ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit are two of the most popular email marketing tools out there. Both offer powerful email marketing features that can help you sell anything you want.
However, if you’re trying to sell digital products, you’d have to look at these tools from a different perspective. For instance, you’d need powerful automation features to sell your digital products on autopilot.
In this ActiveCampaign vs. ConvertKit comparison review, we’ll discuss their features, pros, and cons. Our goal would be to help you pick the right email marketing tool for your digital products business. Let’s dive in.
Features to Look out for as a Digital Products Seller
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Simple and Effective
You don’t need highly sophisticated email marketing software to sell digital products, especially if it adds to your costs. In my experience simple wins! I like to start out with simple strategies and software that keep me in the habit of consistently nurturing my lead list!
Basic Automation Features
To be able to effectively market your digital products, you need basic email automation features. Anything complex will not only add to your costs but will also make things complicated for you.
Effective List Segmentation
You want to be able to segment your email marketing list in order to deliver the right kind of content to the right people. In other words you don’t want to be pushing your highest cost offer to someone with a low budget. Segmenting your email list and delivering relevant content and offers is crucial for success with email marketing for digital products!
Basic Marketing Analytics
Email marketing analytics like the open rate and click-through rate can help you optimize your campaigns for better results.
Reporting in the WordPress Dashboard
You want to be able to see everything on your WordPress dashboard, including your email marketing reports and insights.
The best thing about selling digital products is that you can sell them with content marketing. So, if an email marketing tool gives you everything you need while not costing much, you should go with it.
ActiveCampaign vs. ConvertKit: A Comparison Review
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ActiveCampaign is one of the oldest email marketing platforms. The tool was created in 2003, which means it’s been around for about 2 decades. Now, there’s a perception that ActiveCampaign is more geared towards e-commerce businesses. And e-commerce is commonly associated with physical products only. (Related: ActiveCampaign vs. Mailerlite: Which One is Best for Infopreneurs)
So, if you’re wondering whether it’s the right choice for selling digital products, you’ll have to look at all its features, which we’ll talk about below.
Founded just a few years ago in 2015, ConvertKit is a relatively new kid on the email marketing block. However, don’t let its young age prevent you from seeing what it offers. Now, ConvertKit positions itself as the perfect solution for professional bloggers. And one of the best ways to sell digital products is through blogging.
So, it’d be interesting to see what ConvertKit has to offer. With the overviews out of the way, let’s first take a look at ActiveCampaign’s features.
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Interface and Ease of Use
Ease of use is one of the first things every email marketer should look at before selecting a tool. ActiveCampaign has an intuitive dashboard, showcasing everything you need to get started.
However, the dashboard does have a small learning curve, especially for email marketing newbies. So, you’ll likely have to watch a few tutorial videos to learn it quickly.
This should be one of the first things you should be looking at while selecting an email marketing tool for your digital products business. List management is actually pretty straightforward in ActiveCampaign.
You can access the “Contacts” tab to the left of your dashboard. From there, you can manage your contacts in a single window.
At the top, you should see different filters that help you sort, search, and edit your contacts. And at the top right corner, there are options for:
Whereas on the left, you get options like:
ActiveCampaign’s pre-built segments allow you to segment your list based on:
To access the segmentation feature, go to: Contacts > Advanced search
Next, you’ll be able to select a condition for your segment.
ActiveCampaign also lets you segment your list while creating a campaign.
Moreover, the “Lead scoring” feature of ActiveCampaign attaches tags to your top leads automatically. This just means that whenever someone takes a particular action, they’ll automatically be added to a specific segment.
This is probably the most important feature you need to effectively promote your digital products.
Why’s that? Because no one’s going to buy anything from you the first time. There’ll be a segment of our audience that’s just signed up for your newsletter, for instance. Some of them will just be considering buying and won’t buy from you just yet.
To target these different segments effectively, you need to send different types of content. ActiveCampaign offers more than 270 built-in automation workflows to help you do just that.
As you can see, the workflows are categorized by industry and goals (link tracking, conversions).
Here’s what you’ll see for the abandoned cart workflow:
To the right, you’ll see different conditions you can add to your automation. For instance, the if/else condition:
Another way to add these triggers is by clicking on the “+” icon.
Forms and Landing Pages
ActiveCampaign offers an intuitive drag-and-drop email builder. The editor lets you customize the look and feel of your emails in any way you like.
Once you sign up for the platform, you’ll need to click “Sites” to start creating a form.
The right panel gives you plenty of options to edit and personalize your forms.
Similarly, the landing page builder is beginner-friendly and easy to work on. You can start creating a landing page after going to the “Sites” tab. The platform gives you two options before that:
There are tons of pre-built landing page templates that’ll give you a good headstart.
So, you can select a suitable landing page template and move to the design step.
