When it comes to choosing the right email marketing software, Klaviyo and ActiveCampaign are two of the top solutions business owners turn to. With the ability to not only create targeted email campaigns but also customize on-site experiences and messaging, leverage automation, and track detailed analytics, these powerful platforms can have a big impact on your marketing success.
In this comprehensive Klaviyo vs ActiveCampaign comparison, we evaluate the two email marketing platforms across key criteria to help you make the right choice.
We will explore and contrast factors like market position, ease of use, features and integrations, performance, customer support, pricing, and reputation. Understanding how these two platforms stack up across these crucial areas will ensure you select the solution that aligns best with your business now and as you continue to scale.
1. Understanding the Basics
Founded in 2012 by Andrew Bialecki and Ed Hallen, Klaviyo is a fast-growing email marketing and automation platform. With over $675 million in total funding, this startup has quickly become a leader in the industry. Klaviyo integrates with e-commerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce and powers marketing efforts for over 100,000 businesses worldwide.
ActiveCampaign entered the market earlier in 2003, founded by Jason VandeBoom. As an established player in the space, ActiveCampaign boasts of having over 150,000 customers globally across different industries.
Both platforms have strong market positions—Klaviyo is an innovative industry disruptor focusing specifically on owned marketing channels, and ActiveCampaign is a long-standing omnichannel solution built for businesses at various stages. Klaviyo has a highly engaged Facebook community of over 36,000 members where users ask questions and share success stories.
In terms of broader popularity, Klaviyo currently ranks higher on G2 than ActiveCampaign when it comes to ease of use and meets requirements. However, ActiveCampaign leads in overall customer satisfaction and likeliness to recommend ratings.
2. Features and Functionality
Klaviyo lets you create customized workflows and sequences without needing to know code. You can leverage pre-built templates for common campaigns like welcome series, browsing abandonment, re-engagement, and more. Then customize them via a visual drag-and-drop builder tailored to email marketers.
Beyond email, Klaviyo offers SMS and web messaging for cross-channel automation. Sync key events from your online store like when customers get added to a list or abandon their cart. Trigger SMS campaigns to re-target website visitors who don’t convert. Personalize on-site messaging in real-time based on factors like location, purchase history, pages visited, and more.
With Klaviyo, see your audience’s every interaction in one place through their unified customer profiles. This powers the platform’s intelligent segmentation so you can group users based on detailed properties and then target them automatically via your configured workflows. No need to manually update the list of memberships.
ActiveCampaign provides a wide range of built-in email marketing automation for ecommerce business needs, and all the tools are accessible right from your dashboard. Simply activate pre-made email series, abandoned cart sequences, custom event triggers, and more to get started. Using the Automation Builder, combine individual automation into more complex workflows using “if this then that” logic.
While Klaviyo centers on owned channels, ActiveCampaign is truly omnichannel out of the box. Automate not just emails, but also SMS, social posts, sales automation, live chats, and more from one platform. Easily attribute every touchpoint in customer journeys across channels for more insightful reporting.
When it comes to segmentation for personalization, ActiveCampaign automatically groups contacts using machine learning. It also offers real-time behavioral targeting and predictive content scoring based on engagement data. However, Klaviyo lets you create highly customized user segments yourself in addition to algorithmic grouping.
Overall for driving marketing automation, ActiveCampaign edges out Klaviyo when it comes to ease of use, requiring less manual setup due to its expanded native capabilities. But Klaviyo provides superior email-specific functionality for ecommerce businesses.
With pre-built cross-channel automation and an intuitive workflow builder, ActiveCampaign makes it easier for most small businesses and ecommerce business owners to activate targeted sequences without complex configurations. The expanded breadth of customer data within unified profiles also allows more intelligent targeting.
Klaviyo offers hundreds of professionally designed, mobile-optimized email templates to choose from. Browse by category like “Abandoned Cart” and “Welcome Series” to kickstart your campaigns. Use the template editor to customize colors, fonts, content blocks, and more via an intuitive WYSIWYG interface.
While Klaviyo’s template library focuses specifically on email, the platform makes it easy to create beautiful and engaging messages. Template blocks come with pre-written copy and image recommendations. For further personalization, dynamically insert customer data like first name, last order details, and more.
