“ConvertKit is great!” I would have shouted from the rooftops not long ago. ConvertKit is a must-have!” But now, just a few months later, I'm not ashamed to admit that I've fully altered my mind. “You should seriously consider switching from ConvertKit to ActiveCampaign!” I'm saying now.
I switched from ConvertKit to ActiveCampaign on 2022
I started with MailChimp when I first launched my business in 2017. It was the only free email service provider (that I was aware of) at the time, and it appeared that everyone was using it. It was such a no-brainer that I don't recall making the decision at all. I was a MailChimp user until recently.
I frequently hear this exact tale from others in my world. Almost always, MailChimp and Aweber are the platforms that my clients begin with. But believe me when I say that there are a plethora of other (and better) options available.
In fact, I recently compiled a list of all the major email service providers that target entrepreneurs, and here's what I found:
That is a lot of different options to choose from.
However, some of these are quite similar. MailChimp, Aweber, Constant Contact, Mad Mimi, and GetResponse are all essentially the same software with minimal differences in configuration. I've tried them all, and they're all pretty much the same.
They're all list-based, have rudimentary functionality, and are frequently far more complex than they need to be.
FOR THE BEGINNER BUSINESS OWNER, EMAIL SERVICE PROVIDERS
I recommend avoiding those popular options if you're just starting off. Instead, MailerLite (albeit still a very new email service provider) strikes me as the ideal option for those just getting started with email marketing.
It's simple to use, quick to pick up, and best of all, it's completely free! (For a maximum of 1,000 subscribers)
But, let's be honest, you'll undoubtedly want to upgrade at some point throughout your adventure as an internet business owner. This is when things become a little complicated.
If you're upgrading from something like MailChimp or MailerLite, I still think ConvertKit is the best option. It's incredibly simple to use and allows you to accomplish the fundamentals of targeted email marketing without getting too complicated.
ConvertKit is an excellent option for most business owners, especially if you are not tech-savvy.
Why Did I Change from ConvertKit to ActiveCampaign? (and you should too)
Despite the fact that I continue to actively and enthusiastically advocate both MailerLite and ConvertKit to friends, students, and clients, I eventually decided to transition from ConvertKit to ActiveCampaign.
It may not be the ideal email service provider for every company, but it was without a doubt the greatest option for me.
After around ten months of using ConvertKit, I began to realize that something odd was happening. It was too little for me! The ideas I had in my brain for how I wanted to target and retarget my subscribers were becoming too complex to accomplish in ConvertKit as I planned out my email sequences.
I tried to rig cool stuff up in the backend of ConvertKit over and over again, but when my ideas failed, I assumed I wasn't tech-savvy enough to comprehend how to produce what I had laid out on paper.
I noticed advanced email marketing strategies being used by other digital marketers in my area which made me drool.
I enjoy email marketing (both for myself and for my clients), so I was disappointed when I couldn't figure out how to develop my own custom campaigns and automation in ConvertKit.
I kept trying to make ConvertKit work because I still felt it was a fantastic piece of software and I adored the company and their product (and still do!).
But, to be honest, the only reason I didn't switch was that I didn't realize there were other possibilities!
ALTERNATIVES TO CONVERTKIT DISCOVERED
I was discussing with a few pals in a mastermind group we have together after a few months of battling with ConvertKit. I was quite aback when one of the women casually said that she didn't use ConvertKit.
Isn't ConvertKit used by everyone? (Or at the very least, everyone who is able to afford it?)
No, much to my amazement.
In fact, for people that want to conduct more advanced email marketing than ConvertKit allows, there is a slew of additional options. The following are the three most prevalent options:
I'd heard of Infusionsoft and Ontraport previously and thought they were great, but I never looked into them since I knew I couldn't afford to pay hundreds of dollars a month for an email service.
But what I discovered is that ActiveCampaign and Drip are fantastic solutions for folks who want the capability of Infusionsoft without the astronomical price tag.
When Drip first appeared on the email service provider scene, I tried it out for a few minutes but couldn't get the hang of it. It was not meant for me.
On the other side, ActiveCampaign was….amazing. (Try it for 14 days for free!)
THE BENEFITS OF CHANGING FROM CONVERTKIT TO ACTIVE CAMPAIGN
Even ConvertKit's most ardent supporter, Kimberley Ann Jiminez, concedes that it lacks “complex automation like ActiveCampaign's, there was no visual funnel builder, and the switch seemed like a step down from the tool I already used.”
For comprehensive targeting and retargeting, ActiveCampaign includes nearly every option you can think of (and maybe even a few more). When I use ActiveCampaign, I feel as if I have the entire world in my hands and can do whatever I want with it.
Allow me to reveal some of the behind-the-scenes action of what ActiveCampaign is all about, stopping just short of exploding into evil laughter.
