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In Digital Marketing Last updated: August 7, 2023
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For the better part of the last decade, Mailchimp has been a stand-out tool for email marketing. 

Digital Marketing professionals consider it a must-have email marketing software in their arsenal.

While both tools have been running since the early 2000s, Mailchimp has been more popular. So, let’s compare Mailchimp vs. ActiveCampaign to see who’s the second fiddle to the other.

Mailchimp Overview


Mailchimp is a 360° email marketing software for executing and managing business processes. It helps you engage with your customers using an email platform of your choice.

Mailchimp is famous for its email marketing solutions. These solutions automate and personalize the execution of your email campaigns. 

You can also design different template types and create targeted email lists. Allowing you to automate timely email delivery reaching out to prospective audiences.

Mailchimp also offers solutions for reporting and analytics. Using these features, you can track your campaign performance and take data-driven decision 

To sum it up, Mailchimp helps you build trust-based relationships with your consumers. All through effective & automated email marketing.

ActiveCampaign Overview

activecampaign overview

ActiveCampaign is an email marketing, CRM, and sales automation platform. It provides you with everything you need to design personalized automated email campaigns. 

ActiveCampaign allows you to segment subscribers using mobile devices. With it, you can create custom email templates and automate trigger-based email deliveries. These triggers reflect how your customers behave or what actions they take. 

If you already have a MarTech stack, ActiveCampaign can integrate with it. So you can handle most customer relationships in a more manageable way.

Thanks to powerful analytics and data collection and reporting, ActiveCampaign makes documentation easy. So you can get an informed understanding of your campaign results.

Mailchimp vs. ActiveCampaign: Working



Here are the major steps you need to take to set up an email marketing campaign on Mailchimp:

  • Sign Up: Create an account with Mailchimp. Choose your subscription—free or paid, whichever suits your needs.
  • Email List: Import contacts to build your email list. Build signup forms for your website or use integrations with other platforms.
  • Segmentation: Divide your list into targeted groups according to factors like user behavior or demographics.
  • Email Design: Use Mailchimp’s drag-and-drop builder to design and compose your emails. Check out pre-designed templates or create your own avatar by tweaking existing designs.
  • Personalization: Tailor email content individually to each recipient depending on various elements, greetings, and product recommendations.
  • Test Sending: Send test emails to check that your design and functionality are working accordingly across different devices and email clients.
  • Analyzing: Use the analytics tools offered by Mailchimp for the performance analysis of your emails. Measure metrics like rates of opening, click rate, and unsubscription rate.


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  • Sign Up: Create an ActiveCampaign account. Pick a subscription plan that matches your business needs and requirements.
  • Email List: Import contacts and create signup forms for your website. You can use built-in integrations like Shopify, WordPress, etc.
  • List Segmentation: Use the platform’s segmentation features to split up your contacts into different groups. Categorize them depending on any kind of behavior, location, or previous interactions with them.
  • Design Email: Get started with a design by putting in place a drag-and-drop email editor for individual emails. Choose from one of their pre-made designs or customizable ones.
  • Personalization: Using ActiveCampaign, you can customize each email for a single recipient. You can do so based on any intent data you might have.
  • Test Sending: Send test emails through Active Campaign for quick checking on design and functionality for responsiveness across devices and email clients.
  • Analyze Statistics: Based on query metrics, analyze various aspects related to your email campaign, such as open rates, click rates, and so on.

Looking at the processes for Mailchimp and ActiveCampaign, they are more or less the same. But you will see the real difference when we deep dive into their features later on. 

Let’s start with the benefits of using both these platforms and then go into the feature differentiation.

Mailchimp vs. ActiveCampaign: Benefits 

Mailchimp Benefits 

  • User-Friendly Interface: MailChimp provides a customizable, easy-to-use interface for both novices and experts.
  • Cost-Effective: Offers a free plan for businesses with less than 2,000 subscribers, making it ideal for startups and SMBs.
  • Detailed Analytics: Provides insights on email open rates, click rates, unsubscribes, and industry average comparisons.
  • Automation: Mailchimp supports email campaign automation, saving time and ensuring constant audience communication.
  • Segmentation: Allows for mailing list segmentation, enabling tailored messaging for different audiences.

