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:
Additionally, these are the criteria by which we’ll judge them:
We’ll judge them based on the following criteria:
- Ease of Use — how easy it is to onboard and use the software.
- Email Deliverability
- Customer Support — speed and efficiency.
- Feature Score — how feature-rich the platform is compared to the other AWeber alternatives from this list.
- Pricing — how affordable and cost-effective the tool is for what it does.
Short on time?
Here’s a TL DR:
- Choose GetResponse if you’re looking for an all-in-one marketing automation solution for building funnels, sending emails, and making your life easier with automation at a cost-effective price.
- Choose Sendinblue if you’re looking for a reliable, cost-effective ActiveCampaign alternative with amazing customer support.
- Choose Mailchimp if you’re looking for a budget-friendly, easy-to-use, ActiveCampaign alternative that offers plenty of documentation, and automation capabilities.
- 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.
If you took your time to examine these, stay tuned — this article goes in-depth.
Table Of Contents
ActiveCampaign — overview
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 and provide them with an incredible experience.
ActiveCampaign helps 130,000+ businesses in 150+ countries meaningfully engage with their customers.
The beauty in its approach goes beyond simple email campaigns and helps you nurture the customer relationship at every stage of the customer lifecycle.
What we liked about ActiveCampaign
- 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 we didn’t like about ActiveCampaign
- Overwhelming dashboard and UI – This isn’t very intuitive, and if you are not experienced in email marketing and automation, it can take you some time to get used to it. Another thing that makes the learning process even harder is that you have to 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 lesser price. Sendinblue and GetResponse come to mind.
- CRM is not as advanced and robust as other standalone solutions – If you’re looking for advanced functionality, you’re better off with standalone solutions like SalesForce, HubSpot, or something else.
ActiveCampaign starts at $15 per month, but realistically, you’ll probably have more than 500 contacts, and features you’ll find attractive will be in their “Plus” package (and onward), making it less cost-effective.
Regardless, ActiveCampaign is not overpriced but there are certainly more affordable solutions out there, which we’ll explore.
ActiveCampaign alternative #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 give our best to provide you with a 100% unbiased review and comparison (true pros and cons.)
Back to the point.
GetResponse is the all-in-one marketing solution for small, medium, and enterprise businesses (yes, businesses of all sizes.)
It includes website builder, email marketing, conversion funnel management, paid ads, signup forms, and more, with a single plan of your choice. All of this combined makes it an ideal solution for experienced marketers who want to utilize all of its automation stack for a single monthly fee.
Cool, right? Now let’s explore GetResponse’s pros and cons.
Reasons to choose GetResponse
- 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 landing pages.
- 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. In terms of pricing, it doesn’t matter whether you send everyone a single email in 3 months or 2 emails daily.
- Stellar customer support – in fact, you’ll usually receive a reply within a minute or two.
- Cost-effectiveness – GetResponse starts at $15 per month for up to 1000 contacts, yet ActiveCampaign’s plans start at $29 per month ($15 per month available but with up to 500 contacts). Even by choosing packages with higher pricing, you’ll likely save money in the process and get many features you can use.
- Create perfect websites, conversion funnels, and landing pages – similar to ClickFunnels, GetResponse makes it easy for you 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.
Reasons not to choose GetResponse
- Somewhat difficult to use for enterprises – GetResponse will help you grow sales, build audiences, funnels, create multiple lists, but the UI can get a little cluttered and confusing. Thankfully, our customer success team is always there to assist, and if you opt for the MAX account, you’ll take advantage of 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, it offers fewer integrations (around 150), but you can still 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 are limited in the most affordable package at $15 per month. Still, if you can make real use of it, opting for a more expensive package will prove cost-effective and smart long-term.
Paid plans start at $15 per month for up to 1000 subscribers and go up to $99 per month for the ecommerce marketing package (billed annually).
GetResponse also offers a Free plan for up to 500 contacts.
Each bigger package will provide all the previous plan features, plus additional functionalities to further help you crush your email campaigns.
To see just how much you’ll save, let’s put it into perspective. Let’s say you have 25,000 contacts you need to send emails to. ActiveCampaign will set you back $599 per month, while GetResponse will cost $255 per month, saving you nearly $250 per month.
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
ActiveCampaign alternative #2 – Sendinblue
Sendinblue is another comprehensive ActiveCampaign alternative focusing on small to medium-sized businesses. It 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 Sendinblue
- It’s more affordable than ActiveCampaign – If you’re looking to send no more than 300 emails per day to your contacts, you can actually still take advantage of Sendinblue’s free plan. A useful free plan is always a plus in our book.
