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ActiveCampaign vs HubSpot

Scaling businesses need a platform that can keep up with their growth and give them the power and flexibility to craft a best-in-class customer experience. This page compares how HubSpot and ActiveCampaign stack up when it comes to building delightful customer experiences at scale.

Ready to see the power of HubSpot’s CRM? Get in touch with Sales for a demo.

Overview

There are many platforms out there promising to help businesses perfect the customer experience. But many of them offer incomplete solutions, requiring you to cobble together a tech stack of various point solutions that are hard to manage and even harder to secure. HubSpot and ActiveCampaign make it easier to get tight control over your customer experience by managing marketing, sales, and service all from one central place--without the unnecessary complexity of legacy platforms. This article breaks down the differences between both products to make your evaluation easier.

HubSpot

HubSpot is a CRM platform with products focused on marketing, sales, content management, and customer service. Built from the ground up as a single system, each of our different Hubs connects to a single database, regardless of whether you use just one or the whole platform. As your business grows, HubSpot provides a foundation of connected data upon which you can build a truly engaging customer experience at scale

ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is a Customer Experience Automation platform that helps businesses connect and engage with customers. It creates optimized customer experiences by automating many behind-the-scenes marketing, sales, and support processes. ActiveCampaign offers one product with additional add-on specialty sales and service features.

According to 3rd party research, HubSpot is the recommended choice among software buyers*

 HubSpot ActiveCampaign
NPS

27

24

% Highly Satisfied (9-10)

45%

38%

% Likely to switch in the next 3 years

20%

24%

*This information is based on the results of a 3rd party survey paid for by HubSpot. A total of 2,014 qualified respondents completed the survey, including 1,424 in the US and 590 in Canada. To qualify for the survey, respondents were: Ages 18-65 | Software decision-makers | Currently use Sales/CRM, Marketing, Customer Service, CMS, and/or iPaaS software, including at least one of a specified set of brands. Fieldwork was conducted December 10, 2020 - January 12, 2021. HubSpot sample = 238, ActiveCampaign sample = 130

  • More Than a Checkmark

    Marketing automation is a ubiquitous tool for digital marketers to reach their audiences in more impactful and less disruptive ways. Advances in technology have lowered the threshold to entry for businesses of all sizes and maturity levels, but this has added confusion to the market. Solutions range in price from free (or almost free) to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, and a quick review of public resources is unlikely to give you anything concrete to go on. If they’re all marketing automation platforms, why pay more? The truth is that there are qualitative differences that can’t be captured with a simple checkmark on a feature matrix.

    Benefits of Smoother Automation

    Creating a frictionless customer experience also depends on smooth internal operations. Silos between systems, departments, and users all cause friction--slowing the pace at which you can engage, and reducing the efficiency of all employees. Reclaiming 5-10 minutes per employee per day opens up any number of possibilities, relieving stress on team members or giving you time to focus on those ‘nice-to-have’ growth accelerators. HubSpot’s ground-up approach to our products means that we’re able to carve out these operational efficiencies at every stage--our data moves seamlessly between Sales, Marketing, and Service, users can accomplish more on their own before bringing in a specialist, leaders can access reporting and analytics without a dedicated staff of analysts, and resources can be reallocated to more strategic tasks instead of constantly struggling to keep the system afloat.

     

  • Powerful marketing automation is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to crafting a best-in-class customer experience. To be truly successful, you need insight into what's working and what's not so you can adjust your strategy, effectively set goals, and identify strong coaching opportunities for your team.

    HubSpot’s CRM platform brings all of your data together in one central place to help you easily answer key business questions and empower your whole team by giving them access to the data they need to do their jobs, without waiting for help from an analyst or spending hours a day merging data in spreadsheets.

    ActiveCampaign also offers out-of-the-box reporting and a custom report builder. However, you’ll still need to address the underlying data issues. You will also need to consider how your various sources of data are syncing, their timing, accuracy, etc. ActiveCampaign does not have key features like native web traffic analytics and sales forecasting.

