The Infusionsoft vs ActiveCampaign debate has a deep-running history ever since the two small business sales and marketing software companies were founded in 2001 and 2003 respectively. Since then both have combined and curated CRM, email marketing, marketing automation and e-commerce features into powerful platforms for all things automated sales and marketing for small business.
In this Infusionsoft vs ActiveCampaign review, we are only going to focus on the important differences between both offerings, so you can decide which automated marketing/CRM tool is right for your business or clients in advance.
11 Powerful Differences Between Infusionsoft and ActiveCampaign
When comparing between CRMs, you cannot be too choosy. It can be tough to decide which one is best. Before you decide on which one is best between Infusionsoft vs ActiveCampaign, take a few minutes to get to know your own business goals. Do you want to build out landing pages? B2B campaigns? Is email marketing going to drive business? The online sales and marketing funnels you create are going to determine what CRM you should be choosing.
1. ActiveCampaign vs Infusionsoft: Target Audience
Both platforms predominantly market their CRM tools/email marketing/marketing automation to small businesses.
Infusionsoft is on record stating its sales, marketing, and CRM software service is meant for small businesses with less than 100 people. More specifically, they have said before that the effectiveness of their marketing automation software becomes hazy as it packs on more than 25 users.
ActiveCampaign, on the other hand, markets its services to a wider target audience. Whether you are a blogger, email marketing expert with own clients, a small business owner or an enterprise setting, the Infusionsoft alternative is scalable to meet dynamic needs for several reasons—the main being its pricing model, which we look at later on this Infusionsoft vs ActiveCampaign comparison.
2. Differences in Business-Essential Features
The first thing you will easily notice upon signing up and comparing ActiveCampaign and Infusionsoft is how feature-packed the latter is. Infusionsoft runs deep—perhaps too deep for many users to appreciate its depth, and instead get confused and overwhelmed by the ton of things you can do with Infusionsoft beyond the basic stuff.
Here is a comparison screenshot of Infusionsoft vs ActiveCampaign side-by-side; while seemingly fewer on the surface, Infusionsoft features a stack of subcategories and even more analytics under the main category item:
|Smart auto responders||Marketing automation|
|Built-in integrations with over 200 external services||Ecommerce|
|Drag and drop email designer||Multimedia marketing management|
|Track your contacts onsite and in your apps||Web forms|
|Campaign, contact, as well as list reporting||Social sharing|
|Track your contacts onsite and in your apps||Built-in metadata keywords fields|
|Campaign, contact, as well as list reportings||Track orders, sales tools, accounts receivables, etc.|
|Track where your contacts live or travel||Payment processing|
|Add live e-commerce data and even videos to your emails||Drag and drop to craft and publish landing pages|
|SMS marketing||Easy publishing, landing pages|
|Free phone, live chat, as well as email support||Email marketing, automated campaigns|
|Send newsletters||Opportunity management|
|CRM and sales automation||Sales reports|
|Help with finding contacts based on age, gender, and location||Multimedia marketing|
|Advanced segmentation and targeting||Marketing reports|
|Automated series||Scoring tools|
|Dynamic (as well as conditional) email content||Referral program management|
|Social media monitoring as well as reaction automation||Lead scoring and distribution|
|Free email templates||Quotes and orders|
|Build custom forms for you landing pages||24/7 customer support|
|Free one-on-one training||Help center with many support materials to get you started|
While it shows here that you’ll only be able to send out SMS marketing messages through only ActiveCampaign, Infusionsoft also does support this feature. But you would need to pile on an additional $0-$120 on top of the base $199 Infusionsoft plan to integrate SMS marketing into your marketing campaign using a third-party app for that.
But neither is ActiveCampaign the holy grail of features here, either. While Infusionsoft includes invoicing, sales forecast reports and unlimited landing pages in the base plan pricing, you would need to pay extra to integrate third-party apps with your ActiveCampaign account so you can utilize similar uses. And that might come off as a hidden charge to some buyers.
