ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign: Battle of Top Email Service Providers

The ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign battle will be a close call, but I can help you decide which one to use if you’re having trouble picking between the two. 

I’ll go through each email automation service in depth in this post to assist you in choosing which one to employ.

Email’s downfall is overstated in the media.

Email isn’t dead and it’s not going away anytime soon. Establishing an email list is more crucial than ever.

I’ve checked out most of the major email service providers including ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, Mailchimp, AWeber, and Constant Contact.

ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign come the closest to what I’m looking for.

Let’s compare ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign to see how they stack up against each other. 

ConvertKit in a Nutshell 

ConvertKit in a Nutshell - convertkit vs activecampaign

ConvertKit is excellent software. It offers a free plan for the first 1,000 members.

When compared to competing platforms like ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit falls short when it comes to advanced automation. Conversely, ConvertKit’s emails might appear to be personal communications, which are more likely to land up in the user’s inbox than the spam folder.

Bloggers, particularly personal brands, are ConvertKit’s target market. ConvertKit can function with e-commerce sites, but it’s not the most fantastic tool for the job.

ConvertKit is a relatively new ESP to the scene. Nathan Barry established the company in 2013. ConvertKit employs over 40 people and serves around 14,000 clients. It’s interesting because they operate in the public. This means they share their results publicly.

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ActiveCampaign in a Nutshell 

ActiveCampaign in a Nutshell- convertkit vs activecampaign

ActiveCampaign, my preferred mailing list service, provides everything you need, from essential email marketing to sophisticated automation.

My major gripe with this service is that many features are only available if you upgrade to a higher-tier subscription. 

Also, instead of a newsletter-style format, I wish the email editor enabled you to send emails that appeared to be sent by you personally.

This is a functionality available in ConvertKit.

However, if you want to automate anything, ActiveCampaign can help. 

Jason VandeBoom created ActiveCampaign in 2003.

It started as software that you could buy and install on your own computer.

ActiveCampaign switched to a software as a service (SaaS) architecture in 2013.

ActiveCampaign employs over 500 people and serves over 80,000 clients.

A Comparison of Their Features 

Let’s compare and contrast the features of ConvertKit vs ActiveCampaign.

The Similarities of ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign 

Both services have several features in common. Let’s start with their commonalities.

Web Forms 

To get started with registration forms on your blog, you don’t need a third-party service like OptinMonster.


Both platforms let you build sophisticated email marketing funnels that are triggered by numerous events.


You can divide your audience using tags and other metrics in both ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign.


Both provide you the option of tagging your email subscribers.

WP Plugins 

To connect their online forms into your blog, both provide WordPress plugins.

Free Mitigations

Both providers will assist you in transferring your existing configuration from another ESP for free. 

Broadcast Scheduling 

You can make your broadcast and choose a time for it to go out on both platforms. 

Landing Pages

As part of its service, ConvertKit allows you to construct landing pages. This eliminates the need for a third-party provider like ClickFunnels or Leadpages.

With the Plus subscription or higher, ActiveCampaign’s freshly built landing page solution is available. 

However, if you’re serious about your landing pages, the capabilities of ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign are restricted.

You might think about selecting a service that has a more professional appearance.

RSS Feed

They both allow you to send your latest WordPress blog post to your readership through email.

The configuration of ActiveCampaign, on the other hand, provides for more customization.

Custom Facebook Audiences

ConvertKit just implemented this feature, so both services now have it.

Two-factor Authentication

Both support two-factor authentication for extra protection.

The Differences of ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign

ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign appear to be comparable on the surface. Let’s have a look at how they vary.


ConvertKit offers fewer integration possibilities out of the box. Both services, however, operate with Zapier, which should fix the problem. The majority of third-party services should be accessible.

API Functionality 

ConvertKit’s application programming interface (API) is limited, in my opinion. It lacks the ability to measure email openings and a way to track email clicks. 

You can receive this info through ConvertKit itself, but if you’re linking a third-party application (like I do), ConvertKit’s API doesn’t provide these choices. Workarounds for these two characteristics are conceivable, but they are challenging to design.

ConvertKit’s Unique Features 

What if you’ve previously launched an email campaign, but the link is broken? You can use ConvertKit to redirect the link to the correct URL. This method may also be used to find expired affiliate promos in old emails.

ActiveCampaign’s Unique Features 

SMS Messaging 

Users may sign up for your mailing list by SMS using ActiveCampaign. You may also send your subscribers an SMS text message. You can send out invites and updates for events like webinars.

