ActiveCampaign vs Convertkit: Which Email Tool is Best for Travel Bloggers?

by | Oct 17, 2022

Active Campaign and Convertkit are both popular email marketing services. Both of them charge based on the number of subscribers you have instead of the number of emails you send.

Both platforms offer advanced segmentation, email automation features, landing pages, and many third-party integrations. But which email marketing software is a better choice for travel bloggers and solopreneurs?

In this Convertkit vs ActiveCampaign comparison, I will walk you through every aspect including their ease of use, deliverability, and pricing so that you can easily decide which one better suits your needs.

Convertkit vs ActiveCampaign: TL;DR

Active Campaign vs Convertkit

ActiveCampaign Pros:

  • It offers advanced email automation features with dynamic automations.
  • Offers lead and contact scoring features.
  • Supports SMS marketing.
  • Provides a drag-and-drop email builder.
  • Supports sales automations like CRM, deal scoring, etc.
  • Supports A/B testing.
  • Supports rule-based conditional content.
Try ActiveCampaign

Convertkit Pros:

  • Powerful visual automation builder.
  • Offers a landing page builder.
  • Allows creating dynamic emails using merge tags.
  • Tag-based subscriber system.
  • Allows creating different types of forms.
  • Offers paid newsletters to open a new revenue stream.
  • Great customer support through multiple channels.
Try ConvertKit

Convertkit vs ActiveCampaign: Detailed Comparison

ActiveCampaign vs Convertkit comparison breakdown by features

  • Ease of Use & Editor
  • Design
  • Email Automation
  • Forms & Landing Pages
  • Reporting
  • Spam & Design Testing
  • A/B Split Testing
  • Integrations & Extras
  • Customer Support
  • Pricing

Convertkit vs ActiveCampaign: Ease of Use & Editor

activecampaign-vs-convertkit-ease-of-use-and-editor-comparison
Active Campaign:

activecampaign-editor

ActiveCampaign has a shallow learning curve with a beautifully designed UI. The navigation is well-organized. However, for newbies, it can be a little overwhelming considering that there are too many features that you might never use unless you are a pro marketer. Apart from that, the UI is very polished.

The best part of this email marketing tool is that you get a drag-and-drop editor that is super-easy to master. If you need help, there are tooltips and popups to help you with everything.

You can use custom blocks with the editor and save those blocks for future reuse. Somewhat like Google Docs, Active Campaign will allow you to see the changes others have made.

One problem is that it saves every small change you make. This can get annoying when you want to undo something you did a few minutes ago. You will need to flip through tons of changes that were autosaved.

Convertkit:

activecampaign-vs-convertkit-convertkit-editor

Converkit is also very easy to understand with a clean UI. Since this email marketing service has fewer features, you will see fewer items on the navigation pane.

The editor, however, has no drag-and-drop feature. It looks like a plain-text editor, and hence, visual email creation is not possible due to the absence of interactivity and formatting options.

To make your emails visually pleasing, you need to use CSS codes, which is not an option for everyone. But if you intend to focus only on the content and not on how your emails look, nothing beats Convertkit.

Winner: ActiveCampaign because of the drag-and-drop editor that allows visual email creation.

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ActiveCampaign vs Convertkit: Design & Templates

activecampaign-and-convertkit-templates-comparison
ActiveCampaign:

activecampaign-vs-convertkit-activecampaign-templates

Like most other email marketing tools, ActiveCampaign offers 125+ email templates. You can edit these templates, code a section of the template, or even create an entire HTML template from scratch.

Though not stunning, the templates are fairly good and you can easily adapt them to your brand’s design language.

If you are on the Plus plan or above, you can ask someone from ActiveCampaign to design a custom email template for you.

Convertkit:

convertkit-templates

Convertkit has only three templates of which one is completely text-based. The remaining two don’t lend themselves to heavy editing. You can’t use column-based layouts and image grouping and this will prevent you from visual content creation.

Convertkit pitches itself as a solution for young creatives, but the templates are good for tech-savvy people and advanced marketers who can code email templates using HTML and CSS. Unfortunately, despite their claims, they are not beginner-friendly in this segment.

Winner: ActiveCampaign because they offer many templates for visual content creation.

