Is your agency looking for ActiveCampaign alternatives?
With key features that range from email marketing campaigns and lead scoring to automation workflows and advanced segmentation features, it is easy to see why ActiveCampaign is the preferred email marketing automation platform in many marketing agencies’ tech stacks.
While ActiveCampaign does a lot of things right, it is not always the most practical, comprehensive, and affordable tool, especially for fast-growing agencies that need a lot more to scale.
In this post, we’re taking a closer look at the best ActiveCampaign alternatives and which one is best for your business or agency.
Dubbed the “all-in-one marketing platform for revenue growth,” SharpSpring pairs marketing automation and a CRM in an easy solution designed to start conversations that lead to conversions; plus, it features an email, landing page, and blog builder.
Originally founded in 2012, SharpSpring was acquired in June 2021 by Constant Contact, an email marketing automation provider that also specializes in managing and tracking leads and building social and mobile ads. If you’re a Constant Contact user, you’ll likely recognize the overlaps in both companies’ capabilities. If you are a non-technical solopreneur or brick-and-mortar small business that mainly needs basic email marketing features with a touch of marketing automation, then you’ll likely find that SharpSpring meets your needs.
If you are looking for more advanced automations or flexible email design capabilities, then you might want to reconsider as many users claim these aren’t exceptional.
Base pricing for SharpSpring features flexible contracts categorized by the type of user purchasing the software — Small Business, Enterprise, or Agency — starting at $399 per month.
Best for: Small Brick and Mortar Businesses & Solo Consultants
ClickFunnels began in 2014 after the time (and energy) involved with funnel building became too much for its founders to handle. Today, the software serves 106,764 entrepreneurs, with more than 1.96 billion contacts and 9.44 million funnels.
With a ton of e-commerce features, ClickFunnels is best suited for small digital marketing teams at e-commerce companies, who are looking to sell niche digital products and don’t want to have to code custom solutions. Some key features within ClickFunnels include a “free CRM,” drag and drop editor (for creating landing pages, emails, etc), automation templates, website tracking analytics, and more.
A couple of things that are less intuitive ClickFunnels is the onboarding and set-up process, which some users claim is confusing and time-consuming. However, the webpage builder is simple to use and does allow for sale funnels set-up in a straightforward way. If you want to check the software out for yourself, the basic ClickFunnels plan starts at $97 per month.
Best for: E-commerce & Digital Product Businesses
Keap has evolved several times since it was first founded in Arizona in 2001. After receiving a generous amount of venture capital from Goldman Sachs in 2013, the company’s most recent update was in 2019, when it was renamed from Infusionsoft to Keap. To date, more than 200,000 entrepreneurs, mostly digital product and e-commerce companies, have turned to this ActiveCampaign alternative for a vast amount of features.
Known as an all-in-one CRM tool, Keap boasts a robust list of sales and marketing automation, including email marketing and 1-way text messaging broadcasts. Keap helps businesses of all sizes segment and target contacts, manage sales pipelines, and even collect payments on invoices via automated reminders created with pre-made templates.
Some users warn that the dashboard reporting is a bit too vague, citing only numbers and not providing additional context to better understand and leverage the data. Pricing for the Keap Lite plan for solopreneurs and new businesses starts at $56 per month for the first 5 months, and the Pro plan for growing businesses starts at $119 per month for the first 5 months. Keap offers a free 14-day trial with no credit card required.
Best for: E-commerce & Digital Product Businesses
Like Keap, Mailchimp was also founded in 2001 — but in that time, this Atlanta-headquartered business has become synonymous with affordable email marketing software for small brick-and-mortar businesses. Over the years, they’ve added more marketing and sales automation features, as well as the ability to create landing pages and social media content.
Mailchimp takes custom content up a notch with their new Creative Assistant, which uses AI technology to learn a brand’s preferred color palette, imagery, and more to generate multichannel designs for email and social media. The addition of a “Subject Line Helper,” A/B testing capabilities, and analytics also helps marketers fine-tune their strategy for optimal results.
However, not all of Mailchimp’s features stack up against the above ActiveCampaign alternatives. Out of all the alternatives we are listing here, Mailchimp is the most limited in its advanced marketing automation features for lead generation and it does not have as robust CRM and contact management capabilities like HubSpot Marketing Hub and many of the other solutions listed in this article. Many users would also prefer better reporting and a cleaner audience dashboard.
If you’d like to test Mailchimp’s features for yourself, users with 2,000 contacts or less can use the platform for free, and a paid plan starts at $11 per month.
Best for: Brick and mortar small businesses
AWeber is one of the oldest, time-tested email marketing platforms. Founded in 1998, AWeber helps more than 120,000 bloggers, businesses, and entrepreneurs connect with consumers through its email marketing solution. Some key features include an email editor, email marketing segmentation, sign-up forms, and automated email campaigns and newsletters to remain top of mind for your customers.
