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ActiveCampaign vs. HubSpot: Which Is Best for Your Business?

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January 8, 2024

By Sara Wolfe Vaughan

Picking the right platform for your organization's digital transformation in the fast-changing marketing world can feel overwhelming. Many businesses discover that their best options come down to ActiveCampaign and HubSpot. Which platform is best for your organization? This article will compare their features, abilities, and best use cases to help you decide.

ActiveCampaign vs. HubSpot: A Quick Overview

At first glance, ActiveCampaign and HubSpot seem to cater to similar needs but with distinct approaches. 

ActiveCampaign is known for its email marketing and automation capabilities, allowing businesses to enhance customer experience through tailored messages.

HubSpot differs in that it’s an all-in-one CRM solution that includes marketing, sales, service, and content management. It offers a versatile choice for businesses looking for a comprehensive tool.

However, ActiveCampaign and HubSpot are more than just their features and specifications. Choosing one requires looking at your context, including company goals, scalability, and long-term return on investment. System integration, data security, and user-friendliness are also crucial in making this decision.

Feature by Feature: A Comparative Look

Features do matter when assessing ActiveCampaign versus HubSpot, even if they’re just part of your decision-making process. Here are several considerations that may influence your choice:

Marketing Automation

Both platforms excel in marketing automation, each with unique strengths. 

ActiveCampaign allows for intricate, personalized email marketing campaigns. Its advanced targeting features, powered by machine learning, ensure that messages reach the right audience at the right time.

HubSpot offers a variety of automation tools, including options for social media and SEO. This makes HubSpot an excellent choice for businesses seeking a comprehensive solution.

CRM Capabilities

This is another area in which the two platforms differ significantly. 

ActiveCampaign offers CRM features with automation tools, ideal for businesses that prioritize email marketing. 

HubSpot stands out with its robust CRM solutions, seamlessly integrating with its sales and service hubs. This integration provides a 360-degree view of customer interactions, which is crucial for businesses aiming for comprehensive customer relationship management.

Both HubSpot and ActiveCampaign sync with Salesforce. (We also compared the CRM capabilities of Salesforce and HubSpot in this article.)

User Interface and Experience

User interface is where HubSpot takes the lead over ActiveCampaign. HubSpot’s intuitive design is user-friendly for most team members, regardless of their technical expertise. ActiveCampaign, though powerful, comes with a steeper learning curve and is generally more suited to users with a marketing background.

Integration and Scalability

Both platforms offer impressive integration capabilities. ActiveCampaign fits well with niche integrations and can adapt to increasing complexity as businesses grow. HubSpot’s strength lies in its vast ecosystem of integrations, allowing businesses to add functionalities as they scale.


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Pricing and ROI

Obviously, cost must be a consideration for any tech stack decision. ActiveCampaign is more budget-friendly and offers a high ROI, particularly for businesses focusing on email marketing. HubSpot requires a larger investment but offers a wider range of functionalities and ROI across various business functions. 

Customer Support and Community

Both platforms boast strong customer support and vibrant user communities. ActiveCampaign offers dedicated support and maintains an active online community for user collaboration. HubSpot goes a step further with its HubSpot Academy, offering extensive resources and educational content.

Strategic Alignment with Business Goals

ActiveCampaign is great for businesses that focus on specific email marketing strategies. Its advanced automation tools benefit companies that are looking to personalize their customer outreach. 

HubSpot is a good choice for businesses that want a complete digital strategy, including CRM, marketing, sales, and service. The platform truly scales with your business.

Data Security and Compliance

Any part of your tech stack must protect your data as well as your customers’ data. Although both platforms take security seriously, HubSpot stands out with its emphasis on security and compliance, including GDPR. This priority is crucial for businesses operating in regions with stringent data protection laws.

Real-World Applications: Case Studies

Case studies provide a glimpse into how platforms perform in real-world scenarios. 

ActiveCampaign provides numerous success stories centered around niche marketing campaigns and email, showcasing its prowess in targeted marketing automation.

HubSpot's case studies show how it helps large-scale enterprises with digital transformations. They highlight how HubSpot's tools, such as CRM and marketing, make things more efficient and boost sales. The case studies also reveal how HubSpot handles the entire customer lifecycle, from getting new leads to taking care of customers after a sale. 

The Verdict

To make an informed decision between ActiveCampaign versus HubSpot, it's important to define your digital transformation goals and understand each platform’s strengths as they relate to those goals. 

ActiveCampaign excels in advanced email marketing and customer experience automation, making it a standout choice for businesses looking to elevate their email engagement strategies. HubSpot, in contrast, is the ideal solution for companies seeking a comprehensive, all-in-one platform that integrates CRM, sales, and marketing functionalities seamlessly, providing a unified approach to managing customer relationships.

For businesses considering a hybrid approach, integrating ActiveCampaign with HubSpot can offer the best of both worlds. You can harness the targeted email marketing strengths of ActiveCampaign while benefiting from the comprehensive CRM capabilities of HubSpot. This combination can lead to a more dynamic, responsive, and successful digital marketing ecosystem that drives business growth.

This article was originally written and published in April 2021 and has been updated since.


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Topics: HubSpot, Sales Enablement, CRM Software, CRM Platform