3. Accounts Setup and Learning Curve
While Infusionsoft might appeal to you for packing more features, that could be the same reason you find it tough to wrap around your arm and get started with little to no specialized training. Add the fact it is primarily meant for some of the smallest businesses around, and it can easily feel overwhelming to learn and master Infusionsoft in a short time.
That is the opposite with ActiveCampaign. The ease of setup and learning curve makes ActiveCampaign a top Infusionsoft alternative. That is especially the case for small businesses wanting a CRM tool cum capable email marketing software but have neither the time or the tech-savvy to master how Infusionsoft works.
They would likely have to hire an Infusionsoft expert to do the job for them—at an extra cost—after shelling out $200/month.
Now here’s an important observation to keep in mind:
Infusionsoft starts tracking your leads details once they subscribe to your offer(s) or buy from you. ActiveCampaign starts pulling that data immediately you register for an account and link your website. And after you do, ActiveCampaign goes back in time to collect and gather together past actions or triggers a lead interacted with before you could register and add those to your CRM as well.
That kind of data-backtracking can be resourceful to understanding what the lead could have been looking for from the first time they looked into you via your website.
4. Infusionsoft vs ActiveCampaign: Support Options
However, Infusionsoft offers expert training in addition to providing some of the best support channels in the marketing automation/CRM world. On top of live chat, training videos, email, and free phone support, you can request for in-person training at a separate fee.
ActiveCampaign support does not offer phone support, which might be a deal-breaker for some. But many clients and marketers agree ActiveCampaign is pretty fast to grasp and run with due to its intuitive and much less cramped user interface.
5. Organizing Tags
Both Infusionsoft and ActiveCampaign use tags to segment audiences into more targeted leads. However, when using Infusionsoft, you can categorize the tags so you have an organized, well-illustrated way to personalize your marketing messaging and nurture a target audience.
That makes managing hundreds of contacts with Infusionsoft easier compared to using ActiveCampaign.
But here’s a big tagging advantage from Infusionsoft:
You can set up a tagging sequence that goes off to let you know of an unpaid or late payment. Since this set up is set up to run through Infusionsoft, it allows you to find payment and invoicing details even though Infusionsoft doesn’t process the payment directly.
This powerful information that ActiveCampaign does not provide.
On the surface of it, both vendors have a ton of integrations to work with in terms of third-party sales and marketing apps available in the market now. However, when you dig in deeper, you’ll find ActiveCampaign natively supports about 150 apps while Infusionsoft supports 65 more apps with 215.
Should that make you vouch for Infusionsoft right away?
The whole story is that ActiveCampaign works with Zapier to help you integrate only the third-party apps you need right from the start out of over 700+ applicable ones. This could be a reason you might prefer ActiveCampaign’s user interface compared to the more “packed” Infusionsoft UI on many pages.
Yet, Infusionsoft also supports Zapier, but you do not get the choice to choose only the apps you need. This means when using Infusionsoft you could be paying for features/app integrations you do not need.
With ActiveCampaign, you pay a separate fee for the custom app integrations on top of the monthly or yearly charge—and while the cost can add up quite with each add-on, you‘ll still find yourself paying less than you would with a similar number of Infusionsoft integrations.
If you decide to kickstart your marketing automation with any CRM/marketing automation software, hoping to later migrate your CRM to an ideally better CRM tool, Infusionsoft does not offer this option. On the other side, ActiveCampaign would allow you to migrate your valuable data to its ecosystem. Something to keep in mind when choosing the best CRM software for your new business.
7. Site Tracking
This is important if you want detailed information to help build your customer personas as well as use the information to inspire more conversions with personalized messages.
So where do the differences between Infusionsoft and ActiveCampaign show up here?
With ActiveCampaign you can track where your contacts travel or live. And that can get you more accurate insight into the lives and styles of the people contacting you—if they and you are okay with that (that is).
