ActiveCampaign Alternative

Marketers today need a platform where they can manage multiple campaigns at once, and report and measure how the campaigns perform over time--this page compares how HubSpot and ActiveCampaign stack up when it comes to campaign management.
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Overview

It’s all too often marketers switch between different software or websites to make sure that campaigns are set up to communicate with multiple systems. Two companies make it easier for marketers to work with more tools on one platform: HubSpot and ActiveCampaign. This article breaks down the differences between both tools to make your evaluation easier.

HubSpot

HubSpot empowers marketers to manage and analyze their marketing campaigns easily, all in one place. You can easily build email, social, and ad campaigns, leverage automation to streamline processes, and report on your campaigns with powerful analytics reports. You’ll be able to use the information you’ve collected from your contacts in HubSpot’s CRM to make your marketing personalized and tailored to each customer’s journey. You’ll be able to generate leads for your Sales team where they can use the same CRM to convert leads into customers, all within HubSpot. HubSpot is ranked #1 in Marketing Automation by G2 Crowd, and #1 by Gartner.

ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is a marketing platform that makes it easy to use marketing automation for email marketing and website messaging. You’ll be able to send targeted email campaigns, nurture your contacts, and automate your sales & marketing processes. ActiveCampaign is ranked #2 in Marketing Automation by G2 Crowd, and is not ranked by Gartner. 

G2-Crowd-Fall-2018HubSpot ranked #1 in Marketing Automation from G2 Crowd

"While most marketing automation tools have reached a certain level of parity when it comes to standard features (lead records, social, email marketing, landing pages, etc.) not every company excels in training, best practices, and support. Of all of the tools I've used (Eloqua, Marketo, HubSpot), HubSpot clearly focuses on usability and customer retention. It's tailor-made for orgs that want fast ramp-up and ROI and does a fantastic job of making sure that multiple resources exist for whatever question you might have." - Eric C.

Read Reviews

 

 

HubSpot ranked #1 in Marketing Automation from GartnerGartner-CC-2018

"There are many vendors and products out there, some are very robust, complicated and expensive, typically aimed at large enterprises such as Marketo. These require numerous resources to implement and utilize. However, if you are a ~$500M company with a small marketing department, HubSpot could be the perfect fit for your needs. They have excellent onboarding and customer support. And their sales agents are very thorough and look out for you immediate needs and future growth needs." - Gartner Review

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Email Marketing

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, 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 WYSISYG 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, 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.

HubSpot allows us to have full control. Now, our marketing team can log-in, manage, publish, and track all of our marketing efforts from a single place. With other marketing software and tools, we were constantly left with unanswered questions or having to manage multiple platforms with just a couple of people. HubSpot allows us to not only be efficient, but positions us to be successful

Greg Moore

Marketing Specialist, Pro Athlete Inc.

Read the full case study

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 HubSpot ActiveCampaign
Drag-and-drop email editor



Custom coded email templates



Ecommerce emails



Email personalization



A/B testing



Optimized for any device



Post-send email analytics



Comparative reports



Send 1-to-1 emails from the CRM


Limited

Dynamic/smart send times


 

Holistic CRM personalization


 

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

Marketing Automation

For marketers with large contact lists and who are strapped for time, you’ll know how tedious it can be to manually keep your contacts engaged and nurtured. Marketing automation can help you save time and handle your contacts while you do other things. Although the process can be time intensive to set-up and test, automation can pay off tremendously in the long run. Also, automation doesn’t mean sending to the masses anymore. On the opposite end, the top marketing automation tools offer features that let you personalize every interaction that you have with your contacts without them even knowing that they’re in automated workflows -- that’s marketing magic!

ActiveCampaign’s drag-and-drop automation builder lets you set up automated workflows quickly. Examples of automated processes include: automating your email follow-up, finding your most engaged contacts by adding points to certain actions, and using integrations to send abandoned cart emails. ActiveCampaign includes site and event tracking so you can trigger automation tasks based on your contact’s actions, such as following up after a contact watches a video on your website. When you think your contact should be highlighted to your Sales team, you can use automation to tag the contact so that there’s clarity on the contact’s new status. Though the user interface might be difficult to use and clunky, it’s equipped to run your marketing automation requirements.

HubSpot gives you the ability to personalize your marketing via automation. The automation platform offers robust features beyond email follow-ups and event tracking. You can trigger workflows to initiate on triggers such as form submissions, specific page views, list membership, completed other workflow, and more. HubSpot’s automation platform works with the CRM and across Marketing, Sales, and Service Hubs so that you can automate deal changes and service ticket statuses after marketing emails, if you desire to do so. You can also update contact properties and send internal notifications or assign tasks to team members if you think a Sales reach-out is necessary. If you desire a complex and customized process, HubSpot also offers customization through API integrations and technical webhooks.

