ActiveCampaign Vs MailChimp – Which Email Marketing And Automation Tool To Get For Your Business?

ActiveCampaign Vs MailChimp – Which Email Marketing And Automation Tool To Get For Your Business?

ActiveCampaign and MailChimp are both quite popular email marketing and automation tools. However, when it comes to choosing the right tool for your business, you have to do a comparison of ActiveCampaign vs MailChimp to really find out which one stands out.

ActiveCampaign Front Page

Whilst ActiveCampaign delivers incredibly advanced features with powerful and automated workflows, MailChimp offers an extremely easy to use interface and affordable option for small to medium-sized business owners. ActiveCampaign is built to bring more awareness of your business which of course translates to more customers.

This platform offers sophistication in all of its systems, be it plain ol’ email marketing, automation, or customer relationship management.  MailChimp on the other end specializes in providing you with tools to create personalized campaigns so you can reach your customers fully.

So, below is the ActiveCampaign vs MailChimp comparison to help you understand each of the tools in a more in-depth sense – so you can make an informed decision of which platform to go for.

Ease Of Use & Editor 

For a long time, MailChimp has been favored for being designed with an extremely easy-to-use interface. Comparing to the time it was introduced to the market, this was very true. During this time, many available tools were expensive and designed for large enterprises. 

Thus, the introduction of MailChimp saw a revolutionary change for small to medium-sized businesses. To date, MailChimp still remains to be amongst the easiest tools to use – built with extreme simplicity.  The marketing tool features a simple drag and drop editor that is quite intuitive and allows you to easily navigate the features it offers. 

MailChimp Editor

One can even say that MailChimp has set the precedence for easy to use editors for other email marketing tools. However, the main drawback is that whilst it has stuck to its simplistic approach, the design can be seen as old fashioned when compared to more modern interfaces offered by newer email marketing tools. 

You will also notice features such as landing pages, forms, and automation, cramped up together, which can be a turn off for some users. ActiveCampaign on the other end is designed with more advanced features. Yet, as much as ActiveCampaign is designed with extremely powerful and advanced features, it is still very easy to use. 

ActiveCampaign Editor

Similar to MailChimp, ActiveCampaign is also designed with a drag and drop editor. However, its features are well organized which makes it easy to navigate them. But, ActiveCampaign is not beginner-friendly as MailChimp due to the numerous features it has. More advanced features such as automation need some time to learn as they can be quite challenging to navigate for beginners. 

Winner: When it comes to ease of use, MailChimp takes the lead. Sure, both platforms come with their benefits; ActiveCampaign even has a more modern interface with better features. However, it is not as easy to use as MailChimp is.

Design and Flexibility 

MailChimp is built with up to around 100 email templates, known as themes. Typically, the templates look modern and are designed with the convenience of being mobile responsive. You can choose to opt for templates categorized as emails, notifications, or even newsletters. 

Furthermore, MailChimp has 14 key files that can be personalized with your choice of colors and images.  Additionally, MailChimp has content blogs that allow you more personalized editing using the drag and drop editor. You can not only add images and adjust colors but also customize your texts, social buttons, products, promo codes, and even upload your own coded template.  

ActiveCampaign Templates

Whilst ActiveCampaign also has modern designed templates with mobile-friendly designs, it has far fewer options. The platform is built with only 30 templates. Plus, you can import your own templates.

Winner: ActiveCampaign has a better template design option, however; MailChimp offers more options to choose from. Thus, MailChimp takes the lead.

Email Marketing Features 

ActiveCampaign is designed with a drag and drop editor where you can access all the features you want. Some of the key features you can access include the email templates, sending one-time email campaigns to all your contacts, presenting automatic email sending to subscribers who just joined the list, scheduling email campaigns for specific dates and times, and creating campaigns for new customer onboarding.  

MailChimp Email Marketing

Furthermore, you can create automated complex workflows using triggers, logic, and actions as well as perform A/B split testing to understand the impact of your campaigns. MailChimp offers equally useful features. These include creating email campaigns, customizing templates with coding, connecting to your online store to show products, built-in photo editor, and an email beamer to create your campaigns from a smartphone, just to name a few.

Winner: Both ActiveCampaign and Mail Chimp offer incredible email marketing features.

Registration Forms 

When you compare MailChimp vs ActiveCampaign, the form building features are excellent for both tools. ActiveCampaign offers features such as inlines, floating bars, floating boxes, and modal pop ups for creating forms. During the creation process, you will be impressed with the easy to use editor. 

ActiveCampaign Registration Forms 

You can even add new fields during the form creation process. Furthermore, responsive ActiveCampaign forms can be embedded and linked to third party apps such as Facebook or WordPress. You will also enjoy extra associate forms with lists and tags. MailChimp allows you to equally build different forms, including pop ups. 

