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Top Email Platforms: Mailchimp Vs. ActiveCampaign Vs. beehiiv

Strengths and Weaknesses of Top Email Marketing Platforms

Thinking about making a change in your email service provider? We can help.

Considering all options is crucial as there is no one-size-fits-all solution to email marketing. When choosing your new platform, you need to find the right one for your needs and budget.

So let's take a look at three of the most popular email platforms and compare them: Mailchimp vs. ActiveCampaign vs. beehiiv.

Whether you're a small business owner, a content creator, or part of a larger enterprise, picking the perfect email marketing tool is a big decision. Find your perfect fit. 

Top Email Platforms: Mailchimp Vs. ActiveCampaign Vs. beehiiv

ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is a powerhouse for multichannel sales and marketing automation. Its platform offers email marketing, sales automation, customer relationship management (CRM), and messaging features, but most plans include a concentrated subset of services.

What sets ActiveCampaign apart from its competitors is its advanced automation capabilities. With this tool, you can automate a wide range of tasks, including more complex workflows.

ActiveCampaign Key Features

ActiveCampaign is packed with features that cater to various aspects of digital marketing. Here are some of the key ones:

  • Powerful Automation: ActiveCampaign shines when it comes to automation. Its visual automation builder lets you create complex workflows with ease.

  • Integration Options: ActiveCampaign integrates with many popular apps and services, including e-commerce platforms, social media networks, and CMSs.

  • CRM Capabilities: Unlike many other email marketing tools, ActiveCampaign includes CRM features, allowing you to fully manage your customer relationships directly from the platform.

  • Email Campaigns: The tool offers advanced email campaign features, including A/B testing, dynamic content, segmentation, and more.

  • Advanced Analytics: ActiveCampaign collects and integrates data for multiple channels, allowing you to make data-based decisions about your marketing strategy.

The company also recently acquired Postmark, a transactional email service that can automate messages to an individual after they take an action on your website such as making a purchase or requesting a new password. These plans are sold independently.

ActiveCampaign Reviews

In general, users praise the service's comprehensive feature set, extensive integration options, and powerful automation capabilities. However, all of this functionality doesn’t come for free. As your business scales, the platform can get quite expensive. It also doesn’t offer a free plan, but you can test it out with a two-week free trial before committing. 

ActiveCampaign offers features for most digital channels. The notable exception is the lack of a website or online store builder, which means that small businesses attracted by its one-stop-shop promise may be disappointed. However, it does provide a strong landing page builder.

Reviews of its interface are divided. While many celebrate its ease of use, others note that its many features clutter the dashboard distractingly.

When it comes to email marketing, ActiveCampaign provides users with a large number of templates and impressive segmentation and personalization options, such as the ability to hide or show different blocks of content. One expert review praises the platform’s ability to tailor campaigns but bemoans the limited A/B testing options available. 

ActiveCampaign Ratings

Common reviewer pros are the available automation and campaign management features. Common sources of complaints include inadequate customer support and expensive fees.

Top Email Platforms: Mailchimp Vs. ActiveCampaign Vs. beehiiv

ActiveCampaign Prices

ActiveCampaign users can opt for a sales package, a marketing package, or a bundle of the two. 

ActiveCampaign Marketing Prices

Top Email Platforms: Mailchimp Vs. ActiveCampaign Vs. beehiiv

*In order to find out the specific price for each plan’s tier (number of contacts), you have to click “Get Started” and start filling out the order form accordingly. 

Who and What Is ActiveCampaign Best For?

ActiveCampaign is a versatile tool designed to meet the needs of a wide range of users. It's an excellent choice for small to medium-sized businesses looking to level up their digital marketing and relationship management. It’s also one of the only options for marketing-CRM hybrids.

Note that you will pay for its advanced automation options, so ActiveCampaign is best for individuals or teams with enough experience to take advantage of these tools. 

ActiveCampaign caters to a variety of industries with tailored templates. Content creators will appreciate the ability to build blocks of dynamic content in their publications. 

However, it is not well suited to monetization. The service supports content distribution as part of business operations. It doesn’t support content creation as a business.

