HubSpot vs ActiveCampaign. Two of the biggest players on the market when it comes to CRM and marketing automation. But which platform is best? And which of the two suits your business?
Both HubSpot and ActiveCampaign are Customer Relationship Management(CRM) platforms with the possibility of automated marketing (e.g. via e-mails) and handling of customer data for sales.
Do you just need a free CRM system to keep track of your customers? Then HubSpot’s free CRM is a good solution. On the other hand, do you also need marketing automation, sales opportunities, customer service?
Then there are several things you have to take into consideration when you have to find out which platform is the right choice for you.
Primary differences between HubSpot and ActiveCampaign
The primary differences between HubSpot and ActiveCampaign are:
- HubSpot’s starting point is CRM, while ActiveCampaign is based on e-mail marketing.
- HubSpot offers free CRM tools, while ActiveCampaign offers a free trial.
- ActiveCampaign is generally cheaper than HubSpot.
- ActiveCampaign is simpler to get started with because it has significantly fewer options than HubSpot.
- HubSpot provides the best opportunities to combine customer data, marketing, sales and customer service in one unified system.
What can HubSpot do?
HubSpot does a lot of things in digital marketing, sales and customer service. However, there are three parts that we would like to highlight here:
- HubSpot CRM – Keep track of your current and potential customers.
- Marketing Hub – Automated e-mail flows and general functions for inbound marketing eg to build landing pages and blog posts.
- Sales Hub – Call customers and lead score your leads so you keep track of who to contact.
All three have free features, so regardless of whether you choose CRM, Marketing or Sales, you get free features from all of them. All elements of CRM are also part of the other two, since it is free.
Do you also have a customer service department? Then they will certainly benefit from the Service Hub, which for example gives you the opportunity to live chat with customers, so that you can provide the very best customer service.
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What can ActiveCampaign do?
Just like with HubSpot, you get a CRM system in ActiveCampaign where you can keep track of customers, marketing automation and sales.
The biggest difference is that ActiveCampaign focuses primarily on e-mail marketing. CRM is not free, but part of their paid solutions.
Automation workflows work so that you can create an overview of and execute automated email marketing.
Your CRM is important for your marketing and sales process. With marketing tools, you can automate mail flows and create fertile ground for a successful inbound marketing strategy. Below we compare different parts of HubSpot and ActiveCampaign.
HubSpot CRM vs. ActiveCampaign’s CRM
Which platform should you use to handle your customers?
Both platforms give you an overview and the opportunity to add details about your customers. You also have the option to segment your customers and send notifications to your sales team when there is a lead that is ready to sell.
When it comes to CRM, however, HubSpot is at the top. HubSpot CRM is part of all their plans and with a user-friendly interface, it’s easy to keep track of your contacts, whether it’s via content offers, tickets, calls or emails.
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Automation and emails
Automation helps you save time. You get rid of repetitive tasks by automating them via e.g. HubSpot or ActiveCampaign. It can, for example, be the automation of internal things such as notifications to sellers and data flows between sales, marketing and customer service.
Automation makes work smooth for you and improves the customer experience.
Email marketing is one of the best ways to engage your contacts. It is easy to get started and can be developed and fine-tuned so that you get the best benefit.
HubSpot and ActiveCampaign both have clear drag-and-drop modules for email design. It is possible to split test and you can create dynamic content.
Email marketing is at the core of ActiveCampaign. It is therefore no surprise that it works flawlessly for many email marketing people.
HubSpot can do the same as ActiveCampaign and more. With HubSpot you can collect and measure data without the use of e.g. Google Analytics. HubSpot handles it all. And with HubSpot CRM and Marketing Hub’s other features, you can link your email marketing with the rest of your automated marketing. And then it is possible to write one-to-one emails and track them.
Reporting and analysis
When it comes to reporting your efforts, both platforms are top notch.
ActiveCampaign can give you an overview of contacts, agreements, e-mails, automations etc. You have the opportunity to analyze the results of your efforts right down to the detail and get a good overview.
In HubSpot, you have ample opportunity to select and deselect what you want to see in your dashboard. In this way, you can compare the different efforts and see what has produced the best results. HubSpot generally provides feedback on the performance of your efforts, so you have the opportunity to follow them and change them along the way.
You also have the opportunity to share your results in HubSpot with relevant stakeholders – customers, employees, managers etc.
