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Klaviyo vs ActiveCampaign: The Right Choice for eCommerce

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    ActiveCampaign vs Klaviyo. Which one is better? Which one is the right choice for you? Is it ActiveCampaign or Klaviyo?

    It depends.

    It depends on:

    • What kind of business you have
    • What kind of budget you have
    • How many products/services you have.

    In this article,

    • I will help you make the decision
    • I will provide you with a rule of thumb that can help you quickly decide which software to use
    • I will provide you with an in-depth comparison of both software.

    Klaviyo vs ActiveCampaign: How to Choose the Right Email Platform for You

    My rule of thumb for picking the right email marketing platform for you (ActiveCampaign or Klaviyo): If you own an eCommerce business where you sell physical products online, you should go with Klaviyo.

    If you have a non-eCommerce business  (which means you do not sell physical products online), you should use ActiveCampaign. Why? Read my deep dive below, after a brief presentation of both software.

    What is Klaviyo?

    Klaviyo is a software company that offers marketing automation together with an email platform that automates campaigns for eCommerce. It was founded in 2012 with its headquarters in Boston, USA.

    Its main objective is to help users to access, analyze and store data that is transactional and behavioral, in order to eventually benefit email and advertising campaigns. It currently serves customers only in the state of Massachusetts.

    A lot of eCommerce brands around the world use Klaviyo to create emails and texts which pay for themselves. Examples of such brands are:

    • Shopify
    • Bigcommerce
    • Magento.

    What is ActiveCampaign?

    ActiveCampaign is a cloud software platform primarily for small and medium-sized businesses offering software for customer experience automation. In doing so, it combines these elements:

    • Marketing and sales automation
    • Email marketing
    • CRM (customer relationship management).

    ActiveCampaign was founded by Jason VandeBoom in 2003 with its headquarters in Chicago, USA. Currently, the company has over 145,000 clients and customers in 170 countries.

    It also distinguishes its software from traditional email marketing and CRM platforms by extending its services into customer support. This is one of the main ActiveCampaign features.

    Currently, ActiveCampaign has integrated with over 850 applications such as Salesforce and WordPress and has been consistently ranked in the Chicago Tribune as one of the top places to work.

    What Are the Main Features of Klaviyo and ActiveCampaign?

    When comparing both platforms, let’s take a look at Klaviyo versus ActiveCampaign.

    The main features of Klaviyo are:

    • One-click integrations
    • ROI (return on investment) based reporting
    • Powerful segmentation
    • Email personalizations
    • Product recommendations
    • Facebook advertising
    • Pre-built autoresponders.

    It also has a drag-and-drop automation builder which makes it easy to create automation workflows, email templates, sign-up forms, etc.

    On the other hand, the key features of ActiveCampaign include

    • Site-tracking
    • Conditional content
    • Event tracking
    • Easy to use Application Programming Interface (API)
    • Intuitive automation builder
    • Sales CRM
    • Email split testing, and
    • Advanced lead scoring.

    When it comes to email marketing software, we strongly recommend Klaviyo.

    As an ESP specifically designed for online stores, Klaviyo offers robust features to help you sell, not just send emails.

    In case you’re also looking to connect with your customers through SMS, Klaviyo provides an SMS platform that works in sync with your emails, for even better results.

    An Email Software Comparison from an Expert

    By the way, I am a certified consultant and partner for both software. I do work on both platforms.

    So there are no subjective opinions, only facts from personal experiences over hundreds of projects on both platforms.

    In this article, I will compare ActiveCampaign vs Klaviyo for online stores (eCommerce businesses who sell physical products online).

    Structure of the comparison:

    ActiveCampaign vs Klaviyo for eCommerce: 12 Points of Comparison

    1. Dashboard

    ActiveCampaign has limited dashboard features for eCommerce customers.

    It has:

    • Contact trends
    • Contract growth
    • Active contacts
    • And a few more.

    Those are important metrics. However, they are not enough for eCommerce.

    It would be nice to see the overall picture on the dashboard to see how much money you’re making from your email marketing efforts.

    Overview of Klaviyo vs Activecampaign dashboard

    On the other hand, Klaviyo has an extremely cool and useful dashboard for eCommerce business owners.

    It shows you a big picture overview of your email marketing efforts where you can tell right away if you are making money or not.

    It shows you:

    • Your store revenue
    • How much you make from automated emails
    • How much you make from campaigns.

    Dashboard comparison: activecampaign vs klaviyo.