Top Email Platforms: Mailchimp Vs. ActiveCampaign Vs. beehiiv

Mailchimp

When it comes to Mailchimp vs. ActiveCampaign, it’s important to note that there’s a lot of common ground between the services. Many tasks can be handled as easily on one platform as on the other.

As its name indicates, Mailchimp is best known as an email marketing tool, but it has grown to include a larger suite of services, including digital ads, landing pages, and social media management.

Intuit, a financial software company, recently acquired Mailchimp, the full name of which is now Intuit Mailchimp. 

Mailchimp Key Features

Mailchimp is designed to handle various aspects of your marketing strategy. Its key features include:

  • Marketing Automation: Mailchimp's automation capabilities allow you to create targeted emails that reach the right people at the right time.

  • Email Designer: Mailchimp’s drag-and-drop designer is among the best in its field.

  • Analytics Dashboard: Mailchimp provides comprehensive reports that help you understand your audience better and optimize your campaigns.

  • Integrations: Mailchimp integrates seamlessly with popular apps and web services, making it easier to automate tasks and streamline your workflow.

  • Website and Commerce Builder: Mailchimp offers tools to build websites and run e-commerce businesses.

  • In-Built CRM: In terms of CRMs, ActiveCampaign is substantially more robust, but Mailchimp offers more built-in tools with its marketing plans.

Mailchimp also has a transactional email service that can be purchased alongside its other marketing products.

Mailchimp Reviews

Mailchimp’s basic email tools receive high reviews. Users love the platform’s easy setup, design capabilities, and analytics although some people mention technical glitches.

PCMag praises Mailchimp’s automated “Customer Journeys.” Higher-level plans offer prebuilt automated campaigns such as welcome emails and abandoned cart notifications, but easily customized journeys are available in the Essentials plan and allow you to handle specialized tasks.

The service receives criticism for its pricing structure, which small business owners protest can make the service less viable as their contact lists grow.

Mailchimp also counts inactive or unsubscribed contacts in your database, pushing people to higher monthly rates. If you decide to go with the service, update and delete your contacts regularly.

Mailchimp Ratings

Top Email Platforms: Mailchimp Vs. ActiveCampaign Vs. beehiiv

It’s hard to know how to balance the basement-level Trustpilot score against other review sites.

Many Trustpilot users complain about a lack of pricing transparency and unauthorized charges. Perhaps, the takeaway is to read Mailchimp’s fine print carefully if interested in the service.

Mailchimp Prices

First of all, if you’re considering ActiveCampaign vs. Mailchimp and don’t have much (or any) money to spend, Mailchimp does offer a limited free service.

Top Email Platforms: Mailchimp Vs. ActiveCampaign Vs. beehiiv

Mailchimp also caps the total number of emails sent per month at ten times the tier of contacts. The high number doesn’t cause problems for most businesses, but if you want to issue a newsletter multiple times a week, Mailchimp might not be right for you.

Who and What is Mailchimp Best For?

On G2, mid-market businesses are most likely to recommend Mailchimp, and most agree that it is best suited for small to medium-sized businesses.

Mailchimp is a beginner-friendly marketing platform that can handle multiple channels and includes a website builder. It’s a strong option for marketers who need a free service or businesses that want a comprehensive platform.

Does Mailchimp integrate with ActiveCampaign?

What if you want to use ActiveCampaign’s sales features but Mailchimp marketing? You can integrate the two services but the integration isn’t built-in. You’ll need to use a third-party solution such as Zapier to send information between the two automatically.

Top Email Platforms: Mailchimp Vs. ActiveCampaign Vs. beehiiv

beehiiv 

beehiiv was designed to simplify the process of creating, managing, distributing, and monetizing content. It’s the buzziest platform of them all and a game-changer for the email world — though we’re willing to admit it isn’t ideal for every use case. 

Let’s see if it’s right for you.

beehiiv Key Features

beehiiv is packed with features tailored to optimize your newsletter experience. Here are some highlights:

  • Publication through email and online: Get a digital archive website to house your publications as well as the tools to deliver to a list.