As you can see, ActiveCampaign’s landing page designer has a simple interface. Like any good page builder, you’ll see a multitude of elements to the right of your screen. All you need to do to design a landing page is drag and drop these elements. No coding is needed.
It’s essential to have enough integrations on your email marketing tool. This is because you want to be able to access all your apps from a single dashboard. The cool thing is that ActiveCampaign offers tons of third-party integrations.
Here’s a list of applications you can integrate with ActiveCampaign hassle-free.
You can test different variations of your email marketing KPIs with ActiveCampaign.
The tool also lets you select the type of split-test:
The next step, after designing your email, will be providing A/B testing information.
Marketing Analytics and Insights
Whether you’re marketing digital products or physical ones, it’s important to know what’s working and what isn’t. Thankfully, ActiveCampaign tells you everything you need to know about your campaigns in the “Reports” section.
For instance, the “Contact Reports” tell you about:
In addition to that, you can even create “Custom reports” in ActiveCampaign.
As the name suggests, creating a custom report helps you view and analyze the most important data in one place.
This was all about ActiveCampaign; let’s see what ConvertKit has to offer.
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Interface and Ease of Use
At the start of the sign-up process, ConvertKit will ask a few basic questions about you to set up your account. ConvertKit’s dashboard looks clean and clutter-free.
You’ll see the latest campaign reports and recent activity on your dashboard. But, that’s all. There isn’t a lot on the front page, but the menu at the top has all the navigation links you’d need.
ConvertKit lets you create a single subscribers list only. But, you can always use tags and segments to organize them.
There are three ways you can add new subscribers to your list:
All in all, if you compare the contact management features of ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign does stand out.
ConvertKit is an industry leader when it comes to email marketing automation. There are 4 ways you can automate your ConvertKit campaigns.
The “Visual Automations” feature is powerful.
You can start building visual automations by:
Just take a quick look at the available templates and pick the one that aligns with your goals. You can add different triggers to your ConvertKit automation workflows.
Moreover, it lets you add three types of triggers:
Although handling automation workflows might seem tricky initially, you get the hang of them in no time.
Another ConvertKit feature that’s worth mentioning is email broadcasts. Broadcasts are one-time emails that are sent in bulk. They’re different from sequences where you send emails in an orderly sequence to achieve a goal. With ConvertKit, you can send a broadcast immediately, or schedule it for a later time.
A/B testing is a perfect way to test subject lines, audiences, and more variations. ConvertKit makes testing subject lines a breeze.
You’ll just have to click the “A/B” option to the right of your subject line while creating an email broadcast.
As soon as you click on the icon, you’ll see a new field for the new subject line. All you’d need to do next is type in the text of the subject line. ConvertKit will test both variations and give you the data to help you pick the more effective one.
Here’s how ConvertKit tests your subject lines:
The only drawback with ConvertKit A/B testing is that it only lets you test subject lines. Unlike ActiveCampaign, you can’t test other variations of your emails.
Forms and Landing Pages
ConvertKit lets you design eye-catching forms and landing pages with an intuitive drag-and-drop editor. The main designer remains the same, which makes things even easier for you.
Plus, ConvertKit gives you plenty of pre-built templates to play around with. Here’s what ConvertKit’s landing page builder looks like after you select a template:
The form builder has the same look and feel:
To edit any portion or part of your form, you’ll have to click on it first. Another cool thing is that ConvertKit lets you change the whole template within the editor.
ConvertKit comes with a lot of built-in integrations, including:
In addition to that, you can integrate thousands of other apps via Zapier. So, no matter what app you’re using right now, you’ll most likely be able to integrate it with ConvertKit without hassle.
However, keep in mind that you won’t be able to integrate major CRMs with ConvertKit, which can be considered a drawback.
Marketing Analytics and Insights
Although ConvertKit does offer a basic performance overview for each campaign, it’s somewhat lacking in the reporting department.
Here’s what a broadcast engagement overview looks like.
ActiveCampaign stands out when it comes to email marketing analytics and data. However, you might not always need a lot of analytics data when you’re just selling digital products. Although ActiveCampaign has a much more sophisticated reporting dashboard, it also makes the tool more cluttered and difficult to learn.
By now, you should have a good idea about the capabilities of both email marketing tools. Now, if you’re selling digital products through content marketing, ConvertKit might be the more appropriate option for you.
This is because the tool is geared more toward content creators; It’s simple and gets the job done. On the other hand, ActiveCampaign is more suitable for businesses that have a team to handle their marketing tasks.
This is because it has a lot of bells and whistles, and as a simple content creator, you won’t be needing a lot of them. So, although ConvertKit is more powerful, it can be overkill in some cases.
Choose ActiveCampaign if you:
Choose ConvertKit if you:
Content marketing is arguably the best way to sell digital products. Given that all you need as a content marketer is a simple and cost-effective email marketing tool, we’d suggest going with ConvertKit.