87 Point ActiveCampaign Email Marketing Software Review 2019

ActiveCampaign Offers Leading CRM, eCommerce & Email Automation Tools. But is the Higher Price Point Worth It? Its Customers Certainly Think So!

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Price Rating. Price Per 10,000 contacts
Features
Email Deliverability
Ease of Use
Client Satisfaction (Twitter Sentiment & Trustpilot)
Customer Support, Speed, Availability, Accessibility

Active Campaign

Review Winner

ActiveCampaign: Recommended for SMB’s & Enterprise Businesses Demanding a Full-Service CRM, Great Marketing Automation & The Best Customer Service Ratings.

ActiveCampaign is simply one of the best email marketing services according to our testing.  Combining high-quality analytics, landing pages, payment gateways, and multi-platform customer journey tracking.

 

ActiveCampaign Review SummaryLikesDislikes
★ Excellent Customer Satisfaction Ratings✘ Higher Than Average Pricing
★ Excellent Email Deliverability
★ Full Suite of CRM Features
★ Sales Funnels
Visit ActiveCampaign★ Fully Integrated Landing Pages & Payment Gateways
★ Dedicated Line To Account Manager

 

The Review Process

We have tested 30 of the most popular email marketing software vendors out of a list of over 100.  We have compared over 80 key features and benefits to be able to make a solid and fair comparison. In total over 2,400 data points have been compiled over our months of testing.  For further details on what we tested jump to the Main Email Marketing Testing & Comparison Page. 

ActiveCampaign Pricing

There are two types of pricing model in the email marketing industry.

  1. Per Contact Pricing means you are charged for storage of a number of contacts, this model usually includes unlimited email sends.
  2. Per Email Pricing – this model usually means that you can have an unlimited number of contacts but you pay per thousand email sends.

All email marketing vendors also offer multiple tiers of service, a basic tier providing email messaging, autoresponders and segmentation.  More advanced tiers usually provide more in-depth services such as email marketing automation, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Sales Funnels, Payment Gateways, and landing pages.

When it comes to pricing ActiveCampaign is not the leader they came seventh in our study, however, it is important to remember that price is not everything and ActiveCampaign will be able to grow with your business demands.

Competitor Pricing Table – All Email Marketing Services

Value RatingsSendX Email ServiceGet Response Email Marketing ServiceAWeber Email Marketing ServiceBenchmark EmailiContact Email Marketing ServiceConstant Contact Email ServicesConvertKit Email & Sales ServicesMailchimp Email ServiceActive Campaign Email ServicesOntraport Email & CRM ServicesMailJet Email ServiceSendinBlue Email Service
Value☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆
ModelContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactEmailEmail
Free-TierNoNoNoYesNoNoNoYesNoNo6K/m - $09K/m - $0
#Contacts
500$7.49$12$19$12$12$17$25$15$9$7930K/m - $9.6540K/m - $25
2,500$15$20$29$29$27$38$41$50$39$14760K/m - $18.9560K/m - $39
10,000$39$60$69$74$67$81$100$99$111$297150K/m - $69120K/m - $67
25,000$112$150$149$150$127$191$166$219$179$497450K/m - $230350K/m - $173
50,0000$172$229$392$231$254$295$316$299$239$599=< 125K
Unlimited$2,999$99 per extra 100K
Cost per Contact (cents)0.390.650.690.740.670.81111.112.97NANA
Visit SendX ServicesVisit GetResponseVisit AWeber ServicesVisit BenchmarkVisit iContact ServicesVisit ConstantContactVisit ConvertKitVisit MailchimpVisit ActiveCampaignVisit OntraportVisit MailJet ServicesVisit SendinBlue

These are the prices for the lite plan, which includes:

  • Email Marketing
  • Autoresponders
  • Forms
  • Customer Segmentation
  • Facebook Integration

ActiveCampaign Email Marketing & Automation Features

Out of all the email marketing companies we tested, ActiveCampaign offers the full suite of email marketing and automation features.

