HubSpot vs ActiveCampaign.

HubSpot vs ActiveCampaign

For each case a customer experience platform

HubSpot and ActiveCampaign, two of the most popular marketing automation and CRM platforms showing similar features to help you optimize the customer experience. We enjoy both of these awesome toolkits and love to advise and implement these for our clients. But how do we decide which platform best meets your needs? In this blog, we’ll show you the differences between these two and why sometimes HubSpot is a better match and other times ActiveCampaign. Of course, besides HubSpot and ActiveCampaign we can also integrate any other marketing automation platforms such as Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Marketo, and Salesforce Pardot. That’s how you can keep working in the systems that you’re comfortable with!

 

Features

Both software programs offer extensive marketing automation tools, a CRM, and tools for marketing, sales, and service so you can help your target audience in every step of their experience journey. Whereas HubSpot is built around its free CRM, ActiveCampaign is focused on email marketing. This means that each platform has its own powerful features.

Below we’ll show you in one overview the most desirable features and if each platform offers this feature. Because each platform has its own way of pricing and each plan offers other features, for this overview we’re looking at the features of HubSpot Professional vs ActiveCampaign Professional. These are neither the cheapest nor the most expensive plans for both platforms.

 

HubSpot Professional

ActiveCampaign Professional

CRM

Site & Event tracking

Forms

Email marketing

Predictive sending

A/B testing

Automations

Lead scoring

One-on-one email

Pipeline management

ActiveCampaign doesn’t have a limit, HubSpot max. 50

Task management

Meeting planner

Win probability

Predictive content

Conditional content

Shared inbox

Included with ActiveCampaign Conversations

Live chat

Included with ActiveCampaign Conversations

Chatbot

Included with ActiveCampaign Conversations

Service ticket management

Knowledge base creation

Feedback surveys

Apps

Chat & Email support

Knowledge base

One-on-one training



CRM

Although HubSpot is built around its CRM and adds functionalities for marketing, sales, and service, both HubSpot and ActiveCampaign offer extensive CRM features. Within this customer relationship management tool, you can save all contact data, discover what their interests are, nurture leads with matching content, qualify them, and eventually turn them into customers. A CRM helps your contacts in every step of their experience journey by offering the content they are looking for.

Besides saving contact data, both CRMs also offer the ability to filter, segment contacts, and search.

 

Email marketing

Both software programs offer extensive functionalities for creating, editing, and sending emails. Both platforms provide you with several templates to choose from and edit to make it your own. Of course, you can also start an email from scratch and drag and drop different blocks into it to add text, images, video, CTA, or something completely different to your email.

 

HubSpot e-mailpersonalisatie

 

Email personalization

Because both software platforms offer an extensive CRM, you can personalize your emails with either one. HubSpot lets you use smart content to personalize parts of your email. You decide which data you want to change the content for. For example, to contacts in another lifecycle stage or in a different list. Next, you send this email to all contacts and HubSpot automatically sends the right email to the right contact. ActiveCampaign offers a similar functionality called conditional content. Besides, it also offers predictive content. Predictive content allows you to create multiple versions of the same email and based on the data in the CRM ActiveCampaign decides who gets which email.

 

One-on-one email

Besides sending bulk emails, both software programs also offer one-on-one email. With these kinds of emails, your sales and service reps can stay in touch with leads and customers. Sent and received emails are automatically saved in the CRM so everyone in your organization knows what you’ve discussed with a client and what a lead is looking for. That’s how your sales team can create customized offers and service reps can offer the support your clients are looking for.

To contact leads and customers more efficiently, HubSpot offers the possibility to create templates and snippets. Templates are text templates that you create once and can use to send to multiple contacts over time. Before sending, you can still make some small changes to the text, to make each email a little more personal. Great for when you want to invite many interesting leads and customers to your events or when nurturing leads. Snippets, on the other hand, are little, reuseable pieces of text you can easily add to your email using a hashtag (#). Great for both internal and external emails about invoices or quotes.

 

Website personalization

Besides email personalization, both HubSpot and ActiveCampaign can help you personalize your website. Website personalization is all about changing parts of website content so it better matches the needs of each unique visitor. That’s how you help them get to the right content quickly and make them convert faster.

