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ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign: An in-depth comparison for 2024

By Stacy Kimbell

Last update: December 13, 2023

At Email Tools Guide, we do not compromise our rankings for monetary gain. Our reviews reflect our sincere evaluation and hands-on experience with each tool. However, if you purchase via links on our site, we may receive affiliate commissions.

ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign are prominent platforms in the email marketing domain. As leaders in the industry, they equip businesses with essential tools. Yet, their distinct offerings differentiate them.

So, which platform is right for you—ConvertKit or ActiveCampaign? You’ll find out shortly.

ConvertKit is celebrated for its user-friendly interface and creator-focused approach. Since 2013, it has been helping businesses expand their audience reach.

ActiveCampaign demonstrates exceptional performance with its robust integration of email marketing, automation, and CRM tools. Since 2003, it has been a preferred choice for businesses needing advanced features.

In this article, we’ll thoroughly compare ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign. We’ll explore the capabilities and limitations of each platform to help you make an informed decision that will boost your email marketing strategy.

ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign: Quick overview

ActiveCampaign has a solid reputation in the Shopify App Store, with over 370 reviews rating it 4.5 stars out of 5. This rating underscores its effectiveness in providing email marketing solutions to ecommerce businesses.

ConvertKit recently introduced the ‘ConvertKit Tools App’ in the Shopify App Store to help users integrate Shopify with ConvertKit. This step is significant for enhancing ConvertKit users’ ecommerce features.

ConvertKit is advancing its ecommerce capabilities, whereas ActiveCampaign has already established itself as a reliable ecommerce platform. They each have unique strengths and some limitations that set them apart.

The below table presents a quick comparison of ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign:

Feature
ConvertKit
ActiveCampaign
Ease of signing up
Easy
Fairly easy
Intuitive email builder
Modern-looking email templates
Unique coupon codes
Email personalization
Pre-built automated workflows
Yes - Only structure, no copy
Modern-looking signup forms
Landing page builder
Signup form/landing page analytics
Customer segmentation
Robust email campaign analytics
Customer support 24/7
Seamless integrations with ecommerce platforms
Compatibility with other marketing channels
Generative AI tools

The table above shows that ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign have distinctive offerings. Our goal is to highlight the key differences between ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit. 

Let’s proceed to explore both platforms’ specific features in detail.

ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign comparison: Feature by feature

ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign serve different purposes. Now, let’s begin the comparison.

Ease of getting started

The ease of getting started and navigating a platform plays a pivotal role in the user experience. This ConvertKit vs. ActiveCampaign comparison will thoroughly examine how each platform supports a seamless customer onboarding process.

You don’t need a credit card to sign up for either ConvertKit or ActiveCampaign. The signup process is simple, quick, and meets industry standards.

Navigating ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign reveals differences.

ConvertKit’s menu is simple and intuitive. There aren’t too many options and we can assume that the platform is tailored for creators, because the menu contains options like “tip jars,” “creator profile,” “creator university,” etc.

ActiveCampaign features a clean and organized dashboard with more extended menu options. From the menu, we can understand that the platform is more comprehensive than ConvertKit.

Both platforms have unique features that set them apart. ConvertKit offers a “Tip Jar” and options to sell digital products. ActiveCampaign, on the other hand, introduces a feature known as “Message Variables.”  Additionally, it offers a complimentary design service for email templates.

ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign: who wins?

ActiveCampaign emerges as the winner for ease of getting started. Its straightforward signup, clean interface, and unique features cater to broader business needs.

ActiveCampaign

Building an email campaign

Delving into the core of email marketing, we’ll compare how ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign craft email campaigns.

ConvertKit’s email-building wizard is intuitive and easy to use. ActiveCampaign also provides a well-defined wizard that serves as a guide. The wizard allows for list selection and segment creation at the outset.

Both platforms simplify the process of naming campaigns and adding preheaders.

ActiveCampaign offers a user-friendly email builder with a straightforward interface. The platform has drag-and-drop functionality to facilitate the creation of email layouts. It also offers valuable features, such as a comprehensive editing history and storing modules for future use. 

In contrast, ConvertKit doesn’t offer drag-and-drop functionality, which makes it slightly less user-friendly than other platforms.

In terms of templates, ActiveCampaign provides a wide variety. It offers 21 basic and over 230 designed templates.

Meanwhile, ConvertKit offers 15 templates, which may seem limited in scope. 

For email types, ConvertKit supports the following:

  • Regular campaigns
  • A/B test for subject lines
  • Automated campaigns

ActiveCampaign offers a broader array and, in addition to the regular, a/b test, and automated campaigns, offers RSS campaigns and date-based campaigns.