    In addition to the general revenue, you can break down per automation (flow) and per campaign on Klaviyo’s dashboard.

    From this, you can spot which automation makes you money and which one does not. Also, one of the most important metrics on the dashboard is how much you make per recipient in specific automation (flows).

    Dashboard metrics : klaviyo and activecampaign.

    2. Campaigns

    Both Klaviyo and ActiveCampaign have similar campaign builders. They are both drag and drop. It is easy to use.

    I would say we have a tie there but there is one feature that is very powerful that’s available only in Klaviyo: the dynamic product feed.

    Basically, you set up a feed from your store based on your desires (could be based on category, tags, collection, or just popular products) and you add this feed (block) to your email.

    You do not need to worry to update your email every time you update your stock since this campaign block is dynamic and it takes all of the information from your store.Campaigns comparison: Klaviyo vs Activecampaign.

    3. Integrations

    There are two kinds of integrations.

    • Direct integrative or as I like to call it “native” integration
    • Via a third party tool like Zapier.

    What is integration? In simple words, it is what connects one software with another and passes information between the two.

    The downside of the second option is that you need to pay for a Zapier monthly subscription.

    Let’s compare the two type of integrations:

    Third-party tool integration Direct (native) integration
    Both Klaviyo and ActiveCampaign are part of Zapier’s integration tools.


    That means you can connect Klaviyo and ActiveCampaign to hundreds of other software available in Zapier’s library.

    Klaviyo and Activecampaign integrations compared.

    With Zapier, you can connect Klaviyo and ActiveCampaign to hundreds of other software available in Zapier’s library.

    Integrations: a comparison between Klaviyo and ActiveCampaign.


    4. Klaviyo vs ActiveCampaign for eCommerce

    Klaviyo and ActiveCampaign both integrate with major eCommerce platforms such as:

    • Shopify
    • Bigcommerce
    • Woocommerce
    • And others.

    However, it does not mean the integration is the same.

    Klaviyo shows all subscribers’ activity as a feed. It includes:

    • Site visits
    • Purchases
    • Checkouts started
    • Checkouts completed
    • And more.

    You can use this information to create segments and build automation.

    ActiveCampaign shows website visits as a feed as well. However, the checkout started, products viewed, and products purchased are fields.

    Those fields update with the latest activities and they do not store data from the past. That is great for generating personalized emails based on the latest activities, but you can not do the same for past activities.

    Also, it negatively impacts segmentation in ActiveCampaign.

    5. Opt-In Forms

    We have a tie here between both software.

    Each platform has an opt-in feature. They have drag and drop features and are very easy to set up.

    6. Analytics vs. Reports

    Klaviyo Analytics is a relatively new feature on the platform, but it is very powerful.

    You basically can build your own dashboard with different tiles that each show different things, such as popular products by:

    • Revenue
    • Number of subscribers
    • Number of subscribers
    • And more.

    You can also create different page views so everything is organized. By default, they provide you with the following views:
    Views from Klaviyo Analytics
    All tiles are dynamic and live. If you have somebody unsubscribing, you can see how the number changes live.
    ActiveCampaign on the other hand has limited reporting features.

    Their reporting features are great for non-eCommerce businesses since they include:

    • Open rate
    • Click-through rate
    • Goals
    • Deals
    • And some conversion reporting.

    However, there is no clarity for you to see where you are making money with your email marketing efforts and where you are not.
    Klaviyo and ActiveCampaign reports.

    7. Coupons

    ActiveCampaign does not have a dynamic coupons feature. You can use a Revenue Conduit service to generate dynamic codes, but this is extra software and an extra subscription.

    Klaviyo has dynamic coupons only for Shopify and Magento eCommerce platforms.

    It is easy to create Shopify coupons via Klaviyo since you do everything within the Klaviyo platform. It is a little bit harder to create Magento coupons.

    First, you have to create the coupon on the Magento platform and link it with Klaviyo. However, both coupons are dynamic and you do not have to worry about people sharing your coupon codes on public sites.

    This is an example of a coupon setting view in Klaviyo for Shopify:

    Coupons are a point of comparison between Klaviyo and ActiveCampaign.

    8. Flows vs. Automation

    Both platforms have amazing visual flow/automation builders. It is easy to build a flow or automation on both platforms.

    ActiveCampaign has more triggers that provide you with more options to create automation. Also, it has more features when you build automation like “add this automation” or start another one.

    I wish Klaviyo flow builder had that option.

    In addition, ActiveCampaign has options like end other automation if the subscriber is in this automation.

