ActiveCampaign CRM Review 2023
Is It the Best CRM Software?
Last Updated: By TRUiC Team
Building on its origins as a provider of marketing automation tools, ActiveCampaign has created a top-tier CRM that provides complete customer-to-marketing to sales and process management.
ActiveCampaign’s strong marketing tools make it compelling for any business that would benefit from applying marketing automation to an online customer base. It also offers a full suite of CRM features, but how do they stack up against leading competitors? To find out if ActiveCampaign is right for your startup, read our straightforward and thorough ActiveCampaign CRM review below.
Recommended: Check out our review of the best CRM for startups.
Pros and Cons of ActiveCampaign CRM
ActiveCampaign is a popular product that tends to be viewed positively by its customers. But not every good product is a good fit for your business. To find out if ActiveCampaign is the best CRM software for your startup, let’s first take a quick look at what it does best and what can be improved.
Pros of ActiveCampaign CRM Software
- Strong marketing features
- Sales pipeline tools
- User-friendly automation setup
Cons of ActiveCampaign CRM Software
- Reporting limitations
- Pricier than some other CRMs
ActiveCampaign CRM Pricing and Features
ActiveCampaign does not offer a free plan. However, its Lite plan with limited features is highly affordable, and all plans come with unlimited email sending. Like other CRM providers, ActiveCampaign offers three yearly subscriber plans with features increasing at each price point.
Lite (Starts at $29/Month)
- Marketing automation
- 500 contacts allowed
- Drag-and-drop email designer
- Subscription forms
Plus (Starts at $49/Month)
- Built-in CRM
- Sales automation
- Contact and lead scoring
- Up to three users
- SMS sending
Professional (Starts at $149/Month)
- Split automations
- Five web personalization experiences
- Up to five users
- Predictive content
- Site messages
Enterprise (Pricing Varies)
- Unlimited web personalization experiences
- Unlimited email testing
- Custom reports
- HIPAA compliance
- Custom objects
ActiveCampaign CRM Reviews
Now that we have a sense of ActiveCampaign’s pricing structure, features, and overall strengths and weaknesses, let’s find out what it’s like to work with its CRM software daily. While the feedback on ActiveCampaign is positive overall, understanding what works best and what users find restrictive can help you better decide whether it will be successful for your startup.
Here are some verified reviews from TrustRadius by people who used ActiveCampaign CRM:
“Our entire growth team uses Active Campaign in some capacity. We use it for marketing efforts with email campaigns. We use it for sales with the marketing automation that can be created - email sequences, etc. And our sales team uses it for our sales pipeline - implementing lead scoring and more. We also have it set up to use for custom CRM purposes for customer success - it's an all-in-one growth tool for us.”
“If you're looking for automation, AC is top of the game here. As a CRM, it's average. The Kanban Deals function is simple and effective, but the lack of file attachments may render it not appropriate for some users.”
“ActiveCampaign is great for people who use a lot of platforms in their tech stack. If working inside various platforms is second nature to you, this platform is very user-friendly. I think it is best suited to small businesses, startups, and medium-sized businesses, but the reporting needs at larger scale enterprises may not be met with AC. That being said, their customer service is excellent, even if it is not phone-based.”
The above reviews reflect broader themes we found repeated by customers of ActiveCampaign CRM software. Across the board, customers award it high marks for its automation abilities. That praise extends to its pipeline capabilities that allow users to map the full sales process while integrating marketing efforts.
One of the main reasons to invest in a CRM is the payoff to your startup’s growth. ActiveCampaign’s small to medium-sized customers generally find it provides enough automation, campaign, and optimization features to drive growth. Users also appreciate how it brings sales and marketing teams together and helps synthesize their efforts.
But some larger businesses with sophisticated CRM needs complain that ActiveCampaign’s sales reporting features are not as robust as its top competitors. The company continues to address this by improving the support it offers growing businesses. For example, it recently completed two acquisitions that will boost certain email capabilities for its users and has launched a Marketplace Hub with over 2,000 resources, templates, and free tools.
How Does ActiveCampaign CRM Compare?
When it comes to pricing, ActiveCampaign is the more affordable choice. While HubSpot offers free CRM tools where ActiveCampaign doesn’t, when it comes to paid plans, HubSpot is pricier. For example, if you are an early-stage startup or very small business, ActiveCampaign offers an inexpensive Lite plan for a 500 contact maximum.
Both offer tiered paid plans, with ActiveCampaign’s four plans ranging from $9/month to $149/month; the price of its highest level, Enterprise, is only available by quote. HubSpot offers three plans. Its Starter plan is $45/month, with its Professional plan at $800 and Enterprise plans starting at $3,600 monthly. Even when contact and user maximums are considered, ActiveCampaign definitely remains the more affordable choice.