In terms of coding experience, Klaviyo doesn’t require any HTML knowledge to build great-looking emails. But for developers, access code directly to craft customized templates from scratch. You also export HTML email templates to use across other marketing channels as needed.
As an omnichannel solution, ActiveCampaign centralizes templates for emails, landing pages, postcards, SMS, and more. Conveniently maintain a consistent brand experience across touchpoints. The platform offers a smaller selection of pre-made email templates focused primarily on newsletters rather than more granular campaign types.
The email editor interface itself is more technical and text-based compared to Klaviyo. You need a working knowledge of HTML and CSS to customize things like content layout, styling, and formatting. This presents more of a learning curve for non-developers compared to Klaviyo’s intuitive drag-and-drop WYSIWYG builder.
On the plus side, coding access makes ActiveCampaign very customizable from a development perspective. Just be prepared to have the needed technical skills if you want to go beyond basic template selection and adaptations.
While ActiveCampaign unifies more channels under its template library, Klaviyo specializes in email with a superior editing experience that doesn’t require coding skills. The visually intuitive builder, a wider range of professional email template designs, and easy personalization functionality give Klaviyo the win for email specifically.
Klaviyo offers powerful segmentation options to group contacts based on any attribute or behavior within unified customer profiles. Manually create lists using custom properties like email activity, order history, page visits, and more. Apply filters to dynamically update segments in real-time as users meet defined criteria.
The platform shines when it comes to behavioral and geographic segmentation. For example, target customers who have abandoned their cart by location to offer discounts at nearby stores. Or create segments that automatically update when someone subscribes to a list or takes an action on your website.
Klaviyo also provides “intelligent lists” that algorithmically determine audience groupings likely to convert on specific campaigns. Save time while still leveraging advanced email segmentation strategies.
ActiveCampaign segments contacts using a combination of manual tagging and automated machine learning. Create custom fields to capture key data points across channels, then build lists filtering on those attributes. Use activity tracking to dynamically group contacts based on behaviors like email engagement, site visits, event attendance, and more.
While Klaviyo hones in on customer experiences specifically for owned channels like email and your website, ActiveCampaign aggregates insights across its native CRM, marketing automation, and other integrated third-party platforms. This results in possibly deeper intelligence for creating segments.
But an advantage Klaviyo has over ActiveCampaign lies in predictive Lead Scoring tools. Analyze past customer journeys to identify the activities and attributes that signal high conversion likelihood. Then model this scoring methodology to rank existing contacts, letting you instantly hone in on your hottest leads.
Both Klaviyo and ActiveCampaign offer robust segmentation capabilities informed by customer data and interactions. Klaviyo specializes in owned channels with superior behavioral tracking, while ActiveCampaign natively unifies more data sources for a wider view of each contact when applying filters to create segments. For most use cases, the two platforms deliver equally powerful segmentation.
Klaviyo centralizes real-time analytics across your website, stores, and email in a unified dashboard. Gain visibility into account-level performance with high-level metrics like open, clickthrough, and conversion rates for your campaigns. Drill into report filters by customer segments, individual flows and sequences, and more.
The platform shines when it comes to visual, digestible data reporting. Auto-generated charts and graphs showcase key trends over time. Interactive email campaign heatmaps indicate engagement across every inch of your message. Uncover your highest converting customer segments and behavioral flows to inform future targeting strategies.
Klaviyo also facilitates deep granular analysis. Export raw data sets into CSV/Excel for custom modeling. Integrate with business intelligence tools like Looker to build proprietary dashboards leveraging Klaviyo’s expansive underlying data feeds around owned marketing channels.
As an established CRM and marketing automation provider, reporting and analytics are major strengths for ActiveCampaign. The platform serves as a centralized data hub across not only your owned channels but also social media, advertising, offsite chat, and calls — capturing every customer touchpoint.
Measure performance for each integrated platform from email to SMS to Facebook and more under one roof.
ActiveCampaign provides a comprehensive look at all your data feeds over time through interactive dashboard elements like charts, graphs, and visualization widgets tailored by channel. Understand how every marketing component contributes to the big picture. Then filter into more granular segmentation and journey analyses across segments. Custom reporting functionality is also available.