Like all of the services reviewed, they offer a huge selection of pre-designed email templates and a good selection of high-quality images for use in your email campaigns.  The email design process is also fully drag-and-drop making crafting your message a breeze.

In fact, ActiveCampaign has a reasonable collection with 25 newsletter templates and a limited supply of licensed images, however, they will host your uploaded images.

Also included are 4 pre-designed and customizable email capture forms for your website including Inline, Floating, Pop-Ups and a Floating Bar form.

All software providers offer Autoresponders, Email Sequencing, Customer Tagging, and Segmentation.  What separates ActiveCampaign is the ease of implementation and the levels of automation available.  The video below will give you a good idea of how easy this process is.

ActiveCampaign Segmentation Video

 

Special Feature: Customer Experience Automation (CXA)

Customer Experience Automation (CXA) is the ability for automation to customize itself to every individual customer—so you can get better results from the same amount of work. When you create next-gen automation, you create a single simple flow. Machine learning and other dynamic features turn that flow into hundreds of unique experiences–created fresh for every person. Our automation accomplishes this in a few ways:

  • Timing: Create unique pauses and send times, so that every message arrives at the perfect moment.
  • Predictive Sending: this product is a major step to providing automation that helps you give every customer a truly unique experience.
    • Send automation emails at the most impactful time for each individual
    • Truly optimized send times at the contact level vs. account level
    • Available in Professional and Enterprise plans
  • Routing: Send people through the unique sequence that makes sense for them.
  • Content: Customize every message for each person who sees it.

Customer Experience Automation (CXA) Video

Reporting & Analytics

ActiveCampaign has a solid set of basic and advanced reporting and analytics.  You will have the ability to analyze and improve your campaigns with reporting that allows you to compare desktop versus mobile, regional performance or even global performance.  The reporting features even map the individual to their location on a map and uncovers open rates, click rates.  This can be invaluable if you are planning a roadshow, conference or any regional activity as you can visualize and target your clients in that area. In addition, they even have a timeline view where you can replay the opens and clicks as they happened. Very nice.

[Related Post – Compare All Email Marketing Services Side By Side]

Of course, you can also see list growth, unsubscribes and even social shares.  Finally and importantly A/B Testing, the ability to test the email performance with different subject lines and content, is included even with the Basic starter package.

Visit ActiveCampaign

Advanced Features

Email to RSS

Email to RSS is a simple yet effective way to streamline the communication process with your audience.  You can set it up so that when you publish a new article on your website in a specific category the email service will be notified and can build a customized email and send it to your audience, without you having to do anything.  This is a huge timesaver.

Surprisingly, not all email newsletter providers offer this service.  To view the other vendors offering this service check out our Email Service Master Comparison Table.

SMS Messaging Integration

This service has SMS integration, and interestingly only 4 out of our 11 services tested offer an SMS service.  SMS is a great way to remind your customers of time-critical actions, for example confirming a table reservation, or reminding a client of their webinar reservation.

The Excellent Array of ActiveCampaign Features – Screenshot

Table of Key ActiveCampaign Features
Table of Key ActiveCampaign Features

Site Chat

Out of all tests, only 3 software vendors offer a fully integrated site chat function, ActiveCampaign is one of them.  An integrated chat function helps to complete the picture of communications.  Imagine for example that a customer visits your website, they ask a question via chat to your helpdesk.  Then later they signup to your email list and again via your website have a conversation with the support team.  All of these interactions will be captured and will ultimately feed into the customer journey reporting and the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. As you will read below you can even automatically assign a customer a score to be able to assess their interest in a specific product or service.  Very clever.

Enterprise Functions

Here we take a look at the functionality available for larger companies, specifically those with a dedicated salesforce and multiple roles within the marketing department.

Multiple User Accounts

For a multi-person marketing team, the ability to be able to collaborate on campaigns and assign roles to different employees is critical.  Multiple accounts are covered here in an elegant way enabling both internal employees and even external freelancers the right permissions to complete their tasks.  There is even a mobile app to enable quick responses even when team members are not at their desk.

