Email Design Options
To get started with your email campaigns, you need a platform that is both easy to use and provides multiple options to style your emails. Let's see how ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit perform.
ConvertKit Email Design Options
ConvertKit features two ways to create email campaigns either by using the plain-text editor or the updated editor that provides additional options. These editors are less flexible than others because they don't have drag-and-drop functionality. They do offer a simple approach, especially if you only aim to send plain text. There are three basic templates and themes you can use.
ActiveCampaign Email Design Options
This platform allows you to create and save custom ‘blocks’ you can reuse in your future campaigns. The tool features all the changes implemented by users and autosaves any modification. The ultra-flexible drag & drop email editor enables you to easily create attractive emails without using code.
With ActiveCampaign, you get more than 125 modern and beautifully designed templates that are also responsive and customizable, as well as the possibility to create your own emails using the HTML editor.
Moreover, ActiveCampaign also provides an email design service that helps you create branded email templates with the help of a team of experts.
ActiveCampaigns provides a vast range of templates and a user-friendly email builder. Therefore, it is the winner of the first round.
One of the main reasons why you should use an email marketing platform is automation. Automated workflows will save a lot of time and help you nurture leads.
ConvertKit's email sequences are based on different triggers. These triggers are user-specific according to actions that automate the workflow. There are multiple options you can choose from while building workflows including; apply or exclude tags, add or exclude contacts, set customized fields, split the sequence, configure if/else scenarios and use webhooks to external systems through the platform's API.
ConvertKit also features a selection of ready-made automated templates. The automation editor is also very straightforward, all the actions are carried out without leaving the builder.
ActiveCampaign’s workflows are triggered by specific actions. You can use different options to manage the contacts you want to include in your workflows: add or remove tags or custom fields, segment your contacts based on the links they clicked, emails they opened, site visits, time zone, or their location based on IP address.
ActiveCampaign also provides a good range of pre-built templates you can use for your workflows. These templates can adapt to a wide array of business needs, for example, eCommerce companies can use their abandoned cart templates. Moreover, the visual flow-chart-style editor makes it easy for you to create workflows.
ActiveCampaign features a wider array of templates, so it wins another round.
Both ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit provide you with different types of forms you can choose. These forms make it easier to gather, segment contacts, and convert more clients.
ConvertKit Sign-up Forms
ConvertKit features a good selection of modern forms you can easily set up and customize according to your brand's needs. These ready-made templates will significantly ease your design work and allow you to focus on gathering and segmenting leads instead. Nonetheless, the fact that you can't easily access the customization options without getting out of the editor is a bit time-consuming.
ActiveCampaign’s Sign-up Forms
ActiveCampaign doesn't provide ready-made forms, it enables you to create your own by using the available formatting options. This platform offers a plethora of custom fields you can easily add or eliminate. There are 4 main types of formats you can customize: inline, floating box, pop-ups, and floating bar.
ConvertKit provides useful templates, but doesn't have a very flexible editor. ActiveCampaign has numerous customization options but doesn't offer ready-made forms. Therefore, we won't pick a winner.
Each one of these two platforms has unique features. Find out more details.
ConvertKit Unique Features
ConvertKit offers a useful link redirect feature that helps you remedy a possible email link issue you might have detected in your previous campaign. This clever tool allows you to redirect the wrong link to the correct URL. This feature can also be extremely useful in case you already have an email campaign for a promotion and the respective link has expired.
ActiveCampaign Unique Features
ActiveCampaign boasts several unique features that can be very useful for multi-channel marketing. Custom email links are some of this platform's extra. These are useful in case you want to include subdomains in your links to personalize your campaigns.
Another perk is the SMS messaging feature. This feature enables clients to sign up for an email list via SMS. Moreover, it also helps you send promotional messages, invitations, or updates to your contacts via SMS text to your subscribers.
Lead scoring is another useful extra feature you can enjoy with ActiveCampaign, one that can be particularly useful for eCommerce businesses. This feature allows you to score users based on their actions on your website and then send them targeted messages.
'Conversations' is another unique feature included in ActiveCampaign's package. It is available with the platform's upper plans and enables you to apply a unified communication strategy. The 'Conversations' feature brings together email, SMS, and live chat communications in one system.
ActiveCampaign clearly has more unique features than ConvertKit, so we consider it the winner.