For holistic visibility across channels beyond just email and your website, ActiveCampaign delivers marketers a more complete analytics picture under a single dashboard. With an intelligent data hub fueling reporting around every customer interaction, businesses can derive deeper insights to optimize integrated campaigns across the entire customer lifecycle journey.
One standout capability Klaviyo offers is integration with a proprietary data platform called Klaviyo Identity. This allows you to securely connect offline CRM and POS systems to match real-world customer identities with online profiles. Remove fragmented data by tying email addresses, device IDs, and other digital identifiers back to unique individuals.
Klaviyo also provides built-in A/B testing functionality for emails that easily lets you trial variations of subject lines, content, designs, and more to optimize campaign performance. Split rollout percentage allocations on the fly and review side-by-side reporting.
Lastly, for Shopify merchants specifically, Klaviyo offers the Back In Stock app. Automatically notify customers signed up for waitlists when your out-of-stock products become available again.
Unique to ActiveCampaign is Opportunity Scoring and Lead Mapping tools to accelerate sales pipelines using intelligence around customer engagement signals and interactions. Visually map your revenue funnel from contact to close then track prospect movement through this journey model. Prioritize the highest potential open deals rather than getting lost in large databases of lukewarm leads.
Another differentiator is ActiveCampaign’s native ticketing functionality for managing customer service requests internally right from your automation workflows. Streamline support so incoming inquiries get properly routed and solved faster.
When it comes to unique innovations that provide additional value, Klaviyo edges out ActiveCampaign. While internal ticketing is helpful, Klaviyo’s headless enterprise-scale data infrastructure, built-in A/B testing, and Shopify-specific inventory integration drive more meaningful competitive advantages tailored to modern email marketers.
3. Ease of Use
Klaviyo provides an incredibly intuitive user interface that makes the platform very approachable for email marketers of all experience levels. Clean, modern dashboard designs let you easily access key reporting metrics and campaign management tools without clutter.
The visual drag-and-drop builder for crafting emails, automation workflows, and landing pages enables quick construction even for non-technical users. Pre-designed templates help you hit the ground running. And Klaviyo Academy offers a wealth of articles, videos, courses, and live events to ramp you up on best practices.
Overall, Klaviyo focuses specifically on owned marketing channels of email, SMS, and your website. By specializing in integrating these owned touchpoints only, new users can get oriented faster without needing to learn additional channels.
Compared to Klaviyo, ActiveCampaign has a more technical interface and a steeper learning curve. The platform consolidates significantly more marketing channels and tools into a single hub. So the admin portal can feel overwhelming to navigate at first, especially for strictly email marketers.
While ActiveCampaign offers live training and 24/7 chat support, leveraging the software beyond basic preset automation and pre-made templates can prove challenging without deeper knowledge. Some pre-packaged use cases also seem dated in their setup despite being billed as cutting-edge.
Ultimately it takes more ramp-up time to unlock ActiveCampaign’s full capabilities across its wider breadth of offerings compared to more specialized solutions like Klaviyo.
With a modern interface, specialized focus on owned channels, visual workflow builder, templatized approach, and wealth of educational resources, Klaviyo distills email marketing down into an exceptionally intuitive experience. Even at the enterprise scale, new users of all backgrounds can onboard and find value quickly.
4. Email Deliverability
Klaviyo enables deep customization and personalization of your email templates without needing any coding or design experience. Select from numerous high-quality premade templates covering common campaigns from welcome series to abandoned carts. Easy drag-and-drop builder to update content blocks, images, styling, and flow.
Dynamically customize emails at scale with customer data like first name, purchase history, location, and more with just a few clicks. Flexible options to tailor the look and feel of your messages to match your brand whether you sell products, services, host events, and more.
Email and landing page templates are all mobile responsive out of the box, ensuring seamless experiences across all devices. No optimizing or reconfiguring is required.
The native email template editor in ActiveCampaign is more technically hands-on, requiring HTML and coding knowledge to customize beyond basic presets. This gives full flexibility for developers but proves challenging for non-technical users compared to Klaviyo’s intuitive dragging.
More channel options available natively do allow you to have emails, landing pages, postcards, and ads mirror branded design elements for a consistent experience. However, limitations around needing coding skills for deeper adaptations persist.
ActiveCampaign also responsively renders across mobile devices by default. Just get prepared to do some manual editing if you want to restyle message templates.
