Marketing Automation is becoming a must-have for any business. With the majority of the population being online, it is necessary to have a tool that enables you to reach the masses and measure your ROI.

Man Setting Up Email Marketing CampaignHere, I look at ActiveCampaign and MailChimp, two of the most commonly used platforms, after which you shall be able to decide which best suits you. Below are the things I shall analyze, regarding a new business that is just starting.

1. Pricing

For our battle of ActiveCampaign vs MailChimp, pricing becomes a must consider. ActiveCampaign offers a Lite plan that starts at $15, and this allows you to get up to 500 customer contacts with unlimited emailing. On the other hand, MailChimp is free for the first 2000 customer contacts and 12000 emails monthly. Both these platforms offer multiple plans for each user depending on the features that you desire.

A more detailed look into the pricing options will reveal that the pricing more or less becomes similar as you go for more elite packages. The unlimited emails that ActiveCampaign offers are ideal for a startup since you want to reach as many people as possible in your first attempt. However, the $15 price might be a put off for any business that is limited to cash. MailChimp being free is ideal for a starting business, but the limitation on emails is a drawback since this is not enough if you are looking to build a contact list.

2. Usability

MailChimp is ideal for anyone who is not that tech savvy. The limited features that it offers in its starter pack make it easier and faster to grasp. You easily can access what you need in one page rather than navigating through a maze of buttons. The disadvantage of this is that a lot of things are clustered together, making the experience a bit messy, if you are one who likes order.

Active Campaign comes with more features for its Lite plan, and you will need some training before you get the hang of it. The fact that each function has its dedicated window makes it easier for you to track the progress of your marketing campaign with ease.

3. Features

ActiveCampaign is loaded with features to help a business manage its marketing activities. These include a purpose-built CRM that helps you track your sales process and the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. MailChimp lacks a dedicated CRM meaning that you have to couple it with another tool to make it more effective.

Looking at this, ActiveCampaign is much more effective as a marketing platform due to its specialization. MailChimp, on the other hand, works best for business with less complex marketing needs, given its limited features.

4. Effectiveness

When choosing a marketing tool or any tool for your business, another key factor to consider is how effective the tool is. Both ActiveCampaign and MailChimp, when put to the test, deliver very varying results on how effective they are. This is so when you look at the deliverability of the emails sent through each platform.

Hands Holding Coffee & Smartphone Sending Email ActiveCampaign has a delivery rate of above 90% as compared to MailChimp’s 80%. ActiveCampaign, therefore, is much more effective in ensuring your message reaches its desired target as compared to MailChimp.

5. Integration

There exists a lot of different platforms that people are on, and it can be quite difficult to reach them. The increasing number of social media platforms and email providers means that you need a tool that can capture data from all these sources and ensure that you reach as many people as possible.

In terms of integration, ActiveCampaign offers up to 250 integrations with external platforms as compared to MailChimp’s 200. Although not a determining factor in the ActiveCampaign vs. MailChimp debate, it much more beneficial to have more integration, since you can work on multiple platforms with the same efficiency.

6. Customer Support

If you are looking for assistance while using the respective platforms, your odds of getting useful help are much better when using ActiveCampaign. This is because they have an ever-present Help button on the bottom of all the pages of the platform. Moreover, they also offer one on one support if required, while MailChimp does not offer.

Furthermore, support from ActiveCampaign is much more responsive. The advantage of having multiple support channels makes it easier to access the help you need at any time. MailChimp, on the other hand, does offer multiple help channels but lack in the live support department. This means that you will have to go through their knowledge base or user community should you require immediate support.

7. Reports and Analysis

Both ActiveCampaign and MailChimp offer multiple reports that you can use to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns. ActiveCampaign, thanks to its rich features, allows you to generate more reports for analysis. Further to this, it allows you to set campaign goals, thus making your marketing campaign more effective and hence, better measurement of your ROI.

MailChimp lacks in this aspect, given the limited features that it has, but the reports are concrete enough for you to make decisions on the best course of action with your campaign. The disadvantage of ActiveCampaign is that it requires a more advanced user making it harder to use as compared to MailChimp.

8. User Reviews

Woman Typing/Writing An EmailWhen choosing a product for your business, it is also important to consider what the overall market thinks about it. When looking at multiple websites to identify which platform to opt for, you will find that ActiveCampaign comes as the more highly recommended. It generally receives an overall feedback rating of 4.7 out of 5 as compared to MailChimp’s 4.1.

It is important to note that MailChimp started much earlier than ActiveCampaign and therefore has no base to improve on. ActiveCampaign achieves this because it has improved on some of the shortcomings of MailChimp, which explains the higher ratings that ActiveCampaign enjoys amongst users.

Based on the above, it is quite clear that the two marketing platforms are designed to cater to the varying needs of each user. It is therefore recommended to set out what your goals are, and only then will you be in a position to choose what best works for you.