One of the most important things you should always consider before purchasing an email marketing platform is deliverability. Here is how ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign performs in terms of deliverability.
ConvertKit helps you build original and highly converting emails that have a personal feel. This helps them avoid spam filters, which are the main obstacle you have to pass to make your emails reach your contacts. Moreover, these personalized emails are also less likely to receive spamming complaints. A 2021 emaildeliverabilityreport.com report points out that ConvertKit manages to deliver 81.3% of emails to recipients’ main inboxes.
In recent years, ActiveCampaign has been considered one of the best email marketing software solutions for email deliverability. Although the emails you can create with this platform have a business look, ActiveCampaign usually performs well in deliverability tests. The same 2021 report we took into consideration for ConvertKit shows that ActiveCampaign manages to deliver 85.25% of emails to recipients’ inboxes.
ActiveCampaign wins in this round too for achieving higher deliverability rates.
The price you have to pay for an email marketing software option is another essential factor to consider. Here is a ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign price comparison.
You can use ConvertKit for free if your list doesn't have more than 1,000 subscribers. You can create, customize, and schedule email campaigns with this plan. However, it doesn't allow you to access the automation features, reports, or customer support options.
This plan costs $79 per month and it unlocks basic features such as reporting and automations that are not available with the Free plan. You can use this plan with up to 5,000 subscribers.
Creator Pro plan
This is ConvertKit's premium plan. It costs $110 and it is available for lists of up to 10,000 contacts. Additional features you gain access to include Facebook audience customization options, deliverability reports, or redirect links.
ActiveCampaign provides four pricing plans:
This plan costs $9/month and it grants access to essential features such as workflows or integrations.
The Plus plan costs $49/month. It brings additional features such as landing pages, subscribers scoring, SMS marketing, or Facebook audience customization.
The platform's professional plan costs $129/month. Some of the extra features you can use under this plan include website personalization tools, send-time optimization, or split automations.
The Enterprise plan costs $229/month and it further expands the package of features including personalized reports, custom mail server, custom domain, email design testing options you can use for an unlimited number of campaigns.
This time, we choose ConvertKit because it also offers a free plan. However, it's worth keeping in mind that this plan is limited. If you want an affordable option that offers basic automation and reporting, ActiveCampaign's Lite plan is a better choice.
ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign - Ease of Use
Both ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit provide a good level of usability, which makes them accessible even for beginners. Here are a few key features that make these tools easy to use.
ActiveCampaign Ease of Use
It's easy to navigate this interface even if you're a newbie. You can set up an account fast and easily. In terms of its functionality, ActiveCampaign is similar to other email marketing platforms. You can select templates to create email campaigns or create unique emails using the HTML editor.
You also can export contacts lists based on the links those users clicked, a feature you don't find in most email marketing platforms. If you have any troubles while using the platform, ActiveCampaign provides you with several customer support options. There is also a rich knowledge base.
ConvertKit Ease of Use
ConvertKit was designed with drag-and-drop functionality, which makes this tool intuitive and suitable even for users who are not very tech-savvy. Every section in the menu seems to be placed in the right spot to ensure easy access and a seamless experience.
You can create email campaigns fast and easily using ConvertKit. The automation builder is also user-friendly. And if you have any issues, ConvertKit is ready to offer you support by different means.
This point goes to ConvertKit, it's hard to find a tool that's easier to use than this one.
If you are using several other tools for your marketing strategy, it would be great to connect them with your email marketing platform. Both ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign allow you to do this. Here are their integrations.
ConvertKit has more than 90 integrations. Some of the most popular apps and tools that integrate with this platform include WordPress, Shopify, Wix, Zapier (which allows you to connect other tools with ConvertKit or CRMs), Stripe, etc.
This platform provides more than 300 integrations. One of them is also Zapier, which enables you to create additional integrations. The platform also has an API that allows you to connect new tools to your ActiveCampaign account. Other integrations include WordPress, ClickFunnels, WooCommerce, Google Analytics, etc.
Since ActiveCampaign can integrate with more tools, this point goes out to their software.
Reports are an essential part each email marketing platform should focus on to help users constantly monitor and improve their campaigns. Here is a quick comparison of ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign’s reports.