With an easy-to-use visual builder requiring no technical skills, a wider selection of professional email template designs, and automatic mobile optimization, Klaviyo comes out ahead for empowering high customization and personalization without added effort.
5. Customer Support and Community
Klaviyo offers 24/7 live chat, email support, as well as phone support during business hours to address issues customers face in real time. Robust self-serve help docs walk through common questions around setup, email deliverability, automation strategies, and more.
The company also cultivates an extremely engaged community of over 18,000 marketers in their official Facebook group sharing best practices and troubleshooting together.
Lastly, Klaviyo provides a rich knowledge base through Klaviyo Academy featuring tutorials, courses, videos, downloadable slide decks, and live events. Easily accessible educational content keeps users informed on how to continually optimize their owned marketing efforts.
ActiveCampaign provides 24/7 live chat and email support as well for addressing issues when they arise. They produce their regular mix of webinars and video tutorials in addition to helping with documentation around platform usage.
As an established leader serving over 150,000 businesses historically, you can find no shortage of forums and discussions across the broader web around implementing ActiveCampaign. Direct community engagement from the company itself appears less culturally prioritized compared to Klaviyo however.
With direct access to robust documentation, dedicated specialist support teams available around the clock, a large online user community for wisdom sharing, and continually updated educational resources, Klaviyo edges out ActiveCampaign for superior customer guidance and networking opportunities.
Klaviyo centrally connects with all major e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce through seamless native integration making it easy to run your ecommerce store.
Data feeds around customer profiles, order activity, product catalogs, and more automatically sync to fuel personalized messaging. Segment users based on real-time behavioral signals and tailor campaigns dynamically leveraging store-based triggers.
The platform also enables extension to thousands of other applications via Zapier. Import data from tools you already use including Google Analytics, Facebook Ads, Stripe, Eventbrite, and everything in between. Build custom automation that reactively activates based on user actions taken across your integrated SaaS stack.
While not multi-channel, Klaviyo does provide an open API for developers to build custom scripts and connectors. This allows flexibility to pipe data to or from external systems beyond what prebuilt integrations offer out of the box.
A major differentiation ActiveCampaign delivers lies in natively consolidating email, SMS, social media, CRM, live chat, and calling tools under one roof. Eliminate the need for many third-party integrations when you can automate harmonized cross-channel workflows within a single centralized hub.
For supporting external tools, ActiveCampaign still maintains a Zapier integration directory alongside custom webhook development capabilities. Import or export data bi-directionally from popular apps similar to Klaviyo. Between owned unified channels and third-party extensions via APIs/Zapier, ActiveCampaign provides impressively holistic connections.
ActiveCampaign also facilitates connections with website/CMS platforms like WordPress, Wix, and Webflow. However, its e-commerce platform app ecosystem lags behind more specialized providers like Klaviyo.
Both Klaviyo and ActiveCampaign enable critical integrations either through proprietary consolidations or third-party ecosystem extensions. Klaviyo specializes in owned channels like e-commerce data. ActiveCampaign natively unifies more communications touchpoints. For most use cases, either platform can provide the right integration fabric needed.
Klaviyo offers a permanently free plan covering up to 500 contacts and unlimited emails monthly. This allows all users to access core features without payment barriers to get started. For larger email volumes, paid tiers then scale in transparent pricing bands – from $45/month up to custom enterprise quotes as you grow.
Choose between month-to-month payments or annual contracts discounted by 10-20%. No long-term commitments are required. Add-on costs apply transparently as well if you need additional metric storage, SMS credits, team seat licenses, and more. Solid value especially for e-commerce email and site personalization capabilities.
Klaviyo pricing stays targeted specifically on owned email and web channels. You only pay for higher tiers of what you truly need rather than bundled extra channels. This optimized approach keeps costs fair and reasonable in alignment with common email marketing growth trajectories.
ActiveCampaign starts with a $29/month Lite plan for up to 500 contacts and unlimited emails. From there paid packages range from $49 to $149+ monthly as you scale up to 100k contacts and 1 million emails across all integrated channels.
Note ActiveCampaign requires annual contracts typically for all paid plans beyond entry-level tiers. This carries a bigger upfront commitment to unlock the platform’s full multi-channel functionality as you expand. Overage fees also apply less predictably for usage spikes.
