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8 ActiveCampaign Alternatives That Won’t Break the Bank

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Jul 7, 2022

Roberta Phillips

activecampaign alternatives

ActiveCampaign is a fantastic email marketing service, but it’s not for everyone. Perhaps you’ve tried it out and couldn’t get your head around it, or perhaps you’re specifically looking for a free or more affordable tool?

Whatever the reason, we’re glad you’re here, because we’ve got a whole host of excellent ActiveCampaign alternatives to show you! Most of which include a freemium plan.

Due to ActiveCampaign’s breadth of features – we’re talking email marketing to CRM software to live chat – we’ve included a range of alternatives to ActiveCampaign in order to cover different business types and requirements.

So let’s get into it!

Pros and Cons to Using ActiveCampaign

Firstly, I want to highlight all the pros and cons we’ve discovered whilst testing ActiveCampaign’s software over a number of years. This way, we can determine what’s most important to look for in other email marketing and CRM tools in order to find the perfect ActiveCampaign alternative for you.

PROSCONS

  • No freemium plan
  • The reporting dashboard could do with an update. It would be useful to be able to create custom reports.
  • Slightly steeper learning curve than simpler email marketing services like MailerLite.
  • It’s not possible to export your list of deals from the tool.

You can try ActiveCampaign for free on its 14-day free trial.

The Best ActiveCampaign Alternatives (table)

This table outlines the main pros and cons of each of the ActiveCampaign competitors, to help identify the areas they compete with ActiveCampaign in and where ActiveCampaign might be a better option.

 

PROVIDERCOMMENTSPRICING
G

GetResponse

  • Good value for money
  • Sales funnel software
  • Advanced marketing automation
  • Freemium plan with unlimited emails
  • Deliverability could be better
  • Ecommerce features only available on expensive plan
Free version available

Paid plans start at $19 per month

Try for free

Sendinblue review

Sendinblue

  • Advanced automations and web tracking
  • CRM software and lead scoring
  • Very affordable
  • Daily sending limit on freemium plan
  • Multi-user access limited to Premium and higher plans
Free version available

Paid plans start at $25 per month

Try for free

Mailchimp

Mailchimp

  • Generous free plan
  • Thorough reporting
  • Additional features such as scheduling software and website builder
  • Multistep automation workflows only available on higher-tier plan
  • Limited support on free plan
Free version available

Paid plans start at $11 per month

Try for free

omnisend

Omnisend

  • The free plan includes all features
  • Landing pages, email marketing automation and advanced segmentation
  • Ecommerce focused email marketing tool
  • Missing tracking options
  • Limited integrations
  • Deliverability issues
Free version available

Paid plans start at $16 per month

Try for free

drip

Drip

  • Ecommerce CRM tools
  • Advanced marketing automation
  • Contact tagging
  • On the pricey side
  • Only for ecommerce store owners
Prices start from $39/month

Try for free

hubspot logo

HubSpot

  • Free email marketing and CRM software with unlimited users
  • Easy-to-use
  • Excellent support
  • Massive price jump for pro features like omnichannel marketing
  • Hidden fees
  • Basic templates
Free version available

Paid plans start from

$50

Try for free

engagebay logo

EngageBay

  • Well-designed tool
  • Free plan and affordable paid plans
  • Limited integrations
  • No mobile app
Free version available

Paid plans start from $12.99/month

Try for free

MailerLite

MailerLite

  • Generous freemium plan
  • Easy-to-use
  • Affordable
  • Excellent deliverability
  • Marketing automations could be more advanced
  • Limited reporting
  • No CRM
Free plan available

Paid plans start at $17 per month

Try for free

salesmate

Salesmate

  • Easy-to-use
  • Advanced sales and marketing automation
  • Lacking automation templates
  • No freemium plan
Paid plans start from $15/user/month

Free trial

Alternatives to ActiveCampaign in Detail

The following list is a mix of email marketing, CRM and all-in-one marketing tools, which are all excellent ActiveCampaign competitors for different reasons.

