Hubspot vs Salesforce vs ActiveCampaign vs Mailchimp: What’s the Difference?

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Choosing a team to manage your automated marketing can feel a lot like picking out your first car. “Hubspot vs Salesforce?” “Lots of people seem to like Mailchimp…” It’s tempting to go with the first affordable option you see.

However, failing to do your research will have serious repercussions down the line.

Picking an automated marketing program doesn’t run the risk of leaving you stranded in the middle of nowhere, but you still need to wade through all the nonsense to find the option that works best for you.

Well, you’ve come to the right place. We’re here to take four of the top marketing automation companies (ActiveCampaign vs Mailchimp vs HubSpot vs Salesforce) and pit them head-to-head to find out who is right for you! So without further ado, let’s get started!

Man checks hubspot vs salesforce emails

Looking at Mailchimp

One of the primary reasons people sign on for Mailchimp is ease of use, and if an easy user interface is your #1 concern, look closely at Mailchimp.

Mailchimp works to streamline the process down to a “drag and drop” style.

While Mailchimp might be the originator of the easy template, it’s worth noting that as time goes on, other automated marketing companies (like HubSpot) took notice of this formula and started applying it to their own programs.

Mailchimp also still has some confusing features, like grouping landing pages, forms, and automation all under the Campaigns tab rather than giving individual tabs for each option.

Mailchimp also runs into a few hiccups with its list management features  (the contact lists you form when crafting email campaigns). Mailchimp’s lists don’t allow you to cross contacts across different lists for a single campaign. Instead, you have to create individual lists for every campaign.

This format will inflate your contact list much faster, since people on two lists will get counted twice. Because the price you pay is determined by how many addresses are on your mailing lists, you will have to buy a more expensive plan to get more room on your contact list. As you grow and begin segmenting your mailing lists, this could become costly.

More on Mailchimp

Mailchimp shines when it comes to templates however, with 100-some designs to choose from. They also boast free design testing, a trait many other companies lock behind a paywall, which many marketers appreciate.

Mailchimp’s Kryptonite comes in the form of its customer relationship management (or CRM) systems, which is pretty bare-bones when compared to its competitors.

In terms of pricing, Mailchimp offers a free plan that will give you the basics for setting up your email campaigns and a free domain. If you want advanced features like detailed customer data or a quick-access support team for any tech troubles, you’ll need to cough up some cash through -their top-tier plan goes for about $300 a month.

ActiveCampaign Steps Up to the Plate

Our next contender is ActiveCampaign, who shines right off the bat thanks to its integration with mobile phones, allowing for more freedom of use on the go, a feature many of its competitors have yet to integrate their systems.

This company operates with a focus on email marketing, though it also brings a nice suite of CRM tools along. While they lack tools like customer surveys, ActiveCampaign makes up for it by providing a steady stream of pretty in-depth reports. These cover everything from the performance of your emails to how many times your links get clicks.

When it comes to how the pricing plans are structured, however, ActiveCampaign suffers.

There are no free options outside of a two week free trial, and you’ll get locked out of any CRM tools or advanced analysis until you upgrade from the basic plan. That said, it still sits in the more affordable tiers of marketing automation companies.

Some people complain about its usability. While more complicated to sort out at first than notoriously user-friendly Mailchimp, ActiveCampagin does offer more options, making the learning curve worth it if you’re looking to understand your list better.

It’s HubSpot’s Chance to Shine

Next on the list is HubSpot, who starts right out of the gate with quite possibly the most expansive suite of options of the 4 companies.

Besides the standard suite of options, HubSpot also offers support for your blog or website and gives boosts to your SEO, an essential feature for any business. HubSpot also offers analytics of your web performance and conversion rate, a must-have for any serious marketer.

businesspeople checking Salesforce analytitcs

For the cherry on top, HubSpot can even integrate chatbots into your site and optimize your landing page for maximum hits and conversions.

HubSpot also makes a conscious effort to make sure you’re supported while using their software. They do this by offering both support over phone or email as well as offering training on how to use their software. And considering this software has the highest learning curve of all the programs we will discuss here, these services are much needed and worth the effort.

Of course, all this power and accessibility comes at a cost. HubSpot’s top packages reach into the thousands of dollars, and they paywall some of their best stuff behind expensive plans. As a result, HubSpot may not be the right choice for you if your business is small or getting off the ground, or if you’re particularly cash conscious or only dabbling in email marketing for the first time. In this case, stick with Mailchimp’s free offerings until you have a better idea of what you’re doing. Then invest in big-ticket mailing list programs like Hubspot or Salesforce.

Salesforce to the Rescue

Last but not least, Salesforce comes with a great deal of customer choice. You can tailor your software and tool selection to the specific type of business you run (i.e non-profit, big corporation, etc.). They offer top-tier marketing solutions and give you ways to craft automated emails that feel authentic to your company’s brand voice and vibe.

They don’t shrink on the customer support side, either.

Unlike some other companies, Salesforce offers 24/7 in-person support. Their ease-of-use level is around the middle, easier than Hubspot but a little more to learn than with Mailchimp. Salesforce also offers a special “Journey Building” feature that allows you to map out your automation strategies with precision, from the client experience point of view.

Salesforce vs hubspot customer journey

On the downside, Salesforce carries a giant price tag too, often reaching into the thousands like HubSpot. Unlike Hubspot, Salesforce offers no support for landing pages.

Now It’s Time to Choose

And there you have it! Now that we’ve pitted Mailchimp vs ActiveCampaign vs Hubspot vs Salesforce against each other in a head-to-head battle, you can now make a more informed decision about your marketing automation choices!

But what if you have more questions about marketing automation or want to see the other options available to you? Then reach out to us for help regarding all your CRM needs!

Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, Hubspot, Salesforce… what’s your pick and why? Let us know!

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