ActiveCampaign Vs Mailchimp – Which Is Best For Your Marketing Automation?

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by Sam 

December 3, 2020

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Introduction

ActiveCampaign and MailChimp are both popular marketing platforms for running email campaigns... but which is right for you?

ActiveCampaign offers advanced features such as powerful automated workflows, robust CRM, and machine learning.

MailChimp doesn't do much in terms of advanced email marketing features but you still get an easy-to-use toolbox for creating and running personalized email campaigns.

You clicked on this post because you're probably having a hard time picking the right tool to run your email marketing game for your business.

Worry no more!

I created this ActiveCampaign vs Mailchimp review so you can see how both tools stack up against each other and make an informed decision.

In this review, we'll go over the features, pricing, what stands out for us, and more of both tools.

Let's dive in..

ActiveCampaign Vs Mailchimp - Summary

ActiveCampaign is a platform launched in 2003 that offers you the best email marketing, automation, and CRM to effectively engage, monitor, and manage your audience. MailChimp is probably the world’s most popular email marketing service providing you with easy to use tools for building and running email campaigns.

Take a look at the relative popularity of these two tools over the last year:

ActiveCampaign Vs Mailchimp

ActiveCampaign Vs Mailchimp - Popularity Over One Year

ActiveCampaign Vs Mailchimp - Side By Side Review

The section below comes with a side by side comparison of ActiveCampaign vs Mailchimp.

I structured the comparison below using a horizontal layout allowing you to review both tools according to their features, pricing, ratings, and more with ease so you can easily compare the two tools..

NOTE: the side-by-side horizontal layout below is best viewed on a desktop, not mobile.

ACTIVECAMPAIGN™

ActiveCampaign is an advanced email marketing automation tool.

How we rated ActiveCampaign

Overall Rating

Ease of Use

Value for Money

Pricing

Customer Support

What is ActiveCampaign?

ActiveCampaign is an email marketing platform with powerful automation capabilities, landing page creation tools, and CRM tools to send personalized messages to your audience, run incredible email marketing campaigns, nurture your email list and automate your marketing processes to save time. 

Who is ActiveCampaign for?

ActiveCampaign was built for individuals, small and large businesses, or companies to send better-automated emails, nurture their leads, and provide an incredible, optimized email experience. The platform comes with powerful automation tools to run automated email processes, save time, and make more money for your business. If you're looking for the best in email marketing, go with ActiveCampaign.

Notable feature: a ton of intelligent tools to run automated email marketing campaigns and grow your business online.

ActiveCampaign Pros and Cons

Pros
  • 14-day full trial
  • Best in class for email marketing
  • CRM is great for pipeline development
  • Affordable pricing for the value
  • Best email automation features
Cons
  • Clunky user interface and email editor
  • Not friendly to affiliate marketing links
  • Not beginner friendly
  • Customer service is not great on the "Basic" plan
activecampaign dashboard

ActiveCampaign Pricing - How much does it cost?

ActiveCampaign pricing options start at $15/month - $229/month

Lite Plan - $15/month - pay $9/mo (billed annually) and comes with basic email marketing features for 500 contacts

Plus Plan - $70/month - get automation maps, built-in CRM, and custom audiences for 500 contacts.

Professional & Enterprise Plan Plan - $159/month to $279 per month - unlimited and custom features.

ActiveCampaign Annual Discount: You pay $9, $49, $129, $229 per mo (billed annually) for each of the plans above respectively.

ActiveCampaign Pricing Info

Free 14 Day Trial Available

$1 Trial For 14 Days

No Credit Card to Start

Freemium Account

Monthly Subscription

Annual Discount

Cancel Anytime

30 Day Money Back Guarantee

ActiveCampaign Features

Landing page builder

Visual editor

Landing page templates

Sales funnel templates

Complete page hosting

Mobile responsive pages

A/B Split Testing

Funnel builder

Share funnels

Custom webhooks

Email Auto-responders

Affiliate tracking software

Membership Sites

Behavioral Adaptive Marketing

Included subdomain

Use your own domain

Checkout forms, shopping cart

Full website builder

Video marketing tool

Customer Helpdesk

Calendar scheduling tool

Agency Portal

ActiveCampaign Integrations

Editor's Note: ActiveCampaign was built to help you manage your email marketing campaigns and automation and you can connect to 290+ third-party apps to get results with email marketing for your business.