- Many email templates available – It should come as no surprise that Sendinblue provides more than 60 high-quality email templates optimized for various use-cases. All of these email templates are fully customizable and ready to use at your fingertips.
- 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 Sendinblue’s dedicated SMTP server.
ActiveCampaign does not have a transactional email server. Meaning, if you heavily rely on transactional emails, you’ll have to spend an extra $$$ for another service.
- Easy to use – Getting started with a campaign is easier than ever. Give your campaign a name, email addresses with names and subject lines, import contacts, and you’re good to go. You can play around with more advanced settings and personalize your emails further with custom fields.
Reasons not to choose Sendinblue
- Fewer automation functionalities compared to ActiveCampaign – ActiveCampaign enables you to send an unlimited number of contacts through automation workflows, while Sendinblue 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 it to check if your tools integrate with ActiveCampaign 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 intended for enterprise businesses. On the other hand, many people will utilize it for quick experimentation because it’s easy to use.
Unlike GetResponse, for example, 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 get started with their free plan with up to 300 emails per day. As your business scales, you will upgrade to paid plans that offer a ton more functionality that you’ll enjoy and utilize to generate bigger ROI.
Essentially, for $25 per month, you can:
- 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. Sendinblue review
Read more related content:
1. Best alternatives to ClickFunnels
2. Best email marketing services out there
3. Top email newsletter software on the market
ActiveCampaign alternative #3 – Mailchimp
As you already know, Mailchimp is one of the most popular email marketing and automation providers in the world.
While it’s 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, while ActiveCampaign is more suited for more experienced, technically-savvy marketers who’ve used different tools before.
Regardless, here are the pros and cons.
Reasons to choose Mailchimp
- Decent range of automation options – while ActiveCampaign offers plenty of automation capabilities with fantastic depth, Mailchimp doesn’t fall too behind. It features customer journeys, transactional emails (similar to what ActiveCampaign has), 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 workflows and start using it right away.
- 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.
Reasons not to choose Mailchimp
- Strict email sending limit – Mailchimp limits the number of subscribers you can have in your lists, and that’s okay. However, it also limits the number of emails you can send per month. 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 offers a free plan that lets you have 500 subscribers on your list and send up to 2,500 emails per month.
If you’re uncertain about Mailchimp or you would like to try it out first before making your first payment, you can take advantage of its free plan first. Although the free plan is pretty basic – and as all other plans requires that you double opt-in your lists – it’s great for people who are just starting.
The minimal pricing plan starts at $11 per month for up to 500 contacts.
If you start with the free plan, have 2500 contacts, and subscribe to the Essentials plan, expect to start paying $34 per month.
The Standard plan, for up to 25,000 contacts, costs $259 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
ActiveCampaign alternative #4 – HubSpot
HubSpot can be confusing at times. What do they exactly do? It seems as if they do everything related to digital marketing.
But, HubSpot’s email marketing solution has three core aspects:
- Email marketing capabilities – from sending emails to creating landing pages. It covers everything you need to handle email marketing.
- CRM – HubSpot’s CRM functionality is included for free in every paid plan.
- HubSpot Sales – from making calls to keeping track of leads and using its scoring system, everything sales-focused, you’ll find here.
Let’s explore some reasons why you would (or would not) choose this ActiveCampaign alternative.
Reasons to choose HubSpot
- HubSpot’s CRM Platform – HubSpot’s CRM is excellent since it connects all the data points to allow you to provide great customer experience, 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 something more than just an email marketing automation tool. It helps you manage websites, SEO, Social Media, Chatbots, and many more. They also provide you with 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 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 your customers and then send them content based on their interest 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 doesn’t allow you to create different content pieces and automate sending them to users who are most likely to like and want to see them.
Feature comparison table of the 4 best ActiveCampaign alternatives
So what tool 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 Sendinblue 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 the ease of use and nice email designs are your priority. Mailchimp will be ideal for you. With its extensive community and documentation, it won’t be hard to find a quick solution to your obstacles.
Choose HubSpot If:
You’re looking for an enterprise solution, and you 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 GetResponse If:
You’re looking for an all-in-one marketing automation solution that allows you to build no-code professionally-looking websites, sales funnels that convert, get subscribers and create various automated or ordinary email campaigns, then GetResponse is the right fit for you.