    Web traffic analytics connect all of your website traffic and engagement data with your CRM, turning volumes of data into actionable insights to give you a full picture of your customer journey. You can drill down further to analyze web, landing page, and blog page performance by domain, language, country, and more. Plus, you can see all of your sourcing data in one centralized place, making it easier to understand which key channels are driving traffic to your site, and whether those leads go on to become customers.

    Sales forecasting helps sales leaders who need to actively understand their team’s performance to set goals and coach their teams to hit them. But forecasting is only as accurate as the CRM data added by your team.

    The HubSpot CRM platform makes it easy for sales reps to input data, and automatically captures insights. You’ll get powerful forecasting in Sales Hub that helps you take control of your decision making.

  • Store and customize all your data—right inside HubSpot.

    Many companies leverage data outside of HubSpot to make decisions or rely on data that can't be bucketed into HubSpot's standard categories (contacts, companies, deals, or tickets). Custom objects will give you the flexibility that you need to import, store, and report on that data. You can name the object, determine its properties, and decide what other objects it should be associated with. Custom object data looks, feels, and acts just like standard objects within HubSpot, so there's no adjustment period for your team and no new apps to figure out--just better, more complete data.

    ActiveCampaign, on the other hand, does not support custom objects. Moreover, the technology doesn’t readily support integrating custom objects from other sources. Any system you build will be restricted to standard objects, meaning that as you grow and expand your options will be limited.

  • Most marketers know that one of the best ways to engage contacts is through email marketing. Not only does email marketing have a high ROI--email generates $38 for every $1 spent (source), which is an astounding 3,800% ROI- but also, email marketing can be easy to implement given the tools at your disposal.

    ActiveCampaign is mainly a tool equipped to help marketers with their email marketing. You’ll be able to create subscription forms, dynamic content, email segmentation, and split testing to help you engage and nurture your contacts. The drag-and-drop email designer lets you set up campaigns in minutes. At the same time, you can select among various email templates, or start from scratch to create your own unique design. One thing to note about ActiveCampaign’s email editor is that it’s not a WYSIWYG HTML editor, so you may have to fiddle with certain editing blocks to achieve your intended design. ActiveCampaign is equipped to help marketers who solely rely on email marketing, and not social media, ads, or other channels. You’ll find it hard to send one-to-one emails from ActiveCampaign.

    HubSpot pioneered the inbound methodology to give power to the marketer via inbound marketing software. From there, HubSpot created best-in-class tools that help marketers tell their stories to their audiences. HubSpot offers the same email marketing features as ActiveCampaign, and a lot more. Our drag-and-drop email editor is easy to get started with, and we offer a variety of templates that you can personalize to meet your brand’s specific needs. You’ll also enjoy personalization features like smart send times, A/B testing, list segmentation, and personalization tokens using any information you’ve collected in the free HubSpot CRM. You’ll be able to report on all your emails using HubSpot’s email analytics, offering you in-house data with deep insights into how your marketing emails are performing. Inside the analytics tool, besides email specific analytics such as open and click rates, you can drill down into emails to see exactly which links are generating the most clicks compared to other links, without needing to use Google Analytics.

    The real power of HubSpot’s marketing email tool comes when it’s combined with the CRM and our marketing automation platform. With HubSpot, you can create smart email campaigns that give each contact a customized experience based on the information you’ve gathered within the CRM. With more information on the contact record in HubSpot, imagine the possibilities that come when you want to create personalized emails for your contacts or connect nurturing emails to your sales process. This holistic, all-in-one capability in HubSpot is what separates it from ActiveCampaign, as you won’t need to use multiple tools to run and report on your marketing campaigns.