However, MailChimp form building is not nearly as easy as ActiveCampaign. Additionally, MailChimp forms are not all mobile phone responsive. The form editing process, however, is much easier as it comes with different and more intuitive editing and design builder.

Winner: ActiveCampaign’s easier form building option is certainly the way to go.

Spam & Design Testing 

MailChimp is designed with a standard desktop and mobile preview. It is built with an Inbox Preview feature which lets you preview emails through different email providers. If you enroll in MailChimp’s paid plan, you will be given up to 25 free email previewing tokens per month. After that, you can purchase extra tokens.  

Additionally, MailChimp also offers a link checker that allows you to check if there are any missing links. Its app allows you to check and preview your emails from your phone as well.  However, MailChimp is not built with any type of spam testing. ActiveCampaign on the other end is designed with its own SpamAssassin – spam checking feature. 

ActiveCampaign Testing Mail

The SpamAssassin feature automatically checks all your emails before sending them out. Whilst its email design check features are limited, ActiveCampaign still allows you to preview the emails on your desktop. You can do this for free. If you want email client previews, then, you can purchase them for a few extra credits.

Winner: ActiveCampaign takes the lead thanks to its built-in spam testing and basic email previews. MailChimp has a better email previewer but lacks spam testing.

Reporting 

Both MailChimp and ActiveCampaign offer reporting features such as quantitative email reporting which include opens, bounces, clicks, and unsubscribes. Additionally, they also offer functions such as geolocations, social media performance, automation reports, and eCommerce reports. In addition to these functions, ActiveCampaign offers deal reports that focus on customer relationship management (CRM).

MailChimp Campaign Report

With this report, you have access to data such as funnel overviews, owner by reports, and deals over time. ActiveCampaign offers detailed reporting with integrations such as Shopify and WooCommerce. Compared to ActiveCampaign, MailChimp offers a more detailed eCommerce reporting which is not limited to integrated sites.

Winner: Both ActiveCampaign and MailChimp are somewhat similar when it comes to reporting. ActiveCampaign offers reporting for deals whilst MailChimp covers reporting for more tools.

Deliverability

Deliverability is an extremely important factor to consider when comparing ActiveCampaign vs MailChimp. Because what is the point of all those useful features if your email marketing tool has a poor deliverability rate? You want the features to be combined with high deliverability rates, so your efforts are not in vain. 

So we tested both MailChimp and ActiveCampaign using similar email platforms for a year to evaluate how each software performs. Overall, MailChimp emerged with a higher deliverability rate and primary inbox delivery of 87% and 79% respectively; beating ActiveCampaign by 2% and 3% on each rate.  In terms of campaigns ending up as spam, Mailchimp also had a 5% higher percentage than ActiveCampaign, at 11%.

ActiveCampaign Deliverability Chart

For undelivered emails, both platforms did an excellent job; boasting less than 10% undelivered emails. MailChimp had 1% undelivered email rates whilst ActiveCampaign had 8%. Both MailChimp and ActiveCampaign received a sender’s score of 97%.

Winner: Overall, both marketing tools do a great job with deliverability. They have no less than 80% for positive rates and less than 10% for negative ones. MailChimp has better deliverability and undelivered rates whilst ActiveCampaign has an excellent spam rate. MailChimp takes the lead as it guarantees 87% deliverability.

Integrations & Extras (Other Features) 

ActiveCampaign and MailChimp both integrate with a generous number of apps. These include all the big CRM sites, eCommerce platforms, CMS, web builders, and social media platforms. ActiveCampaign offers up to 250 integrations with a wide selection of different apps.

ActiveCampaign Integrations

These include Zapier, WooCommerce, Shopify, and social media sites such as Facebook, just to mention a few. MailChimp on the other end integrates with up to 200 sites. Whilst MailChimp connects with most big sites including eCommerce platforms, it has just recently stopped integrating with Shopify.

So if Shopify is an integration you certainly need, MailChimp may not be the tool you want to opt for. Nevertheless, the tool integrates with so many other apps that you can easily find a replacement for Shopify.

Winner: ActiveCampaign takes the lead as it offers 50 more useful integrations. Plus, it integrates with Shopify.

Support

When it comes to customer support, ActiveCampaign offers top-notch services. You have access to email, live chat, and tutorials. Additionally, you can opt for more complex one-on-one training to really get a breakdown of the platform. Furthermore, ActiveCampaign offers a community forum you can interact with other users as well. For ActiveCampaign, live chat is available on Sunday from 4 pm – 11 pm, Central Standard Time, and Monday to Thursday from 8 am – 2 pm and 6 pm – 11 pm, Central Standard Time. 

