Workflows allow you to nurture your relationship with your customers. Here are some of the basic automation these two email marketing platforms provide.
ActiveCampaign allows you to set up automated workflows from an intuitive visual dashboard. Each step of your workflow will automatically lead to the next one based on your audience’s actions. These actions can vary from making a subscription purchase, opening an email, abandoning a purchase process, etc.
The platform allows you to customize these automated workflows by choosing different triggers. Moreover, you can split your flows into branches based on if/else statements.
HubSpot allows you to create different email sequences. The sequences are available with the platform’s sales plans, and there are also advanced automated workflows you can access when you have one of the professional marketing subscriptions.
Automated workflows can be configured according to your contact’s actions. Every email your contacts receive is triggered by an event. The automation can be adapted according to the stage where each buyer is located within the sales funnel.
Both platforms do a great job. However, HubSpot’s automation is limited for the lower tiers. Therefore, we consider ActiveCampaign better.
Both tools we’re focusing on in this ActiveCampaign vs HubSpot review offer an in-built CRM. Here are the main functionalities of each one.
ActiveCampaign offers an intuitive CRM system. The tool is divided into two main sections: deals and contacts. The latter includes your subscribers’ or buyers’ contact details, while the first shows you a clear overview of where these people are in the sales funnel.
In the ‘contacts' section, you can already start segmenting your audience. You can add information to each contact to prepare them for your personalized email marketing campaigns. In the ‘deals’ section, you can set up personalized sales funnels for your audience with a drag-and-drop tool.
HubSpot’s built-in CRM is very similar to ActiveCampaign. It also contains two separate sections for contacts and deals, but it has a category for companies. In the contacts section, you can segment your audience by adding different details.
The CRM allows you to manage contacts with ease and get in touch with them directly from your dashboard, either by phone or email. You can even schedule meetings and easily add new contacts to your list. You can also add companies to your CRM and assign correlated contacts.
Both CRM tools work similarly, however, we prefer HubSpot because of its additional company features.
An email marketing platform should ensure high deliverability rates to be able to support your marketing efforts. Here is how HubSpot and ActiveCampaign perform in terms of deliverability.
ActiveCampaign can ensure deliverability of up to 91%. This tool’s deliverability capabilities have improved a lot during the past years. Tests show that up to 81.9% of the total number of emails you send through this platform are likely to reach your contacts’ main inboxes. 9.1% of the remaining emails will reach other tabs in your contact's email account, and only 3.8% are likely to go to the spam folder.
HubSpot also performs well when it comes to deliverability. Tests carried out in the same period indicate that this tool can ensure deliverability rates of up to 92%, which is a significant rate compared to other email marketing platforms tested in the same period such as MailerLite, ConvertKit or Sendinblue. 72.5% of the emails sent during the tests reached the recipients’ main inboxes. 19.1% were sent to other tabs and the same percentage of emails we saw in ActiveCampaign – 3,8% reached the spam folders.
We consider ActiveCampaign the winner because most emails sent with this platform will reach the main inboxes of your contacts.
Templates are essential for any email marketing campaign. They ease your work and help you design beautiful and engaging campaigns faster.
ActiveCampaign features 125+ design templates. You can easily style these templates to create appealing emails that convert clients easier. You can add your content to these templates with a few clicks, thanks to the platform’s intuitive editor. Every email has a responsive design and was tested, so you can rest assured it will look great on any device.
HubSpot offers plenty of templates for your email campaigns. They have 25 engaging sales email templates you can use for various circumstances, such as welcome emails, re-engagement messages, post-voicemail emails, drip campaign emails, or templates for automated workflows.
Additionally, the platform offers 16 timeline and flowchart templates, 45 customer service templates, blog posts, eBook templates, and more.
We choose HubSpot as the winner because of the multitude of template types it provides.
Segmentation features are important because they enable you to create well-targeted email campaigns.
ActiveCampaign’s segmentation tools are based on tags. You can automatically apply these tags to your contacts to be able to place them in different categories. These tags allow you to send different types of emails with conditional content. You can automatically schedule what type of content, be it text or images.
You can create groups based on your clients’ last purchase, their behavior on your website, the date when they subscribed to your list, the customer lifetime value, etc.
With HubSpot, you can segment your contacts based on the list they’re on. This can be the active or static contact lists. You can also divide your contacts into different groups according to their interests. Each version of this platform provides specific segmentation features.
