ActiveCampaign vs Gist: The Best Email Marketing Tool for 2024

In 2024, make an informed choice between ActiveCampaign and Gist for email marketing. Compare their features, usability, and pricing in our detailed review

Welcome to the ultimate showdown between two email marketing giants: ActiveCampaign and Gist. In today’s fast-paced digital world, choosing the right email marketing tool is more than a necessity—it’s a game changer for your business. Whether you’re a seasoned marketer, a small business owner, or just starting out, this comparison will help you make an informed decision for 2024.

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User Interface and Ease of Use

One of the most critical factors in choosing an email marketing tool is how user-friendly it is. After all, a tool is only as good as its ease of use, right? Let’s dive into the user interfaces of ActiveCampaign and Gist to see which one stands out in terms of simplicity and efficiency.

ActiveCampaign: A Closer Look

ActiveCampaign, known for its robust features, also boasts a user interface that is both sleek and intuitive. When you first log in, you’re greeted with a dashboard that’s neatly organized and easy to navigate. The layout is intuitive, with most features just a click or two away.

Creating a campaign in ActiveCampaign is pretty straightforward. You start by selecting the type of campaign you want to run, then move on to designing your email. The drag-and-drop email builder is a dream come true for those who aren’t tech-savvy. It’s packed with templates that are not just beautiful but also highly customizable.

What’s more impressive is how ActiveCampaign handles automation. Even though it offers some of the most sophisticated automation capabilities in the market, setting them up is surprisingly uncomplicated. You can create complex automation sequences with a simple ‘if this, then that’ logic, making your email marketing efforts almost feel like they’re on autopilot.

Gist: The User Experience

On the other side, we have Gist, which is relatively newer in the email marketing arena but has quickly made a name for itself. Gist’s user interface is clean and minimalistic, which is a breath of fresh air for those who get overwhelmed by too many options.

The process of creating a campaign in Gist is quite similar to ActiveCampaign. You select your campaign type, design your email using a drag-and-drop editor, and you’re good to go. However, Gist’s templates are more modern and, some might argue, more visually appealing. They cater especially well to businesses that emphasize brand aesthetics.

Where Gist really shines is in its user onboarding process. For every feature, there’s a helpful guide or tutorial, making it a great choice for beginners or those who are not too tech-oriented. However, when it comes to automation, Gist is a tad less sophisticated than ActiveCampaign. It covers all the basics but doesn’t dive too deep into complex automation sequences.

So, Who Wins in UI and Ease of Use?

In the battle of user interfaces and ease of use, it’s a tight race. ActiveCampaign takes the lead with its more advanced automation capabilities, but Gist wins points for its modern design and beginner-friendly approach. If you’re looking for simplicity and ease of getting started, Gist might be your go-to. However, for more complex, automation-heavy campaigns, ActiveCampaign could be your ally.

Customer Support and Community

Now, let’s shift our focus to an aspect that can make or break your experience with any tool: customer support and community engagement. No matter how user-friendly a tool is, there will be times when you need a helping hand. The quality of customer support and the presence of a supportive community are crucial. Let’s see how ActiveCampaign and Gist fare in this regard.

ActiveCampaign: Support and Community Insights

ActiveCampaign has established a reputation for providing exceptional customer support. This reputation is built on several pillars that ensure users receive the help they need quickly and efficiently.

Firstly, ActiveCampaign offers an extensive knowledge base. This resource is filled with articles, guides, and how-to videos covering almost every aspect of the platform. Whether you’re a beginner looking to understand the basics or an experienced marketer seeking advanced strategies, the knowledge base is an invaluable resource.

Direct support is another area where ActiveCampaign excels. They offer multiple channels for support, including email and live chat. The live chat, in particular, is a standout feature. It connects you with knowledgeable support staff who can provide immediate assistance for urgent issues. The responsiveness and expertise of their support team are frequently praised by users.

Beyond the traditional support channels, ActiveCampaign offers personalized training sessions. These sessions are particularly beneficial for users who want to explore complex features like automation workflows or CRM integration in depth. These one-on-one interactions ensure that users can maximize the platform’s capabilities tailored to their specific needs.