    Email Marketing Features
     
    HubSpot
    ActiveCampaign

    Drag-and-drop email editor

    green-checkmark

    green-checkmark

    Custom coded email templates

    green-checkmark

    green-checkmark

    Ecommerce emails

    green-checkmark

    green-checkmark

    Email personalization

    green-checkmark

    green-checkmark

    A/B testing

    green-checkmark

    green-checkmark

    Optimized for any device

    green-checkmark

    green-checkmark

    Post-send email analytics

    green-checkmark

    green-checkmark

    Comparative reports

    green-checkmark

    green-checkmark

    Send 1-to-1 emails from the CRM

    green-checkmark

    green-checkmark

    Dynamic/smart send times

    green-checkmark

    minus

    Holistic CRM personalization

    green-checkmark

    minus


    Learn more about how you can create email marketing campaigns in HubSpot

  • Marketers rely on social media and ads to build brand awareness, keep contacts engaged, generate leads, and so much more. It’s crucial to have a marketing platform that helps you keep track of your social media content and performance so you don’t have to switch between disparate systems to get the big picture.

    ActiveCampaign does not offer a native social tool. So you can’t post or report on your social media content via ActiveCampaign. If you want to create contacts in ActiveCampaign based on Facebook lead ads, you can use an integration to bridge the two systems. You can add or remove contacts from your list based on email and ad campaigns.

    HubSpot’s social media and ads tools give marketers the ability to manage their social accounts and ads all in one place. This means understanding which of your contacts have engaged with specific posts or clicked on an ad. You can imagine the targeting abilities that this opens to marketers who don’t have the time to cross-reference social accounts and their CRM.

    Start by connecting all your social accounts (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter) to HubSpot. Schedule out posts across each network, and quickly report on your success on each channel. You can also connect your YouTube account to HubSpot to see how your audience is engaging with your video content. With the social monitoring tool, you'll be able to keep track of specific trends and keyword phrases that are important to you and your brand, and reply directly to comments on your social posts within HubSpot.

    Social Media and advertising features
     
    HubSpot
    ActiveCampaign

    Conversations on website

    green-checkmark

    green-checkmark

    Social publishing, monitoring, and reporting

    green-checkmark

    minus

    Facebook/Instagram ads

    green-checkmark

    minus

    Google search and display ads

    green-checkmark

    minus

    LinkedIn ads

    green-checkmark

    minus

    Advanced website audiences

    green-checkmark

    minus

    Contact list audiences

    green-checkmark

    syncing limited

    Facebook lookalike audiences

    green-checkmark

    green-checkmark

    Ads ROI reporting across attribution

    green-checkmark

    minus

    Messenger conversations

    green-checkmark

    green-checkmark

    Learn more about the social media and ads tools

  • Having a house without a foundation is a recipe for disaster; so, too, is marketing and sales without a CRM. Having a CRM allows you to track your contacts through the entire sales process to ensure you’re using best practices. The ability to have all of your contact’s information in one place is also ideal for teams who are highly collaborative.

    ActiveCampaign’s CRM makes it easy for you to centralize your contact data to perform actions such as notifying your sales team, updating deals, creating tasks, and nurturing leads automatically. You can also segment your contacts based on the data that you’ve collected, such as by campaign interactions, social data, or website activity. Diving into a contact’s record, you can review that contact’s history.

    HubSpot’s strength comes from the cohesive underlying framework of a CRM platform, regardless of which Hub(s) you need. Our advanced CRM gives you extremely granular control over your contacts and how you manage them. Create as many custom properties as you need and use these properties’ values to create segmented lists that can be used within your marketing campaigns. Within a contact record, you can view every single touchpoint that you’ve had with the contact, from marketing emails, to one-to-one emails, to sales calls, to servicing tickets. You can also get personalized details of your contacts such as contact information and web page views. All of these interactions can be used to segment your contacts and reach your customers. You can also restrict who sees contacts by using team permissions, which is valuable for teams with regional offices or who handle different business types. On top of the features, the CRM interface is easy to navigate and is user-friendly for non-IT users, ensuring you and your team can get started quickly.

