Recommendations are a funny thing
Everyone has an opinion, when it comes to the tools they use. And when someone asks me for my opinion, I give it to them. But the moment I do, something crazy happens. The debate and questioning starts. Did I think about this? Have I considered that? And in my head, I think, “then why did you ask me?”
When it comes to marketing automation tools and email delivery platforms, there are tons of products to choose from. You likely know the list as well as I do.
- Infusionsoft (now Keap)
- Constant Contact
- Mad Mimi
In this post I want to compare ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign. And I want to highlight why I recommend ConvertKit more than any other platform.
ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign: The Features
When you look at this list of features, it will feel like the two platforms are evenly matched.
The truth is that there are more features that could go on the list from the ActiveCampaign side, like text messaging. But the point of my table isn't to create an exhaustive list. Instead, it's meant to say that for most of the things that I ever talk to people about – both platforms do well.
If, in my chart, they're basically matched, you might wonder why I regularly recommend ConvertKit instead of ActiveCampaign.
There's the question of the Audience
The core issue is who is doing the work. If you have dedicated staff focused on your marketing automation platforms, you'll likely enjoy some of the extras you get with ActiveCampaign. Someone will invest months to learn exactly how to leverage every feature. And it will take months, trust me, I just experienced it (more below).
But if you are a small team or prefer to focus elsewhere, ConvertKit is an easier platform to learn and to use.
And then we get into another dynamic – beauty. There's no question that ConvertKit prides itself on making a beautiful product. If your audience doesn't care about that as much, or if they have additional staff to work on the custom CSS, then it may not be an issue.
What it comes down to for me is audience. Who is the intended audience? And the small businesses I spend time with don't have the time, money, or staff to add the extra work to enjoy all the benefits of ActiveCampaign.
Recommending ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign
I moved from MailChimp to Drip, just before ConvertKit appeared on the scene. Then ConvertKit arrived – with a focus on bloggers (now they support far more than just bloggers). And for multiple years I enjoyed the benefit of a simple and beautiful platform. But the siren song of ActiveCampaign called out to me. “We have way more features and tons of nuanced additions that you could be using,” they cried.
So I did what any person would do. I kept my ConvertKit account and simply added a new ActiveCampaign account – paying for both so I could try it out. And try it out I did – not for a week or two, but for a year (a crazy year where ConvertKit kept adding more cool features). And it took me some time to dig in and try things.
And what I discovered was exactly what I told you above, and what I tell others when they ask.
- My ActiveCampaign forms looked horrible on my site.
- The integration to WooCommerce (deep integration) didn't always work.
- I had more downtime with the API than I've ever had with ConvertKit.
- And the whole time, my ConvertKit account continued to get more powerful and more beautiful.
The other night I got an email from someone who noticed my ActiveCampaign forms were gone. They also realized all my daily posts were coming via ConvertKit (that hadn't changed). And so they asked, “Why do you use ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign?”
Tonight they'll have my answer.
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