HubSpot offers its own CMS Hub where you can manage your website, blog, and landing pages. If you’re using this Hub, you can personalize parts of your website. Show, for example, another call to action to customers than new visitors or show logos of customers that work in the same industry as the visitor, so you show them you’re a real industry expert.

Of course, you don’t need to use the CMS Hub. At Sterc, we can connect any other CMS to HubSpot so you can personalize your website. We’ve created a complete integration between HubSpot and MODX CMS: de HubSpot API. That’s how we can create a fully customized website and still benefit from the many advantages of HubSpot.

ActiveCampaign, on the other hand, allows you to more easily add personalization to your website. We’ve already connected this system to the MODX websites several times. You simply connect your website with ActiveCampaign and ActiveCampaign will load the selected web page. Next, you decide what you want your page to look like, which information you want to show, and more.

We’ve also created an API for ActiveCampaign, so you can easily ad forms you’ve created within ActiveCampaign to your MODX website. Data filled-in in forms will be saved in your ActiveCampaign CRM, so you can use this to personalize your website.

 

ActiveCampaign Automatisering

 

Marketing & sales automations

Both software programs offer extensive automations to segment, nurture and qualify leads, send emails automatically, update deals, and send internal notifications. The big difference between the two is the pricing. 

With ActiveCampaign, you can immediately start using expanded workflows and automations. In HubSpot, on the other hand, you can only access workflows from the Professional plan and up. Besides that, you also need to decide if you want to focus on marketing or sales automations or both (in which case you need to pay for both Hubs).

 

Want to learn more about automating your marketing activities and working more efficiently because of it? Discover all about it in our blog about marketing automation.

 

Sales pipelines

Sales pipelines show you how far a deal is in the sales process. You can drag and drop deals manually to another phase, but you can also do this automatically. Either way, everyone in your organization will know what the deal is about and the probability of closing the deal. Within both software, you can set up pipelines however you want it, so it aligns with your sales process. 

Both programs can create multiple sales pipelines. For instance, when you want to create a unique pipeline for each product or service. With HubSpot Professional you can create up to 50 pipelines, and ActiveCampaign has no limit. Besides that, ActiveCampaign also offers the feature ‘win probability’, where ActiveCampaign calculates the probability of winning or losing a deal based on the actions the lead takes.

 

Service tools

Besides marketing and sales, one of the most important teams to bind customers to your brand is the service team. Your service reps are the people that turn customers into coveted fans by optimizing the customer experience and offer the desired help 24/7. 

HubSpot offers a lot more tools to make your service team a success. Both software offer live chat and chatbot (you can add this as an extra with ActiveCampaign Conversations) and one-on-one emails. But ActiveCampaign sadly doesn’t offer a service ticketing system, you can’t create a FAQ page, and send feedback surveys. You can, of course, always integrate external systems with it, but HubSpot offers an all-in-one package.

 

Dashboard & Reporting

After logging into both systems, you get onto a dashboard. ActiveCampaign allows you to add, move, and remove widgets to your dashboard. These widgets show directly how many contacts you have, your tasks, automations, pipelines, contacts’ activities, and more.

HubSpot’s dashboards are more expanded and allow you to add any report you or HubSpot have created to your dashboard. Besides that, HubSpot also has unique dashboards for your marketing, sales, and service team and website analytics. That’s how you can see all necessary information specific to your team.

Both systems also offer a report builder that allows you to create your own reports to show more results on your marketing, sales, and service activities.

 

Support

All HubSpot users get access to the HubSpot community, where they can ask their questions to the huge HubSpot community. From the Starter plan and up you get in-app and email support, and from Professional you can get phone support. Besides direct support, you can also learn all about HubSpot, marketing, sales, and service in their HubSpot Academy, their knowledge base, online guides, articles, and ebooks.

ActiveCampaign offers support through chat and email for all its users and phone support only on the Enterprise plan. Besides that, you can use the extensive knowledge base, training videos, and community forum. From Professional and up you get access to one-on-one training sessions.