ConvertKit offers a basic selection of reports that can help you track your campaigns' progress. They include open rates, click-throughs, and unsubscribe rates. According to many email marketing experts, including our team, this tool’s reports are rather limited, however, they can do just fine for newbies.
Overall, you can access the reports quite easily. The menu displays useful subscriber stats at a glance for the past 30 days. There are also a few reports available for sequences and autoresponders.
ActiveCampaign offers great reporting capabilities. You can get insights from platforms such as click-maps, page visit stats, geo-tracking data, open rates, deal reports, automation reports, contact trends reports, chat conversion stats, and plenty more. If you purchase their Plus plan or any higher plan, you can also benefit from multiple reports for your online store if you manage it through Shopify, WooCommerce, or BigCommerce.
ActiveCampaign also has a built-in CRM. Besides campaigns and automation reports, you can also generate different metrics related to your sales. Moreover, ActiveCampaign can also help you get useful forecasts based on your customers’ purchases.
It’s easy to pick a winner this time, and the point goes to ActiveCampaign for its diversified and generous reporting features.
If you get stuck using your newly acquired email marketing software, you surely want to know that there's some sort of customer support you can access.
ConvertKit Customer Support
ConvertKit offers support via email or live chat, as well as a rich knowledge base with plenty of useful materials on how to navigate the platform. The knowledge base features more than 100 articles. Their guides and tutorials are straightforward and easy to follow. A community is also available and you can easily join the platform’s Slack channel to get in touch with other users.
ActiveCampaign Customer Support
You can contact ActiveCampaign's support team via their live chat. Email support is also available. There is also a knowledge base where you can find articles, guides, and tutorials.
There is also a community forum you can access regardless of the payment plan you're on. It helps you get in touch with other ActiveCampaign users and benefit from their hands-on experience. Moreover, if you purchase the Professional plan, you can benefit from extra support options such as one-on-one training sessions.
Honestly, this round is very tight. However, we choose ActiveCampaign because it also features a useful forum.
When to Use ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign
If you don't know which one of these tools is better for your needs, here are a few things you should consider if you're weighing ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign.
When to Use ConvertKit
ConvertKit is particularly suitable for bloggers. You can use this platform for free for up to 1,000 subscribers, and it features an intuitive menu with functions you can easily leverage even if you are not very tech-savvy. ConvertKit doesn't provide complex automation. However, it offers sufficient features to help you create personalized, good-looking email campaigns.
When to Use ActiveCampaign
ActiveCampaign provides a vast range of tools that can help you create, test, and automate your email campaigns. This tool is suitable both for beginners who are looking for an easy easy email builder and for marketing experts who require in-depth reports. This platform boasts some of the most powerful and reliable automation features. This makes it perfect for companies whose contacts list is continuously expanding.
ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign Pros and Cons
Both ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign have their pros and cons. Here’s a quick summary.
Pros and Cons ConvertKit
ConvertKit focuses a lot on segmentation and audience targeting. Some of its strong points are related to this feature. For example, you can easily tag subscribers and create dynamic email campaigns by merging tags. It is also possible to create multiple types of forms, and the customer support channels are efficient. Some of the cons of this platform are the limited reports and email customization options.
Pros and Cons ActiveCampaign
ActiveCampaign is a well-rounded platform that offers powerful automation, thorough reporting features, good deliverability rates, easy and free migration.
One of the biggest complaints one might have about this platform is that you can enjoy its most complex and powerful features only by upgrading your plan. Compared to ConvertKit's email design that can look personal, ActiveCampaign features a newsletter format that might bring lower conversion rates.
Alternatives to ConvertKit or ActiveCampaign
- Constant Contact is one of the oldest players in the email marketing software field. It’s been around since 1995 and is one of the best options for list-building and segmentation. Constant Contact features an intuitive interface and different engagement tracking features. Their invitation management tool is a plus, and their autoresponders are easy to set up.
- Moosend is a great choice for those who want a multitude of email customization features. Another great advantage is the fact that a subscription for this platform can cost as little as $8/month. Moosend also provides powerful segmentation features, split testing, lead generation tool, click maps, and other useful reports.
Although both these platforms offer numerous advantages, we consider ActiveCampaign the final winner. This platform offers outstanding reporting capabilities that drive better results. Their automated workflows are efficient and easy to implement. The numerous design options, as well as the high deliverability rates are other reasons why we chose this tool.
Check out our other comparisons