Potato Pick ActiveCampaign
9.3 Total Score

$9/month & up

  • Competitive Pricing Models
  • Drag and drop visual workflow automations
  • Highly Customizable Segmentation
  • Tagging System for Targeted Advertising
  • Plus & higher plans come with CRM
  • Plus & higher plans include Lead Scoring
  • Quick Customer Support Responses


ActiveCampaign is like crossing over from your dorm room Ikea furniture into Oak Express. The cost is higher, the quality is better, and you feel like you’ve shed your childhood skin to enter into “adulting” now. This is an Email Service Provider (ESP) for the big boys (& girls), but not so big that it’s out of reach for small companies. It rivals other ESPs which you would pay up to 10 times more for, including products like Ontraport & Infusionsoft. Many smart businesses pick ActiveCampaign, use it wisely, and recommend it adamantly. It made our list because it’s a tool that when used properly will return its investment time and again, and then some. ActiveCampaign is capable of creating complex automations and includes its own Customer Retention Management (CRM) system for Plus plans and higher. Where this product shines is in its conditional automations and its tagging mechanism, which enables you to do granular and personalized contact segmentation. This is important since the more you can personalize your emails, the better your customer engagement, conversion, and retention rates will be.

back to menu ↑

Who Is ActiveCampaign Good For?

ActiveCampaign is ideal for a small or mid-sized company in its growth phase; one who is familiar with email marketing and already has a good grasp of the basic concepts. If you have the budget for an in-house CRM/Email admin, give them this tool to supersize your email automations like they’re on steroids. With features such as Lead Scoring, Win Probability, and Complex tagging, it’s perfect for those who want to deep dive into automations, customizations, and data-driven marketing. It’s not the right tool for everyone, especially a business with a solopreneur at the helm who isn’t able to invest a good chunk of time into learning how to best use all of the available functionality. I wouldn’t recommend this program for email marketing beginners, although some say that it is intuitive and easy to pick up, at least more so than other programs like Constant Contact. If your business is just starting out, chances are this system packs more punch than you’re going to know what to do with right off the bat. While ActiveCampaign’s email automation is suitable for larger businesses as well, Enterprise businesses will find the CRM too basic when compared with a more advanced CRM like Salesforce. If you have never done email marketing before and can’t invest a lot of time to learn it, try a free ESP until you establish a large enough contact list and enough expertise to invest in something more robust like this. Generic and eCommerce businesses are good candidates for ActiveCampaign. Affiliate Marketers should steer clear of Active Campaign since affiliate links are not allowed to be used within emails (look into AWeber instead).

back to menu ↑

ActiveCampaign Pricing Models

  • The Lite plan starts at $9/month for up to 500 subscribers. Note that the Lite plan is missing features like Lead Scoring and a CRM.
  • Plus plans and above start at $49/month. These include some of the key features such as Lead Scoring, a CRM, and SMS sending.
  • All plans are discounted if you pay annually instead of monthly.
  • See ActiveCampaign’s full pricing chart here.
  • Lite

    $9 /month
    • Up to 500 Contacts
    • Unlimited sending
    • Email Marketing
    • Send Newsletters
    • Marketing Automation
    • Chat & Email Support
    • Up To 3 Users
  • Plus

    $49 /month
    • Everything from Lite Plan
    • Up to 1000 Contacts
    • CRM w/ Sales Automation
    • Contact & Lead Scoring
    • Deep Data Integrations
    • Custom User Permissions
    • Custom Domain
    • Custom Branding
    • One on One Training
    • SMS Marketing
    • Up to 25 users
  • Enterprise

    $229 /month
    • Everything from Plus Plan
    • Up to 2500 Contacts
    • Site Messaging
    • Attribution
    • Custom Mailserver Domain
    • Dedicated Account Rep
    • In-depth Onboarding
    • Free Design Services
    • Free Social Data
    • Phone Support
    • Uptime SLA
    • Unlimited Users

back to menu ↑

ActiveCampaign Features

  • Drag-and-drop Editor
  •  Auto-Responders
  •  Dynamic Content
  •  Event Triggered Email
  •  Contact Management
  •  Mobile Optimized Emails
  •  Reporting/Analytics
  •  User Permissions
  •  WYSIWYG Email Editor

  • Integrations
  • Developer API
  • Email Automation
  • RSS Campaigns
  • Deliver by Timezone
  • Auto Resend
  • A/B Split Testing
  • Opens by Location
  • SMS Messaging

back to menu ↑

Screenshot Examples

Screenshots of the ActiveCampaign experience, including the dashboard controls & sample newsletters.

Drag and Drop Automation Overview

back to menu ↑

Integration Options

ActiveCampaign integrations

Click To See All Integration Options


back to menu ↑

Benefits You Might Love

back to menu ↑

Areas For Improvement

Learning Curve
While some areas are pretty self-explanatory like creating a Newsletter, some of the complex automations take time to figure out. There is definitely some experimenting and fine-tuning needed to make the automations work the way you want them to. Video tutorials and customer support can help here.

