Email marketing still has one of the highest ROI of any marketing type, which means choosing the right email marketing service is one of the most important decisions a business can make.
ActiveCampaign is one of the leading email marketing services in the world, thanks to its great deliverability rates, range of features, and endless automation options. With consistently high ratings and positive reviews, it’s a top performer amongst email marketing platforms and a great choice for both new and experienced users.
ActiveCampaign Compared to the Best Email Marketing Services
Below you’ll find our Golden Eggs, the best email marketing services we found after careful research and review-mining.
Constant Contact is our favorite for reliable list-building, analytics, and overall ease of use. They offer a free 60-day trial for any new users who want to test the different features before committing to a plan.
MailerLite is the best choice for beginners, with a short learning curve, a clean interface, and great customer support. You can try out their premium features free for the first 30 days.
Omnisend is a great option for ecommerce stores, with customer insights, landing page templates, and the option to embed products right into your email designs. New users can try it for free or request a demo to see all the features in action.
ActiveCampaign: The Good and The Bad
There are a few things that ActiveCampaign is famous for: super high delivery rates, powerful automation, and great design options. But despite everything it does well, there are a few features that need improvement. Here’s what we loved, and didn’t love, about ActiveCampaign.
What ActiveCampaign Is Good At
In terms of functionality and ROI, ActiveCampaign is arguably the best email marketing software out there. It has an incredible range of automation features, tons of design features, intuitive segmentation, and one of the best deliverability rates in the industry.
Automation: One thing that makes ActiveCampaign so useful is its powerful automation features. It offers the option to create and customize your own sequences, or make use of the library of templates included with your account.
These automations are easy to set up and follow, highly customizable, and save users a lot of time. The sequences also include options to add triggers that can either send emails or tag users based on behavior.
The automation tools are sophisticated, intuitive, and much more detailed than you’ll find with most of the other platforms on the market. And, the templates are optimized for both different types of sequences and different industries, reducing the learning curve for new users.
Deliverability: Another feature that makes ActiveCampaign stand out is its high deliverability rates. Compared to many other email marketing services, it offers a better chance of avoiding spam folders and getting your emails sent to your subscriber’s primary inbox.
These high deliverability rates make it a lot more likely that your emails will get opened and clicked on. In turn, this raises your chances of seeing results from your email campaigns and getting an ROI on your email marketing.
Design: One of ActiveCampaign’s best features is its clean, user-friendly interface. The automation is easy to create and analyze, segments and lists are well organized, and it’s simple to find and understand analytics.
ActiveCampaign also has an easy-to-use, intuitive drag-and-drop builder for editing templates or creating your own emails. You can even create blocks and save them as templates for later, which is great for both brand consistency and saving time.
Segmentation: ActiveCampaign offers plenty of great segmentation options to label, tag, and organize your subscribers. You can even set up automations to segment users based on behavior or source.
These segmentation features are a lot more detailed than what you find with most other email marketing platforms, with options as complex as audience scores that trigger sequences when they reach a certain number. This detailed, customizable segmentation makes it easy to adapt ActiveCampaign for any niche, and gives users more valuable audience insights.
Customer Support: ActiveCampaign has a great reputation for fast, high-quality support. Although they don’t have a 24/7 live chat, they do have one that functions during US work hours, with responses usually only taking a few minutes.
ActiveCampaign will also often share walkthroughs and video tutorials for each specific problem to support users, which cuts down support time and makes it easier for new users to understand and resolve the problem themselves.
Analytics: Just like all its other features, ActiveCampaign has a great range of analytics and reporting tools to help users track their campaigns, understand their subscribers, and improve their sequences to get better results.
You can use reporting to analyze the best times to send out emails, find the most engaged users on your list, and even analyze the success rates of campaign goals. And, the analytics are displayed in different report formats and charts, making it easy to share with a team or analyze over time.
Extra Features: Something else that gives ActiveCampaign an edge is the other features you get on the platform. As a full CRM, it includes things like SMS marketing, lead generation, landing page creation, and pop-up builders.
They also have really powerful testing features, like A/B testing and conversion trigger reporting. This goes beyond your usual open rate and click-through rate numbers and extends to analytics on landing pages and pop-ups, too.
What ActiveCampaign Is Lacking
Although ActiveCampaign is one of the best email marketing services, and for the most part, a great option for all businesses, it isn’t perfect. Based on customer reviews, ActiveCampaign’s range of features can make it difficult to learn, slow to load, and it can be hard to access support outside the chat times.
Steep Learning Curve: Because ActiveCampaign has so many detailed features like segmentation and automation, it can be overwhelming and difficult to learn for new users, especially if they’re new to email marketing in general.
There are video tutorials for users, but trying to get through all of these can be time-consuming and frustrating given everything there is to learn on the platform.
Inconsistent Speed: A lot of users have complained that sometimes, ActiveCampaign can slow down and get buggy, especially when using tools like the drag and drop builder.
This can be especially annoying for people trying to save time with automations or who don’t have a lot of experience with design and creating sequences.
Less Support Outside US Timezones: Although the support is generally great and the live chat is better than what most email marketing services offer, the live hours aren’t great for those based outside the US who need quick support.
Some users have complained of having to wait several hours for a solution to an urgent problem, so if you are based outside the USA it’s worth thinking about how important immediate support could be for you.
ActiveCampaign Options and Pricing
ActiveCampaign comes with a few different plans at different price ranges, adding more features as the price goes up. The pricing is also based on how many subscribers you have, so there’s a sliding scale for each plan based on the size of your list.
There is no free plan, but there is a free trial for anyone who wants to give the platform a test before choosing a plan.
This is the cheapest option and works best for small businesses or new users.
It includes key features like automation, templates, segmentation, and performance reporting, as well as all the integrations and most of the customer support options that ActiveCampaign offers. There are also some features included for e-commerce brands like customer issue assignment and order management features.
The pricing starts at $11 per month for 500 contacts and goes all the way up to $713 per month for 100,000 contacts. For most people, this plan is enough to get everything you need out of ActiveCampaign and run successful email sequences.
With ActiveCampaign plus, you get all the same features as Lite, but more storage, automations, and split reporting features added in. You also get 1:1 training from ActiveCampaign experts and a CXA Campaign strategy consultation, and you can share your account with up to 50 users.
The pricing for this plan starts at $63 per month for 500 contacts and goes up to $492 per month for 25,000 contacts. For anything more than that, you have to get a custom quote from ActiveCampaign. This plan makes the most sense for bigger teams or businesses that need strategy support and multiple users.
The last plan ActiveCampaign offers is the professional plan, which includes all the features of Lite and Plus, but with custom domains, reporting and design testing added in. This plan also offers you custom branding, unlimited users, and free design services.
The pricing for this plan starts at $193 per month for 500 contacts and goes up to $713 per month for 25,000 contacts. Again, anything higher needs a custom quote from ActiveCampaign. This plan only really makes sense for big businesses that want support directly from ActiveCampaign and/or have big teams with lots of users accessing the account.
ActiveCampaign in Summary
ActiveCampaign is often named the best email marketing service, and for good reason. It’s intuitive and sophisticated, and it has a huge range of features, perfect for any niche or user.
But there are plenty of other great email marketing services that are targeted to different niches, budgets, and goals. Remember our Golden Eggs from earlier—Constant Contact is supreme for reliability and ease of use, MailerLite is a perfect choice if you’re just getting started with email marketing, and Omnisend has your back for all things ecommerce. Or check out our other top recommendations to see how ActiveCampaign compares and pick the one best for your needs.