Often one of the hardest things about getting started with sales and marketing automation is choosing the right technology.

For smaller businesses especially there’s a myriad of options, so to help simplify things, in this article we’re looking at two popular choices: Mailchimp and ActiveCampaign.

And to help make up your mind, we’ll focus on three areas we feel you should consider: ease of use, reporting and pricing.

Ease of use

When it comes to email marketing automation, both ActiveCampaign and Mailchimp make it really easy to build and send emails, particularly with their drag-and-drop design features. Overall they both provide a stress-free user experience.

ActiveCampaign:

Both Mailchimp and ActiveCampaign are well established in the email marketing world. Nowadays both identify as marketing automation platforms – though of the two only ActiveCampaign can be described as a true sales and marketing automation product. With ActiveCampaign, you’ll enjoy more flexibility in how you can use your data and benefit from all the main features you’d expect from an automation platform, including:

  • Visual ‘drag & drop’ automation builder
  • Send ‘drip’ campaigns as well as one-off emails
  • Campaign scheduling
  • Multi-channel messaging

Mailchimp:

Mailchimp is a good solution for sending less complex, one-off campaigns to single lists of contacts. Similar to ActiveCampaign, you can easily create email sequences and triggered messages within their platform. Mailchimp’s slick interface also means you’ll find it easy to:

  • Design emails with the ‘drag and drop’ campaign builder
  • Connect your online store
  • Work from existing templates

Reporting

ActiveCampaign:

ActiveCampaign wins the race when it comes to reporting. It gives you the power to decide what success looks like. You can set goals, track campaign performance and measure through to the final click of the user!

The key to marketing automation success is testing and optimisation. And with their pre-calculated conversion rates, A/B test reporting and more, you’ll find everything you need to know to make the most of every campaign.

Mailchimp:

Mailchimp offers easy-to-digest visuals within their platform. You can view performance as stats or charts, which display opens, clicks and other key metrics. And you’ll see it all from your dashboard. Something else you may find

useful is the ability to compare metrics against industry standards (taken from other Mailchimp users in your industry!).

Pricing

If you want automated cross-channel activity at a low cost, then ActiveCampaign is for you. If you’re a smaller business wanting more of an email marketing solution, then Mailchimp’s most basic package may be right up your street and even better, it’s free for life!

As technology is evolving faster than ever, automation features are getting smarter. So familiarise yourself with what they do and how they might benefit your business before deciding.

ActiveCampaign:

To try it out risk-free, sign up for a 14-day free trial. And depending on your chosen package, a monthly subscription could cost anything between $17 and $229. Whichever plan you choose though, you’ll enjoy unlimited email sends. And as you move up through the packages, you’ll access benefits like a sales CRM, additional form options & integrations, lead scoring, additional users and, for the elite enterprise users, a dedicated Account Rep.

Mailchimp:

Competitively priced at the low end, Mailchimp is a popular choice for small and start-up businesses, wanting to focus mainly on the email side of things. Where ActiveCampaign leads the way in other arenas of marketing automation, Mailchimp is certainly catching up with their remarketing, social and landing page tools.

The greatest advantage for Mailchimp has to be their ‘free for life’ option. If you have no more than 2,000 contacts and send fewer than 12,000 emails every month, you won’t pay a thing! Similar to ActiveCampaign though, you can opt for a more premium experience. There you’ll find smarter features, including a send time optimiser and predicted demographics!

What’s it going to be?

Now you know the basics, why not take a closer look at the packages? Each website has their own ‘Pricing’ page, with calculators, features and prices explained to help you choose the right package for you.

Still stuck? Then please get in touch. We’d love to help!

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