I’ve just made a huge decision in my business – one that has been coming for a while, but the timing has never been right. Until now. I’m switching from ConvertKit to ActiveCampaign as my email service provider.
As an email marketing professional, I’ve tried a lot of email marketing systems – both for clients and just experimenting for myself. And over this time, I have enjoyed ActiveCampaign more and more.
Don’t get me wrong, ConvertKit has its strengths which I will explore below but at this point in my business I feel like I have outgrown ConvertKit and want to play more with ActiveCampaign’s advanced automation features.
In this post, I’m sharing some of the reasons for the move as well as some of the downsides.
Reason #1: I needed a clean slate
Full disclosure – my first reason has nothing to do with either system. It’s the fact that my business has changed so much since I first started it almost 4 years ago and began using ConvertKit.
Over these 4 years I have experimented with tonnes of different offers, opt in incentives and email strategies. This means I have seemingly endless amounts of forms, sequences, tags and segments which I no longer use.
Yes, I could clean it up and do some archiving but sometimes it just feels easier to start building from scratch (apart from my subscribers of course).
Reason #2: The time was right
Again, nothing to do with the systems but another big consideration for me.
The timing is perfect for me to do this as I now have officially niched down to specialising in email marketing and am restricting my opt ins, sales funnels and email automations to suit this goal. With the recent introduction of the Email Experience as my core offer I want to make sure this is weaved throughout my email communications.
So if I was to do it – now is the best time for it.
Reason #3: Lists
The one big feature ConvertKit is lacking is having multiple lists. While you can definitely achieve what you need within ConvertKit with segments and tags it starts to get a bit messy when you have lots of different groups of people.
With ActiveCampaign, you can have multiple lists. Your subscribers can appear on more than one list without you being charged for each list they are on.
This keeps things nice and clean for me and really helps provide a distinction between who will receive what emails.
I have lists for:
- Email Experience members
- Email Experience waitlist
- Customers (all digital products past and present, identified with tags)
- Client Waitlist
- Opt In Incentives
- Content Funnel
Each group gets different emails depending on how they have engaged with me, a lot of which is setup via automation. By having them in lists I can get quick visibility of who is experiencing what.
Additionally, within automations you can have someone move between lists easily. So for example, for my Email Marketing Superpowers opt in they would first go on the list for Email Marketing Superpowers then once they have completed my welcome series of emails they are unsubscribed from that list and moved to my Email Content Funnel where they get my best email content delivered weekly. Once they have completed that funnel, they will move to my newsletter list which receives any new updates as I get them.
And I can see exactly who is where very quickly.
Reason #4: Automation
When it comes to automation capabilities, ActiveCampaign is the best I have found. It really is built for us tech lovers out there.
Automations can be triggered by almost anything: link clicks, field changes, subscribing to forms or lists, tags being added, products being purchased and so much more.
You can then add filters or if/else statements and even split test. And finally, you can take almost any action on those triggers like sending emails, notifications, adding tags, moving lists, etc.
ConvertKit does have automation and it has significantly improved since they added visual automation to it’s feature set. However, it is just not as comprehensive as ActiveCampaign’s options. And as an email expert, I want all the toys to play with. ActiveCampaign gives that to me.
Reason #5: Deliverability
Deliverability is the % chance of some
When I first began with ConvertKit, according to EmailToolTester it performed best for deliverability of your emails reaching the inbox. This has significantly dropped since then and ActiveCampaign has taken the crown.
According to their most recent deliverability report from July 2019, ActiveCampaign has an overall deliverability rate of 93.8% while ConvertKit’s is 91.4%. That isn’t a huge difference. However, when we compare deliverability to the Gmail Inbox Tab vs Gmail Promotions Tab, the difference is large. And since the majority of my subscribers are on Gmail this is important to me.
94.7% of ActiveCampaign emails will reach the Gmail primary inbox vs 74.7% of ConvertKit’s.
Of course, as I’ve just moved I won’t know for sure yet what the difference is but I’m watching to see if my open rates increase as a result.
For a full breakdown of deliverability statistics, go here: https://www.emailtooltester.com/en/blog/email-deliverability-july-2019/
SOME THINGS I WILL MISS
Above I have given the main reasons for my move but there are still a few cons which I had to weigh up with this decision.
Landing Pages and (Pretty) Forms
Firstly, ActiveCampaign does not have landing pages as part of its solution. This is a handy option in ConvertKit, especially if you are just beginning and don’t have your website yet or have limited access or interest in doing the design on your website.
As I have both Divi and Thrive Themes on my WordPress website, I don’t need this feature as I host the forms here on my own website.
When it comes to forms, ConvertKit’s are much better looking. Simple.
But, again, I use my website design for my forms and integrate it to ActiveCampaign so don’t have to use their forms publicly.
My favourite ConvertKit feature which I will definitely miss is Sequences. With ActiveCampaign, you need to create one email at a time, clicking through multiple steps.
With ConvertKit, you can create a whole series of emails from one screen. It’s a big timesaver but it’s a feature I only use when first setting something up so while I’ll miss this most it is a sacrifice I will take.
ConvertKit had a handy GDPR feature on their forms where it could detect if someone was in the EU and only then have them tick the extra permission options. For ActiveCampaign, I need to use a more tedious strategy where the first delivery email requests permission to send email updates if they are in the EU.
Both work, one is just more streamlined than the other.
ActiveCampaign does have WooCommerce integration but you need to be on the Plus plan to use it. With ConvertKit, it comes as part of their standard (one tier) pricing.
As I only have one digital product available in my WooCommerce store, I can get away with using a Zapier integration for delivery of my What the F can I send (to my email list) e-book. However, if I added more products I would need to upgrade if I wanted ActiveCampaign to support that.
Ultimately the decision to move between ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign came down to functionality. To me, it is more important to have more customisation and automation capabilities than have pretty landing pages and easy to use email builders.
To you, simplicity and being able to create things quickly may take priority over technical functionality. And that is okay!
I am a firm believer in using an email tool that will have you actually sending emails and creating great experiences for your subscribers. And the right tool will be different for everyone.
For me, for now, it is ActiveCampaign and I’m excited to get it going.
If you would like to check out ActiveCampaign for yourself, click here to use my affiliate link
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