FEATURES & PRICES
Let's start with the pricing. ConvertKit is $29 per month on the most basic subscription. And you'll only have 1,000 subscribers as a result of this. ActiveCampaign is only $17 per month at that level (and their cheapest plan is only $9 per month!).
When you consider all of the extra features that ActiveCampaign provides, the low pricing is incredible!
Let's speak about features now. It's not really a competition — this is just a quick rundown of how ActiveCampaign's targeting capabilities work (and their split-testing features are similarly insane).
One of the biggest advantages of ActiveCampaign is that creating a link trigger was a pain in the neck when I was using ConvertKit. (It took me about 5 tries and two calls to customer support to figure out how to do it right in the first place.)
Link triggers are a breeze with ActiveCampaign. When you paste a URL into an email, it asks if you want to segment the recipients of that link. What?? Genius.
MAPS FOR AUTOMATION
Aside from the features, which are numerous, I like how ActiveCampaign allows you to customize the automation you send out.
Take a look at this beauty:
Finally, the email marketing maps I'd been doodling in my notebook made sense! And I can practically doodle them in my email service provider.
Have you yet heard the angels singing?
Sure, I can! And I'm not the only one who loves ActiveCampaign: SmartBusinessTrends recently published an article about email service providers in which they concluded that “for the best overall email service provider in 2017, I have to go with ActiveCampaign.” In terms of simplicity of use, functionality, advanced capabilities, and affordability, it is the best.”
Seriously. So, what exactly are you waiting for? You must register for the 14-day free trial.
It's time to get down to business. While I strongly support ActiveCampaign, I must say that there are a few aspects of it that I despise. And I'd like to be completely honest with you about it!
THE ACTUAL CONVERTKIT TO ACTIVECAMPAIGN CHANGE
Switching from MailChimp to ConvertKit was simple for me because I had three content upgrades at the time. Switching all of those forms, tags, and emails over to ActiveCampaign was a massive issue after I had 20+ content upgrades and 10+ distinct sequences in ConvertKit.
It's not as easy as exporting and importing your subscriptions from one application to the next – there are several processes involved.
It took me around 6 weeks to get entirely used to the new system. And I still receive emails from people who aren't getting what they signed up for because I made a mistake someplace.
When it comes to accomplishing this, the only thing I can suggest is that you employ someone to assist you.
Do you want to take on the project on your own? Without my migration checklist, you'll be lost.
DELIVERY OF AUTOMATIC CONTENT UPGRADE
While the transition from ConvertKit to ActiveCampaign was inconvenient, it was necessary, so I endured it. On the other hand, their lack of automatic content upgrade delivery irritates me greatly. Hopefully, this function will be added soon!
This means that when someone joins your list in ConvertKit, they do so using a form. You have the option of redirecting them to a PDF download after they confirm their subscription when you build that form.
Because ActiveCampaign doesn't have this feature, you'll have to use a form or tag to sign them up, then design new automation to send the content upgrade.
Here's how ActiveCampaign handles the same type of delivery:
It's not particularly inconvenient, but it does add an extra 10-minute step to the process (forming the automation, sending your PDF to Dropbox rather than attaching it, etc. ), and it also starts to clog up your list of automation, which is limited to 10 on each page by default.
As a result, every time I want to look at specific automation, I have to switch between different pages, as I now have 25 set up.
EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO LEARN
After a few weeks, I was able to take it up, but technology is second nature to me. If you're not a techie, I'd suggest using an easy-to-use platform like MailerLite or ConvertKit, or paying someone like myself to handle your email marketing for you.
However, if you prefer to go it alone, there are some excellent courses available that may help you learn it quickly. The Active Marketer website, this free ActiveCampaign Basics course, and the ActiveCampaign Power Start course are all excellent resources.
Also read: Best web hosting for developers – Top 5 of 2022 (Providers and ranked)
ACTIVECAMPAIGN AND LANDING PAGES AND FORM BUILDERS
This is an optional step, so I won't go into detail about it, but it's critical if you're considering using ActiveCampaign.
ActiveCampaign does not come with any (pretty ugly) forms or pages that you can (sort of) alter and utilize, whereas ConvertKit does. To develop those objects, you'll need to utilize a different application, then connect the two.
ConvertKit's stuff isn't really cute, so regardless of the email service provider you use, I strongly advise you to do this.
LeadPages, which I'm sure you've heard of, is one of the most popular.
LeadPages is a drag-and-drop builder that you can use to construct landing pages, pop-up boxes, lightboxes, and embeddable forms to use all across your site to advertise content upgrades, lead magnets, and other offers. It costs $25 per month.
Personally, I use a mix of Visual Composer (a WordPress page builder plugin) and ThriveLeads (a plugin for lightboxes and pop-ups). These are my favourites because they both offer a one-time purchase charge rather than a month-to-month plan like LeadPages, which can quickly add up.
Other prominent software solutions for these types of programs are:
Thrive Page Builder is a tool that allows you to create pages that are
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