ActiveCampaign Support

Plus, when comparing ActiveCampaign vs MailChimp, it offers more accessibility to direct support. MailChimp offers live chat, email, and tutorial support but not as comprehensively as ActiveCampaign. MailChimp claims to offer 24/7 customer support.

Winner: ActiveCampaign offers a better customer support response.

Price 

In the price spectrum, ActiveCampaign vs MailChimp comparison surely shows a wide difference. MailChimp offers a free plan which consists of up to 2000 contacts with up to 10,000 emails per month. ActiveCampaign doesn’t have a free plan. 

Instead, it offers you a 30-day free trial to figure out if it works for you or not. Depending on your needs, ActiveCampaign offers four plan bands, i.e. Lite, Plus, Professional, and Enterprise. Of course, Lite offers the lowest prices. However, if you want features such as CRM, lead scoring, and deep data analysis for a business solution for more than a single user, it is a good idea to upgrade to Plus, Professional, or Enterprise plans. 

ActiveCampaign Pricing Plans

MailChimp on the other end offers almost all features across all its plans. However, if you want to enjoy advanced segmentation then, you want to upgrade to a Pro plan. Whilst ActiveCampaign appears to be slightly more expensive than MailChimp on its Lite Plan, its pricing catches up to each other if you upgrade to the higher plans or if you opt for more than 50,000 subscribers.

Below is an idea of the price range for the basic plans;

ActiveCampaign Lite Per MonthMailChimp Per Month
2000 contacts + 12,000 emailsN/AFree
5000 contacts + unlimited emails$99$49.99
10,000 contacts + unlimited emails$155$74.99
50,000 contacts + unlimited emails$345$259

Winner:  MailChimp certainly offers a better price option at nearly half the price of ActiveCampaign.

Feature Comparison Table – ActiveCampaign Vs MailChimp 

In actuality, both platforms offer exceptional performance when you look at the ActiveCampaign vs MailChimp comparison. Whilst one platform may triumph in a certain feature than the other, it is only that – they have a better design or functionality.

However, they do not topple over each significantly. As listed below, ActiveCampaign slightly performs better than MailChimp with a 0.05 better rating. MailChimp still outdoes ActiveCampaign with features such as the Ease of Use, Design, and Flexibility, Pricing, and most importantly, Deliverability.  The two tools even, match each other’s functionality when it comes to reporting and email marketing features. 

MailChimp Dashboard

ActiveCampaign offers more options for integrations but MailChimp also offers reasonable integration options. ActiveCampaign customer support is spot on, but so is MailChimp’s. Although ActiveCampaign is slightly better. The one significant difference is that ActiveCampaign is also equipped with significantly advanced CRM capabilities whilst MailChimp does a better job with advanced segmentation. 

ActiveCampaignMailChimp
Ease of use and editor4.74.8
Design and flexibility4.74.8
Email marketing features4.84.8
Registration forms4.74.5
Email and spam testing4.74.5
Reporting4.54.5
Deliverability4.34.4
Integration and other features4.84.7
Support4.94.2
Price4.14.5
Overall Rating4.624.57

ActiveCampaign Vs MailChimp – Which Is Better? 

It is difficult to come up with a contender in the ActiveCampaign vs MailChimp comparison as both tools are exceptionally reliable and useful. So let’s break them down based on the ActiveCampaign vs MailChimp feature comparison above. 

ActiveCampaign Features

ActiveCampaign is number one for its features, deliverability, and even value for money when you look at all the array of features it is packed with. If your business priorities are automation, CRM, and list management, ActiveCampaign is the way to go.

Whilst they say ActiveCampaign offers excellent value for your money, this may not be universal, especially if you are on a budget or just launching your eCommerce business. Instead, if you are on a tight budget, then, MailChimp may be for you.

Plus, MailChimp also focuses on other features that may be useful to your business – especially if you are a beginner. The budget-friendly and user-friendly tool is favored for its easy to use editor, email design, and even its landing pages.

MailChimp Website builder

If you want to upgrade to higher plans, you will even enjoy its advanced segmentation features. If you fall on the group of people who are still struggling to make a choice even after this in-depth ActiveCampaign vs MailChimp comparison, then, visual learning may be the next step for you. the good news is that you can try it with both. 

With ActiveCampaign, you can simply opt for its 30-day free trial to help you decide whether it’s for you or not. With MailChimp, you can try out its free plan which offers up to 2000 subscribers and 10,000 emails. Keep in mind, however, that you will not enjoy all the features these two platforms offer. 

Reserve your spot at this free Email Marketing Masterclass!

With Lucas Chevillard
Former Airbnb's Email Specialist

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