HubSpot’s lists are easy to use. Much of the segmentation process is carried out automatically. Once a contact starts to meet or stops meeting certain criteria, they are added or removed from a list.
We like both these tool’s segmentation features so we consider it a tie.
ActiveCampaign vs HubSpot Pricing
The price you pay for an email marketing tool is one of the factors that influence your decision. Learn more about the different pricing plans you get with ActiveCampaign vs HubSpot.
HubSpot’s free plan offers you limited features. The Starter plan costs $50 per month and offers you access to templates, live chat support, ad or list management features. With the Professional plan, you pay $400 or $800 per month depending on whether you want to access the sales, service, or marketing hub, which are the three main services the platform offers.
This plan is ideal for small and medium companies and grants access to almost all HubSpot’s features. The last plan is the Enterprise plan. It costs $2400 per month and includes all the platform’s marketing, sales, and CRM services.
ActiveCampaign offers 4 pricing options. Each paid plan includes all the features of its inferior tier.
The 1st plan is called Lite and it only costs $9/month if paid yearly. This plan already offers a vast suite of tools that can cover all the needs of small businesses or content creators: automation, templates, unlimited emails, chat, and email support. The plan is available for up to 3 users.
The next tier is the Plus plan. It costs $49/month and brings you the in-built CRM, SMS marketing, contacts, and lead segmentation and it is available for 25 users. The Professional plan costs $129/month and allows you to use it in a team of 50 people and provides different website functionalities as well.
The most advanced plan is the Enterprise. It costs $229/month, can be used by an unlimited number of users, and provides extra support such as in-depth onboarding resources, phone support, or a dedicated account representative.
ActiveCampaign is more affordable, so we consider it the winner once again.
Ease of Use
If you want to avoid a steep learning curve when you purchase an email marketing platform subscription, you should first make sure the tool you choose to use is user-friendly.
ActiveCampaign Ease of Use
ActiveCampaign features a pretty intuitive interface. Once you log in to your account, all the main sections display on the left, and you can easily access them by clicking on the desired tab. There is also a handy help button you can use to ask for support and a search bar.
HubSpot Ease of Use
HubSpot also features a clean and straightforward user interface. Just like ActiveCampaign, it provides a chat button you can access in the lower right-hand corner. You can easily learn how to use this tool by browsing through the available resources, and there is also a software tour you can check out before you get started.
Although both tools are quite easy to use, ActiveCampaign can be harder to get used to, due to its multiple sub-sections. For this reason, HubSpot wins another battle.
Integrations refer to the apps and tools you can connect with your email marketing platform in order to share data. Both ActiveCampaign and HubSpot provide multiple integrations.
ActiveCampaign can be integrated with multiple tools, for example, with content management systems, eCommerce platforms, social media channels, analytic tools, and plenty others. Some of the most popular apps you can integrate with ActiveCampaign include WordPress, Facebook, Shopify, WooCommerce, Salesforce, JotForm, Zapier, Google Analytics, ClickFunnels, Pipedrive, Unbounce. More than 800 apps can be integrated with ActiveCampaign.
If the tools you want to connect to your ActiveCampaign account are not available on their list of integrations, you can use the platform’s API to ensure the connection. You also get resources and guides on how to do this.
HubSpot can be integrated with some of the most popular platforms and tools you might be using for your business. There are more than 100 popular integrations you can benefit from with this platform. Some of them are WordPress, Zapier, SalesForce, SurveyMonkey, Eventbrite, Mailchimp, Slack, GoToWebinar. HubSpot’s integrations are even available for the free plan. However, with this type of account, they are limited to 40.
Both platforms offer a generous number of integrations. However, we choose ActiveCampaign because it connects to more apps.
To make sure your email campaigns are going in the right direction, you need to gain access to a basic set of reports with the help of your email marketing tool.
HubSpot provides a vast range of reports that can easily be generated and understood. There is a separate reports section where you can see all the main types of reports displayed side-by-side and easily choose the one you’re interested in, for example, campaign, automation, deals, or contacts reports. Moreover, you can make these reports private or share them only with certain team members.
ActiveCampaign features a basic set of reports you can easily generate. With this platform, you also get a separate reports tab, with all the different types of available reports displayed in order. You can choose what data you want to obtain about your campaigns or contacts. Some of the most useful reports can show automation, newsletters, contacts, and deals.