Try ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign vs Convertkit: Email Automation

activecampaign-vs-convertkit-email-automation-comparison
Active Campaign:

active-campaign-automation

ActiveCampaign offers one of the most powerful marketing automation solutions you will come across. Users can utilize many advanced automation templates or automation recipes along with a flowchart-style visual editor.

There are many advanced options and you can set automation rules. It is easy to set follow-up campaigns to automate sales processes, tag subscribers automatically based on actions they take, send abandoned cart emails, and more.

ActiveCampaign supports dynamic automations under which you can use multiple go-to actions and goals to create flexible workflows in which you can send different contacts down different unique paths.

This email marketing software also has something called an automation map that will show how your automations connect. This will allow you to adjust your marketing strategy, and if necessary, map out new automation workflows.

You can even use a feature called Start/Stop to send a contact to or remove a contact from an automation workflow.

Convertkit:

activecampaign-vs-convertkit-convertkit-automation

Convertkit also has marketing automation options with the ability to tag and segment contacts. This will allow you to run highly focused email automation campaigns. The platform also offers If/Then automation rules and you can apply date-based triggers.

The automation workflow editor is simple & intuitive. They also have email automation templates that you can use or if you want, you can create a marketing automation workflow from scratch.

The automation editor is very powerful and allows you to add forms or emails to your marketing automation workflow right inside it. You don’t need to leave the editor.

Unfortunately, Convertkit lacks features like an automation map and dynamic automations, making the platform unsuitable for highly advanced marketers.

Winner: ActiveCampaign because of its more advanced marketing automation capabilities.

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Convertkit vs ActiveCampaign: Forms & Landing Pages

activecampaign-and-convertkit-forms-and-landing-pages-comparison
ActiveCampaign:

activecampaign-vs-convertkit-activecampaign-form-builder

ActiveCampaign will not provide form templates. Instead, they provide a lot of formatting options, which will allow you to heavily customize an opt-in form. You can even add custom fields to a form very easily without quitting the form editor. This is something you cannot do using Convertkit.

ActiveCampaign will allow you to create landing pages, but unfortunately, you must be on their Plus plan or a higher plan. This is quite stifling for people on a small budget. Good thing is that they have various landing page templates that you can edit using their easy drag-and-drop landing page builder.

This email software has a WordPress plugin that will allow you to integrate opt-in forms directly into your WordPress blog. However, you cannot add landing pages to your blog.

Convertkit:

convertkit-form-builder

Convertkit forms now allow adding fields using a visual editor. This email marketing platform allows adding checkbox and dropdown field values as tags.

You can use a Convertkit form as an embedded form. However, Convertkit also allows pop-up forms and slide-in forms.

Unfortunately, the form builder will not allow extreme customizations. You can use custom CSS to customize Convertkit forms, but the editor will allow only basic customizations such as color changes, image addition, etc.

Convertkit offers 50 templates for building landing pages. Unfortunately, design customization is very limited. You can change the basic colors and use custom CSS.

Convertkit also has a WordPress plugin that will allow you to embed opt-in forms on any blog post, page, or sidebar. You can even use your landing pages on your WordPress blog, eliminating the need for third-party landing page integrations.

Winner: ActiveCampaign because it allows adding custom fields to forms easily without leaving the editor.

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Convertkit vs ActiveCampaign: Reporting

activecampaign-vs-convertkit-reporting-and-analytics-comparison
ActiveCampaign:

activecampaign-analytics

ActiveCampaign offers advanced reporting. You can delve deep into the performance of your email campaigns and find data on opens, page visits, click maps, geo-tracking, and more.

Moreover, if you have an online store powered by WooCommerce, Shopify, or BigCommerce and you sell digital products or physical products, you can get additional reports if you are using their Plus plan or a higher plan.

Since ActiveCampaign comes with CRM features, you find deal reporting, sales performance metrics, and forecasts in addition to email & automation reporting.

Convertkit:

activecampaign-vs-convertkit-convertkit-analytics

Reporting is scant and they provide only basic metrics. They don’t even have any dedicated section for reporting and analytics.

You must go to an individual sequence or email to see analytics data that is limited to only click rates, open rates, links clicked, and unsubscribers. That’s all. There are no click maps, no geographical data, and no bounce rate data.