GetResponse – Excellent range of advanced features

GetResponse is good value for the number of features available. These include webinars, sales funnel software and advanced marketing automation, to name a few.

We used GetResponse for years as part of our own email marketing strategy and found the tool both easy to use and advanced. We were happy when the email builder was updated and a free plan added, not so happy when paid plan prices increased, which is why we moved over to Sendinblue (more on this tool below).

What we like

Unlike ActiveCampaign, GetResponse offers a free forever plan, which includes autoresponders, a landing page/website builder and unlimited emails.

The webinar software and visual conversion funnel software are also pretty unique to GetResponse.

What GetResponse could improve

GetResponse’s deliverability could be better. Our bi-annual email deliverability tests show just average scores for this email marketing service, whereas ActiveCampaign tends to do pretty well.

GetResponse’s contact relationship management capabilities are fairly basic. If you’re in need of CRM functionalities like lead scoring and deal pipelines, you’d be better off with ActiveCampaign.

Another disadvantage is that ecommerce features are reserved for high-paying customers ($119/month). If you’re an online store owner, Omnisend might be a better option for you.

> See how the marketing tools compare in our GetResponse vs ActiveCampaign guide.

Pricing

Paid plans start from $19/month

See our GetResponse pricing guide for more information.

>Try GetResponse for free

Sendinblue – A more affordable ActiveCampaign alternative

Sendinblue includes advanced automations, web tracking, CRM software and lead scoring, to name a few features. Unlike other providers, it charges based on the number of emails you send rather than how many contacts you have.

As I mentioned above, we’re currently using Sendinblue as our main email marketing tool and are pretty happy with it. The automations are easy to set up and customer support has always been quick to respond and helpful.

What we like

It’s great that marketing automation is included on the free plan. In fact, Sendinblue’s plans are much more affordable overall. For example, for $25/month you’ll be able to send up to 20,000 emails to unlimited contacts.

Sendinblue is also a transactional email service, something ActiveCampaign is not.

What Sendinblue could improve

Unfortunately, Sendinblue’s reporting isn’t as comprehensive as ActiveCampaign’s.

The CRM also isn’t as developed. It’s missing both lead scoring and analytics; there is no reporting at all on deals.

Pricing

Paid plans start from $25/month

See our Sendinblue pricing guide for more information.

> Try Sendinblue for free

Mailchimp – Email marketing service with a shallow learning curve

According to its market share, Mailchimp is much more popular than ActiveCampaign. So what does it have to offer that ActiveCampaign doesn’t?

The big appeal of Mailchimp is its free plan, which you can use to send up to 10,000 emails a month to 2,000 subscribers. Other features available with Mailchimp (but not ActiveCampaign) include scheduling software, an ecommerce builder and transactional emails.

What we like

Mailchimp is known for being easy to use, and we have to agree. The reports are also very detailed and even include conversion tracking and social media.

Design testing and email client preview (previewing your email on Gmail or Outlook, for example) are included on paid plans. ActiveCampaign charges you $1 per preview.

What Mailchimp could improve

ActiveCampaign allows you to track visitors on your site and has so many more automation templates than Mailchimp. You can also send ultra-personalized emails to your subscribers with conditional email content.

This means that you can show each subscriber the products that are relevant to them – something Mailchimp doesn’t offer. These ActiveCampaign pros prompted us to include it as one of the top Mailchimp alternatives.

> See how the marketing tools compare in our ActiveCampaign vs Mailchimp guide.

Pricing

Paid plans start from $11/month

See our Mailchimp pricing guide for more information.

> Try Mailchimp for free

Omnisend – Ecommerce focused

Features include landing pages, email automation and advanced segmentation. The big advantage to using Omnisend is that the free plan includes all features.

omnisendWhat we like

Because Omnisend is an ecommerce-focused email marketing service, it includes a range of niche features that online store owners will find useful. For example, scratch cards, wheel of fortune, gift boxes and its smart product picker.