Still here, Infusionsoft sends out all emails at the same time. The issue with that is the emails will reach your contacts at different times, especially when your contacts are based in different time zones. But with ActiveCampaign emails automatically reach your contacts at the same time of day despite time zone differences. In short, if you set an email broadcast to reach your contacts at 12 noon, ActiveCampaign would automatically deliver the emails when it is 12 noon in your contacts’ time zone—not yours.
That way you can use reach leads when they are most likely to open, click and convert as opposed to reaching a section of them at odd hours—probably asleep—and missing out on such conversion chances.
8. Adding Customer Contact List to Your CRM
Still, ActiveCampaign beats Infusionsoft here for almost the same reason; true automation.
Now, when using Infusionsoft to add more information about your contact to the CRM, you have to do it manually, which can be time-consuming.
ActiveCampaign, in contrast, has an inbuilt tool that lets the marketing automation tool search online for details such as social media pages related to the name and email address a contact used to reach you. When found, the ActiveCampaign tool then automatically adds that information to your CRM. It does not get better than that.
9. Affiliate Management System
Right out the sign-up page, Infusionsoft includes a powerful affiliate marketing tool to help small businesses roll out robust affiliate marketing programs. This is a tool you will not find on ActiveCampaign—again unless you pay for a third-party app integration such as AffiliateWP.
With the Infusionsoft Affiliate Center, you can easily track affiliates, orders, returns and more right from one dashboard, which is powerful of Infusionsoft. This is especially important for e-commerce customers who are the most likely to find a solid case for an affiliate program management tool.
If Infusionsoft’s user interface was a little cleaner, ActiveCampaign would be completely beat here. The former captures a ton of analytics for your breakdown, digestion and decision making. Infusionsoft will you capture details about what’s triggering your leads’ attention and which autoresponder messages to customize for contacts based on how they interact with your website.
And while Infusionsoft gives a good deal of analytics to analyze, ActiveCampaign allows you to view that data in easy to interpret charts and graphs, unlike Infusionsoft. So some Infusionsoft users may not be sure how to interpret and use the ton of data to boost their marketing campaigns.
11. Infusionsoft vs ActiveCampaign Pricing
This is by large the biggest area of comparison between Infusionsoft vs ActiveCampaign.
First, you’ll find ActiveCampaign allows you to ‘test-drive’ the autoresponder for in a 14-day trial period. Infusionsoft doesn’t.
Second, while Infusionsoft will demand you shell out just under $1,000 as a setup fee, ActiveCampaign does not charge any setup fee. So small businesses that would like to try out a marketing automation tool before committing to a full-on subscription might find ActiveCampaign less hefty to start out with.
Third, when you sign up for Infusionsoft, they offer a ‘Kickstart’ coaching for buyers that find they need help understanding how Infusionsoft works. Here’s how they describe the training and how much it costs:
And how much you invest upfront:
When it comes to actual pricing, both provide buyers with scalability options they can upgrade (or downgrade) to when the need arises. Both ActiveCampaign pricing and Infusionsoft pricing are well detailed on their respective pages, so you can take a look and compare the different plans both marketing automation companies have that is right for your business.
For comparison sakes, here is a shot of both companies’ offers for onboarding 500 contacts:
ActiveCampaign pricing for 500 contacts
Infusionsoft pricing for 500 contacts
Conclusion: Infusionsoft vs ActiveCampaign
While both Infusionsoft and ActiveCampaign market themselves as “all-in-one” solutions for small business marketing automation, email marketing, and CRM tools, there are differences that make either option a good fit for your business—or not.
For example, while some users could use Infusionsoft for its ‘completeness’, others might find it overwhelming to understand, pay up for and use efficiently on a day-to-day basis.
On the other hand, while on the surface ActiveCampaign might seem like a much cheaper option to begin with, as you gain more contacts and choose to integrate more third-party apps with it you’ll find you might have to shell out much more on top of the $9/month base subscription that might have initially attracted you to it in the first place.
Over to you…
What is it about Infusionsoft vs ActiveCampaign differences that can make you switch from either to the other?
Still not sure, take a brief tour with an Infusionsoft Expert!
Or attend an Infusionsoft webinar to find out more!