The ActiveCampaign user community is a robust platform for peer-to-peer support and learning. Here, users from various industries share their experiences, tips, and strategies. This community interaction adds a layer of practical, real-world advice that can be more relatable and immediately applicable. The community also serves as a feedback loop for ActiveCampaign, helping them to continuously improve and adapt their platform to user needs.

Gist: Support Tailored for Simplicity

Gist, while newer in the market, has quickly adapted to meet the support needs of its users effectively, albeit in a different style compared to ActiveCampaign.

Gist’s support structure is designed to be user-friendly, catering especially well to beginners or those who prefer a more straightforward approach. Their knowledge base, while not as extensive as ActiveCampaign’s, is well-organized and easy to navigate, making it a quick reference for common questions and issues.

Gist’s live chat and email support are noteworthy for their responsiveness. While they might not offer the breadth of support channels like ActiveCampaign, the quality of assistance is high. Users often find their interactions with Gist’s support team to be helpful and efficient.

In terms of community, Gist is in the growing phase. The community may not be as large or active as ActiveCampaign’s, but it’s gradually developing. For users of Gist, this means a growing platform for sharing ideas and strategies, although it currently lacks the extensive peer-to-peer interaction seen in ActiveCampaign’s community.

Customer Support: Who Takes the Lead?

In sum, ActiveCampaign offers a more comprehensive and multifaceted approach to customer support and boasts a vibrant, engaged community. This makes it a top choice for users who value extensive resources, direct and varied support options, and community learning.

Gist, with its focus on simplicity and efficient support, caters well to users who prefer a straightforward, no-fuss approach to customer support and are comfortable with a smaller, developing community. Each platform’s approach to support and community engagement has its unique strengths, and the best choice depends on your preferences and the level of support you anticipate needing.

Email Deliverability and Performance

Moving on to a critical aspect of email marketing: deliverability and performance. The best email marketing tool should not only make it easy to create and send emails but also ensure that these emails reach your audience’s inbox and engage them effectively. Let’s compare how ActiveCampaign and Gist perform in these vital areas.

ActiveCampaign: Deliverability and Analytics

ActiveCampaign’s commitment to high deliverability rates is a cornerstone of its service. This commitment is reflected in several ways.

ActiveCampaign has developed a sophisticated infrastructure designed to maximize email deliverability. This includes using advanced technologies to manage sender reputation and implementing best practices in email authentication and verification. As a result, emails sent through ActiveCampaign have a higher likelihood of landing in the primary inbox, minimizing the risk of being marked as spam.

ActiveCampaign goes beyond just delivering emails. It provides in-depth analytics and reporting tools, allowing users to deeply understand how their emails are performing. This includes tracking open rates, click-through rates, and more nuanced metrics like engagement over time and comparative campaign performance. Such detailed analytics are crucial for refining strategies and improving the effectiveness of future email campaigns.

Gist: Effective Deliverability with Modern Insights

Gist, while not quite matching ActiveCampaign’s deliverability rates, still places a strong emphasis on ensuring effective email delivery.

Gist provides tools and guidelines to optimize email delivery. Their focus on maintaining a good sender reputation helps in achieving commendable deliverability rates. Gist ensures that emails adhere to best practices, thus maintaining a balance between effective delivery and email content quality.

In terms of analytics, Gist offers a solid range of insights into email performance. Users can track basic metrics such as open and click rates, and understand audience interactions. Although Gist’s analytics are not as detailed as ActiveCampaign’s, they provide sufficient information for many businesses to assess and improve their email marketing strategies.

Comparing Email Performance

In the realm of email deliverability and performance analytics, ActiveCampaign seems to have a slight advantage. Their focus on high deliverability rates and comprehensive analytics makes them a strong choice for businesses that prioritize reaching their audience effectively and understanding their email campaign performance in depth.

Gist, though a bit behind in this race, still offers robust deliverability and decent analytics, making it a viable option, especially for businesses that are just starting out or have simpler email marketing needs.

