ActiveCampaign Review: Is it Worth the Price Tag?

ActiveCampaign Logo

ActiveCampaign's logo

1. What is ActiveCampaign?

When it comes to all-in-one tools, ActiveCampaign is a popular choice.


It’s a tool that doesn’t just offer email marketing but also automation, sales, and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions.


They even promise to turn leads into customers and customers into repeat customers — but does this promise come with a price?


In this ActiveCampaign pricing review, we’ll dive into every plan in detail and help you decide if they’re the best option for your business.

1.1. Who is ActiveCampaign built for?

Thanks to the different plans, pretty much anyone can use ActiveCampaign.


However, it’s best suited to businesses that primarily use email marketing for their sales.


If you have lengthier sales cycles and you need to convert quickly to rebound from your customer acquisition costs, then ActiveCampaign’s detailed targeting and automation can help!

2. ActiveCampaign’s pricing

ActiveCampaign has 4 pricing plans:

  • Lite $15 per month for up to 500 contacts
  • Plus $70 per month for up to 1,000 contacts
  • Professional $159 per month for up to 2,500 contacts
  • Enterprise $279 per month for up to 2,500 contacts

These starting prices increase depending on the number of contacts that you have.

ActiveCampaign's pricing

ActiveCampaign's pricing

Like most software as a service (SaaS) platforms, ActiveCampaign does offer a discount if you opt to be billed yearly.


However, with ActiveCampaign, there’s no free plan, only a 14-day free trial.


These plans might look great — $15 a month for all the Lite plan features does sound like a bargain.


But if you have 10,000 contacts, your price will skyrocket to $125 a month.


This pricing model is pretty common, so what makes ActiveCampaign unique? Is it worth the hefty price?


Let’s find out.

2.1. ActiveCampaign Lite plan

The Lite plan includes email marketing with unlimited sending as one of its top features.

ActiveCampaign's email marketing tools

ActiveCampaign's email marketing tools

ActiveCampaign’s email marketing tools include:

  • Email broadcasts
  • Targeted and triggered emails
  • Email autoresponders
  • Email funnels
  • Scheduled emails
  • Split testing
  • Email designer

Targeted emails are paired with triggered emails to personalize and supercharge your email marketing.


All of this helps you shape your email marketing funnel to guide your lead through a series of automated email sequences until they convert.


You can craft content suited to different subscriber groups and automate the sequences to capture the interest of your leads while they’re still hot.


We all know hot leads + content = conversion.

ActiveCampaign pop-up subscription form

ActiveCampaign pop-up subscription form

The second staple of ActiveCampaign’s Lite plan is sign-up forms.


You can choose from 4 types of forms:

  • Inline form
  • Floating box
  • Modal form (pop-up)
  • Floating bar

You can also use iPad forms to capture contact information in person, add custom fields, and customize the forms to fit your branding.

Automation example

Automation example

ActiveCampaign includes marketing automation in its cheapest plan.


With this, you can track your contacts’ behavior using automated follow-up sequences.


For example, if they visited your pricing page, you can automatically follow up via email to re-engage them.


ActiveCampaign also offers email segmentation that lets you send more relevant and personalized emails based on your list's interests and behaviors.


It’s just like talking to your customers and watching what they do in real-time, without harming their privacy.


Looking for more features? Let’s check out the next plan.

2.2. ActiveCampaign Plus plan

The Plus plan has everything that comes with the Lite plan, plus a few nifty extras.

ActiveCampaign’s dynamic content

ActiveCampaign’s dynamic content

One such feature is ActiveCampaign’s dynamic content sections.


The easiest way to explain dynamic content is: you create one email, and your leads see different messages.


Let’s say you’ve got cat and dog lovers, like in the example above. You’d create one email blast and add dynamic content sections.


In those sections, you’d create two types of content: one for dog lovers and one for cat lovers.


When you hit send, every audience segment will receive an email with content they care about.


You can also change your call-to-action (CTA) depending on your audience.


Looking to promote a new product? Offer a demo to fresh leads, sell to nurtured leads, and give a discount to loyal customers.


This feature is great for scaling your business.


SMS marketing is a pretty novel feature and one that shows that ActiveCampaign wants to become an all-in-one marketing platform.

SMS marketing example

SMS marketing example

SMS marketing is a great way to strengthen relationships with your customers because texts have much higher open rates than emails.


To use SMS marketing with ActiveCampaign you must:

  • Collect phone numbers (ethically!)
  • Follow-up via SMS for important content (e.g. thank subscribers for signing up, thank customers for buying, and confirm their orders)
  • Automate sale notifications, appointment reminders, coupons, and more

All in all — SMS marketing is a handy feature for scaling but not great if your leads aren’t willing to give out their contact number.


Lead and contact scoring is where ActiveCampaign is dipping into the waters of customer relationship management (CRM) and sales.

ActiveCampaign’s lead scoring

ActiveCampaign’s lead scoring

Depending on your leads and contacts’ actions, you can track their “behavior points.”


You can set up different scores for:

  • Opening an email
  • Clicking a link
  • Visiting a product page
  • Downloading a lead magnet
  • Product purchases and more

Finally, ActiveCampaign lets you retarget your leads through Facebook Ads.


Since you’re using the lead information gathered by your ActiveCampaign email marketing, you can make sure your ads are hyper-personalized.

Facebook retargeting example

Facebook retargeting example

This is a great option for businesses that are already using Facebook retargeting.


However, we don’t recommend it unless you already have thousands of qualified leads because you might waste your money advertising to people who aren’t interested in your products.


With the Plus plan, you’ll be able to set up some impressive integrations.