Personalization features in ConvertKit are limited to merging tags in the email body. Similarly, ActiveCampaign allows customers to add merge tags in subject lines and email content.

ConvertKit’s features include digital product cards that cater to creators’ needs.

In contrast, ActiveCampaign doesn’t have standout features in its builder. However, it offers unique campaign tools like ‘Message Variables.’ It also presents users in the higher-tier plans with a ‘free design service.’

The winner?

ActiveCampaign emerges as the winner in building an email campaign. It has an intuitive design, a broad template range, and more personalization options, making it more versatile than ConvertKit.

ActiveCampaign

Marketing automation

Automation capabilities are pivotal in the ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign comparison. Here, we assess how each platform’s automation features streamline marketing efforts.

ActiveCampaign offers a comprehensive automation solution that integrates various marketing channels and data from CRM systems. The platform also offers customizable “recipes” and a unique “marketplace” for automating workflows. Overall, ActiveCampaign’s automation features are extensive and can cover the vast majority of ecommerce as well as B2B business needs. However, they might be overwhelming for some users due to their complexity.

ConvertKit’s automation interface is split into the “Sequences” and “Automate” sections. This division might be confusing at first, but it’s not so difficult when you start using them.

ConvertKit provides 28 automation templates specifically designed for creators. These templates cater to scenarios like book pitches or album launches. 

Overall, ConvertKit automation can be sufficient for many solopreneurs, bloggers and educators. It’s not too advanced, keeps a good balance between functionality and complexity.

ActiveCampaign offers good compatibility with other marketing channels. It supports push notifications and SMS in the single workflow. Meanwhile, ConvertKit’s automation is limited to the email channel.

ActiveCampaign vs ConvertKit: the best automation capabilities

ActiveCampaign stands out in marketing automation. It has many functionalities and integration capabilities, with an extensive workflow marketplace. All these features make it a more versatile choice. However, if you are just a beginner, consider ConvertKit, or a different ecommerce email solution with more straightforward automation.

ActiveCampaign

Signup forms and landing pages

ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign offer tools for capturing leads and creating landing pages. However, each platform’s approach and functionalities differ. 

ConvertKit provides nine modern and easily customizable signup form templates. The signup forms are intuitive, making the customization process smooth. 

Similarly, ActiveCampaign offers a variety of form types, such as inline, floating box, popup, and floating bar forms. However, it lacks pre-designed templates, and the form  layouts are basic compared to ConvertKit.

Both platforms let you see how well your signup forms are doing. They both provide reports on visitors, subscribers, and conversions.

ConvertKit provides over 50 landing page templates that are suitable for various purposes. From webinars to ebook launches, the landing pages are easy to customize and have a flexible and intuitive editor. 

In comparison, ActiveCampaign offers a more limited number of templates, focusing on tracking page views and conversions. However, it provides landing page functionality only for users on the Plus plan and above. 

Who wins: ConvertKit or ActiveCampaign?

ConvertKit takes the lead in this round. Its wide range of modern, customizable signup forms and extensive landing page templates provide a more user-friendly experience. ActiveCampaign offers more basic form designs and a less intuitive form builder.

ConvertKit

Segmentation

Effective segmentation is key to targeted marketing. This section examines how ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign empower users to segment their audience for more personalized communication.

Neither ConvertKit nor ActiveCampaign offer ready-to-go audiences. You will have to build your segments from scratch.

ConvertKit’s segmentation is quite good despite having fewer criteria than some other platforms. It offers a range of segmentation criteria and tag functionality. 

These include options, such as:

  • Subscription date
  • Name
  • City
  • Country

However, ConvertKit lacks advanced filters such as customer lifetime value and onsite behavior.

ActiveCampaign’s segmentation features are robust. It caters to both ecommerce and B2B businesses with its wide segments. Users can segment by the following options:

  • Contact details
  • Customer email actions
  • Geography
  • Attribution
  • Site and event data
  • Account details
  • Shopping behavior
  • Deal details
  • Custom deal fields
Who offers the best segmentation?

ActiveCampaign stands out in segmentation. It offers a more comprehensive and versatile set of segment options. ConvertKit provides strong basic segmentation but lacks certain advanced features.

ActiveCampaign

Analytics

The ability to track and analyze marketing efforts is vital. Let’s compare ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign’s analytical tools.

ConvertKit’s analytics focus on email engagement rates, including opens and clicks. The platform also provides transaction reports for product sales and reports from the Creator’s Network. 

Additionally, ConvertKit offers advanced deliverability reporting and subscriber insights for automation flows. However, it lacks a unified dashboard to view all reports. It also doesn’t offer clickmaps, heatmaps, geolocation data, or real-time analytics.

