ActiveCampaign for Startups: Pros and Cons (What You Should Know)

By Mansi Rana February 8, 2022

One of the most crucial challenges that a startup is facing regarding marketing and customer acquisition is to choose which email service provider to use.

There are dozens if not hundreds of tools offering free automation software, but ActiveCampaign is fundamentally different from them.

If you are planning to use ActiveCampaign for your marketing and automation needs and looking for a detailed review, then we’ve got you covered.

This is the only comprehensive ActiveCampaign guide that you need to explore before you start using it.

Regardless of whether you run a startup or already have a business, then this guide will help you.

What Is ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is an all-in-one marketing platform aiming to help small businesses, startups, and mid-sized companies grow their revenue.

Its primary goal is to facilitate more efficient customer management, email marketing, automation of sales processes, ROI tracking for each marketing campaign, and much more.

It is a fully functional business automation platform that provides everything you need in order to meet your customers’ needs on time.

It’s extremely helpful for any kind of online business because the majority of the tools are free or have a freemium pricing model.

As soon as you sign up on the ActiveCampaign website, you’ll get access to Mailing List Builder which offers useful features like creating personalized dynamic content, adding images with hyperlinks, and many others.

It is a powerful tool and its usage is the first step to email marketing automation and segmentation.

Pros of ActiveCampaign platform

Below are some of the cutting-edge benefits of ActiveCampaign that will make your business more scalable, productive, and efficient:

1. Automation Capabilities

ActiveCampaign excels in automation, but it’s not limited to email marketing.

It also gives you the power to automate your sales process with dozens of triggers leading to various next steps.

For instance, you can start a new campaign or send an email after someone downloads a file.

Also, it allows you to set up automated webinars, landing pages, surveys, and much more.

Even if you are not a tech-savvy person, you can easily start using its automation features to grow your business.

2. Excellent email deliverability rate

Other email service providers might not offer proper delivery rates and resulting in your emails getting blocked.

Even if such a thing has never happened to you, it’s still crucial to be aware of the risks.

It’s especially critical for startups because you do not want your email marketing campaigns to fail because of technical issues with an email platform.

ActiveCampaign delivers 99% of all outgoing emails on time with proper unsubscribe link tracking and even custom DKIM configuration (it helps deliverability).

3. Seamless Integration With Other Apps

ActiveCampaign offers tons of integration options that you can configure with just a few clicks.

It works great with many e-commerce platforms, payment processors, CRMs, marketing automation tools like HubSpot and Pardot, and much more.

Thus, if you are looking to integrate your existing platform then you can easily do it on ActiveCampaign.

It will help you automate a maximum number of marketing and customer retention tasks.

4. List Segmentation

Most email marketing tools do not really let you accurately target the right audience for sending personalized messages.

This is why you need ActiveCampaign, where your data privacy will be secure yet you can easily create unlimited lists.

You are free to segment subscribers based on their location, behavior, purchases, list membership, etc.

You can then use it effectively for creating targeted ads or emails that would potentially result in more conversions.

5. High Levels of Customization for Content

ActiveCampaign lets you use its Mailing List Builder to create personalized content with dynamic variables.

Such a feature is extremely helpful in case you would like to add specific recipients’ information (first name, location, etc.) or send out surveys and forms.

You can set it up for any email marketing campaign in less than 5 minutes — all the while maintaining optimal deliverability and in-depth tracking capabilities.

6. Email Tracking

ActiveCampaign allows you to see which links have been clicked on inside an email, for how long the reader has spent on a certain page, and from which device.

In other words, you can track each subscriber’s actions and optimize your campaigns accordingly.

It lets you quickly monitor conversions by using simple URLs that are easy to remember yet contain all necessary tracking data.

Such URLs do not require additional plugins or extensions because ActiveCampaign comes with this useful feature out of the box.

7. Robust CRM

ActiveCampaign allows you to easily manage all your contacts with its robust CRM.

You can just as easily store new leads, automatically log email opens and clicks, send out surveys, and more.

It also provides a wide range of detailed contact information for each one of them — phone numbers, social media links, company names, and many more.

And, the best part is that the overall user interface is quick, intuitive, and dynamic.

8. Client Scoring

You can create a risk-based system to rate your prospects and determine which ones would be best suited for purchases.

It works like this: you enter the basic details (e.g., location, interests), and ActiveCampaign calculates a score based on previous engagement statistics.

If you want to get more accurate results, then you can set up different criteria (e.g., average order prices) and see which clients meet them or not.

The feature might result in better marketing conversion rates and increased ROI in the future.

9. Tracks Sales In CRM

With ActiveCampaign, you can integrate your CRM system with all of your marketing efforts.

This way, it becomes easy to see which emails are converted into sales for a startup business.

Also, you can keep track of each customer’s behavior by setting up smart campaigns through an automation flowchart.

10. Create Quick Landing Pages

ActiveCampaign allows you to create a website in minutes.