Ease of use
“Oh no.. A new system we have to familiarize ourselves with”. Can you recognize that thought?
Fear not. If we look at HubSpot, it is a simple design and easy to use – without compromising on the possibilities. From the start, HubSpot gives you a guided tour that shows the most important features, and then you have the option to customize your dashboard so that you see the things that are most important to you.
ActiveCampaign is a bit more complicated than HubSpot, but not rocket science. Part of the design is intuitive, but you may find yourself spending time looking for the right button. However, you can remedy this by using their search function.
Do you use several systems to, for example, manage your content or sales? Then it is important that your CMS platform can be integrated.
We’ve compiled a list of the most important of HubSpot and ActiveCampaign’s integrations with other programs, so you can form an overview of whether they integrate with exactly what you need:
Some of the most popular integrations at HubSpot are:
- Google Calendar
- Google Ads
- And many more
In total, HubSpot has more than 500 app integrations. Find the full list here and search for the apps you already use yourself.
The most popular integrations are:
- Google Analytics
- And many more
ActiveCampaign has a total of over 800 app integrations. See them all here.
And of course, HubSpot and ActiveCampaign can be integrated with each other.
All the features and ease of use are one thing, but what do you do when you need help? How good is the support at HubSpot and ActiveCampaign?
HubSpot provides access to a community where you can get help from HubSpot and other users. If you have a paid plan, there is additional email support and support directly in the app. And then they have a huge database of free video courses, articles, guides and e-books that make you a 100-meter runner in HubSpot.
ActiveCampaign also provides support via email and chat. They offer a large database of video lessons, articles and a forum for users of the platform.
Comparison of prices
First of all, it can be difficult to compare the prices between HubSpot and ActiveCampaign one-to-one, as the price structures are composed in two very different ways. And the options on the two platforms are wildly different.
The pricing structure at ActiveCampaign is simple. How many contacts do you need? Pricing starts at $9 per month for the light edition (if you pay one month at a time instead of annually). Here you can have up to 500 contacts.
The price then increases depending on how many contacts you need and how many features you need. However, you can send all the emails you want, regardless of which plan you are on.
HubSpot is made up of many elements. Prices can therefore range between $45 and $3,200 per month depending on what you need to include in your solution.
In order to be able to make a proper price comparison at all, below I compare the basic prices for HubSpot Marketing Hub with the prices for ActiveCampaign.
If you look at the overview, there is no doubt that ActiveCampaign is significantly cheaper than HubSpot Marketing Hub. Even so, it is not certain that it is the right choice for you.
What does HubSpot offer that ActiveCampaign doesn’t?
HubSpot is based on the inbound marketing mindset. A big part of inbound marketing is blogs, where you can share knowledge with potential customers.
And that’s why HubSpot offers a Content Management System (CMS) where you can manage your content and follow customers through the sales funnel.
If you want to handle content with ActiveCampaign, you must do so via integrations with CMSs that can handle this. Do you already use another CMS such as WordPress? Then you can integrate both ActiveCampaign and HubSpot with this.
When it comes to handling customer inquiries, HubSpot is way ahead of ActiveCampaign. They offer, for example, live chat, chatbots and a ticket system. Do you want the best tools to provide good customer service? Then HubSpot is the platform for you.
And to make sure it’s not a lie, you can also manage your campaigns and ads on social media via HubSpot.
In short, you can gather all your marketing and sales efforts in HubSpot.
What does ActiveCampaign offer that HubSpot doesn’t?
Shall we be completely honest? There isn’t really anything ActiveCampaign offers that HubSpot doesn’t, since HubSpot reaches all the way around and can be used by several different departments within marketing, sales and customer service.
If, on the other hand, you are in a small business where funds are small, ActiveCampaign offers the platform at a more affordable price.
Email split testing is a bit simpler to understand in ActiveCampaign, but also possible in HubSpot.
The winner: ActiveCampaign vs. HubSpot – what is the right solution?
Since you are reading a comparison of HubSpot vs ActiveCampaign, you are probably looking for a platform that can provide marketing automation (e-mail automation) and create clear reporting.
When should you ActiveCampaign?
- You have a limited budget but want to do email marketing.
- When you don’t need much other than email marketing features.
- You do not need automation in several different departments.
When to choose HubSpot?
When you want to be able to scale your efforts.
You want something that can be used by everyone in your organization.
You will achieve more efficiency by gathering your tools in one platform.