Klaviyo vs. ActiveCampaign: Which is Right For Your Brand?

Jun 3, 2024

  When choosing your email marketing program, the options are endless, right? You hear about every new email marketing program that’s popping up.

This one is the best!

This one’s confusing.

This one is too expensive.

All the things!

I will be talking about two of the most popular programs, and honestly, these are the two that I work on the most. And that would be Klayvio vs. ActiveCampaign. Two programs that I highly recommend are great, but neither are created equally.

They both have benefits. They both have cons.

We’ll dive into some of the nitty-gritty details of what I love about the programs and what businesses I think they’re best for. Hopefully, you will walk away knowing what program might be right for you.

The Basics of Each Platform

When you are in Klayvio, I find the user experience and how you can navigate around the platform to be super simple. You have your menu section right on the left. Everything is nicely labeled and easy to find.

On ActiveCampaign, it’s really easy as well. And now that I’m thinking about it, the layout of the platforms is very similar. We have a long stacked menu on the left. It has the automations tab campaigns contacts. So they’re very, very similar.

Some of the features are very different within the platform. I would say, hands down, that it would be the reporting. When you go into ActiveCampaign, they’re really great at building reporting and understanding of the funnel of your email marketing.

So take, for example, you are a course creator.

And you recently just had a webinar that finished, and you want to see everybody who attended your webinar and missed it. Your sales team is following up with them. You want to see how many of those people have been followed up with. ActiveCampaign  is really good for that. Honestly, it’s kind of coming for HubSpot’s game there with its. Layers of sales tracking. Now, I claim you, on the other hand, when it comes to their reporting, they’re really honed in on e-commerce.

Hands down, if you’re an e-commerce brand, Klaviyo is the best fit for you.

Revenue tracking for ActiveCampaign is not as clear, and it is harder to find that information. Also, when you want to build an abandoned cart sequence or build post-purchase sequences, having that e-commerce data to work with is like pulling teeth in ActiveCampaign.

In Klayvio, you require a little bit of technical understanding. I think that they’re going to develop that side of it a lot further this year, but all of the information you need is right there. It’s super easy to follow, too. I give Klayvio props for having a great experience in the platform for e-commerce brands.

Automation Capabilities

ActiveCampaign, on the other hand, absolutely crushes Klaviyo because you can intertwine your automations.

So, let’s say you have somebody who’s in a welcome series, right? And the moment that they click a very specific link in that welcome series, you then want them to hop on over to three different types of series that are almost like a hot lead series, and we’re sending them extra emails.

Easily in ActiveCampaign, just drop in a little node, a little action that says, send them over to this automation. And then they go there.

On Klaviyo’s side, it’s kind of like, okay, I got segment that action I want to then then trigger the next flow But then I can’t easily, pull them in and pull them back out of the flow. It’s more clunkier in Klaviyo than ActiveCampaign. They have that locked down.

Email Builder Differences

Recently, ActiveCampaign recently updated their email builder, and thank the Lord because the old email builder was dated very, very dated and hard to work in, but the new builder is a lot more streamlined, and I really enjoy that.

Klaviyo’s builder – I hype it up all the time!

They’ve also released some awesome new features. They’ve made things super easy to edit every aspect of an email, especially when it comes to mobile stacking, cleanly controlling what is shown on mobile vs desktop.

In ActiveCampaign, you can do a little bit of show hide on certain blocks and sections, but you gotta be a bit more creative on your design to try to make sure it looks exactly the way you want it to when it’s seen on mobile. So, the downside is a little bit on the ActiveCampaign side.

Overall, there are two builders are really good!

I really don’t have too many complaints on saying one is better than the other. But if I had to choose, Klaviyo’s would just win out a bit more with a few of those extra features.


Now, let’s talk about a feature that I think is extremely different across these platforms, and that is segmentation.

ActiveCampaign seriously needs to tweak and update its segmentation features. To me, pulling out the information is very clunky. There are e-commerce fields that just are not there.

For example, what if I want to filter whether somebody ever abandoned this top in this color during this date range? You can’t filter those details down, and I can’t pick time dates.

You can just filter their last product abandoned details, not their full history. I need to get to the nitty-gritty details of segmentation. To build out these e-commerce segments. Klaviyo has every variant, every shade, every timestamp, and every sneeze that someone has done on your website.

When you go to create a segment, you can get as specific and nitty-gritty as you want. On ActiveCampaign’s side, it is rough. So that’s where in ActiveCampaign, I have to rely heavily on a tagging system.

Klaviyo doesn’t have this feature because I really don’t think they need it, but on ActiveCampaign’s side, you basically have to tag people relentlessly. So, let’s say somebody missed a webinar, and you have to do a missed webinar tag. It’s not like an event that you can see happening in a profile typically, depending on your integration, but let’s say they finished an abandoned cart series and didn’t purchase it. You’re going to have to tag that person once they get to the very end of that automation so that you can segment them and then put them into some communication.

So it requires these extra steps. Tagging, though, can be super helpful, depending on the use case.