Let’s say you’re running a promotional campaign. Using HubSpot, you can quickly create a landing page and include a form on that landing page. Then, you can create and send emails to a list of contacts with a call-to-action in the email, directing people to your new landing page. To make sure you optimize for open rates, you can A/B test your emails to get the best subject line. After that, you’ll be able to drill down into reports across the emails, landing page, and form submissions in order to optimize any part of your contact’s journey. You can then use HubSpot automation workflows to enroll contacts who have filled out the form on the landing page so that they can receive your offer and after a few days, send follow up emails to guide them towards purchase -- automatically. That's just the start; Imagine the possibilities.

A key feature for us in [HubSpot’s automation workflows] is the ability to assign leads in a ‘round robin’ to our Advisors. This ensures that each lead we get is allocated based on certain criteria and are evenly distributed to our Advisors. They’re assigned to an Advisor that is the right fit for their needs, and an email gets sent to that Advisor notifying them of the new sign up.
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 HubSpot ActiveCampaign
Automated kickback emails



Drip campaigns



Conditional if/then automation logic



Automate internal notifications and tasks



Automate lead management & segmentation



Custom automation through webhooks



Workflow automation performance report



Easy to set up automated email sequences


 

Easily test contacts in your automation


 

Learn more about Hubspot's marketing automation capabilities.

Get Found Online

If you are a non-technical marketer, you know how painful it can be to do a simple website redesign, test product features copy, or build quick campaign landing pages to convert traffic. Now, there are tools made for those people to let them focus more on important tasks so they don’t have to learn how to code or rely on a developer.

ActiveCampaign does not offer options for marketers looking to create or edit content on their website. For example, you’ll have to rely on 3rd party apps and integrations to create landing pages or website pages. You won’t be able to easily get comprehensive reporting of how your email marketing affects landing page conversion rates. ActiveCampaign allows you to create forms for conversion such as inline, floating box, pop-up, and floating bar in a simple form builder.

HubSpot has the tools you need to get found online and optimize for conversion with powerful landing pages, blogging, CMS, and forms solutions. You can create quick and beautiful landing pages using a drag-and-drop editor or you can work off pre-built templates. Then, you can create and include a form on the landing page to capture any contact information. If you use the HubSpot CMS to build your website, you’ll see how easy it is to maintain an optimized website for your blogging and campaign needs. If you’re using a different CMS like WordPress, simply add the HubSpot tracking code to your site, and you can automatically bring website analytics data into HubSpot. HubSpot also understands that the goal of a form submission isn’t always to convert a new lead for the first time. Progressive profiling let’s you change what a visitor to your site sees if they’re already a contact in your database -- ensuring that every form fill yields valuable information for your business.

When we started learning about Hubspot it all clicked together, it allowed us to set up a deliberate effort, boost it with automation, and dramatically grow our traffic. We went from cold calls to taking calls in a few months, and we have Hubspot to thank for it.

Enrique Besa

CEO, Rankmi

Check out Rankmi's full case study

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 HubSpot ActiveCampaign
Forms



Pop-up forms



Embedded forms



Custom form fields



Hidden form fields



Collect data from any form solution you use


 

Dependent form fields


 

Progressive profiling


Limited through integration

Drag and drop page builder


 

Template/custom coded landing page development


 

Reporting and traffic analytics


 

Advance post scheduling


 

Optimized for mobile


 

Use custom domain


 

SEO tool


 

CMS (website pages)


 

Academy lessons


 

Social Media and Ads

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 posts 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.

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 HubSpot ActiveCampaign
Conversations on website



Social publishing, monitoring, and reporting


 

Ads tool publishing and reporting


 

Facebook/Instagram Ads


 

Google search and display ads


 

LinkedIn ads


 

Advanced website audiences


 

Contact list audiences


syncing limited

Facebook lookalike audiences



Ads ROI reporting across attribution


 

Messenger conversations



Learn more about the social media and ads tools.

Integrations

A marketing platform is great in that it centralizes a lot of your tools and tasks, but there’s always an instance where you want the platform to communicate with 3rd-party tools, like Google Calendar to update events seamlessly without needing to leave. That’s where integrations come in. Integrations help you “plug-in” other tools to the marketing platform so that the tools can collaborate with each other.

ActiveCampaign integrates with more than 200 apps. For example, ActiveCampaign integrates with online software such as analytics, accounting, CMS, service, sales and lead generation applications. With ActiveCampaign, you’ll need to rely heavily on Zapier to ensure integrations are pushed through, and there are only 4 natively build integrations.

