Struggling to choose between ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign? In this post, we’ll go hands-on with each service to help you pick the one that’s right for you.
Both of these platforms are popular, well-regarded email marketing services. They help you build an email list, create and send messages, and automate many necessary parts of your campaigns.
Choosing between the two requires looking carefully at what each has to offer, and considering your unique needs.
We’ll then conclude with some thoughts on which one you should choose based on your individual needs.
Let’s take a look!
An introduction to ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign
Email marketing is an excellent way to build and nurture your blog’s audience. Before you can get started, however, you’ll need a dedicated email marketing tool.
There are a lot of options, but we’re going to focus on two. The first is ConvertKit.
This is a dedicated email marketing platform, which focuses on providing services to busy creatives. It offers an app-based system with lots of automation features, to take the work of running your email campaigns largely off your hands.
Next up, we have ActiveCampaign. This is a more comprehensive service, offering email marketing tools along with a whole suite of other features.
What you get access to depends on the plan you sign up for. Regardless, it’s a flexible platform that gives you a lot of control over your campaigns.
ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign: A full comparison (four factors)
Now, let’s dig a little deeper into both services. We’ll compare them in four key areas to help you decide which one best suits your particular goals and needs.
It’s crucial to make sure the service you sign up for includes the features you’ll need. Given this, let’s check out what ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign have to offer.
ConvertKit provides an impressive range of options. Among other things, it:
- Helps you build and grow an email list for your campaigns.
- Makes it possible to organize your email list with taxonomies such as tags and categories.
- Offers customizable sign-up forms to embed on your website.
- Lets you create custom rules and sequences for automating your emails.
- Provides tools for tracking data about your subscribers and conversions.
- Integrates with many ecommerce platforms and other tools.
ActiveCampaign also has a lot to offer. This platform:
- Helps you build and manage an email list.
- Includes a drag-and-drop email designer that lets you fully customize your messages.
- Offers lots of templates to help you start building your emails faster.
- Lets you perform split testing easily, so you can perfect your campaigns and increase conversions.
- Enables you to personalize content based on each contact’s details and history.
- Simplifies the process of collecting and organizing data on the leads in your email list.
- Provides features that help you automate your campaigns and schedule them in advance.
While both platforms have covered all the basics, there are some clear differences in their feature sets. ActiveCampaign provides more when it comes to building your emails and tracking data. In contrast, ConvertKit offers more precise automation and segmentation, as well as lots of integration options.
Next up, let’s talk about cost. Before we get into the nitty-gritty, feel free to take a quick look at what the plans look like at a glance:
|Free plan||Number of plans||Users per plan||Subscribers per plan|
|ConvertKit||✅||3||1, 2, unlimited||From 300 to 500,000+|
|ActiveCampaign||❌||4||1, 3, 5, 10||Up to 250,000 for all|
ConvertKit pricing and plans
ConvertKit has three basic plans, which are based on a sliding scale of subscriber count, with the starting point being 300 subscribers. The more subscribers you add to your list, the more each plan costs. The exception is the free plan, which never goes up in price, but is capped at 1,000 subscribers.
The entry level prices (based on 300 subscribers) are as follows:
- Free – $0 for up to 1000 subscribers: unlimited landing pages and forms, email broadcasts, sell digital products and subscriptions, community support
- Creator – from $9.00 per month: everything in free, plus: live chat and email support, free migration from another tool, automated funnels and sequences
- Creator Pro – from $25 per month: everything in Creator, plus: Facebook custom audiences, newsletter referral system, subscriber scoring, advanced reporting
As mentioned, you can grow the number of subscribers on the paid plans to theoretical infinity – although the sliding scale on ConvertKit’s website stops at 500,000. They ask you to contact them for special pricing if your list is over that size, which is probably not going to be the case for most people reading this article.
ConvertKit’s plans are also differentiated by the number of users who can access and use the tool.
The free plan is limited to one user. The Creator plan bumps that up to two.
Now, if you didn’t look closely at the comparison chart at the top of this section, and you’re imagining one of those “what’s next in the series?” IQ tests here, then you might guess that the Creator Pro plan will offer support for three users. Unfortunately – or rather fortunately – you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that it’s actually unlimited.
That’s right. It goes from one, to two, to unlimited. So if more than two people on your team plan on using ConvertKit, then you’re essentially forced to sign up for the highest tier.
This might feel like a great value if your team size is 20+ people, but if you’re a team of three to five people, then you might be left wondering why there isn’t a middle ground option.