So when I export them, I can see them. Those tags are helpful for that. Another pet peeve of mine is that I can’t just see all of the segments I created. I just want to see a list of them. I want to name them. I want to see how they’re growing. I want to see how they’re shrinking. You can’t do that in ActiveCampaign. You basically create a segment and it’s, you have like a number associated with it.

And then, if you want to find it again, you have to create a campaign and then find it in the dropdown, and then edit it from there. Or you’re saving the link and coming back to it later like it does store the segment, but finding them in one area is, like, It’s just super clunky.

I think the only con I have to say is if you don’t star your segments, they disappear or they disappear if they’re not used. But there are a lot of, uh, segments that I create where I just want to keep tabs on it. Like, okay, I want to see just cleanly. You know, how many people have visited this page in the last 30 days?

I just want to see that number grow and shrink just to get a feel for it. But if I don’t star that segment, I mark it as a favorite. And Klaviyo, it will be a retired segment after a while.

So now, let’s talk automations and flows. As I said, an active campaign has a little bit of an edge on Klayvio in this department because of the ability to intertwine your flows, having to go in one and out the other and back in and back out and jumping. That part is a huge wind will Klaviyo come out with this feature.

Let’s say an ActiveCampaign. You have somebody in a webinar invite series, right? You’re like, Hey, I want you to register for this webinar. So they’re getting reminder and a reminder and a reminder. The moment that they sign up, you then can put in a goal, a goal at the very end of your automation. So that goal is saying, okay, once they’re tagged or once an event happens, so say they’re tagged, registered the moment they’re registered.

They skip everything in between that goal. You put in the automation and that email. So they jump all the way down and you can immediately start sending them another sequence.

That’s separate. But the goal node is just clutch, especially when it comes for cleaning your automation. So, this has happened multiple times where I’ll work with a client, and we’ll have late registrations for a webinar. Right. And people are stuck at the top of the funnel of these emails because of their registration date. It is now past the filters.

So there’s like no way to move people through the email sequence because they just started at the very beginning. Well, pop in these goal nodes throughout your sequence. And you can say, Hey, is today’s date the fourth. Okay. Jumped down. So that you can get people cleanly through where they should be in this invite series – date by date by date.

Now, do those automations get crazy? Are there always issues? Do things go wrong?

The likelihood of that is like times five.

So you have to know what you’re doing in those automations. But the ability to build around those types of sequences is awesome. And I wish Klayvio would come out with a bit of a. Oh, a bit of the ability to drunk people through different parts of the series, or even just to intertwine them into another flow.

Another thing that an ActiveCampaign has is its integration with other apps. So Klaviyo definitely integrates with other apps, but you don’t have app. Actions that you can do inside of flows like active campaign can.

For example, like in ActiveCampaign, let’s say somebody buys one of my most expensive products.

Well, I can drop in a slack notification node into the automation. The person gets the welcome email and then it slacks me that that person , just bought that product. And we just send them a welcome email, like there’s little integrations and like quality of life, things that you can put into these flows so that you can have all of your apps really talking to each other.

On Klaviyo’s end, you can kind of achieve this with web hooks.

So they do have that web hook ability. But that’s kind of sending it either to like Zapier and then Zapier is then communicating with that app. Or if you have just a straight up integration with that app. Ideally, they’re able to see all of the actions that are happening in Klayvio and then you do all of the followups in your third party app. But even that can be a little hidden mess.

So just honing in on the e-commerce element. Klayvio really beats out ActiveCampaign in this department. So, for example, segmentation is the biggest.

I just want to be able to see more information in ActiveCampaign that correlates with somebody’s purchase history, browsing history, and abandoned history.

Pulling that in ActiveCampaignis just super lacking. Klaviyo, on the other hand, has so much information outlined and ready to pull into different segments and targeting.

There are a few extra features that really sell one program to a certain group than the other and active campaigns. Pipeline management is definitely one of them. I think this puts them on the battle path with HubSpot more than it does.

If I had to summarize this whole schpiel up – if you’re an e-commerce brand, I would highly recommend you go with Klaviyo.

That’s my go-to choice.

And I know a bit bias. But I do a lot of Klaviyo tutorials. But let me tell you, I really got my start with ActiveCampaign and with ActiveCampaign clients. So, I really know that platform inside and out, and I recommend it highly.

To anybody with a sales team, if you have a sales pipeline, if you are a course creator, if you are a coach, ActiveCampaign is wonderful for you.

You can even do call sequences and, you know, use integrations where you’re leaving voicemails. There are so many things to do with it. Selling for webinars, selling high-package goods, and things like that, where you have a sales sequence that needs to happen. ActiveCampaign is definitely number one for that.

And being able to integrate with things like Google Sheets automatically, like, say, you have a lead generation system, and it sends leads into a Google sheet that Google sheet then feeds right into the ActiveCampaign. Like there is little quality of life, things that make a ActiveCampaign really awesome.

And then again on the Klaviyo side, nobody comes close to what they’re doing with creating a hub for an e-commerce brand.

Hopefully, that helped clear it up if ActiveCampaign, or is Klaviyo right for your brand?

If you need any tutorials on Klaviyo or ActiveCampaign, I have a few, and you can check them out there.



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