ActiveCampaign provides a broader range of analytics features. The platform offers reporting on the following:

  • Site tracking
  • Campaigns
  • Automation engagement reports
  • Link and event tracking

More advanced reports, such as attribution or customer reports, are available on higher-tier plans. However, for users on the Lite plan, marketing revenue reports aren’t accessible. This limitation is noteworthy. Some other platforms offer more ecommerce insights for all users.

Best Analytics: ConvertKit or ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign leads in the analytics category. It has extensive reporting features, including advanced options on higher-tier plans. In short, it offers a more comprehensive analytics solution than ConvertKit.

ActiveCampaign

Customer support

Customer support can significantly influence the user experience. So, examining each tool’s responsiveness and resource availability is crucial. 

ConvertKit provides community support for its free plan users. It offers 24/7 live chat and email support for paying customers. This availability allows users to receive help at any time. It’s a significant advantage. 

Regarding online resources, ConvertKit has several options, including:

  • A blog
  • A community forum
  • A knowledge base
  • Educational videos
  • Creator University

ActiveCampaign offers 24/7 email and chat support, also the following resources:

  • Tutorials
  • Video guides
  • A community forum
  • A knowledge base

These resources help users who want to learn more about the platform or prefer self-help.

Who takes this round?

It’s a tie. Both platforms offer 24/7 customer support. We found support agents quick and responsive, and both platforms offer sufficient resources for self-help.

It's a tie

Integrations

Integrations enhance the functionality of email marketing tools. In this section, we compare the integration capabilities of ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign with other software.

ConvertKit offers a comprehensive list of integrations, including hundreds of tools and Zapier integrations. ConvertKit seamlessly integrates with Shopify and numerous other platforms. The integration is especially beneficial for ecommerce businesses.

Similarly, ActiveCampaign boasts an extensive array of native integrations. It connects with well-known platforms, such as:

  • PayPal
  • Shopify
  • BigCommerce
  • Google Analytics
  • WordPress

The platform’s compatibility with Zapier further enhances its integration capacity. This range of options makes it easy for users to find and implement the required integrations.

ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign: who’s the master of integrations

ActiveCampaign wins the round by a slight margin. Both platforms have multiple integrations. However, ActiveCampaign wins by a thin margin due to its broader spectrum of native integrations. It covers a wide array of popular platforms and essential business tools.

ActiveCampaign

Compatibility with other channels

It’s crucial to examine the compatibility of ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign with other marketing channels. Let’s compare ActiveCampaign vs ConvertKit in this aspect.

ActiveCampaign is a leading platform regarding compatibility with other marketing channels. It allows for SMS marketing with an add-on and additional payment. The platform also supports the following channels:

  • Facebook custom audiences
  • Facebook lead ads
  • Mobile apps
  • Web push notifications

Additionally, ActiveCampaign offers a conversation tool. This further enhances its compatibility with various marketing channels.

ConvertKit, on the other hand, offers integration specifically with Facebook custom audiences. This feature allows users to align their email marketing strategies with Facebook campaigns. However, ConvertKit doesn’t support other channels like SMS, push notifications, or Google Ads.

The winner?

ActiveCampaign takes the lead in this round. It’s compatible with various marketing channels, including SMS and push notifications. This makes it a more versatile choice compared to ConvertKit.

ActiveCampaign

Generative AI tools

The integration of AI tools offers a competitive edge for email marketing platforms. Here, we examine how ActiveCampaign’s AI capabilities stack up against ConvertKit’s offerings.

ConvertKit doesn’t currently provide generative AI tools, limiting its capabilities to a certain extent.

ActiveCampaign incorporates AI technology into its offerings. Its AI integration unlocks the following capabilities:

  • AI-powered content generation for personalized and engaging customer experiences
  • Accelerated writing process to turn keywords into content
  • Campaign fine-tuning based on feedback
  • Content analysis for tone, structure, and intent
  • Experimentation with content variants to improve customer experience
Which tool has better generative AI tools?

ActiveCampaign wins this round.

ActiveCampaign

Price comparison

Cost is a crucial factor to consider when selecting an email marketing platform. It’s important to weigh the features offered against the pricing structure. 

In this section, we’ll compare the pricing of ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign. We’ll focus on the value each platform provides. 

Let’s get started.

Free plans comparison

ConvertKit’s free plan caters to a broad audience. It provides the following features:

  • An email list accommodating up to 1,000 subscribers
  • Unlimited landing pages, forms, and broadcasts
  • Audience tagging and segmentation
  • Ability to sell digital products and subscriptions
  • Community support
  • Free recommendations

In contrast, ActiveCampaign doesn’t offer a permanent free plan. Instead, it provides a 14-day free trial, which limits users to 100 contacts.