ActiveCampaign pricing and plans
In contrast to ConvertKit’s three plans, ActiveCampaign offers four plans, all of which support up to 250,000 subscribers:
The number of users supported across the four plans is one, three, five, and ten. So depending on the size of your team, this could be a factor for whether you choose ConvertKit or ActiveCampaign. More specifically, if your team is no larger than three people, and you have a healthy size subscriber list, then ActiveCampaign might be the better choice.
Let’s use the $49/$50 price point as a working example to illustrate why.
- For $49 per month, ActiveCampaign will set you up with access to three users, and a subscriber list of up to 250,000 people.
- For $50 per month, ConvertKit will set you up with access to unlimited users, and a subscriber list of up to 1,000 people.
As you can see above, the selling point for ConvertKit is that they allow for unlimited users, but if your team is only one to three people, then that’s not really something you care about.
In comparison, ActiveCampaign’s main draw is the fact that they’ll let you have a subscriber base of up to 250,000. Realistically, most people’s lists aren’t going to be anywhere near that large, but for example’s sake, let’s say you reached that size on ConvertKit’s Creator Pro plan – the cost would be $1,566 per month!
In summary, when it comes to the pricing matchup between ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign, strong consideration should be made to how many team members will be actively using the tool and how large of a subscriber list your organization has.
3. WordPress integration
Your WordPress blog is an invaluable tool when it comes to building an email list and running successful campaigns. While neither ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign is WordPress-specific, both offer dedicated integration plugins.
- ConvertKit’s plugin is aptly named after the platform itself. It lets you embed a sign-up form on specific posts or pages, or include it at the bottom of every page on your site. It’s kept regularly updated, although there are very few user reviews.
- ActiveCampaign’s plugin is also named after the service, and it lets you place your subscription form on any posts, pages, and/or widgets you like. This plugin also has few reviews, however.
Ultimately, your mileage may vary when it comes to WordPress integration with ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign. We have to give an edge here to ConvertKit, since its plugin is more flexible, but you’ll want to test either option thoroughly on a staging site before using it.
With that being said, there are a number of quality third-party email opt-in plugins that you can use to integrate with both ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign, so you aren’t limited to using the official plugins.
4. Ease of use
Finally, let’s talk about what it’s actually like to get started with ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign. Both have a free trial so you can check them out without making a commitment.
After signing up for an ActiveCampaign account, you’ll get immediate access to your main dashboard:
There’s a lot to do here, but it’s all well organized. You can use the Getting Started widget at the top of the screen to check all the key tasks off your list one by one – adding email addresses to your list, creating your first campaign, building an opt-in form, and so on.
This dashboard also has a lot of useful widgets so you can see how your campaigns are doing at a glance. It displays your latest stats, recent activity, any tasks you’ve set for yourself, and more.
Now, let’s check out ConvertKit. Signing up is also a simple process, and once again you’ll get a centralized dashboard to work from:
To be honest, this dashboard is significantly less useful. There is a convenient checklist feature that will show you all the tasks you’ll want to tackle initially, and lets you check them off as you go. Other than that, there isn’t much to see here.
However, the basic functions are organized clearly via the navigation menu at the top of the page. Each section will walk you through the related task – setting up automation, creating an opt-in form, etc. – and includes helpful videos to get you started.
ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign: Which service should you choose?
Both ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign offer lots of useful features, are priced reasonably and are easy to get started with. However, each does have a unique set of pros and cons:
- ConvertKit. This service offers somewhat more when it comes to automating your emails and setting them up to respond to specific triggers. The dashboard is quite basic though, and the pricing can creep up on you if you’re not paying attention to the size of your list.
- ActiveCampaign. With this service, you get an extensive dashboard, and lots of options for customizing your emails and tracking their results. Plus, not having to worry about price increases as your email list grows gives you more peace of mind.
Overall, ActiveCampaign has an edge here. Most organizations will be looking to grow their email list and not be as concerned with adding more user logins. The 250,000 subscriber capacity leaves ample room to grow without having to worry about price increases along the way. Overall it also offers a better user experience.
For most WordPress blog owners, ActiveCampaign is the email marketing service to opt for, especially if you’re willing to embed a sign-up form manually via code or use a third-party email opt-in plugin.
ConvertKit isn’t to be overlooked, though. If you want a tool that offers complete control over your email automation, or if you like the uncluttered feel of the dashboard, it’s also a solid option.
Choosing the right email marketing tool can be a challenge – there are so many options and factors to consider. For WordPress blog owners, however, there are a few services that rise above the pack.
And if you want even more options, you can consider our GetResponse vs AWeber comparison for a look at two more popular email marketing services.
Have you ever tried either of these services, and what was your experience like? Tell us all about it in the comments section below!
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