Email Marketing Integrations

Actionetics

ActiveCampaign

ConvertKit

Aweber

MailChimp

HTML forms

+ many more

Other Integrations

Zapier + Webhooks

Membership software

Checkout software

Analytics

Webinar software

SMS / Texting software

Bot software

Calendar tools

Custom integrations / API

+ many more

ActiveCampaign Affiliate Program

Yes, you can become an ActiveCampaign affiliate partner and earn a 30% recurring monthly commissions. Sign up and join the program here.

Company Information

Owner / Founder: Jason VandeBoom

Location: Chicago, USA

Customer Support: help@activecampaign.com

Founded: 2003

Website: Visit Website

What we love about ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is an affordable, email marketing automation tool and one of our favorites amidst the many good options out there (In fact, it’s the tool we use for our own business). With features such as a drag-and-drop email editor to create beautiful emails with ease and a smart sales CRM to manage and nurture your leads. You also get better, smarter marketing automation features to build smart automated workflows with few clicks, nurture your contacts, and enable a better experience for them. 

MAILCHIMP™

Mailchimp is an easy and affordable email marketing tool.

How we rated Mailchimp

Overall Rating

Ease of Use

Value for Money

Pricing

Customer Support

What is Mailchimp?

Mailchimp is a fully-fledged, easy to use email marketing solution that empowers you to build landing pages, collect leads, manage mailing lists, send newsletters, and run automated email campaigns. It comes with an intuitive drag-and-drop email builder, email templates, and basic automation abilities.

Who is Mailchimp for?

MailChimp is an email marketing software created for anyone that wants to build landing pages, collect leads, and run automated email marketing campaigns. The platform is used by a wide range of entrepreneurs and online business owners ranging from internet marketers, influencers, authors, e-commerce sellers, and much more. Millions of individuals and businesses use Mailchimp to send over a billion emails every day.

Notable feature: an all-in-one email marketing solution with tools to build landing pages and run automated email campaigns.

Mailchimp Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Generous freemium plan available
  • Affordable premium plans
  • 100s of integrations available
  • Great email editor interface
  • Best for begginers
Cons
  • Overwhelming user interface
  • No webinar tool integrations
  • Disappointing automation capabilities
  • Confusing feature set
Mailchimp

Mailchimp Pricing - How much does Mailchimp cost?

Mailchimp pricing starts from $0 - $9.99 per month - $299 per month.

Essential Plan - $9.99 per month - must-have features to send emails, do A/B testing, and 24/7 support.

Standard Plan - $14.99 per month - custom templates, retargeting ads, automation series, and advanced audience insights for large businesses.

Premium Plan - $299 per month - advanced segmentation, multivariate testing, and a lot more customization for email marketing pros.

Mailchimp Annual Discount: They offer a 15% discount to verified nonprofits and there's a free plan with basic features to run your business.

Mailchimp Pricing Information

Free 14 Day Trial Available

$1 Trial For 14 Days

No Credit Card to Start

Freemium Account

Monthly Subscription

Annual Discount

Cancel Anytime

30 Day Money Back Guarantee

Mailchimp Features

Landing page builder

Visual editor

Landing page templates

Sales funnel templates

Complete page hosting

Mobile responsive pages

A/B Split Testing

Funnel builder

Share funnels

Custom webhooks

Email Auto-responders

Affiliate tracking software

Membership Sites

Behavioral Adaptive Marketing

Included subdomain

Use your own domain

Checkout forms, shopping cart

Full website builder

Video marketing tool

Customer Helpdesk

Calendar scheduling tool

Agency Portal

Mailchimp Integrations

Mailchimp connects with your favorite third-party apps and tools in a wide range of categories including payments, social media, e-commerce, productivity, analytics, and more. See a full list of integrations here.