There is no mechanism for internally renaming emails for analysis. This means that if you have sent the same campaign multiple times to different segments of the audience, you will find it very difficult to analyze them.

Winner: ActiveCampaign because it has more powerful reporting features.

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Convertkit vs ActiveCampaign: Spam & Design Testing

activecampaign-and-convertkit-spam-and-design-test-comparison
ActiveCampaign:

activecampaign-vs-convertkit-activecampaign-spam-test

ActiveCampaign has a spam testing feature that will tell you whether the test passed or failed. That’s all! No explanation. They also have a design testing option that will allow you to preview your emails on different clients and charge you $1 per test per client.

Convertkit:

No such features are available with Convertkit. They do have a preview option that you can use to view your emails as individual email subscribers would.

Winner: ActiveCampaign because it has those features no matter how basic they are.

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ActiveCampaign vs Convertkit: A/B Split Testing

activecampaign-and-convertkit-split-test-comparison
ActiveCampaign:

activecampaign-vs-convertkit-active-campaign-split-test

ActiveCampaign has powerful A/B testing features that allow you to test everything from subject lines to email content, automation, title, etc. You can use these features to improve the efficiency of your email campaigns.

Convertkit:

convertkit-split-test

Unlike ActiveCampaign, Convertkit allows A/B testing only for the subject lines. Changing a subject line can be helpful, but that’s not enough to understand the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts.

The ability to test everything from email content, colors, fonts, layout, CTA position, etc. goes a long way to devise highly effective email marketing strategies.

Winner: ActiveCampaign because of better split testing features.

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Convertkit vs ActiveCampaign: Integrations & Extras

activecampaign-vs-convertkit-integrations-comparison
ActiveCampaign:

activecampaign-integrations

ActiveCampaign has 250+ integrations out of the box. This means that you will most likely find native integrations for most of the tools. Additionally, you also get Zapier integration. Building an API is also simple with ActiveCampaign and this feature is very useful for any big or small business looking for custom integrations.

Convertkit:

activecampaign-vs-convertkit-convertkit-integrations

Converkit offers more than 100 native integrations. Some of Convertkit’s native integrations include Shopify, Clickfunnels, Wix, Gravity Forms, Stripe, Thinkific, etc.

If you cannot find a native integration, you can always use Zapier to integrate Convertkit with thousands of third-party services and apps.

You will possibly need Zapier for CRM integration because, unlike ActiveCampaign, Convertkit doesn’t have a CRM system.

For any big and small business, API-based custom integration is also possible.

Winner: ActiveCampaign wins because it has more native integrations.

Try ActiveCampaign

Convertkit vs ActiveCampaign: Customer Support

activecampaign-and-convertkit-customer-support-comparison

ActiveCampaign:

activecampaign-vs-convertkit-active-campaign-customer-support

ActiveCampaign provides live chat and email support. They also have various tutorials available through their knowledge base.

If you use their Professional plan, you will receive three 1-on-1 training sessions. You can also get community support through their forum.

Convertkit:

convertkit-customer-support

Convertkit offers support via live chat and email from Monday to Friday between 8 AM and 8 PM ET. Limited support is available in the evenings and weekends.

Convertkit offers many detailed articles through its knowledge base that can solve most of the common issues you may be facing.

If you cannot access their support team for any reason, you can visit their online support forum to receive peer-to-peer support.

Winner: It’s a tie because both have decent customer support.

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ActiveCampaign vs. Convertkit: Pricing

activecampaign-vs-convertkit-pricing-comparison

ActiveCampaign Pricing:

activecampaign-pricing-plans

ActiveCampaign doesn’t have any free tier, but they have a free trial with limited access to ActiveCampaign’s features. They have four pricing options.

You can choose to pay annually or monthly, and the pricing depends on how many subscribers you have.

