not to choose HubSpot

  • Advanced segmentation – HubSpot doesn’t have tagging, which allows you to group existing and potential customers to send personalized content based on their interests and life cycle.
  • Split testing – HubSpot doesn’t allow you to split test one automation workflow against another to see what works and what doesn’t. It doesn’t support that feature natively, so you’ll have to find creative workarounds. 
  • Predictive content – HubSpot’s email designer doesn’t allow you to create different content pieces and automate sending them to users most likely to like and want to see them.

HubSpot pricing

HubSpot is more expensive than other ActiveCampaign alternatives discussed mostly because the platform provides additional functionalities, as mentioned above. Therefore, the cost should make sense if you’re going to utilize the additional features and not just the email marketing tool.

Hubspot’s professional email plan for businesses and enterprises includes marketing automation and lead-scoring tools, as well as basic email marketing features. Pricing starts at $800 per month. 

The Enterprise package for larger companies includes advanced features like custom behavioral events, custom reporting, and integration. Pricing starts at $3,600 per month. There’s a custom package with tailored solutions for businesses with unique demands. The cost varies based on individual requirements.

For individuals and small teams, the available price plans include the Starter plan at $20 monthly and professional at $800. Then, there’s a free plan with features like form builders, landing pages, and live chat.

5. ConvertKit

ConvertKit has a very specific USP – a marketing hub for creators. The platform is tailored to help creators grow and monetize their audiences.

Therefore, consider this ActiveCampaign alternative if you’re operating in the creator economy. But what exactly does it have to offer? Let’s see.

Reasons to choose ConvertKit over ActiveCampaign

  • Sell digital products – ConvertKit helps you sell digital products like music, ebooks, albums, and coaching services. It also lets you create a simple sales funnel to promote these products.
  • Run a paid newsletter – Create a premium newsletter on ConvertKit and start earning from your email list through subscriptions.  
  • Enhance your link-in-bio – ConvertKit offers a Linktree alternative that can help you create an engaging social media bio page with media and an email sign-up form.
  • Run simple email campaigns – You’re a creator, not an email marketing expert. ConvertKit delivers a simple email marketing solution to help you run email campaigns with ease.

Reasons not to choose Convertkit

  • Not very intuitive – Despite their best efforts to make the platform simple for creators, the ConvertKit UI is still not the most user-friendly.
  • Quite expensive – ConvertKit can become very expensive over time. For some context, the cheapest plan is $9/mo, and it limits you to only 300 subscribers – that’s 200 less than you get with GetResponse’s free-forever plan!
  • Lacks advanced customization options – In their efforts to make it super simple for creators, they ended up with basic customization options for email designs, email automation workflows, and landing pages. 

ConvertKit pricing

As you can see above, ConvertKit is not exactly cheap. It starts at $9/mo for 300 subscribers, with the pro package costing $25/mo for the same contact list size. You’ll end up spending a fortune when your email list grows. That means you’ll need to be more aggressive or efficient with your monetization strategies.

While they have a free plan accommodating more subscribers (up to 1000), it lacks vital features like automated email sequences.

Comparison table of the 5 best ActiveCampaign alternatives

Email deliverability555444
Customer support55534.54
Feature score55444.54
Total score4.
Pricing (monthly, 1,000 subscribers)ActiveCampaignGetResponseBrevoMailchimpHubspotConvertKit
Standard plan$39$19$19$26.5$20$9
Medium plan$70$59$49$45$800$25
Pro plan$187$119N/A$350$3600N/A
Maximum planCustom pricingCustom pricingCustom pricingCustom pricingN/ACustom pricing
Use casesActiveCampaignGetResponseBrevoMailchimpHubspotConvertKit
Best forAffluent larger
ecommerce and
B2B companies,
to automate customer
experience and nurture
customer relationships
A complete marketing
and sales automation
for ecommerce SMBs
and mid-marketing
Companies looking
for an email marketing
solution to manage
contact lists and
launch workflows
based on collected
Easy to use email marketing solution for beginner and intermediate marketers looking to build a newsletterBest for large corporations in need for advanced custom solutions Best for creators with a clear monetization plan

So what email marketing automation software should you choose?

We know you’re bored of hearing “it depends on your needs” type of answer, so we’ve decided to summarize key takeaways from this article so you can make up your mind more easily. 

Choose Brevo If:

You don’t want to worry about the length of your contact list and want a cost-effective ActiveCampaign alternative that better suits most businesses.

Choose Mailchimp If:

You’re working on a tighter budget but looking for a comprehensive software solution for email marketing that’s easy to use. If you want to enhance communication with customers through beautiful emails, Mailchimp’s simple email designer is a worthy consideration. With its extensive community and documentation, it won’t be hard to find a quick solution to your marketing needs. 

Choose HubSpot If:

You’re looking for an enterprise solution and can utilize HubSpot’s entire ecosystem of features. Keep in mind that HubSpot is built around its CRM, while ActiveCampaign is built around email marketing, so your current needs will determine if this switch is right for you. 

Choose ConvertKit If:

You’re a creator with an excellent monetization strategy in place. The last bit on monetization is critical because ConvertKit can get so expensive so fast. Your monetization strategy must be on point to generate meaningful ROI.

Choose GetResponse If:

You’re looking for an email marketing and marketing automation solution that allows you to build no-code, professionally-looking emails and websites with sales funnels that take leads from acquisition to conversion. Get Started with our free plan today (no credit card required) to take these features for a spin.

Author’s note: This comparison is accurate on November 30, 2023. We do our best to keep it as accurate as possible, and we check it on a regular basis, however, if you want to acquaint yourself with the offer of our competitors, you should check it at their official website or contact their representatives.

Irek Klimczak
Irek Klimczak
Entrusted as Content Project Manager at GetResponse, Irek expertly and smoothly runs content marketing projects at all stages of the customer journey in Polish, Russian and English-speaking markets. He possesses more than 6 years of experience in online marketing with a broad teaching background. Irek regularly runs workshops covering digital marketing strategy and tactics, and has delivered presentations at many international events (e.g. Singapore, the US, UK, Poland). You can reach out to Irek and connect on LinkedIn.