ActiveCampaign sees itself as being one step beyond customer relationship management and instead in the realm of customer experience automation. You will find impressive marketing automation tools that allow you to run email campaigns and create personalized experiences for customers. Plus, it offers proprietary tools, like its “Conversations” feature, that work similarly to live chat features.
With ActiveCampaign, you can also access loads of integrations to add features like blog post creation. Those same features and more come included with HubSpot, but for a much higher price tag. This includes custom and robust sales reporting features. So, while larger enterprises will likely need access to HubSpot’s pricier features, early-stage and growing startups should be well-equipped with ActiveCampaign’s impressive built-ins.
Ease of Use
When it comes to creating automations, ActiveCampaign takes top marks for offering nearly a thousand automation recipes that you can apply to sales, marketing and customer relationship processes. ActiveCampaign has a straightforward interface that allows for a simple onboarding process backed by loads of online tools and solid customer support.
HubSpot has a pleasant user interface with a more contemporary feel. It also has an easy drag-and-drop editor to help you with creating everything from landing pages to customized forms and email campaigns. While both are user-friendly, ActiveCampaign receives higher marks for its ease of setup.
The good news is both HubSpot and ActiveCampaign pair with tons of integrations. In its ActiveCampaign Marketplace, you can connect with over 870 apps that will allow you to personalize and scale your startup business. Popular integrations include Google Sheets, ClickFunnels, and Zapier, along with many specific tools that can address whatever you lack in built-in features.
HubSpot’s App Ecosystem, meanwhile, offers over 1,000 apps that integrate with its software, including Google Calendar, Zoom, and Slack. HubSpot has also created seamless social media integrations that allow you to drive your customer campaigns across platforms. So while both get top marks for integrations, HubSpot technically offers more, putting it ahead.
Both ActiveCampaign and HubSpot are flexible, easy-to-use CRM software tools that allow you to customize your dashboard to provide you with the snapshot you most need. ActiveCampaign allows more flexibility and customization capabilities for multiple pipelines at more affordable plan levels. HubSpot, overall, offers more detailed customization capabilities.
Overall, ActiveCampaign’s customization features are robust and easier to work with. You’ll also have options for creating email marketing personalizations and customized customer web experiences, starting with the Professional plan.
Reporting and Analytics
ActiveCampaign provides metrics and reporting starting with its basic Lite plan. You can opt for various reports, such as Sales Forecasting, Automations Performance Reports, and Campaign Engagement Rates, that will allow you to see detailed click tracking. You’ll have to opt for the Enterprise plan, though, to be able to create custom reports.
HubSpot provides detailed reports on your marketing channels and customer lifecycle tracking tied to revenue. Starting with HubSpot’s $800/month Professional level plan, you’ll be able to build custom reports with advanced capabilities, like multi-touch revenue attribution and predictive leads scoring. ActiveCampaign will give you all the data you need to make decisions for your business, while when it comes to granular-level reporting built-ins, HubSpot wins, but at a price.
All of ActiveCampaign’s paid plans, including its most basic package, offer live chat and email support. ActiveCampaign also provides a wealth of online resources. Customers generally report positive experiences dealing with ActiveCampaign customer service and online resources.
HubSpot's free plan provides community-based support. All paid plans come with access to email and in-app live chat support. Live phone support is also available, starting with HubSpot's pricey Professional plan. So, while both receive positive marks for customer service, if you're looking for an affordable option and feel comfortable online, then ActiveCampaign should be able to provide your startup with all the support it needs.
Final Thoughts on ActiveCampaign CRM
ActiveCampaign is a versatile marketing automation, sales, and full CRM tool that can optimize how you interact with your customers online in ways that drive sales and customer growth. When it comes to providing email campaign tools and slick automations, ActiveCampaign is hard to beat.
Users with complex CRM needs, particularly large organizations with detailed sales forecasting and analytics, may find ActiveCampaign limiting. But with its impressively affordable price tag, ActiveCampaign is a capable and attractive choice for any small- to medium-sized startup looking to grow its online customer base.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is ActiveCampaign?
ActiveCampaign is a cloud software platform for small- to mid-sized businesses that offers software for customer experience automation, which combines transactional email, email marketing, marketing automation, sales automation, and CRM needs.
Can you use ActiveCampaign as a CRM? How?
Yes. Because ActiveCampaign began its journey as a marketing automation tool, some still see it as only having some CRM capabilities added on. We did not find this to be the case. ActiveCampaign will help you to track leads and deals and create seamless automations for end-to-end sales and marketing processes while providing you with some of the best tools available for email campaigns.
What CRM is better than ActiveCampaign?
Because all CRMs work differently with different sizes and types of business, it's important to look at a variety of factors when deciding what will work better. While small- and medium-sized businesses will appreciate the way ActiveCampaign integrated their teams and processes and drives online engagement, those with a more mature business or complex sales needs will likely find that an enterprise-level player, like Salesforce with its robust reporting capabilities, is a better CRM software choice.