Now let’s look at some primary benefits of ActiveCampaign 👇

ActiveCampaign Benefits 

  • Advanced Automation: ActiveCampaign offers over 135 triggers/actions and 500+ pre-built automation recipes for efficient marketing and sales processes.
  • Integrated CRM: Comes with an automated CRM platform to manage deals based on buyer behavior and set up appointments systematically.
  • High Deliverability and Compliance: ActiveCampaign has high deliverability rates and meets strict security compliance, ensuring emails reach recipients’ inboxes and data is securely handled.
  • Extensive Integrations: Provides over 900 integrations for seamless connections with other tools, fitting into your existing MarTech stack for improved operational efficiency.

Let’s now get into the feature comparison part.

Mailchimp vs. ActiveCampaign: Easy of Use

When you’re first getting into email marketing, one thing you want is a tool that’s as easy to use as a walk in the park, right? 

Mailchimp is perfect for beginners or those who like simplicity over complexity. It is user-friendly, familiar, and easy to navigate. So, everything lines up where you expect it to. 

It’s easy to set up with pre-designed templates and a drag-and-drop email builder. Making it perfect for beginners who want to avoid complex features.

activecampaign ease of use

ActiveCampaign also gives you an easy experience. It has customizability but with a slightly steeper learning curve. 

The reason for this is that it’s an advanced platform with advanced features. These features need some time for you to understand and apply them properly. But once that’s done, you can experience a more comprehensive and tailored approach.

So which is better? For beginners, Mailchimp is the best option. But if you’re a more advanced user who needs specialized features, go for ActiveCampaign.

Mailchimp vs. ActiveCampaign: Automation

When speaking about email marketing automation, ActiveCampaign stands apart. Its visual automation builder makes it easier to create any kind of complex automation workflow. 

ActiveCampaign also gives you advanced but robust automation features. These features demand some time to fully understand and apply them to your campaigns. Once applied, these features do provide a much more comprehensive and tailored approach.


Mailchimp’s automation features are limited and pale in comparison to that of ActiveCampaign. So if you want smooth automation, you need to go with ActiveCampaign.  

Mailchimp vs. ActiveCampaign: Pricing


Pricing is something that comes right after the ease of use in deciding which software to go with. Mailchimp offers a free plan for up to 500 contacts. That’s a great option for startups, SMBs, or individuals. However, as your contact list grows, you may find that Mailchimp’s pricing increases significantly.


ActiveCampaign, while not offering a free plan, provides more advanced features at competitive pricing levels. This means that for larger contact lists and businesses looking for more sophisticated features, ActiveCampaign may provide better value for money.

If you need the best bang for your buck, Mailchimp is a good starting point.

Mailchimp vs. ActiveCampaign: Customer Support

activecampaign customer support

Customer support is crucial for resolving issues and ensuring a smooth user experience. ActiveCampaign offers a variety of support options, including email, live chat, and phone support. They are also renowned for their responsive and helpful customer service.

Mailchimp also offers customer support, but it’s only available after going through their knowledge base. This can be a bit cumbersome for users who need immediate assistance.

In this aspect, ActiveCampaign comes out ahead with its more accessible and responsive customer support.

Mailchimp vs. ActiveCampaign: Integration


Both Mailchimp and ActiveCampaign do offer a wide range of integrations with other tools to streamline your marketing processes. 

Mailchimp has 20 integration categories; some of the major ones include:

  • Analytics
  • E-commerce
  • Marketing
  • Content Management
  • Payments

The platform has 300+ integration, making it possible for every kind of business to integrate its data with Mailchimp.