Value comes from consolidating all marketing solutions into a single view including CRM, SMS, social and more. But costs compound quickly on this route. Navigating cheaper channel-specific competitors can prove complex after committing fully to ActiveCampaign’s ecosystem.
With flexible month-to-month payments aligned to your owned channel growth, transparent pricing tiers for scaling email specifically, and costs staying reasonable for most e-commerce use cases, Klaviyo wins for delivering strong value without overcharging.
8. Reviews and Reputation
Klaviyo earns glowing reviews from users on platforms like G2, Capterra, and TrustRadius. High marks were received for ease of use, quality support, delivering results across key email marketing metrics from open rates to conversion, and strong e-commerce-focused capabilities.
Some negatives called out relate to high volume pricing at the enterprise scale and lack of native multi-channel features. But most agree core owned email and website personalization ability makes Klaviyo a top choice fitting the specific needs of modern online brands.
Reviews of ActiveCampaign also showcase general satisfaction across channels consolidated into their platform. Particularly strong ratings on CX and sales enablement features that go beyond basic email and site tools to enhance the sales processes of any commerce business.
However, some find the broad suite overwhelming to navigate rather than more purpose-built solutions. Support quality also appears inconsistent, likely due to such expansive packages attempted. Those focused purely on owned marketing channels may feel functionality and pricing overkill.
Check TrustRadius and other sites for detailed ActiveCampaign reviews around use cases and shortcomings using their integrated platform.
With extremely positive feedback specifically around email marketing must-haves from ease of use to deliverability and results, Klaviyo edges out ActiveCampaign. Their targeted specialization on owned channels wins out for most customer needs rather than extensive suites, making it an ideal solution for commerce businesses.
- What e-commerce platforms does Klaviyo integrate with?
Klaviyo seamlessly connects with all major e-commerce platforms including Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, WooCommerce, and more. Sync product catalogs, customer profiles, sales data, and other store information to fuel personalized messaging.
- Does Klaviyo offer native CRM or other marketing channels?
No, Klaviyo specializes specifically in owned email and website personalization channels. It does not have native CRM, SMS, social media, sales, or other platform functionality.
- How technical do I need to use Klaviyo effectively?
Klaviyo prioritizes usability allowing both technical and non-technical users to get value through intuitive UI, templatized approach, drag and drop builder, and robust educational resources. No development experience is required.
- What marketing channels are included with ActiveCampaign?
ActiveCampaign natively consolidates email, SMS/MMS, site messaging, social posting, sales CRM, call tracking, event marketing, and more under one platform.
- Does ActiveCampaign require coding skills?
ActiveCampaign offers pre-built templates and automation for basic setups. However, customizing beyond initial building blocks or integrating other data channels requires technical knowledge of HTML, APIs, etc.
- How does ActiveCampaign pricing compare to specialized tools?
Consolidating capabilities across channels into ActiveCampaign can offer simplicity, but costs typically exceed more purpose-built solutions over the long run at scale. Lock-in also persists.
Choose Klaviyo If…
You want a specialized email and website personalization solution for e-commerce businesses focused 100% on optimizing your owned properties for results. Klaviyo distills down advanced functionality tailored to online brands around messaging, automation, and analytics without unnecessary channel bloat or inflated pricing. Perfect for any e-commerce merchant or digital business dedicating significant strategy to email efforts.
If you feel, however, that Klaviyo isn’t a good option for your email marketing needs, check out my Klaviyo alternatives article for more options.
Choose ActiveCampaign If…
A harmonized cross-channel view underpinning email alongside CRM, sales, SMS/chat support, and broader online experiences sits core to your customer engagement objectives. ActiveCampaign brings expansive yet unified data and communication abilities through integrated tools aimed at centralizing entire workflows.
Ideal for service teams with holistic coordination requirements and in-depth analytics needs spanning both marketing and operations.
Selecting the appropriate platform for your business needs and growth trajectory is incredibly important to long-term success. Both Klaviyo and ActiveCampaign can enable results but cater to different core strengths aligned with your focus, budget, and technical requirements.
We urge you to consider specifics around email volume, preferred features, pricing changes over time, and more in determining the ideal choice.