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Automation and Advanced Features

A key differentiator in email marketing tools is their automation capabilities and the availability of advanced features. This is where email marketing can really become a powerhouse for your business, saving you time and creating highly personalized experiences for your audience. Let’s delve into how ActiveCampaign and Gist compare in this vital area.

ActiveCampaign: Automation Prowess

ActiveCampaign is often celebrated for its advanced automation features. It’s not just about sending emails; it’s about creating a journey for your subscribers. Their automation builder is both powerful and user-friendly, allowing you to set up complex workflows with ease. You can trigger emails based on a wide range of subscriber actions, like visiting a particular page on your website or interacting with a previous email.

Beyond email, ActiveCampaign also allows you to automate other aspects of your marketing and sales processes. This includes things like updating contact information, sending SMS messages, or even managing your sales pipeline. The level of customization and control you have is remarkable, making it a top choice for businesses that want to create sophisticated, automated marketing funnels.

Gist: Automation Capabilities

Gist also offers automation capabilities, though they are not as extensive as ActiveCampaign’s. You can create automated email sequences based on subscriber actions, which is great for welcome series, follow-ups, and basic lead nurturing. The interface for building these automations is intuitive, making it accessible even for those new to email marketing.

However, when it comes to the depth and breadth of automation options, Gist is somewhat limited compared to ActiveCampaign. It covers the basics well but doesn’t offer the same level of detail and customization, especially in areas outside of email.

Advanced Features and Integrations

Both platforms offer a range of advanced features like A/B testing, segmentation, and detailed analytics. When it comes to integrations with other tools and services, ActiveCampaign has a broader range, allowing for more seamless connections with various CRM systems, e-commerce platforms, and other business tools.

Who Takes the Lead in Automation and Advanced Features?

ActiveCampaign clearly leads in the realm of automation and advanced features. Its robust and flexible automation capabilities, coupled with an extensive range of integrations, make it a powerhouse for businesses looking to automate and integrate their marketing, sales, and even customer service processes.

Gist, while offering solid automation features suitable for basic to moderate needs, doesn’t quite match the depth offered by ActiveCampaign. It’s a great option for those who are just starting with automation or who have simpler requirements.

Pricing and Value for Money

Pricing is a crucial factor for any business when choosing an email marketing tool. It’s not just about the cost, but also about what you get for your money. Let’s compare the pricing structures of ActiveCampaign and Gist to see which offers better value for your investment.

ActiveCampaignLite Plan: Starting at $15/month (for up to 500 contacts), offering basic email marketing, marketing automation, and a customer CRM.
Plus Plan: Starting at $70/month, with additional features like landing pages, Facebook Custom Audiences integration, and lead scoring.
Professional Plan: Starting at $159/month, including site messaging, attribution, and predictive sending.
Enterprise Plan: Custom pricing, offering custom reporting, custom mailserver domain, and dedicated account rep.
GistGist offers a range of tools including email marketing, live chat, and marketing automation.
Free Plan: Includes basic features with limits on the number of contacts and emails.
Professional Plan: Starting at $29/month when billed annually, includes full marketing automation, live chat, and other advanced features.
Premium Plan: Custom pricing based on the specific needs of a business, offering additional customization and dedicated support.

ActiveCampaign: Pricing Overview

ActiveCampaign offers a tiered pricing structure based on the number of contacts you have and the features you need. Their plans start from a basic level, which is quite affordable and suitable for small businesses or individuals just starting out. As you move up the tiers, you gain access to more advanced features like CRM, lead scoring, and deep data integrations.

One thing to note about ActiveCampaign is that while it can be cost-effective at the lower tiers, the price can escalate quite quickly as you add more contacts and require more advanced features. This means that for larger businesses or those heavily reliant on advanced automation and integrations, the cost can become a significant factor.

Gist: Pricing and Offerings

Gist also uses a tiered pricing model, but they tend to be more budget-friendly, especially at the higher tiers. Their base plan covers a generous amount of features suitable for small to medium-sized businesses. As you scale up, the increase in price is relatively gradual compared to ActiveCampaign.

Gist’s higher-tier plans include most of the advanced features that ActiveCampaign offers, but at a lower cost. This makes Gist an attractive option for businesses that need a comprehensive suite of features but are more sensitive to pricing.

