MailChimp vs. ActiveCampaign: A Comparison

It’s a head-to-head comparison. Do we think ActiveCampaign or MailChimp are a better choice for your business? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ – I guess you have to read more to find out!

As a continually evolving platform designers create to assist digital marketers in finding sales leads, marketing automation (MA) software also is effective at sales funneling and providing concise analytics pertaining to email marketing performance. Many digital marketing experts compare MA software to the software used to manage customer relationships. However, customer relationship management software primarily is used by sales professionals, while digital marketing professionals tend to work with MA software.

As developers of marketing automation software that helps businesses covering every operating niche implement successful marketing programs, ActiveCampaign and MailChimp represent two of the leaders in the MA development industry. MA software developers share numerous attributes, such as offering the same features and creating unique email marketing programs that cater to different business needs.

However, the two MA software developers also differ in many ways. Let’s closely look at both marketing automation software programs to determine whether one of the two MA titans provides the best solutions for attracting new customers.



ActiveCampaign acquires consumer data and then produces personalized email marketing automated messages. The software contains a customer relationship management tool that organizes consumer data, as well as tracks the behavior of each consumer. Active Campaign appeals to many digital marketers because of its simple integration with popular e-commerce platforms like Zoom and Shopify.

ActiveCampaign Features

ActiveCampaign plans start at a low of 500 contacts, with the option to pay for contact lists that exceed 100,000 customer prospects. Marketers are allowed to send unlimited emails on every plan offered by the marketing automation software developer. Every plan also allows marketers to create and send an unlimited number of email marketing autoresponders. Novices at email marketing benefit from a large selection of templates that are effective in converting customer prospects through the use of email marketing campaigns. Each customer lead is rated by ActiveCampaign MA software, which takes much of the guesswork out of devising effective sale funneling techniques. The company receives positive customer reviews for offering personalized support through multiple communication channels.

Email Marketing

With a drag and drop email development interface including email templates that present a professional appearance, ActiveCampaign sets the standard for email marketing programs. Digital marketers have the capability to send one-time only emails to every contact or to a list of contacts that meet certain criteria. Every time a customer prospect signs up for a newsletter, ActiveCampaign automatically delivers an email within a matter of a few seconds. The marketing automation software also allows marketers to schedule email programs months in advance of a program’s launch.

ActiveCampaign Pricing

ActiveCampaign bases its price structure on the number of customer contacts and the type of plan selected. For example, under the ActiveCampaign Lite plan, clients pay $17 per month for 1,000 contacts. The Plus plan charges $49, the Professional plan costs $129, and the Enterprise plan bills $229 per month for the same number of contacts. As the main difference between plans, ActiveCampaign allows a different number of users per plan. The Lite plan permits three users, while the Plus plan can accommodate up to 25 users.



Considered by many marketing automation experts to be the father of MA software development, MailChimp represents the largest MA platform operating anywhere in the world. The MA developer is recognized for developing powerful email programs that meet unique client needs. Versatility means MailChimp can create an email campaign for a dentist and on the same day, deliver a more comprehensive email marketing program that handles the sales funneling needs of a large corporation such as Nike. The MA software designer produces MA software that is highly compatible with e-commerce platforms operated by social media giants Facebook, Google, and Instagram.

MailChimp Features

On the free plan, MailChimp permits clients to have up to 2,000 contacts. Custom plans made available by the MA software developer easily collect millions of contacts. The sheer number of contacts allowed by MailChimp gives the company an edge over ActiveCampaign. However, MailChimp places a 12,000-email limit each month for the free plan. Paid plans allow clients to send an unlimited number of emails per month. The free plan also restricts the number of email marketing autoresponders sent to customer prospects every month. MailChimp has earned the reputation for delivering prompt and focused 24 hours a day customer support via the company’s website.

Email Marketing

MailChimp offers many of the same email marketing features that ActiveCampaign offers. You can custom design emails using the drag and drop interface, as well as create templates targeted to different audiences. One of the differences between the two MA software developers is MailChimp features a tool that allows customers to connect directly with online stores to highlight specified products. The company also has introduced the “email beamer” feature, which allows customers to design an email marketing campaign by operating a mobile device.

MailChimp Pricing

Budget-conscious businesses in search of an affordable way to reach customer prospects should consider the free plan offered by MailChimp. The free plan is ideal for businesses that require fewer than 2,000 contacts and plan to send fewer than 12,000 emails a month. Pricing for MailChimp increases depending on the number of contacts. MailChimp adds value to its pricing packages by guaranteeing email submissions by different time zones, as well as providing advanced testing tools that bundle into the various plans that charge a monthly fee.

The Bottom Line

Both MailChimp and ActiveCampaign offer easy to use drag and drop interfaces and email marketing templates that appear as if the most accomplished designer has created them. Workflows and testing options are also similar between the two marketing automation software developers.

The differences between ActiveCampaign and MailChimp start with pricing, with MailChimp offering a free plan that is generous in the number of contacts and monthly emails allowed. In addition, the two MA software developers differ in the way they handle analytics. MailChimp offers a comprehensive dashboard and highly interactive graphics, while ActiveCampaign pays more attention to the achievement of sales goals.

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