Other features include web tracking, SMS marketing and advanced segmentation. In fact, Omnisend integrates really well with Shopify. You can also use it with the following ecommerce platforms: BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Volusion, PrestaShop and Magento.

What Omnisend could improve

Unfortunately, it doesn’t track the geo-location or social media of your subscribers.

Though it comes with all features, the sending allowance on the free plan is very low; 500 emails a month to 250 subscribers isn’t very much at all. There are other more generous free email marketing services.

Pricing

Paid plans start from $16/month

See our Omnisend pricing guide for more information.

> Try Omnisend for free

Drip – For ecommerce stores with some budget

Drip’s top features include ecommerce CRM features and intuitive sales and marketing automation. You will have access to all features on all paid plans, paying more when your subscriber count rises. Though, be aware that if you go over the subscriber limit, you’ll automatically be bumped up to the next plan (without warning).

Drip

What we like

Like ActiveCampaign, Drip does a fabulous job of marketing automation. Drip is perhaps the easier of the two to master, and is excellent for ecommerce automations. You can even automatically tag users if they carry out a certain action, like visit a particular page.

It also includes CRM features such as a deal pipeline.

What Drip could improve

With prices starting at $39 and no free plan, Drip isn’t the most affordable option for small businesses. That said, its prices are still more affordable than ActiveCampaign’s. If you’re looking for an even more affordable ecommerce solution, you should take a look at Omnisend.

Drip doesn’t offer spam or design testing. I also found that ActiveCampaign’s drag-and-drop editor gave me more flexibility, as there’s a wider variety of content elements available (social links, RSS, video links, etc.). You can also insert conditional email content, for example, product offers based on a contact’s purchase history.

Also, because running an ecommerce is a prerequisite for using Drip, ActiveCampaign is a more versatile tool.

> See how the marketing tools compare in our Drip vs ActiveCampaign guide.

Pricing

Paid plans start from $39/month

> Try Drip for free

HubSpot – CRM first

HubSpot offers a very comprehensive contact and deal management software. We highly recommend its free plan, which is a great choice for small businesses with small budgets.

hubspot

What we like

HubSpot’s free CRM plan is pretty generous, with the ability to add unlimited users and 1M contacts. This also includes email marketing, website tracking and landing pages.

Despite its excellent functionality, HubSpot is very easy to use. It also offers very good customer support and free online courses.

Something quite unique to HubSpot is the call feature. This enables users to make and record calls from within the platform, and it’s available on all plans (with varying time limits).

What HubSpot could improve

Omnichannel marketing automation is very expensive with HubSpot – we’re talking $890 a month expensive! Which is why we only recommend its free and Starter plans.

ActiveCampaign, on the other hand, allows you to incorporate other channels such as social media, landing pages, SMS and live chat for a much more reasonable price.

> See how the marketing tools compare in our HubSpot vs ActiveCampaign guide.

Pricing

Paid plans start from $50/month

See our HubSpot pricing guide for more information.

> Try HubSpot for free

EngageBay – Good all-rounder

EngageBay is a great ActiveCampaign alternative for both sales and marketing teams. It offers a myriad of features including email marketing, deal management and marketing automation. We rated it very highly in our best CRM software for small businesses guide.

engagebay email

What we like

EngageBay has a very clean, intuitive interface, which makes it a great choice for beginners.

Additional features include live chat/helpdesk, ticketing and appointment scheduling, making it a real all-rounder when it comes to digital marketing and sales.

Its plans are very affordable, more so than ActiveCampaign’s. The all-in-one plan, which comes with most advanced features, will cost you just $49.99/month for 10,000 contacts. ActiveCampaign would cost something closer to $300/month for the similar features and number of contacts.

What EngageBay could improve

Its list of direct third-party integrations is not very big, whereas ActiveCampaign offers direct integrations with over 870 apps.

EngageBay also doesn’t have a mobile app.