ActiveCampaign, however, seems to have seamless integration capabilities with CRM tools.  Add a wide range of supported tools to that, and ActiveCampaign becomes a great choice.

The platform has the same type and number of categories as Mailchimp. But here’s the catch! Where Mailchimp integrates with 300 tools in these categories, ActiveCampaign integrates with ~920 apps. Three times that of Mailchimp, making it a versatile email marketing software.

Mailchimp vs. ActiveCampaign: Quick Comparision

FeatureMailchimp ActiveCampaignWinner
Ease of UseGreat for beginnersGreat for advanced usersBoth
Email Marketing AutomationBasicAdvancedActiveCampaign
PricingFree plan availablePaidMailchimp
Customer SupportKnowledge hubMultiple sourcesActiveCampaign
IntegrationsComparatively lessMoreActiveCampaign

Mailchimp vs. ActiveCampaign: Use Cases

Mailchimp Use Cases

#1. Email Marketing Campaigns

email marketing campaigns

Mailchimp is primarily used to design and send email newsletters or promotions. It’s also great for sharing company updates and distributing blog content. It also has plenty of templates that make designing easy. Couple that with robust analytics, and you can also measure your campaign’s success.

#2. Audience Segmentation and Personalization

audience segmentation and personalization

With Mailchimp, you can segment your audience based on a variety of factors: 

  • Demographics
  • User behavior
  • Purchase history

This allows for more personalized communication and increases the effectiveness of marketing efforts. So, if you want to send different emails to customers with recent purchases, and inactive customers, you can do that.

#3. Automated Customer Journeys

automated customer journey

Mailchimp can automate a series of emails based on user behavior. This will effectively create personalized customer journeys. So, when a new subscriber joins a mailing list, you can automate a series of welcome emails. Or perhaps set up a series of reminder emails if a customer leaves items in the cart without completing the purchase.

ActiveCampaign Use Cases

#1. CRM and Sales Automation

ActiveCampaign provides a CRM for you to manage your leads and customers. You can integrate the CRM with other features, allowing for deep sales automation. For instance, you can set automated processes to:

  • Send follow-up emails
  • Make tasks for lead scoring
  • Shift leads or deals based on the change in the funnel stage

#2. Site Messaging

site messaging

Using ActiveCampaign, you can send targeted messages to visitors browsing your website. 

For example, a visitor spends a certain amount of time on a specific page without taking an action. You can make it so that a chat box pops up to mention the product or offer to solve the visitor’s queries.

#3. Machine Learning Predictions

machine learning predictions

ActiveCampaign can predict the likelihood of user actions based on machine learning. You can use these predictions to send targeted campaigns to those users. 

For instance, you can implement high-priority activities for leads with higher conversion possibilities. Or, offer promotional offers to leads with lower conversion possibilities. 

Such prediction helps you optimize resources and increase your chances of conversion too.

Which Email Marketing Software Is Best for You?

If you made it to the end of this article, you might have noticed a pattern. Mailchimp offers easy-to-use solutions for email marketing that don’t need mastery, along with a free version to remove barriers for beginners. 

ActiveCampaign takes those features to the next level. Making it slightly more advanced and complex. With this software, you trade in a steeper learning curve for better functionality. It also isn’t free and only offers paid plans. 

So, if you don’t have a bigger budget and want an easy tool, Mailchimp is better. If you’re okay with splurging a little for advanced features, ActiveCampaign is the best of the two!

  • Tanish Chowdhary
    Tanish is a digital marketing geek and a super creative writer. He has been researching, analyzing, and writing about digital marketing for 4 years. Before stepping in to the world of Digital Marketing, he was an engineer. In his free time,… read more
  • Narendra Mohan Mittal

    Narendra Mohan Mittal is a Senior Digital Branding Strategist and Content Editor with over 12 years of versatile experience. He holds an M-Tech (Gold Medalist) and B-Tech (Gold Medalist) in Computer Science & Engineering.

    read more
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