Paid plans comparison

Understanding the financial implications of an email marketing platform is vital. In this section, we’ll compare the paid plans of ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign. 

The table below compares the paid plans of the two platforms:

No. of subscribers
Up to 1,000
Up to 5,000
Up to 10,000
Up to 25,000
Up to 50,000
Up to 100,000
No. of subscribers
ConvertKit Creator
ConvertKit Creator Pro
ActiveCampaign Lite
ActiveCampaign Plus
ActiveCampaign Professional
Up to 1,000
$29
$59
$39
$70
$187
Up to 5,000
$79
$111
$99
$186
$262
Up to 10,000
$119
$167
$174
$287
$424
Up to 25,000
$199
$279
$286
$474
$686
Up to 50,000
$379
$519
$486
$699
$1011
Up to 100,000
$679
$879
Custom pricing
Custom pricing
Custom pricing

Like ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit’s pricing depends on subscriber numbers and desired features. It offers two main paid plans, with the more costly plan providing additional features.

ActiveCampaign’s Lite plan includes basic options like email campaigns and automation but lacks ecommerce integrations and certain advanced features. Even higher tiers, such as the Plus plan, keep many features locked.

From the table above, we can see that the prices differ significantly. ConvertKit is more basic and affordable than ActiveCampaign. Therefore, before making a decision, evaluate the features necessary for your current stage and what features are less important.

Often, marketers choose what’s relevant in the current situation. When the business outgrows the solution, they either look for a new one or upgrade their plan.

ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign: Which one wins?

Below is a quick recap of some key factors to consider when choosing between ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit:

Criteria
ConvertKit
ActiveCampaign
Rating

3.8

4.1

Pricing

Up to 1,000 – $29

Up to 5,000 – $79

Up to 10,000 – $119

Up to 25,000 – $199

Up to 50,000 – $379

Up to 100,000 – $679

Up to 1,000 subscribers – $39

Up to 5,000 subscribers – $99

Up to 10,000 subscribers – $174

Up to 25,000 subscribers – $286

Up to 50,000 subscribers – $486

Up to 100,000 subscribers – Custom pricing

Features you can get for free

– Up to 1,000 subscribers 

– Unlimited landing pages

– Unlimited forms

– Unlimited broadcasts

– Audience tagging and segmentation

– Sell digital products & subscriptions

– Community support

– Free recommendations

– Paid plans only

– 14 days free trial available

Pros

– A lot of features for creators

– Templates and automation tailored for creators

– Great support

– Reasonable price

– Very good marketing automation features

– Good email templates

– Extended tracking and reporting capabilities

– Very broad functionality including CRM, transactional emails, sales funnels, etc.

Cons

– Unusual interface

– No AI tools

– No other channels

– More expensive than other similar tools 

– Might be overwhelming for non-tech-savvy people or marketing beginners

– Ecommerce reports available on the higher tier plans only

– Signup forms don’t have templates

Best for

– Online creators like bloggers, freelancers, educators, etc.

– Well-established ecommerce businesses

– B2B companies

Not recommended for

– Ecommerce brands

– Ecommerce beginners

– Non-profit organizations

– Solopreneurs

Our analysis shows that both platforms cater to distinct user needs. ConvertKit has a user-friendly interface and creator-focused features, making it an excellent choice for those new to email marketing. It’s also ideal for users needing unique features like the “Tip Jar.”

ActiveCampaign, on the other hand, excels in offering advanced features, extensive automation options, and superior analytics. It’s the go-to for businesses seeking depth in their email marketing strategies and integration with other channels.

The decision between ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign hinges on your specific needs. Both platforms excel in their unique ways. So, consider all the aspects we analyzed in our comparison before making a final choice. 

If you run an ecommerce business that requires certain robust features, then exploring alternatives like GetResponse or Omnisend may be beneficial. These platforms have advanced offerings tailored for ecommerce businesses.

Read full reviews

3.8
Not great not terrible
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4.1
Not great not terrible
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4.8
Life-changing superhero
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Our team strives to be accurate and unbiased in reviewing email tools. However, we recognize that mistakes can happen, and it’s essential for us to stay up to date. If you come across any errors or things that need to be reviewed again, please let us know.

Stacy Kimbell
Stacy Kimbell
Co-founder & Chief Editor
Stacy Kimbell has nine years of experience in email marketing. She's worked with different email platforms and created many successful email campaigns for online and offline, well-established as well as family businesses. Stacy is excited to share her expertise with readers.