A subdomain can be included in your email links. This feature is accessible with the Plus Plan. 

Lead Scoring 

Because ActiveCampaign is primarily focused on e-commerce, it may score subscribers depending on the actions they take. This enables you to send emails to contacts who are particularly eager to convert. This is currently not an option in ConvertKit, although ConvertKit allows you to tag your subscribers based on actions that they take.

Several Email Lists

You can create separate lists in ActiveCampaign.

While ConvertKit’s tags may be used to replicate this, ActiveCampaign allows you to define your audiences in a more precise manner.

Automated Messaging and Live Chat

A feature named “Conversations” is available on the higher-level ActiveCampaign plans. This enables you to communicate with your audience in a more cohesive manner. Instead of having separate email, SMS, and live chat services, you can have them all in one place with ActiveCampaign.

Google Chrome Plugin 

ActiveCampaign offers a Google Chrome plugin that works with your contacts and integrates with your email as a CRM.

Email Automations 

Automation is the main reason to use one of these services over other email service providers. Let’s take a closer look at their capabilities. 


An email subscriber generates an event that the ESPs can reply to with both services’ automation. The choices that ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign provide are what are essential. 

It’s worth noting that ConvertKit presently doesn’t allow you to construct automation without a trigger. A solution like ThriveCart, on the other hand, offers the ability to launch automation in ActiveCampaign. As a result, ConvertKit presently lacks this critical functionality. You may construct a signup form that you don’t use as a workaround.

Visual Flowcharts

Visual Flowcharts

Your email automation is shown beautifully in both of these flowcharts. The visualization and editing in ConvertKit are slightly more intuitive than in ActiveCampaign.

In general, ActiveCampaign is more challenging to use.


ConvertKit only allows you to add someone to the automation list if they meet the following criteria:

  • Custom Field 
  • Tag Added

To keep track of your visitors, ActiveCampaign offers a variety of technical choices, including:

  • Date created
  • Tag added
  • Tag removed
  • Has opened an email
  • Visited a webpage
  • Custom field
  • Visitor’s time zone
  • Tag added
  • Geography based on IP address
  • Total site visits
  • Has clicked on a link

To some extent, this is beneficial. However, for most users, it might be overwhelming.


  • ActiveCampaign — 340+
  • ConvertKit — 90+

Obviously, ActiveCampaign connects to more services directly. However, this is no longer as significant as it formerly was. Both services offer APIs and are well-integrated with Zapier.

We should note that ConverKit’s API is quite limited.

As previously stated, ConvertKit does not presently offer API information for email opens or email link clicks. As a result, its API is very restricted.

We’ve also stated that while webhooks are accessible with ConvertKit, they can only be accessed through its API.

You can’t create webhooks on the dashboard right now.

Ease of Use 

Finally, let’s compare how easy it is to start with ConvertKit versus ActiveCampaign.

Both platforms provide a free trial period, so you might as well try them out before committing.

You’ll have quick access to your primary dashboard after creating an ActiveCampaign account.

It’s busy but nicely structured.

This dashboard also includes several handy widgets that allow you to check the status of your campaigns at a glance. It shows your most current data, activities, and any tasks you’ve set for yourself, among other things.

Let’s have a look at ConvertKit now. It’s also a straightforward procedure to sign up, and you’ll have a centralized dashboard to operate from as well. 

To be honest, this dashboard isn’t nearly as valuable as the previous one. A handy checklist tool displays all of the activities you’ll want to do first and allows you to mark them off as you go. Apart from that, there isn’t much to see.

The fundamental operations are clearly arranged on the navigation menu. Each section will take you through the job at hand.

Automation Templates

Both ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign offer built-in templates to help you construct automation.

ConvertKit’s themes focus on bloggers. ActiveCampaign, on the other hand, includes more prebuilt templates, both from the company and from third parties.

ConvertKit, for example, does not have an abandoned cart sequence, but ActiveCampaign does.

Deliverability of Emails 

All of these bells and whistles are useless if your subscribers never get your email.

Which provider has a higher rate of email delivery? Both employ third-party email delivery providers. It’s how successfully they manage their client bases that count. How many spammers does each provider, for example, let into its network?

ConvertKit’s emails, on the other hand, have a more personal feel to them, which makes them more suited to private businesses like mine. Emails from ConvertKit are nearly indistinguishable from personal emails.

