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Difference Between Mailchimp and ActiveCampaign: Comparison

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The main difference between Mailchimp and ActiveCampaign lies in their automation capabilities. ActiveCampaign offers a more robust set of automation tools, including the ability to send targeted emails based on subscriber behavior and create complex sales funnels. In contrast, Mailchimp's automation capabilities are more limited, though they offer essential tools for sending automated emails.

ActiveCampaign's automation features make it a better choice for businesses looking to get the most out of their email marketing campaigns.

What is ActiveCampaign?

activecampaign email marketing automation

ActiveCampaign has been helping businesses in 170 countries engage with their customers since 2003. Their Customer Experience Automation (CXA) Platform helps over 150,000 businesses create meaningful engagements with their customers through email marketing, marketing automation, CRM, and machine learning for powerful segmentation and personalization across social, email, messaging, chat, and text.

More than 75% of ActiveCampaign's customers use their 850+ integrations, including Shopify, Square, Facebook, Eventbrite, WordPress, and Salesforce. ActiveCampaign is rated higher in customer satisfaction than any other solution in Marketing Automation and CRM on G2.com and is the 2020 Top Rated Email Marketing Software on TrustRadius.

What is Mailchimp?

mailchimp automation

Mailchimp allows you to create and send marketing emails to customers, manage mailing lists, and create email marketing campaigns. Mailchimp is 100% owned by Ben Chestnut and Mark Armstrong, with Dan Kurzius joining at a later date. 

As of 2021, Mailchimp had more than 13 million customers and over $700 million in annual revenue. 

Differences Between Active Campaign and Mailchimp

Free plan

The free Mailchimp plan will give you access to its Marketing CRM, Creative Assistant, and Website Builder. This tier is only valid if your list has less than 2000 subscribers or sends out 10k emails per month!

ActiveCampaign offers a free trial period to access the platform in 14 days. It allows you to test the features available with up to 100 contacts.


Mailchimp has announced price increases for their Essentials, Standard, and Premium plans. The new pricing starts February 2022 with an increase of $11 per month on 500 contacts, while Standard adds advanced automations ($17), and Premium gives you all-areas access starting from $299 per month! You also have pay-as-you-go plans with the same features as monthly Mailchimp packages.

ActiveCampaign offers four different plans to suit your needs. The entry-level plan is called "Lite." It includes features like template editing and marketing automation at no additional cost! You can upgrade from there depending on what else you need: Plus ($70/month) for advanced tools such as lead scoring & CRM integration; Professional($159) gives access alongside email-based campaign management; Enterprise($279) offers virtually every feature available including custom domains.


Mailchimp is a tool that's been around for years, and it still holds up as one of the most simple email marketing platforms. With an intuitive interface made easy-to-use with drag & drop capabilities - you can create beautiful emails in no time!

If you're looking for a comprehensive CRM with dynamic lead scoring, ActiveCampaign is your best bet. It integrates with more third-party tools than Mailchimp, making it a more versatile platform. ActiveCampaign works better with Shopify than Mailchimp does - in fact, they recently had a serious falling out.


Connecting your email marketing software to other apps can make a platform more robust. For example, Mailchimp offers 309 app integrations on its free plan, while ActiveCampaign offers 870+ connections with the Lite plan!

Comparison Chart: Mailchimp Vs ActiveCampaign

Ease of useMailchimp is easy to use but can be confusing at first. Setting up your opt-in process is not too hard.The ActiveCampaign “Getting Started” slider and demo data can help you understand how to work with the different sections, which may be complicated for beginners.
Email editorMailchimp makes designing emails easy with its drag and drop editor.The email builder is fast and easy to use, but there is no quick way to preview your newsletter - you'll need to go into the settings.
Can sendMailchimp can send four primary email campaigns: Regular, Plain-text, A/B testing, and Automated.ActiveCampaign can send Standard, Automated, AutoResponders, Split Testing, RSS-Based, and Date-Based emails.
TemplatesWith the Essential Plan, you get 100+ templates to choose from.The ActiveCampaign template library offers 300 pre-designed email layouts to help you quickly create campaigns that look great.
AutomationMailchimp's automation features are not sophisticated enough to create automation split tests.ActiveCampaign's automation options let you create tailored marketing processes without any human intervention.
Contact managementYou can't send a campaign to users that appear on different lists in Mailchimp.ActiveCampaign offers a variety of ways to segment your contacts, which can be helpful if you're managing email marketing campaigns.
DeliverabilityMailChimp's deliverability could be better, but their emails often end up in the Gmail' Promotions' tab.ActiveCampaign has excellent deliverability because they only allow reputable customers to use its platform.
AnalyticsThe basics of effective reporting are covered including openers, conversion tracking with Google Analytics, clients, geo-tracking, click mapping, and social media.This tool helps you track your website's performance, including opens, clicks, etc. You can also get eCommerce reports for Shopify, WooCommerce, or BigCommerce. Other reports include contact trends, deal reports, chat conversion, automation reports, etc.
BlacklistYou can upload a list of contacts you don't want to send emails to.This is an exclusion list. You can import your contacts directly into it and export them.

Conclusion: Which tool to use? Mailchimp or ActiveCampaign?

Given the number of integrations, the email builder's ease of use, the deliverability rates, and the robust analytics offered, ActiveCampaign is the better platform for those looking to get more out of their email marketing campaigns. While Mailchimp is an excellent option for beginners or those who don't need all the bells and whistles that ActiveCampaign offers, the latter is the better tool for those looking to take their marketing efforts to the next level. To get started using ActiveCampaign, sign up for a free trial today!


How do I get started with ActiveCampaign?

You can register your free 14-day trial of ActiveCampaign by clicking here. After you create your account, you'll be able to access the platform and start using all the features!

Is there a threshold to the number of contacts in my account?

Yes, there is a limit to the number of contacts in your ActiveCampaign account, depending on your plan. However, you can always upgrade your plan to increase the number of contacts!

What are the different email campaigns that I can send with ActiveCampaign?

ActiveCampaign offers several types of email campaigns: Standard, Automated, AutoResponders, Split Testing, RSS-Based, and Date-Based. Each campaign type has its own set of features and options that you can use to create the perfect email campaign for your needs!

What is the ActiveCampaign Free Trial?

The ActiveCampaign Free Trial is a great way to get started with the platform and see how it works for you. With the free trial, you'll have full access to all the platform's features for 14 days. After the trial expires, you can upgrade to a paid plan.

How much does ActiveCampaign cost?

ActiveCampaign has four types of pricing plans: Lite, Plus, Professional, and Enterprise. The plan's cost depends on the number of contacts in your account. You can see the full price list here.


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About the Author: Tom Vincent

Tom Vincent graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics and social studies. He then started his higher education at the University of François Rabelais in Tours with a DUT Information Communication. To expand his knowledge, he also followed a professional degree in e-commerce and digital marketing at the Lumière University of Lyon. On this project, he is in charge of articles covering language, industry and social.
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