Evaluating Value for Money

When it comes to value for money, the choice between ActiveCampaign and Gist depends on your specific needs and budget.

If you’re a small business or just starting out, both platforms offer affordable options that give you a solid set of features to begin with. For medium to large businesses, or those who need sophisticated automation and integrations, ActiveCampaign might be the better choice despite its higher cost due to its extensive capabilities.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a balance between functionality and cost, especially if you are a medium-sized business, Gist offers a compelling package that is hard to overlook.

Both platforms offer free trials, so it’s worth testing them out to see which one aligns best with your business needs and budget.

Integration and Ecosystem

In our digital world, where tools and platforms are interconnected, the ability of an email marketing tool to seamlessly integrate with other software is paramount. This integration capability can significantly enhance efficiency and streamline your marketing efforts. Let’s compare ActiveCampaign and Gist in terms of their integration capabilities and the ecosystems they support.

ActiveCampaign: Integration Strengths

ActiveCampaign is renowned for its extensive integration capabilities, which are a significant part of its appeal to a diverse user base.

One of ActiveCampaign’s most notable strengths is its vast network of integrations. The platform connects with over 850 apps and services, covering various needs from CRM systems and e-commerce platforms to webinar tools and social media platforms. This broad range of integrations is particularly beneficial for businesses that rely on a diverse set of tools and need them to communicate seamlessly with their email marketing platform.

Beyond the sheer number of integrations, ActiveCampaign offers deep data integrations. This feature allows for more sophisticated automation and personalization, as it can pull in detailed data from other platforms. For businesses that base their marketing strategies on comprehensive data analysis and personalized customer journeys, this level of integration is invaluable.

Gist: Streamlined Integration for Core Functions

While Gist may not match the volume of ActiveCampaign’s integrations, it still offers a solid range of connections with key tools that are essential for most businesses.

Gist’s integrations are carefully selected to cover the core functionalities that small to medium-sized businesses typically require. These integrations are designed to be user-friendly, ensuring that setting them up is straightforward, even for users who may not be tech-savvy. This approach aligns well with Gist’s overall emphasis on simplicity and ease of use.

For many businesses, especially smaller ones or those at an early stage of integrating their tools, Gist’s range of integrations will be entirely adequate. While it may not offer the depth of ActiveCampaign, its integrations cover the essentials effectively, allowing businesses to connect their email marketing with key operational tools.

Integration: Which Platform Leads?

In the integration and ecosystem aspect, ActiveCampaign clearly has an edge due to its vast network of integrations and deep data capabilities. This makes it a strong contender for businesses that use a diverse range of tools and need a high level of interconnectivity and data sharing.

Gist, while more limited in its integration offerings, still provides a competent range of connections that will meet the needs of many businesses, especially those that don’t require overly complex integrations.

Integration capabilities are crucial, but they need to align with your specific business needs and the other tools you use. It’s essential to consider how these email marketing platforms integrate with your existing tech stack.


In conclusion, ActiveCampaign and Gist both offer compelling features for email marketing in 2024, each excelling in different areas. ActiveCampaign stands out with its advanced automation features, extensive integrations, and superior customer support, making it ideal for businesses seeking depth and sophistication in their marketing strategies. On the other hand, Gist offers a more budget-friendly solution with a user-friendly interface and sufficient features for small to medium-sized businesses.

While ActiveCampaign leads in automation, deliverability, and integration, Gist counters with its simplicity, modern design, and cost-effectiveness. The choice between the two depends on your specific business needs, budget, and the level of complexity you require in your email marketing campaigns. Both platforms have their strengths, and the best choice will vary depending on individual business needs. It’s recommended to take advantage of their free trials to see which tool aligns best with your marketing goals for 2024.

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Poulomi Chakraborty
Poulomi Chakraborty is at the heart of our digital marketing team at WinSavvy. With a keen grasp on the ever-evolving world of SEO and digital trends, she is known for her thoughtful and strategic approach. Poulomi blends deep industry knowledge with a genuine enthusiasm for helping businesses shine online. Her ability to translate complex digital concepts into clear, actionable strategies is what sets her apart.
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