ActiveCampaign’s Deep Integrations

ActiveCampaign’s deep integrations

With ActiveCampaign’s deep integrations you can:

  • Sync and analyze real-time and historical data
  • Create powerful automation conditions across different platforms
  • Send cross-channel messages

Again, this is an advanced feature. So if you’ve got thousands of customers, it’s worth looking into.


The Plus plan is for marketers that already have enough business to pay for the pricey features.

2.3. ActiveCampaign Professional plan

The Professional plan includes everything from the Lite and the Plus plans, with a few machine learning additions.


Using machine learning and your email data, ActiveCampaign will automate email blasts and send them at the optimal time.


Predictive sending and predictive content are great options if you’re sending thousands of emails every week.

ActiveCampaign’s predictive content

ActiveCampaign’s predictive content

Predictive content on ActiveCampaign’s platform takes a lot of hard work.


You’ll have to write up to 5 variations of your content, and ActiveCampaign will choose which content works best for different audiences, based on your historical data.


This might seem like a powerful feature, but it can be time-consuming in the long run— and it gets complicated if you sell multiple products.

Win probability example

Win probability example

Based on lead scoring and historical data, ActiveCampaign will show you the win probability of your leads.


To calculate this, you’ll see the following on your dashboard:

  • Most profitable deals
  • Likely deals
  • Likely losses

Win probability functions depend on your data and lead scoring, but they can be a powerful way to align your marketing and sales teams.


ActiveCampaign’s customer attribution allows you to understand the value of each channel in your sales funnel.


You can practically track your customers’ journeys from start to finish and identify areas for optimization.


This plan is definitely for big companies who are looking to be more cost-effective while acquiring more customers.

2.4. ActiveCampaign Enterprise plan

With the Enterprise plan, ActiveCampaign offers all the features from the previous plans, but you get extra perks such as:

  • A custom mail server and domain
  • Custom reporting
  • A dedicated account representative
  • Free design services and social data

This is great if you’ve got a company with thousands of employees


If you’ve got a small to mid-market business, this option is pricey and unnecessary.

3. Pros and cons of ActiveCampaign

It might seem like ActiveCampaign packs a lot of powerful features into their platform, but there are also some serious drawbacks.


Here are the Pros and Cons of ActiveCampaign, according to their customers and reviews:

PROS

  • Extensive CRM capabilities
  • Visualized customer journey
  • Good resources and walkthroughs
  • Great automation of emails and funnels

CONS

  • Inconsistent support
  • Slow page load times
  • Not beginner-friendly and difficult to use
  • High entry costs and poorly scaled prices
  • No Free plan, only a 14-day free trial
  • Email design differs across platforms
  • Slow to set up and tricky to migrate contacts

Ultimately, ActiveCampaign is a functional platform for tackling automation and CRM.

3.1. Recommended if . . .

  • You’re a tech-savvy entrepreneur with an established audience
  • You’re a big company looking to use automation to simplify your funnels on a massive scale
  • You have plenty of money at your disposal to invest in this tool and any integrations

3.2. Not recommended if . . .

  • You’re new to online business and digital marketing
  • You struggle to build sales funnels and can’t code
  • You’re looking for an affordable all-in-one solution
  • You want to set up your business quickly

4. ActiveCampaign alternatives

Now that you have a clearer idea of what ActiveCampaign offers, it’s time to take a look at some competitors.


ClickFunnels and Mailchimp are pretty decent alternatives to ActiveCampaign.


If you’re looking for a free plan rather than a free trial, Mailchimp is a better option — but you’ll only get limited access to important features.


They’re also far more focused on the email marketing side of online business support, so you may need to integrate other software to create more powerful sales funnels.


ClickFunnels is a popular choice for managing your customers’ journeys, but you’ll have to integrate another tool to handle your email marketing and ecommerce needs.


ClickFunnels is pretty expensive. And while Mailchimp may look like an affordable option, their pricing model is rather confusing and can get expensive quickly if your audience grows.


Don’t let this discourage you. There's a platform that includes a Free plan with access to all the tools you need — no integrations required.

4.1. Systeme.io: The best ActiveCampaign alternative

Systeme.io logo

systeme.io's logo

Systeme.io is the answer to your online business pain points.


Like ActiveCampaign, systeme.io gives you access to email marketing, automation, and a sales funnel builder.


As you’ve seen, there are also loads of fancy tools on the ActiveCampaign platform that aren’t necessary for building or growing a business.


Systeme.io’s focus is on your success, so we also offer:

To achieve the same with ActiveCampaign, you’ll need to pay for multiple, clunky integrations — that might have you pulling your hair out in frustration.


Systeme.io also has 4 simple, scalable pricing options:

Systeme.io’s pricing tiers

systeme.io’s pricing tiers

Every one of our plans comes with the following standard features:

  • Unlimited emails
  • Unlimited blog posts
  • Unlimited membership site members
  • Unlimited storage space
  • Direct Stripe and Paypal integration
  • 24/7 email support

If you opt for annual billing on one of our plans, you’ll save 30%, and we throw in migration, 100% free.


Did we mention that our Freemium option is free forever? We don’t need your credit card details when you sign up — upgrade only when you choose to.


There’s no downside to choosing systeme.io to support your online business — our customers have only seen improvements in their business.

5. Conclusion

ActiveCampaign is moving towards being an all-in-one marketing solution, but their price tag doesn’t fit their offer.


The software is overloaded with clunky features, and it still requires multiple integrations to support your online business needs.


All in all, systeme.io is a much better option for both new business owners and established entrepreneurs.


If you want to supercharge your marketing and replace your tech stack with just one tool systeme.io is the solution you’ve been looking for!

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