  • HubSpot is so much more than just email and marketing automation. With live chat, a managed CMS, SEO tools, social media and ads tools, and more, HubSpot has everything you need to get your marketing strategy started, with advanced features that you can grow into. Add your sales and service teams to HubSpot, too, and see how having all teams working out of one system reduces friction in your customer’s entire experience with your company.

     
     
    HubSpot
    ActiveCampaign

    Live chat tools

    green-checkmark

    green-checkmark

    Programmable bots

    green-checkmark

     

    Unified email & chat inbox

    green-checkmark

    green-checkmark

    Blog

    green-checkmark

     

    Website management

    green-checkmark

     

    SEO tools

    green-checkmark

     

    Video hosting and management

    green-checkmark

     

    Hierarchical teams

    green-checkmark

     

    Meeting booking tool

    green-checkmark

     

    Lead scoring

    green-checkmark

    green-checkmark

    Automated sales sequences

    green-checkmark

    limited

    Ticket & deal automation

    green-checkmark

    deals only

    Sales playbooks

    green-checkmark

     

    Knowledge base tools

    green-checkmark

     

    Customer feedback tools

    green-checkmark

     

    Help desk tools

    green-checkmark

     

    Academy and educational lessons

    green-checkmark

    limited

    Onboarding and consulting services

    green-checkmark

    limited

     

Salesforce HubSpot Integration

HubSpot and Salesforce Integration

With HubSpot’s fast, reliable, and powerful integration with Salesforce, syncing your data can be done in minutes – no technical setup required. This makes it possible to use both platforms for your different teams. Learn more about our integration here.

 

Switching from ActiveCampaign to HubSpot

Our dedicated migrations team is here to help you confidently move your marketing team onto HubSpot, with minimal disruption to your business.

At HubSpot, we don’t just copy paste your old, sub-optimal process. We help you design a new, better system – one that will scale with you for years to come. Below is a look at our proven phased approach for switching.  

Migrate from Salesforce to HubSpot

What are customers saying?

HubSpot is a leader for businesses of all sizes across multiple categories and has earned special accolades for ease-of-use, business relationships, and company momentum.

  • We were a Salesforce-heavy organization and recently made the switch to HubSpot’s Sales Hub Enterprise. It’s an out-of-the-box solution that’s easy to use and intuitive, while also offering powerful automation tools and robust reporting. With HubSpot, we can see the complete lifecycle of a customer from lead to close, and our teams can own the customizations needed to get their job done. We have had 100% user adoption and couldn’t be happier.
  • On the sales side, the team was pigeonhole into using Salesforce CRM platform, which proved to be overly complex when it came to managing contacts and updating lead information. While data entry took up a lot of time and resources, the sales reps also felt hindered by the lack of qualified leads in their pipeline. With the leads they did have, it was challenging for sales reps to fully understand where a lead was within the sales cycle. Without those insights, the sales team struggled to identify and take the appropriate next step.
  • It needed to be more affordable than Salesforce, it needed to offer the same functionality, and it needed to support our plans of developing an automated marketing machine. So far we have been tremendously successful with our move and wouldn't go back.
  • 'We were using HubSpot as our marketing tool and Salesforce as our sales tool. So when a lead became a sales opportunity, we had to take all the information out of HubSpot and copy it into Salesforce. It was time-consuming and inefficient.' After looking at different alternatives, Feyi decided to implement Sales Hub Enterprise. She chose this solution over Salesforce because it’s part of HubSpot’s CRM Platform, an integrated suite of marketing, sales, and customer service tools. 'We set up our sales process without having to hire a CRM engineer,' says Feyi. 'We could set up new fields, permissions, sequences, and reports without adding to our overhead.'

HubSpot is trusted by over 113,000 businesses in more than 120 countries.

A Community That Has Your Back

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