Active Campaign and Mail Chimp are both popular marketing automation platforms. Active Campaign offers advanced features like powerful automated workflows, while Mail Chimp delivers an easy-to-use and affordable option for small-to-medium-sized businesses.
In addition, they both use accumulated data and automation to create personalized email campaigns intended to convert more subscribers to customers. We have earlier reviewed both Mail Chimp and Active Campaign.
Active Campaign is one of the most user friendly all-in-one marketing platforms for small to mid-sized businesses. Active Campaign combines email marketing, marketing automation and sales CRM software in a simple to use visual platform to help businesses like yours acquire, retain and engage your customers. Ultimately helping you save time and grow your business.
Active Campaign lets you easily create eye catching email campaigns to help you stay in touch with your contacts and customers. Their visual campaign builder lets you easily create automated marketing campaigns and send out targeted emails to your potential customers
In a way, I think Mail Chimp helped to set the standard for what we now know as the easy-to-use email editor – it’s very familiar, with no big surprises.
My main criticism of Mail Chimp with respect to ease of use, however, is that it can be hard to find certain features and sections. Automations, landing pages and forms, for example, all get lumped together with emails within the ‘Campaigns’ section, which to me isn’t particularly logical.
Design and flexibility:
Mail Chimp have around 100 email templates (or ‘themes’, as they call them), which for the most part look modern and are mobile-responsive. There are several different themes to choose from, including newsletters, ecommerce emails, events and notifications. They also have 14 boilerplate layouts that you can customize with your own colours and images.
In general, you get a decent amount of flexibility to adjust designs, thanks to the different content blogs you can drag and drop in (text, images, and social buttons and even products and promo codes). And there’s an option to upload your own coded templates if you’d like.
Active Campaign offers similar options – 30 nicely designed and mobile-friendly templates, flexible content blocks, and the ability to import your own templates.
But, the key difference here is really the range of templates available. And in this case, I’d opt for more, rather than less.
Mail Chimp’s lists are mutually exclusive. That means that you can’t include contacts on different lists in the same campaigns. And as Mail Chimp charge per subscriber, it also means that if you have the same contact on different lists, you’re paying for them twice.This separation makes sense if you’re running multiple businesses or projects – but it’s annoying and costly otherwise.
I’d go so far as to say that Mail Chimp’s list management is unnecessarily complicated. Aside from lists, they also have other ways of organizing contacts including tags, segments and groups – which I feel is a bit overkill, as the distinction between these isn’t very clear at first.
Active Campaign’s approach is very different. Lists are less rigid, meaning that the same campaigns can be sent to contacts on different lists.
You can segment contracts via tags or custom fields (which are contact fields that include additional data about the contact, e.g. location or interests etc.). Tags and custom fields can even be added or removed via automations.
Analytics and data:
Active Campaign: With Active Campaign, users can set campaign goals, such as number of page views or webinar sign-ups, then respond according to goal completions. These goals help users better track aggregated data from users. For example, a goal is only completed after someone visits a pricing page, clicks a call to action link, and signs up for an email list, satisfying all three goal completion criteria.
Active Campaign automatically tracks the conversion rates, so you can know exactly how many contacts completed set goals versus how many have been through the automation sequence. Assessing a campaign’s automation performance, particularly when combined with A/B testing, can lead to a more successful email campaign. Active Campaign also integrates social and behavioural data as well as contact and lead scoring to assist your sales efforts and CRM.
Mail Chimp: Mail Chimp offers an account dashboard that gives an overview of your campaign, including which contacts opened emails, what they clicked, audience growth, campaign engagement and e-commerce performance. It also has interactive graphs that visualize these statistics. Users can also view graphs of country engagement, subscriber habits, and more.
Mail Chimp’s drill down data features allow users to compare themselves to other Mail Chimp users in the same industry to see how effective they are in relation to competitors. In addition, online store owners can track sales from click to purchase, pull stats from website traffic tools, analyse return on investment, and predict future trends. Subscriber Activity Reports can track subscribers’ activities in real time and allow users to send a modified campaign to those who don’t open emails.
Active Campaign: Active Campaign’s fee schedule is based on the number of customer contacts and the chosen plan. Subscribers can choose from a sliding scale of between 500 and more than 10,000 contacts. If you have 1,000 contacts, for instance, the Lite plan would be $17 per month when paid yearly, the Plus plan $49, the Professional plan $129 and the Enterprise plan $229.
Every plan includes unlimited email sends, email marketing, marketing automation and access to 24/7 chat and email support. The Lite plan allows for up to three users. The Plus plan includes CRM with sales automation, contact and lead score, and includes up to 25 users. The Professional plan adds supplemental features, like site messaging, and accommodates up to 50 users. The Enterprise plan accommodates an unlimited amount of users and offers 24/7 phone support.
Mail Chimp: If you have fewer than 2,000 contacts and send fewer than 12,000 emails per month, Mail Chimp is free, a bonus for small companies. However, users will pay if they want unlimited emailing. If so, the price scales up relative to the number of subscribers, from $10 per month for 0-500 subscribers to $25 per month for 1,501-2,000 subscribers.
Beyond unlimited emails, the paid plans offer more features like email delivery by time zone, advanced testing tools, support and predictive demographics. The Premium plan has enterprise-level features, such as advanced segmentation and multivariate testing, for high-volume senders.
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BUILDING OPT-IN EMAIL LIST
- Working with your team to add opt-in email signs up to contact forms
- Utilizing other social media and paid strategies to continue to grow the list
- Adding new opt-in sign-ups for before each new email blast
DESIGNING CUSTOM AND PROVEN-TEMPLATE EMAIL LAYOUTS
- Analyzing what content most users interact with on your site
- Working with experienced designer to create email template that fits your brand
- Using data from previous email campaigns to incorporate proven design elements
CREATING CUSTOM EMAIL CONTENT
- Working with your company and target audience to write valuable content for them
- Running contests and giveaways to increase engagement
- Designing for engagement and conversions
TRACKING YOUR EMAIL CAMPAIGNS
- Tracking sends and delivery rates
- Tracking open and click-through rates
- Tracking web visits, leads, sales, and revenue for each email blast
TESTING YOUR EMAIL CAMPAIGNS
- Split-testing subject lines
- Split-testing send times and dates
- Split-testing copy and offers
- And more!
ADVANCED EMAIL MARKETING STRATEGIES
- Marketing automation
- Customer retention email
- Win-back email campaigns
- And more!