Like many of the previous alternatives, AWeber also offers email and landing page builders — but readers, be warned, you will not be using AWeber proprietary design tools like you would with Mailchimp. Rather, AWeber partnered with Canva, which can be used separately from AWeber. AWeber also does not offer additional CRM or lead-nurturing tools.
While AWeber has tried to branch out, it is best suited for bloggers and affiliate marketers, and their pricing does reflect that. Users can opt for AWeber Free, which allows for landing pages, sign-up forms, web push notifications, and email templates for up to 500 email subscribers. Businesses with a more robust email list can opt for AWeber Pro instead, which starts as low as $16.15 per month for unlimited email lists, advanced email automation, and the option to remove AWeber branding from marketing material.
Best for: Bloggers & Affiliate Marketers
ConvertKit is a unique ActiveCampaign alternative that was designed with the needs of online creators in mind. Founded in 2013 by blogger Nathan Barry, ConvertKit is boasted as a better solution to sell via email. As such, the platform features email sign-up forms, a landing page builder, an email designer, various marketing automation features, referral marketing, and most recently ConvertKit Commerce.
As far as capabilities go, ConvertKit also offers the ability to monetize email campaigns, such as newsletters, or to sell directly through email. Yet, unlike MailChimp, which tries to be for everyone, ConvertKit has really honed in on the Creator Economy and the features it is shipping reflect that.
If you’re a creator or influencer looking for a cheaper alternative to ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit has a Free plan for those who are just building their list, which offers unlimited landing pages and forms plus community support. Growing creators may be interested in the Creator plan, which starts at $9 per month and includes automated funnels and sequences.
Best for: Content Creators, Influencers, & Solopreneurs
You didn’t think we’d write an entire post about top ActiveCampaign alternatives and not include our own software, right?
Compared to ActiveCampaign, from a purely features standpoint, here is how HighLevel stacks up. Some notable features that we have that you can’t do natively on ActiveCampaign include call tracking, reputation management, and a white-labeled mobile app. Plus, our agency unlimited plan includes unlimited contacts at $297 per month.
However, the comparison gets more interesting when you think about how ActiveCampaign and every ActiveCampaign alternative we’ve seen actively sells directly to businesses, which means they’re competing with agencies at the end of the day.
HighLevel is different because it is built by agency owners, for agency owners. Every feature and decision is reached through the lens of “Will this help agencies?”
In fact, we’re innovating and creating a robust and customizable all-in-one solution. HighLevel is designed and continuously updated to deliver where all the others fall short, so there really is no comparison for agency use.
That’s why more than 15,000+ agencies choose HighLevel as their white-label platform, so they can reduce costs, increase client campaign performance, decrease client churn, and generate a new ultra-stable Software-As-A-Service revenue stream.
Best for: Marketing Agencies, Consultants & Digital Entrepreneurs
HighLevel: The Real Opportunity For Digital Agencies & Entrepreneurs
While there are a handful of marketing tools that are suitable ActiveCampaign competitors, each one has its strengths and weaknesses. Some excel as marketing automation software. Others work best for novice users looking for a traditional email marketing platform with some SMS marketing options.
However, if you are a fast-growing agency, then HighLevel may be the right choice. It is rare to find an all-in-one tool specifically designed for agencies like HighLevel, which has all the standard email campaigns, drag-and-drop editors for landing pages, and marketing automation features alongside more advanced features and automation tools that agencies need at an affordable price. Plus, if you have any questions, we have an excellent customer service team that’s ready to help. We even offer concierge migration support from other platforms.
If you are an agency and are ready to try an ActiveCampaign alternative you can get started with a 14-day free trial of HighLevel here.
“Before working on HighLevel, we were using ActiveCampaign as a go-to CRM,” says Hamza Ahmad Of RoofX. We actually also tried Infusionsoft (Keap) too, and we just weren’t happy because a lot of what we did was quite intricate and required a lot of Zapier integrations and just not something that was working for us with the amount of manual labor that went into it.
So, when HighLevel came out, we jumped on it because it really has a lot of different capabilities that have allowed us to not have to worry about Zapier as much, and we’re ultimately able to use the platform to scale. In fact, (since switching) we’ve closed well over 200 clients.“
In fact, we have tons of seven-figure agencies using HighLevel too.
“Our agency is a seven-figure agency,” says Matt Coffy, of CustomerBloom. “We’ve been through the highs and lows, and we have survived, and we will continue to thrive with HighLevel. So I’d suggest if you are looking for the right program to develop your marketing strategies and to be consistent with what’s going on in the industry today, you want to use HighLevel, and the team that supports it are really top-notch.”
Before switching to HighLevel, Coffy had been through the ringer and gone through dozens of CRM / sales pipeline/email management / controlled communications platforms, including ActiveCampaign.
In fact, Dave Smith of Legal Firm SEO was able to get rid of $800+ worth of marketing software, including ActiveCampaign, Zoho, and ManyChat, when he switched to HighLevel.