Email Marketing Integrations

Actionetics

ActiveCampaign

ConvertKit

Aweber

MailChimp

HTML forms

+ many more

Other Integrations

Zapier + Webhooks

Membership software

Checkout software

Analytics

Webinar software

SMS / Texting software

Bot software

Calendar tools

Custom integrations / API

+ many more

Mailchimp Affiliate Program

Yes. You can earn a $30 credit towards your monthly bill if someone signs up through your link. Learn more about the referral program here.

Company Information

Owner / Founder: Mark Armstrong, Ben Chestnut and Dan Kurzius

Location: Atlanta

Customer Support: -

Founded: 2001

Website: https://mailchimp.com/

What we love about Mailchimp

We love that MailChimp makes getting started easy and free for beginners. Like most email tools, you get a built-in drag-and-drop builder (and customizable templates) to create beautiful forms, emails, and landing pages. A major downside is that Mailchimp has basic, unimpressive segmentation and automation capabilities. On the bright side, there’s a FREE forever (limited) plan which is a good starting point for anyone looking to test the waters.

Mailchimp Alternatives

What Stands Out For Us When Reviewing ActiveCampaign Vs Mailchimp?

Here’s what stood out for us when comparing ActiveCampaign Vs Mailchimp, two similar platforms used for email marketing by small and medium-sized businesses.

ActiveCampaign is the email marketing and automation platform you need to engage and manage your audience while saving time. The platform gives you a drag-and-drop builder for creating emails, a landing page builder, marketing automation, and a CRM tool for audience management.

Overall, ActiveCampaign is far more powerful than Mailchimp in terms of features and automation capabilities.

Mailchimp, on the other hand, is a popular, affordable email marketing service with a greater toolset for email design.

Overall, Mailchimp is more popular with smaller businesses on a budget who don’t care about powerful automation services.

Which is best for marketing automation?

MailChimp doesn't offer as much as ActiveCampaign when it comes to marketing automation even though it describes itself as a powerful automation platform.

The automation capabilities offered do not include visual workflows, options to extend automations into multiple paths and they’re far less flexible.

However, they do have various automated campaigns you can run such as abandoned cart campaigns.

ActiveCampaign gives you powerful marketing automation capabilities such as a visual workflow builder, options to combine conditions, actions and triggers to build powerful workflows.

You can automate email campaigns, lead scoring, audience segmentation, tagging, and more.

And you can integrate it with the built-in CRM for endless sales processes and audience automation possibilities.

WINNER: ActiveCampaign is hands-down the king of email marketing automation. You get unrivaled marketing automation capabilities far superior to what MailChimp provides.

Which has the best CRM solution?

ActiveCampaign has built an impressive CRM that works beautifully with their marketing automation features..

The built-in CRM does a pretty good job at helping you manage your audience and sales processes all from one dashboard. You don't need to pay for any extra piece of software to do this.

Inside ActiveCampaign, you get to use tags and lists to properly segment your audience and the built-in CRM does the lead tracking, lead scoring, to ensure sales goals are met faster.

In addition, the CRM helps you build sales pipelines and works with the marketing automation functionality seamlessly..

Unlike ActiveCampaign, MailChimp doesn’t have an actual, full-fledged CRM even though they claim you can use their software as one.

But you get some CRM functionalities including the ability to manage audience data, segmentation, e-commerce integrations, reports, and more.

WINNER: ActiveCampaign wins this round squarely. MailChimp has a lot of work to do if it's to live up to its word of providing a built-in CRM with its software.

Which is best for email marketing?

MailChimp does a great job of helping you create amazing emails. Its ease of use and flexibility is simply outstanding.

You get a drag-and-drop email editor that’s intuitive enough for any beginner to pick up and start building emails almost immediately. You drag elements, arrange them in the canvas, customize and you're good to go.