    It is a great feature because it provides you peace of mind that a subscriber is not in two automation at the same time.

    In addition, they added a new feature recently called “Automations Map”. This provides an overall picture of your automation and how they are connected to each other.

    The map as a point of comparison between klaviyo and activecampaign.
    Klaviyo uses different terms for automated emails, called flows.

    Klaviyo has only four triggers for flows:

    ActiveCampaign automation and Klaviyo flow compared.To be honest, you do not need any more for eCommerce, those four triggers can do everything you need to automate the email marketing for your store.

    Everything else is very similar to ActiveCampaign.

    However, they do not have two features which would be nice to have. I mentioned them above when I was talking about ActiveCampaign.

    • Feature #1 is the ability to start/stop other automation
    • Feature #2 is the ability to have an overall map of your flows and see how subscribers move from one to another.

    9. Tags

    I had one client who always told me “I wish Klaviyo had a tags feature.” Honestly, I disagree completely.

    Klaviyo provides such a variety of information that you do not need tags since you have all of the information in each user’s profile.

    So Klaviyo does not have tags like ActiveCampaign.

    10. Subscribers Profile

    Klaviyo and ActiveCampaign subscribers/contacts profiles are built differently.

    As I said many times, Klaviyo is oriented around eCommerce businesses so all of the information you see in subscribers’ profiles is around conversions, revenue, and activities.

    Here is a Klaviyo profile example:

    Activecampaign vs Klaviyo profile demonstrated.
    ActiveCampaign acts like CRM so their contact profile is built a little bit differently and they are as not as dynamic as Klaviyo profiles.

    Yes, you have a similar activity feed on the right side as Klaviyo has on the left side, but those activities are limited only to ActiveCampaign activities, it does not show you integrated services activities.

    Also, you are not able to see if the contact part of any particular segment.

    Klaviyo vs Activecampaign contact profile.

    11. Segments

    Klaviyo and ActiveCampaign both have list options which are typical for email marketing software.

    A list is a static directory of contacts, and you can manually add or remove subscribers from the list.

    A segment is a dynamic directory of contacts, the software adds or removes contacts automatically from the segment based on the contacts’ characteristics.

    Since Klaviyo profiles have more data, the segmentation is more powerful than in ActiveCampaign.

    Klaviyo segmentation is limited only by your imagination. You can create specific segments like “somebody who purchased red t-shirts between 10/17 and 10/29 and lives in CA and their email does not end at Yahoo.com and they opened emails at least three times.”

    YouTube video

    12. Pricing

    Klaviyo services cost more than ActiveCampaign. However, it is worth every penny.

    If you just want to send out emails and you do not care much to see if your emails are making money, you can save money and use ActiveCampaign.

    However, if you do care about all of the features Klaviyo can provide, you should invest a little bit more.

    Here is the pricing comparison between Klaviyo and ActiveCampaign.

    Klaviyo VS ActiveCampaign Pricing

    # of SubscribersKlaviyoActiveCampaig (Plus)

    YouTube video

    Activecampaign vs Klaviyo: Which One Is the Best?

    After reading this comparison, you can make your own decision. However, I will tell you my strong opinion.

    If you own an online store that sells physical products online, I would recommend only Klaviyo.

    If you do not have an online store that sells physical products, I would recommend picking ActiveCampaign.

    If you want to try Klaviyo or ActiveCampaign software, you can do so for free.

    If you have any additional questions, please leave them below in the comments section and I will respond to them.

    ***Some links in this article are affiliated
    If you are interested to learn more about comparing these two platforms, I highly recommend reading the comparison Klaviyo Vs ActiveCampaign – Which Is A Better Email Marketing Solution? by our friend Lucas Chevillard from EmailTech.


    Frequently Asked Questions

    Which email marketing software to choose for eCommerce?

    Klaviyo is totally conceived for eCommerce owners. His flows, such as cart abandonment flows, are particularly convenient for online stores. Analytics and precise segmentation help online businesses to convert more often with email marketing.

    Which one is more affordable: Klaviyo or ActiveCampaign?

    ActiveCampaign costs less than Klaviyo. So if you want to save money, it is the best email marketing solution for you. However, if you are targeting sales and results, then Klaviyo’s features are worth every penny.

    What is the difference between flow and automation?

    There isn’t. Both refer to the same automated email sequences that can be set up through email marketing software. Only Klaviyo prefers using the term “flow”, while ActiveCampaign, and others, call it “automation.”

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