  • Customization: beehiiv allows users to seamlessly customize the aesthetic of their newsletters and webpages.

  • Referral Program: It comes with a fully integrated referral program, transforming readers into a growth engine.

  • Monetization Opportunities: beehiiv provides the best avenues for monetizing newsletters.

beehiiv helps brands make money. Develop multiple streams of income with capabilities for:

  • Sponsorships and newsletter ads. beehiiv’s native ad network matchmakers between brands and publishers.

  • Affiliate marketing. Join beehiiv’s own affiliate program or use your newsletter to introduce your audience to the brands you love, earning a percentage of generated sales.

  • Sell more. Email marketing lets you drive traffic to an external store. You can also add e-commerce functions to your beehiiv site.

  • Premium subscriptions. Develop premium content for paid subscribers.

beehiiv superstars have even sold their newsletters for impressive sums of money. For example, Leqwane Lynch developed the sneaker newsletter The Alerts Daily and sold it in less than a year.

beehiiv Reviews

Creators benefit from a platform built for their growth from the ground up. Victoria Kurichenko of Self-Made Millennials tried other services such as ConvertKit and Mailchimp before making a home at beehiiv. She’s found its monetization tools unparalleled and specifically mentions the ability to promote (or pay for promotion on) other newsletters.

Omid G. of Marketermilk preaches beehiiv’s ease of use, referral program, and clean analytics dashboard. He rates it as the clear winner for a comprehensive creator-focused platform. His major con is the lack of integration with Webflow, which could be a serious drawback for devotees of the website builder.

Top Email Platforms: Mailchimp Vs. ActiveCampaign Vs. beehiiv

Ewan Finser of The Digital Merchant is also a fan, calling beehiiv “the best newsletter platform out there.” The two biggest negatives for him are the lack of automations on the free plan and the lack of integrations with his favorite tools. 

Why Didn’t We Include beehiiv Ratings?

Because we’re committed to honest self-representation, boasting about our current five-star rating on G2 would be misleading. The available beehiiv ratings are extremely high, but we’re a new enough service that there aren’t yet enough of them to allow for a meaningful aggregate.

The numbers might help you navigate ActiveCampaign vs. Mailchimp, but at this time, it makes more sense for potential members of the hive to look at beehiiv’s individual reviews rather than average ratings.

beehiiv Prices

As with other services, some features are only available on larger plans.

Top Email Platforms: Mailchimp Vs. ActiveCampaign Vs. beehiiv

You will never be penalized for growth.

Who and What Is beehiiv Best For?

beehiiv is best suited for content creators and businesses seeking to build, nurture, and monetize their newsletters effectively. Whether you're a professional or a hobbyist, beehiiv provides the tools to help you connect with your audience, promote your brand, and drive growth.

beehiiv is a platform dedicated to email but provides an accompanying website for your publication. It is not an omnichannel marketing center, so it may not suit the needs of businesses that need a platform to handle multiple channels. 

The other reason beehiiv might not work for you is if you require a large number of built-in integrations. Because the platform is newer, the list of available integrations is steadily growing but may not yet include the functionality you need. 

The Final Word: What is better Mailchimp vs. ActiveCampaign vs. beehiiv?

When choosing between email service providers, the decision ultimately depends on your specific needs and goals. 

While Mailchimp is great for beginners and those with a limited budget, ActiveCampaign offers more advanced automation and personalization features as well as a full CRM. 

With a fully integrated referral program and multiple monetization avenues, beehiiv is the most creator-friendly and the most growth-friendly platform. It’s perfect for people monetizing content and brands focused on building their email lists. 

In conclusion, the choice between Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, and beehiiv largely depends on your specific needs and budget. Each platform offers unique features that cater to different users, so take the time to evaluate what you require from an email marketing tool before making a decision.

Learn more about beehiiv. Better yet, sign up for a free Launch account, and explore its capabilities for yourself.

Why Trust Me

At beehiiv, we specialize in email marketing, leveraging years of experience in the digital space to create an intuitive platform. I bring my expertise in digital marketing, specifically email marketing and long-form content, to provide accurate, up-to-date insights. 

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