When it comes to email design, MailChimp comes with around 100 modern, mobile-responsive email templates along with the flexibility to customize them. The good part is the templates come in different categories which include a newsletter, e-commerce, blog, event, and more.

Also, you get 14 boilerplate layouts that are customizable with your own images, text, and colors.

And if you'd like to code your own emails, MailChimp gives you an option to upload your own coded templates.

On the other hand, ActiveCampaign provides you with a range of email marketing features.

You can build emails easily with their drag-and-drop editor. The interface is fast and easy to navigate through and you get various useful options including one to revert back to a previous version of the email.

The only issue is that their editor is not as easy to use and intuitive as MailChimp's.
ActiveCampaign gives you 30 well designed, mobile-friendly email templates and flexible content blocks. You're also able to import your own templates if you don't like the ones provided.

WINNER: With its drag and drop editor, intuitive interface, and range of email templates, MailChimp is definitely easier and flexible to use for building emails. However, if you're technically inclined (or able to invest time in learning), you should be able to get your head around ActiveCampaign which is great for automation.. If ease of use is a priority for you, MailChimp wins this round.

Which is the best price for the money?

When compared based on the value for money (and with other similar enterprise-level CRM and marketing automation software), ActiveCampaign seems actually affordable and budget-friendly.

ActiveCampaign provides a free 14-day trial and then you get four plans (Lite, Plus, Professional, and Enterprise) with varied offerings you can upgrade to.

Just as most email service providers, ActiveCampaign charges you based on the number of subscribers you have.

ActiveCampaign can be a lot less expensive than MailChimp when you look at the value you get plus the yearly discount. Also, the price comparison evens out as you get over 50,000 email subscribers.

MailChimp comes with the most useful features in their monthly plan. To get the advanced features like segmentation, reports, and more, you need to upgrade to the Pro plan with an additional $199 monthly. This puts the overall cost you'll pay too costly for the value you'd get in return.

However, it's worth mentioning that MailChimp offers a Free Forever plan (for under 2,000 contacts) and prepaid plans as well.

WINNER: This one depends on the value you want and your budget. But I think ActiveCampaign is affordable and miles ahead of MailChimp considering the value for the price.

[Related: ActiveCampaign Pricing Review]

In summary, who wins the ActiveCampaign vs Mailchimp debate?

Final Thoughts - Which Is Better, ActiveCampaign, or Mailchimp?

The bottom line:

Both ActiveCampaign and Mailchimp are great email marketing platforms for creatively engaging your audience. Each email marketing solution gives you it's own tools for running personalized email campaigns for your business.

ActiveCampaign gives you a full suite of tools to build effective email messages, execute automated email campaigns, integrate with third-party tools, and view detailed reports from campaigns.

You also get a built-in CRM to manage and organize your audience data while running your sales processes for you.

On the other hand, Mailchimp is popularly known for its ease of use as an affordable email marketing platform and you get tools for creating compelling email messages and running basic automated campaigns tailored to the individual needs of your audience. You get a dashboard to execute campaigns, track audience data, and see results from campaigns while you can also integrate with a host of third-party platforms.

Without mincing words, ActiveCampaign is the right tool for advanced email marketing and automation. It's unrivaled when it comes to its overall feature functionality and value for money.

And it's undoubtedly the better choice over MailChimp if you desire excellent tools for email marketing, automation, CRM, segmentation, list management, and more.

But if ease of use, email design, flexibility, and budget is a big deal to you, then you should go with MailChimp.

Got questions about ActiveCampaign and Mailchimp?

Let us know in the comments below!

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#1 for Landing Pages & Sales Funnels. Get a 2 week free trial here.

ActiveCampaign

#1 for Email Marketing and automated email follow-ups. Free Trial here.

About the author 

Sam

Hey! I'm Sam, owner at ChillReptile.com. I'm a 9-5 escape artist marketing geek, sales funnel freak, blogger, and affiliate marketer.

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