Active Campaign vs MailChimp: Which is better for your small business?

I’m a huge advocate of MailChimp for email marketing campaigns, but did you know that I also offer Active Campaign services too?

Active Campaign is a fantastic content management system to manage your email marketing, sales funnels and brand awareness campaigns. As MailChimp made the move towards being a content management system offering similar features in 2019, many people have asked me what the difference is between the two.

So, in this blog, I will compare the two platforms from an email marketing campaign perspective and offer my thoughts on which one might suit your business best.

MailChimp is great for sending email newsletters

MailChimp originated back when eblasts were relatively new and innovative. A simple way to deliver news about your business and what you have to offer straight into the inbox of your customers.

Email marketing has evolved significantly since then and with sales funnels and automation to add into the mix, keeping it simple isn’t always the best solution. Unfortunately, the free version of Active Campaign vs MailChimp: which is better for your small business?MailChimp no longer offers automation, which means you will have to pay to create a sales funnel with the platform (unless you had the free version before the 2019 changes).

If you want to send simple emails to your subscribers to keep them in the loop, MailChimp is my recommended choice for you.

Active Campaign is better for automated sales funnels

As sales funnels are increasingly becoming popular and more business owners are creating lead magnets to attract subscribers and build rapport with their dream clients; you may need the additional features that Active Campaign has to offer.

Automation is easy with Active Campaign so creating a sales funnel is a lot easier than using MailChimp. You can easily tag your subscribers according to lead magnets they’ve signed up for and see how far down the funnel they are according to the emails they’ve clicked on and responded to.

You can also segment into different lists for different lead magnets or simply audience type – if you sell different products/services and have different ideal client avatars, this is something you’re going to want to do. Although you can segment with Mail Chimp, it counts the same contact on a different list as a different contact, which means you can quickly go over your subscriber limit and have to pay the next tier of pricing by using this strategy.

When digital marketing is how you attract new leads and customers, Active Campaign has the added features to make sales funnels and campaigns a lot easier to manage.

Deliverability might be the deciding factor for you

What’s the point of sending an email if it doesn’t appear in the intended inbox?

There are many factors as to why an email might not get delivered but it might surprise you to hear that different email marketing platforms have different levels of deliverability.

According to a study by emailtooltester, Active Campaign comes in with consistently higher deliverability levels than Mailchimp – 90.2% compared to just 81.6% for MailChimp. It was also found that Active Campaign emails are more likely to appear in the Primary Inbox of Gmail rather than the Promotions tab, so it gets delivered in the place more likely to be noticed and read.

Gmail dominates consumer email so if you are trying a B2C company then Active Campaign is going to be the better choice for you.

Active Campaign isn’t free

The obvious downside to Active Campaign is that it isn’t free (although you can get a free trial).

If you’re only sending out a few emails or getting to grips with email marketing, then a free email marketing platform account like MailChimp may be the better option to go for. Although the free version is limited, you can still create a powerful email marketing campaign that will work for your business.

If cost isn’t an issue, then Active Campaign offers more for the savvy business owner delving into sales funnels and lead magnets, but the number of contacts you have can place you into the higher pricing tiers pretty quickly.

Different strokes for different folks

The best email marketing platform for you is going to come down to what you need it for, what you want it to do and how much you’re willing to pay, and I hope I’ve covered those points in this blog.

Consider who your target audience is, how they receive emails and what they want to receive.

It’s also worth considering if you’re going to be managing the campaign yourself or outsourcing to an Online Business Manager or VA. If the latter, discuss their experiences with email marketing and what they would recommend for you and your business.

If you’d like to know more about creating an email marketing campaign and how I can help you with that, please get in touch with me now for a friendly chat over a cup of tea (cake always an option!)