Sales Lead Team Workflow

Having the ability to assign hot prospects to members of the sales team is important for businesses that need personal contact with the customer, this is exactly what is enables with the sales lead team workflow services. Efficiency within sales is key to be able to grow sales and keep costs down.

SalesForce Integration

SalesForce.com is the industry leader when it comes to CRM, so being able to integrate your marketing departments contact list to the Salesforce ecosystem can be critical for enterprise customers. ActiveCampaign has developed its own integrated service to enable the seamless passage of customer data, messaging, collaboration and messaging between the services.

Primary Features: Funnels

Only 3 of our tested companies provide a Sales Funnel service.  ActiveCampaign arguably does this better than most by having services that cover the entire sales process.

Deal Pipelines With ActiveCampaign
Deal Pipelines With ActiveCampaign

How Do ActiveCampaign’s Pipelines Work?

  1. You can generate traffic using the in-build facebook and social media advertising integration
  2. Channel that traffic to a landing page designed to get visitors to sign up for a newsletter, eBook or other information
  3. Communicate with your captured leads via email newsletters and build a relationship via Webinars
  4. Depending on their responses, you can highlight those people really interested via the rating system in your product or service and try to sell them something they are interested in
  5. If they abandon their shopping cart you can follow up with them
  6. ActiveCampaigns Big Data and Machine Learning will assign a win probability to a contact based on their activities.

Visit ActiveCampaign

Does ActiveCampaign Have Landing Pages?

ActiveCampaign does not have integrated landing pages and payment processors like GetResponse, but it does have a set of integrations that enable this functionality.  With over 250 integrations, all the usual payment processors and eCommerce services are covered including:

  • Paypal
  • Stripe
  • Shopify
  • Square
  • WooCommerce

 Customer Relationship Mgt (CRM) & Remarketing

As mentioned previously, the CRM integration enables the whole service to integrate seamlessly.  Many email marketing companies claim to have a great CRM service but only a few offer a lead rating system and cross-platform customer tracing.

Win Probability & Cross-Platform Journey Reporting

Consider this example, a customer sees your Facebook advert and takes action to visit your website for further information. They then ask a question via site chat to your helpdesk.  They click around your website looking for further information on a product. Then later they signup to your email list and then send an email to the support team.  All of these interactions will be captured and reported in the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. This appears to be a very interested and active customer.  Based on the Win Probability a customer will be flagged as a hot prospect and can be assigned to a member of the sales team to reach out to them.

This exemplifies the cross-platform journey of a potential customer and enables you to reach out to hot prospects for a sale.

Security & Certifications

At this stage in the development of the internet, cybersecurity is of utmost importance.  High profile data leaks and hacks are resulting in large fines to businesses that do not adequately protect their customer’s data.

Email Service Provider Security Compliance Table

GDPR Compliant
SSL TLS Encryption
EU-US Privacy Shield

Ease of Use & Customer Ratings

Using as many independent sources as possible we have rated the services provided.

Our rating on ease of use and design☆☆☆☆
Using the independent ratings from Trustpilot Users – we also filtered out obviously biased ratings.☆☆☆☆
Customer Twitter Sentiment Index☆☆☆☆☆
Support (Chat, Email, Phone)Chat, Email
Support Times10/5
Response TimeImmediate
Average Ratings of Support Times, Response Times & Accessibility☆☆☆☆☆

ActiveCampaign scores highly in customer service and customer satisfaction.  Despite the vast and powerful array of features and functions, the service is easy to navigate and use.

ActiveCampaign Review Summary

ActiveCampaign offers an almost complete set of tools and what it does not provide natively is covered with 250+ integrations.  Its customers are extremely happy and are willing to pay a little more to get the highest levels of customer service and personal support.  Innovation in A.I. and Machine learning is allowing great features to bubble to the surface, such as predictive sending and predictive win probability reporting.