Pricing

Paid plans start from $12.99/month

> Try EngageBay for free

MailerLite – More affordable email marketing tool for beginners

MailerLite is an excellent email marketing service for those with little experience. The software is really easy to use, perhaps the easiest we’ve come across. But that doesn’t mean it’s in any way basic.

You can actually do quite a lot with MailerLite, be it building beautiful emails, landing pages or websites or automating list management and marketing campaigns.

What we like

MailerLite’s free plan is very generous; it comes with 1,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails p/m. It also includes automations, landing pages and reports.

MailerLite’s deliverability is the best around, according to our bi-annual tests. They also offer well-designed, modern landing page and newsletter templates (though only basic structural templates are included on the freemium plan).

What MailerLite could improve

MailerLite’s reporting features are nowhere near as sophisticated as ActiveCampaign’s. You also won’t have as much information on contacts or any kind of sales features such as deal pipelines.

Pricing

Paid plans start from $19/month

See our MailerLite pricing guide for more information.

> Try MailerLite for free

Salesmate – Well-designed CRM software

Salesmate is a powerful CRM platform that comes with a good range of features. It includes everything from contact management and sales and marketing automation to built-in calling and live chat.

salesmate crm

What we like

I found the software very user-friendly in general. The dashboard is well-designed and uncluttered.

The automation builder, in particular, is very easy to use, since you can visually map out your workflows. You also have tons of triggers and conditions to choose from.

It includes built-in calling and text on all plans.

What Salesmate could improve

Unfortunately, there are no automation templates, which means that setting up a workflow automation may take you a little longer than with ActiveCampaign or another marketing automation tool.

Salesmate doesn’t offer a free plan, and you’re charged per user, even on the higher-tier plan. ActiveCampaign allows for up to 25 users on its Plus plan, so this might work out more affordable if you have multiple users (e.g. numerous sales agents).

Pricing

Paid plans start from $15/user/month

> Try Salesmate for free

Free ActiveCampaign Alternatives

Since price is such a big factor for small businesses, and many are looking for a cheaper alternative to ActiveCampaign, let’s recap which of the above email marketing and CRM software offer a freemium plan.

Best free email marketing services:

> MailerLite

> Mailchimp

> Sendinblue

> GetResponse

> Omnisend

Best free CRM solutions:

> HubSpot

> EngageBay

Conclusion: The Best Alternative to ActiveCampaign

So there you have it, an ActiveCampaign alternative for everyone!

As you can see, there are plenty of excellent sales and marketing tools out there that have something ActiveCampaign doesn’t. What’s more, we’ve tried to include services that are either more affordable or similarly priced, so you can get the most value for your money.

With all CRM and email marketing services, there are always pros and cons, so it’s important to make a list of the key features you require and work out how much you’re willing to spend on them.

ActiveCampaign Alternatives FAQs

Is there a free version of ActiveCampaign?

Though ActiveCampaign allows you to trial the product for free for 14 days, there is no freemium plan. It is one of the few email marketing services not to offer a free plan. That said, it does come with more advanced features than most.

Is ActiveCampaign the same as Mailchimp?

Both ActiveCampaign and Mailchimp are email marketing services for small-to-medium-sized businesses. The main difference is that ActiveCampaign offers better marketing automation, contact and list management, and higher email deliverability rates. Find out more in our ActiveCampaign vs Mailchimp guide.

What is ActiveCampaign best for?

ActiveCampaign is the marketing automation champion. It also has very good segmentation and contact management capabilities. Check out our complete review of ActiveCampaign to find out more.

Can ActiveCampaign be used as a CRM?

ActiveCampaign CRM is built-in and ready to use. The contact relationship management software is available on the Plus plan and higher and comes with deal pipelines, lead scoring and sales automation, to name a few features.

 

This list of ActiveCampaign alternatives should give you a good idea of which tool is right for you. Of course, if you still have any doubts, please drop us a comment below and we’ll do our best to help.