It’s virtually impossible to produce emails that don’t seem like they came from a mailing list with ActiveCampaign.

You should offer an unsubscribe option in mass emails as required by law (the CAN-SPAM Act). You can modify your email footer in both ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign so that you can do it elegantly. This will allow you a better shot at landing in the inbox rather than a spam folder.


ConvertKit’s pricing is in three tiers:

Free – It’s free, but only for the first 1,000 people who sign up. There is no automation, paid support, or integrations available; you can generate newsletters.

Creator – Includes all of the features that aren’t available in the “Free” plan.

Creator Pro – Facebook custom audiences, deliverability reporting, and redirect links in email broadcasts are all included in this tier. 

ActiveCampaign, on the other hand, offers four different plans:

Lite — This package offers automation and integrations, unlike Convertkit’s most basic plan.

Plus – Landing pages, Facebook custom audiences, contact scoring, and SMS marketing are all included in this tier.

Professional – Includes customization for websites, predictive emailing, and split automation.

Enterprise – Unlimited email design testing, customized reports, and a custom mail server.

ActiveCampaign, I’ve discovered, has a habit of moving features around and bundling them into various plans at different times. In my “Plus” plan, I could acquire a custom mail server domain and split automation when I signed up. Those options are currently only accessible in higher-priced plans.

The more subscribers you have on your list, the more ActiveCampaign costs. 

ActiveCampaign’s pricing is tiered. You can pay more for additional subscribers, but higher-level subscriptions with more outstanding features are also available.

In general, ActiveCampaign’s Lite package is the most affordable choice. However, if you want to use specific ActiveCampaign’s capabilities, you’ll need to upgrade to a Plus, Professional, or Enterprise subscription.

Personally, I suggest and utilize ActiveCampaign’s “Plus” plan.

Analytics and Reporting 

ConvertKit offers fewer reporting options than ActiveCampaign. Because of the service’s poor API features, you can’t expand the reporting functionalities that ConvertKit offers, even with third-party solutions. This is a deal-breaker for me because I require the reports.

To track visitors, I always use the Woopra analytics program. ActiveCampaign not only has a direct interface with Woopra, but it can also report email openings, and link hits to the platform.

ConvertKit, on the other hand, does not integrate with Woopra and does not support sending email opens and link clicks to any third-party business.

So what’s better, ConvertKit or ActiveCampaign? 

ConvertKit is my personal favorite. It’s what I used on this blog if you are to subscribe to my email list (I give you tons of money-making ideas).

ActiveCampaign, on the other hand, has its place and clearly has won over thousands of customers.

FAQs about ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign

Is it possible to use ConvertKit with affiliate links?

It’s possible, but might be against their rules. They say “affiliate type sites, network marketing sites, or promotions” are not allowed.

Can ActiveCampaign be used to generate landing pages?

Yes! ActiveCampaign now supports landing pages. It’s included with the “Plus” plan or above.

Is it possible to utilize affiliate links in ActiveCampaign?

You can use affiliate links, but you can’t primarily push affiliate links, according to ActiveCampaign’s stated policy. To put it another way, you should only promote where you can provide value to your audience.

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Final Thoughts 

Both ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit provide great tools and are reasonably priced. However, each choice has advantages and disadvantages to consider.

I suggest you go with ConvertKit if you want to manage your subscribers, set up email automation, and manage your triggers using a simple and straightforward solution

. The pricing is transparent, there’s lots of assistance in the form of DIY instructions and articles, and the service’s simplicity is unrivaled. 

I suggest you go with ActiveCampaign if you want to manage your campaigns extensively. ActiveCampaign offers better email designs, a more extensive selection of forms, and more in-depth statistics.

To get help in email copywriting, try Reply. It creates human-like emails in seconds with a focus on personalization.

Now it’s time for you to take all the info I’ve given you and make the best choice for your brand. Good luck!

Disclosure: This article might contain affiliate links to the resources I refer to. It's at no cost to you, and it's how we pay the bills. Get more info here.

Brooks Conkle Banner Image
Brooks Conkle

Brooks is an entrepreneur, father, husband, & follower of the golden rule. He has over 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur after graduating with a Finance degree from Auburn University. Addicted to starting new business projects, he believes in creating multiple income streams and a life of flexibility. Business should work around your life, not the other way around. He creates content on his website, sharing his projects to help other hustlers in marketing, personal finance, and online business.