Visit ActiveCampaign

[Related Post – Compare All Email Marketing Services Side By Side]

ActiveCampaign Email Marketing – Full Features Data Sheet

Email Service ProviderActive Campaign Email Services
Value for Money☆☆☆☆
Features☆☆☆☆☆
Deliverability☆☆☆☆☆
Ease of Use☆☆☆☆
Client Satisfaction☆☆☆☆☆
Support☆☆☆☆☆
Total Stars28
Price ModelContact
Free OptionNo
500 Contacts$9
2,500 Contacts$39
10,000 Contacts$111
25,000 Contacts$179
50,0000 Contacts$239
Unlimited Contacts
Cost per Contact (cents)1.11
Primary Features eMail
eMail Templates
eMail Images
Email Form Templates
Drag & Drop Email Design
Autoresponders
Marketing Automation
Individual Customer Automation
Customer Tagging & Segmentation
Intelligent Timing Delivery
Time Travel (Global 9am Delivery)
Basic Email Analytics
Powerful Email Analytics
A/B Testing
SPAM Scoring
Advanced Features
Webinar Integration
Hosting Webinar & Recording
Email from RSS Feeds
SMS Marketing
Automatic Product Recommendations
Site Chat CRM Integration
Membership Site Service
Team / Enterprise Functions
Multiple User Accounts
Sales Team Lead Distribution
Salesforce Service Integration✔ (i)
Primary Features Funnels
Surveys/Polls
Sales/Lead Funnels
Landing Pages
Exit Popups
Primary Features Sales & Payments
eCommerce Integrations
Full Payment Gateways
Abandoned Cart Integration
Win Back / Bounce Back
Payment Mgt
Discount Coupons
Referral Program Mgt
CRM & Remarketing
CRM & Deal Management
Cross Platform Journey Tracking
Activity Scoring
Integrations
3rd Party Integrations250+
Zapier App Integration
Deliverability☆☆☆☆☆
Security & Certifications
GDPR Compliant
SSL TLS Encryption
EU-US Privacy Shield
Ease of Use☆☆☆☆
Customer Satisfaction☆☆☆☆
Customer Twitter Sentiment☆☆☆☆☆
Support (Chat, Email, Phone)Chat, Email
Support Times10/5 U.S.
Response TimeImmediate
Customer Support☆☆☆☆☆
Visit the VendorVisit ActiveCampaign
ActiveCampaign Review - Full Features Listing & Ratings