We consider HubSpot the winner because it allows you to customize your reports dashboard and their metrics are easier to follow.
Whether you need help to set up your account or you’ve got questions about your subscription, you should be able to receive prompt assistance from your email marketing platform.
ActiveCampaign Customer Support
ActiveCampaign provides different levels of support. They offer a useful and easy to access help button. Once you log in to your dashboard, you can see this option at the bottom of the page and access it with one click.
ActiveCampaign provides support by chat, email, or phone. You can get different types of assistance based on the plan you purchased. Phone support is only available with the Enterprise plan. If you purchase the Plus plan or any superior plans, you can also benefit from one-to-one training. There is also a help center where you can find comprehensive educational resources.
HubSpot Customer Support
HubSpot also offers several support options. For the free tiers and any other superior plan, there is an active community of users where you can get help and answers to some of the most common navigation questions you might face.
To benefit from chat and email support, you need to subscribe to the Starter plan at least. You can only access Phone support with their Professional plan. This platform also offers you a free and vast selection of resources including, guides, eBooks, and training courses.
In this ActiveCampaign vs HubSpot comparison, both tools offer similar services. Therefore, we consider them equal.
When to Use Each
Both ActiveCampaign and HubSpot are great for certain business needs. Find out who can benefit more by using these services.
When to Use ActiveCampaign
ActiveCampaign is a versatile and reliable marketing tool. It provides all the standard features you can find in most of its rivals, and it has affordable pricing plans. If you are looking for an easy-to-use email marketing tool and you have a limited budget, ActiveCampaign can be a great choice. This platform provides all the automations, segmentation, and templates you need to start sending engaging email campaigns. Multiple educational resources are also available, which makes this software accessible even for beginners.
When to Use HubSpot
HubSpot is an all-in-one marketing tool. With an included CRM, ads, and social media management, as well as multiple features designed for sales teams, this is the perfect tool for small, medium, or even larger companies. Given the fact that this platform’s pricing plans quickly shift as you add more contacts to your list or require more advanced features, this tool remains a great choice for companies that can afford a highly efficient but pricier tool. However, if you’ve got a limited contacts’ list, you can also enjoy HubSpot’s features using the free plan.
Pros and Cons
These are two of the most popular and appreciated email marketing tools that offer myriad advantages. However, both ActiveCampaign and HubSpot have a few drawbacks as well.
ActiveCampaign Pros and Cons
ActiveCampaign is an ideal tool for small companies or marketers of any level who either work alone or for an agency. Generally, this platform is pretty easy to use. It provides many training and educational resources, as well as good customer support service.
ActiveCampaign offers all the features you need to use to get started with your email marketing strategy. However, some users are not fully satisfied with the platform’s library of templates and complain that the interface can sometimes be slow.
HubSpot Pros and Cons
HubSpot is a versatile marketing platform. They provide more than software for email marketing automation. Hubspot boasts a reliable integrated CRM that can help you manage your customers easier.
They offer tools that contribute to lead gathering and nurturing strategies and numerous integrations with other marketing and management tools. However, given its complexity, this platform is pricier than other products. Furthermore, the initial configuration process can be confusing, time-consuming, and full customer support service is only available with the upper tiers.
Alternatives to ActiveCampaign or HubSpot
If you think you haven’t found what you were looking for with the two email marketing platforms we compared, here are two reliable alternatives:
- Sendinblue This tool was developed in 2007. Some of its best features include the powerful customization capabilities, the possibility to implement transactional emails, which is a great time saver if you have an eCommerce shop, and the possibility to integrate SMS marketing into your strategy.
Built-in CRM, multiple integrations, send-time optimization, and powerful automation are other features this tool offers.
- Constant Contact This is one of the oldest email marketing platforms. Its pricing plans start from $20 per month.
Constant Contact provides a strong set of automations and reporting tools. You can easily track your campaigns’ engagement using this software. Autoresponders, event management tools, social media and different other integrations are also available.
Since the focus of this comparison was finding the best email marketing software, we consider ActiveCampaign the winner. This is the best choice if you’re looking for an affordable tool that offers all the basic email marketing features you might need, solid integrations, good deliverability rates, and a CRM that’s constantly improving.