Lite Plan: $15 a month (for 500 contacts)

  • Marketing automation
  • Unlimited emails
  • Drag & drop email Builder
  • Segmentation
  • Subscription forms
  • Automation & email reporting
  • Site and Event Tracking
  • Lead capture forms
  • Sales emails
  • Leads import

Plus Plan: $70 a month (for 500 contacts)

  • Everything in Lite Plan
  • Landing pages
  • Facebook custom audiences
  • Contact scoring or subscriber scoring
  • SMS marketing
  • Conditional content
  • e-Commerce store integrations
  • Abandoned cart automation
  • Advanced performance reporting
  • Mobile campaign reporting
  • CRM with sales automation
  • Lead scoring
  • Inbox sync with CRM
  • SMS nurturing

Profession Plan: $187 a month (for 500 contacts)

  • All the features in the Plus plan
  • Website Personalization
  • Predictive Content
  • Predictive Sending
  • Marketing Attribution
  • Split Automations
  • Conversion Reporting
  • Site Messages
  • Salesforce Integrations
  • Win probability
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Sales engagement automation

Enterprise Plan: Custom pricing

  • Everything in the Professional Plan
  • Custom mailserver domain
  • Custom domain support
  • Free design services
  • Unlimited email design testing
Convertkit Pricing:

activecampaign-vs-convertkit-convertkit-pricing-plans

Convertkit has a free plan and two paid plans. However, the free plan is quite limited and doesn’t offer advanced analytics, visual automation, third-party integrations, and many more advanced features.

Also, the free tier is limited to a maximum of 1,000 subscribers but offers unlimited landing pages, unlimited email broadcasts, and opt-in forms.

The paid plans also have unlimited landing pages, broadcast emails, and opt-in forms along with free migration.

Here is what Convertkit offers:

Free Plan: $0 a month

  • Maximum subscribers: 1,000
  • Sell subscriptions & digital products
  • Audience tagging & segmentation
  • Community support

Creator Plan: Starts at $15 a month for 300 subscribers

  • Maximum subscribers: 400,000 beyond which there is custom pricing
  • Sell subscriptions & digital products
  • Audience tagging & segmentation
  • Email & Live chat support
  • Visual automation builder
  • Third-party integrations
  • Automated email sequences

Creator Pro Plan: Starts at $29 a month for 300 subscribers

  • Maximum subscribers: 400,000 beyond which there is custom pricing
  • Sell subscriptions & digital products
  • Audience tagging & segmentation
  • Email & Live chat support
  • Visual automation builder
  • Third-party integrations
  • Automated email sequences
  • Advanced analytics & reporting
  • Newsletter referral system

Winner: Convertkit wins because it is cheaper.

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ActiveCampaign vs Convertkit: FAQ

What are the core differences between Convertkit and ActiveCampaign?

Both Convertkit and ActiveCampaign are powerful email marketing tools but while both have similar features for email marketing, ActiveCampaign’s features are far more advanced.

Additionally, ActiveCampaign integrates a sales suite with CRM, lead scoring, lead capture forms, and other features. Convertkit lacks these features. This makes ActiveCampaign a preferred platform for any online marketer or small business.

What are the top alternatives for Convertkit and ActiveCampaign?

Some of the top alternatives of Convertkit and ActiveCampaign are MailerLite, Constant Contact, AWeber, GetResponse, and Mailchimp. All these platforms are advanced email marketing platforms.

If you want a simpler platform with basic email marketing and simple reporting, you can explore Flodesk, which is a relatively new platform with a focus on email design. Flodesk is the platform I’m currently using and I love it! You can see my full flodesk review here.

Unlike Convertkit and ActiveCampaign Flodesk charges a flat monthly rate with no differential pricing options. They don’t charge higher as you keep getting more subscribers.

Can I use Convertkit & ActiveCampaign for free?

Convertkit has a free offering that will allow up to 1,000 contacts and limited features. ActiveCampaign doesn’t have any free tier, but they have a free trial that you can use without giving your credit card details.

Convertkit vs ActiveCampaign: Summary

Convertkit and ActiveCampaign are both popular email marketing platforms, but both can be very expensive as your contact list grows.

ActiveCampaign is perfect for businesses that rely on selling products (digital or physical) for revenue generation because of their sales suite. Convertkit is a great choice for bloggers who have nothing to sell.

The platform you select will depend on your business model but I personally prefer ActiveCampaign because of its easy-to-use editor, a more intuitive form builder, and advanced analytics.

But if you are an HTML and CSS whiz (or if you don’t care about the visual appeal of emails) with no requirements for a CRM and other sales features, Convertkit is a great choice.

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