How We Rated the Service

Email Service Provider RatingsPrice Monthly (15-20% Discounts on Yearly Payments)
Value for MoneyPrice Rating. Price Per 10,000 contacts
FeaturesHow Complete is the Toolset
DeliverabilityEmail Deliverability ☆☆☆60% ☆☆☆☆80% ☆☆☆☆☆90% Deliverability Results from multiple sources.
Ease of UseOur rating on ease of use and design
Client SatisfactionUsing Twitter Customer Sentiment: https://www.csc2.ncsu.edu/faculty/healey/tweet_viz/tweet_app/ we rated the tweets about the service
SupportAverage Ratings of Support Times, Response Times & Accessibility
Price ModelEntry Level/ Basic Package Prices – Per Contact Model = $ per ‘000 Contacts “unlimited Sends” or “Per Email Model per ‘000 email sends – Unlimited Contacts
Primary Features eMail
Email TemplatesIs there a broad selection of predesigned email templates?
Email ImagesAre images for emails available for free?
Email Form TemplatesPredesigned website ready templates for capturing new subscribers
Drag & Drop Email DesignEasily design great looking emails without HTML code
AutorespondersAre timed and action-driven autoresponders available
Marketing AutomationAbility to automate sequences of emails to customers
Individual Customer AutomationAutomation to tailor and personalize email content
Customer Tagging & SegmentationAbility to Tag, Segment & retarget customers by their actions, locations, time zones
Intelligent Timing DeliveryService optimizes send times based on when the customer previously opened emails
Time Travel (Global 9 am Delivery)The ability to target a specific time globally, e.g. deliver occurs at 9 am according to contacts time zone.
Basic Email AnalyticsReporting to allow reporting on list size, growth, open rates, bounce rates, etc.
Powerful Email AnalyticsAbility to see globally and individually the customer journey, actions, onsite and in email
A/B TestingMultiple sends with different content to test success rate
SPAM ScoringDoes the service check your content to make sure your messages are not flagged as SPAM
Advanced Features
Webinar IntegrationIntegrations Available for 3rd Party Webinar Services
Hosting Webinar & RecordingFull Webinar Hosting, Recording & Storage Service
Email from RSS FeedsCan you generate automatic emails from your website RSS feed?
SMS MarketingCan you send SMS messages and sequence and auto-respond?
Automatic Product RecommendationsAbility to insert product recommendations into emails – great for eCommerce businesses
Facebook RetargetingThe ability to retarget potential customer on Facebook after they visit your website or signup to your list
Site Chat CRM IntegrationIntegrated site chat which enables your contacts’ activities or requests to be added into your CRM or Marketing Automation for further sequencing
Membership Site ServiceDoes the provider offer site membership user management services
Team / Enterprise Functions
Multiple User AccountsAdding multiple user or sub-user accounts so that you can collaborate with your team
Sales Team Lead DistributionSales team workflow to distribute contact and sales lead capture
Salesforce Service Integration
Primary Features Funnels
Surveys/PollsIs there an integrated survey & customer polling service included in the price?
Sales/Lead FunnelsAbility to visualize sales funnels and the customer journey through the pipeline
Landing PagesHosted pending pages integrated into your marketing automation
Exit PopupsAdvanced exit popup for your website available
Primary Features Sales & Payments
eCommerce IntegrationsNative full suite eCommerce integrations available
Full Payment GatewaysDoes the provider offer full turnkey payment gateways integrated into service?
Abandoned Cart IntegrationAbility to follow up with customers who did not complete a purchase
Win Back / Bounce BackAn effective solution for launching customer win-back campaigns
Payment Mgt
Discount CouponsIntegrated discount or promotional coupon service connected to payment gateways
Referral Program MgtCan you manage your own referral/affiliate program through the service – normally an expensive 3rd party service?
CRM & Remarketing
CRM & Deal ManagementIs there an effective customer contact and relationship management system available?
Cross-Platform Journey TrackingThe ability to track customers activities across difference platforms, Website, Facebook, Email, SMS
Activity ScoringFunctionality to allow the grading of contacts/prospects by their activities, e.g. Points Scoring
Integrations
3rd Party IntegrationsHow many 3rd party integrations are available through the platform?
Zapier App IntegrationZapier provides over 1500 integrations, is Zapier available with this provider?
DeliverabilityEmail Deliverability ☆☆☆60% ☆☆☆☆80% ☆☆☆☆☆90% Deliverability Results from multiple sources.
Security & Certifications
GDPR CompliantCompliant to the EU General Data Protection Regulations
SSL TLS EncryptionSite uses strong encryption
EU-US Privacy ShieldCertified under the EU-US Privacy Shield.
Ease of UseOur rating on ease of use and design
Customer SatisfactionUsing the independent ratings from Trustpilot Users – we also filtered out obviously biased ratings. Blank means no ratings were available
Customer Twitter SentimentUsing https://www.csc2.ncsu.edu/faculty/healey/tweet_viz/tweet_app/ we rated the tweets about the service
Customer SupportSupport (Chat, Email, Phone)
Support Times
Response Time
Average Ratings of Support Times, Response Times & Accessibility

 

Barry's 25 years of experience with Silicon Valley Corporations such as IBM, Compaq, Hewlett Packard, Hewlett Packard Enterprise & DXC Technology enables him to share his knowledge of succeeding in today's professional corporate environments and develop a great work life for yourself.

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