You can quickly personalize it and add your own logo, branding colors, and more.

In fact, any professional web designer might find the options limited because you need to be careful about what kind of a template you use.

But if you are not looking for over-the-top features, then ActiveCampaign’s quick landing pages will suffice for generating new leads without requiring much technical knowledge.

11. Excellent Onboarding

ActiveCampaign does a great job when it comes to onboarding.

It provides you with an easy-to-follow guide that will help you quickly set up all aspects of your email marketing campaigns.

The interface itself might feel overwhelming at first because it is packed with dozens of short tutorials and helpful tips on how to manage contacts, lists, segments, tags, etc.

But in the end, it becomes very clear and concise, so new users would not have much trouble getting started thanks to ActiveCampaign’s in-depth guidance system.

12. Task Reminder

This option comes in handy when you need to follow up on certain actions such as unsubscribed by, opening, and clicks.

The automated reminders can be personalized by adding actual email content into the system that will trigger a notification at a particular time or date.

It saves you from manual effort and helps build trust with clients because it makes your startup business appear professional and reputable.

13. Offers Great Support and Training

One of the major advantages of ActiveCampaign is that it provides thorough customer support and professional training to help startups quickly set up their email marketing campaigns.

The system’s user interface is intuitive, but there are many hidden options that could only be discovered through dedicated research or by using other third-party sources for knowledge (e.g., blog posts).

It might take a lot of time before you find out about all possibilities because the documentation section itself is quite tiny compared to bigger CRM competitors.

Cons of ActiveCampaign platform

After reading the pros, you also need to understand some of the cons associated with ActiveCampaign that might trouble a few users.

1. Can be Pricey depending on what you need to do

If you are willing to pay constantly for an email marketing service, then ActiveCampaign is a great option.

It has reasonable pricing plans and offers very flexible billing arrangements like monthly or yearly payment terms with no long-term contracts required.

However, the only drawback is that its prices increase as your business grows and if you want to take advantage of features like detailed customer insights reports or custom webinars creation tools then it might get costly over time.

2. The navigation interface is too confusing

The complex part about using ActiveCampaign is the navigation interface.

It can be a bit confusing for beginners and veterans alike because you need to spend time learning the interface before getting started with it.

It’s not entirely intuitive since most of its features are scattered across various tabs and menus.

However, they have a fairly extensive knowledge base section covering everything related to their services including detailed tutorials on how to use their automation tools.

3. The refresh rate of the platform seems to use a lot of CPU power

We ran a few tests to find out how ActiveCampaign fared in terms of speed and performance.

We analyzed its excellent email deliverability rate and used the free 14-day trial for sending our test emails.

However, we did not like that it drained more than 10% of the CPU power while keeping the server running all day.

It certainly improved after we disabled some processes and services on it, but that was still an issue to consider before choosing ActiveCampaign.

4. The WYSIWYG editor can sometimes be buggy when building visual emails

We found ActiveCampaign’s WYSIWYG editor buggy and frustrating to use at times.

Developers constantly launch updates for it, but not all of them address the small visual email-building issues that you might encounter while using it.

It supports a few basic templates, but if you rely on this editor extensively then you need to keep looking for a more reliable solution.

5. The chatbot is extremely basic

We found ActiveCampaign’s chatbot very basic and limited to use.

When you click on the chat option, it can only answer simple questions like what is your total number of subscribers or how many days are left in your billing cycle.

However, you can’t ask anything about your emails or marketing automation tasks which was quite disappointing.

We hope that they’ll improve this feature over time because it could go a long way for new users who need guidance while using the platform.

6. Tagging feature difficult to learn

The tagging feature is another unique introduction by ActiveCampaign, but it doesn’t help you much in practice.

Since automation emails are already available to all users for free, tagging email subscribers is only necessary when you have so many contacts that grouping them manually becomes difficult.

You can click on the respective tags to group your contacts together, but not everyone would need something like this.


These were some of the important ActiveCampaign Pros and Cons that might help you when it comes to taking a decision on whether or not to use this email marketing service.

All in all, it’s an excellent tool that will help you get started with business and customer experience automation.

If you’re comfortable with its price, then it’s a great tool for your business.

Do leave your comments below and let us know if you find this guide useful.

Did we miss something in this guide?

Comment down below and we will surely add!

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Mansi Rana

With over 13 years experience as a leader in digital marketing, Mansi Rana is Managing Director of EZ Rankings. Passionate about all things data; providing actionable business intelligence in digital, future tech; and venture bubbles categories for everyone, everywhere.


  1. Hi Mansi,

    It was a great read! I came to know about the ActiveCampaign from a friend, he owns a startup as well and had an overall positive experience with this software. So, he suggested that I try it too. After reading your review I have a better understanding of this tool, and I will be able to make an informed choice. I really appreciate you listing the pros and cons of this software. It will definitely help me a lot. Thanks a lot for sharing such an amazing article.

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