Landing Pages 
Active Campaign doesn’t have any native landing page building functionality, however, it integrates well with free landing page programs such as Landing Lion.

back to menu ↑

Helpful Negative & Positive Customer Feedback

Helpful Negative Review

What do you like best? The email designer is very simple to use and it was easy to get up and running quickly. Our team had no difficulty getting used to the builder, and have found that most of the time it’s much better than others we’ve used in the past.The support team is available quickly, we’ve had to interact with them a few times and there was never a major lag between ticket submission and a response.

What do you dislike? The feature-set is a bit low compared to the competition, though they make it appear as if they match up. For example, yes you can use a custom domain for your dashboard, links, etc, but they have no way to set up SSL/HTTPS, which almost every single major competitor has in place.The subscription management is also poorly implemented, with no easy way to manage global unsubscribes. There are ways around it, but it’s not evident immediately. The customization of contacts is also minimal, yes you can create tons of custom fields, but you can’t set up their layout in any meaningful way.The Recent Activities tab is nice to have, but there’s no way to filter to just see when someone subscribes to a list if you’re connecting your forms via API.

Recommendations to others considering the product: It’s fine as a starting point, but until they implement some basic-level features such as SSL for custom domains, it’s hard to take it seriously for larger operations. Look closely at competitors and make sure ActiveCampaign fits what you’re looking for now and as you scale.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized? We use ActiveCampaign for our marketing automation needs, including nurture campaigns, newsletters, and one-off mass emails. We also use it to manage our RSS-based sends for blog updates. The deliverability is good compared to many competitors, and it was easy to implement.”

Helpful Positive Review

What do you like best? I wouldn’t say I’m lazy, but ActiveCampaign makes life so easy for me. First there’s the automations. You can make them as simple or as complicated as you want. Personally I tend towards the simple and then duplicate as necessary. Plus once you set up the automation you can just forget about it. My latest favorite surprise is to be able add contacts to Facebook custom audiences.Also being able to send out one email with conditional parts in it so that different contacts on the list receive different messages. As a great believer in segmenting lists ActiveCampaign has so many techniques that allow the messaging to become more and more personal.

What do you dislike? There’s not a lot to dislike really. OK so it’s not the easiest system to use but it pays great dividends for time invested in learning and experimenting.

Recommendations to others considering the product: Don’t hesitate but be prepared to take some time to learn the system. It’s a Ferrari in a world of Fords. Great value for money and first class support.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized? Email marketing becomes so much more effective. The days of sending a broadcast email to thousands on a list is definitely past. Segmenting lists via AC becomes easier and easier. For example if you have a marriage guidance site, the advice you give will probably differ between those married for 5 years, 15 years and over 30 years. ActiveCampaign tagging and segmenting does this automatically.”

back to menu ↑


Is ActiveCampaign GDPR Compliant?

Yes, you can read detailed information about this here.

Does ActiveCampaign offer discounts?

Discounts are offered if you pay annually instead of monthly. As a non-profit, you can get 20% off.

What type of campaigns can I run?

Drip, Autosubscribe, A/B, Event-Triggered, Subscribe/Unsubscribe

What attracts people to ActiveCampaign?

The ability to tag each contact and use this segmentation for email targeting is a huge boost in this product’s favor. It allows companies to send very personalized information to the right audience at the right time, guaranteeing a higher response rate and ultimately, more revenue.

What type of customer support will I get?

All AC plans offer chat and email support. Premium plans offer phone support as well.


back to menu ↑

The Scoop

ActiveCampaign is a powerful ESP for a business owner ready to invest in what will probably be the last tool they switch to. Unless there is some specific capability you need that AC can’t accommodate, it probably is the “droid you are looking for”. Reason being, if proper time is devoted and experimenting is done with the complex automations available within ActiveCampaign, you will be able to mostly “set it and forget it” and let your tools do the work for you. A little more upfront work is required, but it will pay off in spades once established.

In conclusion, ActiveCampaign is a leveling-up tool for the business that’s ready to get serious about customer communication. It offers most, if not all of the functionality of some products that run significantly higher, such as Drip, which starts at a few hundred a month. If you’re ready to put some time into customer analysis and conversion probability/machine learning, the impact of your data findings could turn into big wins (and $) for your business. However, those who need a very simple email marketing tool so that they can focus on getting their business up and running quickly should look into MailerLite or MailChimp instead.

9.3 Total Score
Powerful Automations, Affordable Pricing

ActiveCampaign is one of the best email marketing tools out there for the price point. Many businesses have switched to ActiveCampaign from pricier software systems and have been very happy with their decision. It seems to be the product people end up on eventually, whether migrating from a simpler program or one that has equivalent features with a higher price tag.

Ease of Use
Feature Options
  • Competitive Pricing Models
  • Drag and drop visual workflow automations
  • Highly Customizable Segmentation
  • Tagging System for Targeted Advertising
  • Plus & higher plans come with CRM
  • Plus & higher plans include Lead Scoring
  • Quick Customer Support Responses
  • Steep Learning Curve
  • Not Simple
  • Does not support Affiliate Links
  • Does not support SSL/HTTPS on custom domains (future release will address this but no ETA)
User Rating: Be the first one!
A reasonably priced ESP capable of complex automations and customer segmentation
$9/month & up
What are your thoughts?

      Leave a reply

      The Hairy Potato
      Compare items
      • Email Marketing (0)