HubSpot integrates with more than 300 apps and continues to grow as HubSpot is focused on becoming an open platform. In 2018, the 5 most popular integrated apps in the HubSpot platform ecosystem were Zapier, Mailchimp, Slack, Wordpress, and SurveyMonkey. So if you’re a marketer who needs to integrate certain applications, HubSpot get’s your pain -- which is why we want to give you the ability to integrate your apps easily. You can use integrated apps in HubSpot to do actions like Shopify abandoned cart follow ups, SalesForce lead syncing, and much more.

integrations-3Source: 5 Reasons to Get Excited About the HubSpot Platform in 2019

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 HubSpot ACTIVECAMPAIGN
Create custom contact properties



Separate teams by hierarchy



3rd party integration tasks



Natively built integrations


Only 4 "deep data" integrations

Native 2-WaySalesforce Integration


 

Sales and CRM

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 performing best practices. Also, the ability to have all of your contact’s information in one place is ideal for teams who are highly collaborative. Say, for example, a Sales Rep sees that a contact recently responded to a marketing email and filled out a form. If the marketing team or automation never notified the Sales Rep, then the Sales Rep would never have known about a potentially warm lead. This is why a CRM is the foundation that can elevate the growth of your business via better cross-team communication and enable personalization with a tight integration with marketing tools.

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 the complete history of any contact on a single screen.

HubSpot’s advanced CRM gives you extremely granular control over your contacts and how you manage them. Create as many custom properties as you’d like within HubSpot's free CRM 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 webpage views. The CRM works across the HubSpot Growth Platform so that there’s never a misaligned moment where some teams don’t know what’s happening to their contacts. 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.

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 HubSpot ActiveCampaign
Contact lead scoring



View contact activity



Win probability



Assign tasks



Add notes



User and team permissions



Create tasks for team members



Get a holistic view of the contact’s journey



Send one-to-one emails from the contact record


Limited

Email communication


Limited (Gmail only)

Mobile App


IOS only (Android beta)

Make and log phone calls


 

Supported Languages

Growing businesses that operate globally need support in different languages. Or, if English isn’t your first language, you shouldn’t have to spend time translating words just to be sure you’re interpreting them correctly.

ActiveCampaign offers support for several languages in their product, but documentation is only available in English and Portuguese.

HubSpot on the other hand has localized product and documentation to support your growing team in whatever language you choose.

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 HubSpot ActiveCampaign
Type

Product Language

Documentation Language

Product Language

Documentation Language

English





Portuguese





Spanish




 

French




 

German




 

Japanese



 

 

Grow with HubSpot

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.
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 HubSpot ActiveCampaign
Live chat tools



Programmable bots


 

Unified email & chat inbox



Blog


 

Website Management


 

SEO tools


 

Video hosting and management


 

Hierarchical teams


 

Meeting booking tool


 

Lead scoring



Automated sales sequences


Limited

Ticket & deal automation


Deals only

Sales playbooks


 

Knowledge base tools


 

Customer feedback tools


 

Help desk tools


 

Academy and educational lessons


Limited

Onboarding and consulting services


Limited

HubSpot logo

Onboarding

Get up and running with help from HubSpot.

With the help of an Implementation Specialist, you will receive both technical guidance to properly configure the HubSpot software, and campaign assistance to leverage the HubSpot tools and Inbound Methodology.

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HubSpot logo

Learning Center

Marketing education available at your fingertips.

Join the community of 50,000+ marketers certified in Inbound Marketing and grow your career, and business. Once you're inbound certified, learn new skills or get additional certifications in email marketing, design, content marketing, and more.

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Classroom Training

Get hands-on training in HubSpot and Inbound Marketing.

HubSpot Classroom Training is designed to be a personalized training experience. By attending these courses, you’ll dedicate one or two days to understanding how the HubSpot tools fit together, learning inbound marketing best practices, and more.

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tim_ryan.jpg
Making the decision to go with HubSpot to help YouEarnedIt promote "Happiness at Work" is one of the best business decisions I've made as a marketing professional. The support, training, account management and overall product experience have exceeded my expectations.

Tim Ryan

Director of Happiness Marketing

YouEarnedIt

Resources

Don't just take our word for it. See what others say about ActiveCampaign vs HubSpot: 
  • ActiveCampaign vs HubSpot [2019 UPDATE] | Which All-In-One CRM is the Best? (DigitalMerchant)
  • HubSpot rated 4.5/5 overall compared to ActiveCampaign 4.35/5 overall on GetApp
  • HubSpot was named #1 “Best Product for Marketers” in 2019 by G2 Crowd
  • HubSpot was named #3 “Top 50 Products for Mid-Market 2019” by G2 Crowd
  • What are the big differences between Hubspot and ActiveCampaign? (Quora QA with 1.2k upvotes)
  • HubSpot is ranked #2 in Marketing Automation category by Datanyze

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