 

Pricing

The biggest difference between ActiveCampaign and HubSpot is probably the pricing. If you want to use ActiveCampaign, you pay for both marketing and sales functionalities in one package and the features extend for each plan. Besides that, you can add useful service functionalities with ActiveCampaign Conversations. HubSpot, on the other hand, offers individuals packages (called Hubs) for marketing, sales, and service. Each package is different and within each Hub, you have the free, Starter, Professional, and Enterprise plan. Both ActiveCampaign and HubSpot differ in pricing when you add more contacts to your CRM.

To make a comparison, we look at HubSpot’s Marketing Hub, because this one offers the most similar functionalities to ActiveCampaign’s.

HubSpot starts with a free version. This free version offers CRM, forms, landing pages, email marketing, ad management, live chat, a basic chatbot, and a service ticket system. The forms, emails, live chat, chatbot, and landing pages do show HubSpot branding in the free version.

After the free version, HubSpot offers ‘HubSpot Marketing Hub Starter’ and ActiveCampaign starts off with the Lite plan. HubSpot Starter has the same functionalities as the free version, but without HubSpot branding. ActiveCampaign has a CRM, marketing automation, email marketing, subscription forms, and tracking. The costs shown below are monthly costs when you pay upfront annually.

 

Contacts

HubSpot Marketing Hub Starter

ActiveCampaign Lite

1.000 

$45

$25

2.000

$90

$45 (2,500 contacts)

5.000

$216

$79

10.000

$396

$125

Next, ActiveCampaign offers the Plus plan that gives you access to sales automations, landing pages, conditional content, lead scoring, and customizable forms.

 

Contacts

ActiveCampaign Plus

1.000 

$49

2.000

$99 (2,500 contacts)

5.000

$135

10.000

$199

After ActiveCampaign’s Plus plan, both platforms offer the Professional plan. HubSpot offers all Starter features plus automation tools, personalizations tools, social media tools, lead scoring, A/B testing, and creating your own reports. ActiveCampaign offers everything from the Plus plan and web personalization, predictive sending, and content, win probability of deals, marketing attribution reports, and one-on-one training sessions.

 

Contacts

HubSpot Marketing Hub Professional

ActiveCampaign Professional

1.000 

-

$129

2.000

$740

$129 (2,500 contacts)

5.000

$947 (7,000 contacts)

$199

10.000

$1.153 (12,000 contacts)

$279

Finally, both platforms offer the final plan: Enterprise. HubSpot offers everything from the Professional plan and single sign-on, email send frequency cap (so you don’t send too many emails to the same contact in a short period), you can create your own objects and properties to save other data, adaptive testing where you can automatically do A/B tests and optimize your website with the help of AI and machine learning, multi-touch revenue attribution where you can see which marketing activity was most successful. ActiveCampaign offers everything from the Professional plan and custom reporting, an unlimited amount of users (Professional only offered 50 seats) and you can add social data and more to your contacts.

 

Contacts

HubSpot Marketing Hub Enterprise

ActiveCampaign Enterprise

1.000 

-

$229

2.000

-

$229 (2,500 contacts)

5.000

-

$359

10.000

$2,944

$399

 

Conclusion

HubSpot and ActiveCampaign actually do look very similar when looking at features. HubSpot mostly offers a little more features, but that’s what you pay for.

HubSpot is built around its CRM, and that’s why you can get started with this immediately. Be aware that if you want to extend functionality or have saved a lot of contacts in your CRM - what can happen if you’re in e-commerce - that prices can go up rather quickly. Besides that, HubSpot offers a lot more tools for your service team. So if you want to bring all your teams together in one place, then HubSpot is the way to go.

Are you focusing more on email marketing and marketing automation? Then ActiveCampaign is probably the right choice for you. From the Lite plan up, ActiveCampaign offers extensive marketing automation tools. Besides that, ActiveCampaign is more focused on B2C and e-commerce organizations and will cost less even if you have a lot of contacts saved in your CRM and will therefore send many emails each month.

Do you want to integrate another marketing automation platform? We can help you with that too! We can integrate Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Marketo, Salesforce Pardot, and any other platform. Do you want to learn more about integrating an automation platform with your systems? Contact us or fill in the form below.

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