Digital Marketing

ActiveCampaign vs Mailchimp: the duel of email marketing platforms

By David, on January 13, 2023, updated on February 15, 2023 - 4 min read

Email marketing is a must-have tool for any business that wants to attract as many leads as possible and increase its conversion rates.

However, it can be difficult to know which platform offers the best value for money for your business…

Debugbar has compared the 2 giants of the sector (ActiveCampaign and Mailchimp) to help you find the platform that suits you.

Competitor #1: ActiveCampaign


What is ActiveCampaign?

ActiveCampaign is a marketing automation software company founded in 2003 by Jason Vandeboom

The founder has developed this platform in order to help companies automate their email marketing, using scenarios based on user actions.

Over the years, ActiveCampaign has grown to become one of the leading marketing automation platforms on the market.

In 2020, the tool was even ranked among the top automated marketing software by G2 Crowd.

Today, ActiveCampaign continues to grow by offering new options to help businesses automate their marketing, improve their customer relationships, and increase sales.

But let’s take a closer look at the features ActiveCampaign offers.

What are the key features of ActiveCampaign?

ActiveCampaign offers a variety of tools and features designed to optimize your overall email marketing strategy. Here are the main options that make it so strong:

  • Contact Management: ActiveCampaign allows businesses and marketers to easily import existing lists or use ActiveCampaign’s intuitive integrator to create a comprehensive list of prospects and subscribers.
  • Automated campaigns: This feature allows you to send personalized emails based on certain automatically triggered scenarios (for example, when a prospect performs a certain number of actions or visits certain pages).
  • Integrated CRM: ActiveCampaign has an integrated CRM that allows users to record their contacts, interactions, information and other relevant data.
  • Drag & Drop Email Templates: Design beautiful emails in minutes with drag and drop templates.
  • Landing Page Builder: Create custom landing pages for campaigns.
  • Advanced Features: Use powerful features like split testing, event tracking, social media integration and more.
  • Analytical Tools: Users can measure engagement with the analytical tools provided by ActiveCampaign as: campaign performance reports, advanced segmentations, customer satisfaction reports and more.

Competitor #2: MailChimp


What is MailChimp?

MailChimp is a bulk emailing service created in 2001 by Ben Chestnut and Dan Kurzius.

At first, the 2 entrepreneurs used this service to send emails & newsletters to their friends and family, but they quickly realized that other people could also need it.

So they decided to offer it to the public as a paid service.

Over time, MailChimp has become one of the leading bulk emailing services on the market, with millions of users worldwide.

But as you can imagine, the reason they’ve been so successful is because they offer an ultra comprehensive and useful solution. So let’s take a closer look at the services this platform can offer you.

What are the key features of Mailchimp?

MailChimp is a comprehensive marketing automation platform. It offers a variety of tools and options designed to optimize your overall email marketing strategy. Here are the main features of MailChimp:

  • Contact management: Like its competitor, MailChimp allows you to import existing lists or create a complete list of prospects and subscribers.
mailchimp contact
  • Automatable campaigns: Automatable campaigns are similar to those offered by ActiveCampaign but they are limited in terms of triggerable scenarios.
  • Analytical Tools: Users can also measure engagement with the analytical tools provided by MailChimp. However, they are considerably more limited than those offered by ActiveCampaign.
  • Free Plan: You can use it for free with up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month.
  • Intuitive Website: Mailchimp offers an intuitive website that allows users to easily create customizable templates but also to quickly set up an online presence via ready-made websites.
  • Registration forms: These forms allow visitors to sign up to receive email newsletters or other types of communications from the user. Additionally, the forms can be integrated with other web services like Salesforce, Shopify, and WordPress, so the data can be synced across the different platforms.

ActiveCampaign vs. MailChimp: comparing features

To better identify which of the 2 solutions might be right for you we have summarized some of the main features available on each of them below:

Contact ManagementIntuitiveIntuitive
Automated CampaignYesYes
Analytical ToolAdvancedLimited
Intuitive WebsiteNoYes
Integrated CRMYesLimited
Free Plannot specifiedYes
Drag & Drop Email TemplatesYesnot specified
Landing Page BuilderYesnot specified

MailChimp or ActiveCampaign’s pricing: which is cheaper?

Cost is also a factor to consider when comparing two platforms. Here are the prices of the main subscriptions of ActiveCampaign and Mailchimp:

Free planAvailable
Basic Plan$9 per month, up to 500 contacts$9.99 per month, up to 2,000 contacts
Professional Plan$49 per month, up to 2,500 contacts$299.99 per month, up to 50,000 contacts
Business Plan$129 per month, up to 10,000 contactsNot available

ActiveCampaign and MailChimp: our opinion

Overall, both ActiveCampaign and Mailchimp offer comprehensive and powerful features for marketing automation.

However, each platform has its own strengths and weaknesses.

For example, Mailchimp offers more limited analytics tools than ActiveCampaign, but on the other hand offers an intuitive site that allows users to not only easily create customizable templates but also an online presence via ready-to-use websites.

As far as pricing goes, ActiveCampaign is generally cheaper than MailChimp in the short term but ActiveCampaign’s Enterprise plan is significantly more expensive than MailChimp’s top Professional plan.

In a nutshell:

  • ActiveCampaign seems to be the best option for businesses and marketers who want a comprehensive marketing automation platform.
  • If you’re looking for a more cost-effective platform in the long run, then MailChimp is your best option.

But to find out, the best way is to try it! So go ahead and give it a try!