Are you looking for an honest GoHighLevel vs ActiveCampaign comparison?
If so, you’re in luck because I compared both software side by side in this article.
For the uninitiated, GoHighLevel is an all-in-one marketing platform marketed mainly toward marketing agencies. ActiveCampaign is a leading email marketing service with a built-in CRM and shares some features with HighLevel.
Full disclosure, I’m an agency owner myself, and I also had to research the heck out of ActiveCampaign and GoHighLevel before making my own decision on which to use.
In this GoHighLevel vs ActiveCampaign article, I’m going to compare the key deciding factors that you should analyze for your business before deciding on one of these two software. Let’s start.
Table of Contents
- GoHighLevel Vs ActiveCampaign Overview
- GoHighLevel Vs ActiveCampaign Features Comparison
- Pricing Comparison
- GoHighLevel Pricing
- ActiveCampaign Pricing
- GoHighLevel Pros and Cons
- ActiveCampaign Pros and Cons
- What I Like About GoHighLevel
- Former ActiveCampaign User That Made the Switch to GoHighLevel
- What I Like About ActiveCampaign
- How to Choose Between GoHighLevel vs ActiveCampaign
- Frequently Asked Questions
GoHighLevel Vs ActiveCampaign Overview
GoHighLevel is an all-in-one marketing platform built for marketing agencies.
The founder, Shaun Clark, created it to help agencies reduce their tech stack expenses and have everything under one roof in 2016.
GoHighLevel combines the following tools in their platform:
- Landing Page and Funnel Builders
- Email Marketing and Automation
- Chat Widget
- Call Tracking
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- 2-Way SMS Capability
- White Labeling for Clients
- And more.
Note: in 2022, more industries besides agencies use HighLevel, including real estate, local business, insurance, and more.
On the other hand, we have ActiveCampaign, founded by Jason VandeBoom in 2003. And is a long-time favorite in the email marketing world.
- Email Marketing and Automation
- CRM and Sales Automation Tools
- Landing Pages
- 1-way SMS capability
Both software offer a 14-day free trial and have award-winning support teams that will help you have success with their platforms.
Knowing a little more about both platforms, let’s compare their main features below.
GoHighLevel Vs ActiveCampaign Features Comparison
Both these SaaS products have a lot of features. Below, I’ll be covering the main comparisons.
Funnel Builders and Landing Pages
This section on funnel builders and landing pages is a one-sided comparison against ActiveCampaign, unfortunately.
If you use, or ever used, ClickFunnels before, you’ll be familiar with GoHighLevel’s funnel builder.
To start, you go to Funnels & Websites > Funnels on GoHighLevel, and you can manage your funnels from there.
Once inside a funnel, you can see the overview of the funnel “steps,” just like in ClickFunnels. You can create split tests within here too.
You can get into GoHighLevel’s page builder and edit the funnel step by clicking on Edit Page.
The HighLevel page editor, like ClickFunnels, uses Sections, Rows, and Elements.
It’s almost like GoHighLevel created a replica of the ClickFunnels funnel and page-building features within their software.
Sidenote: I’ve personally always liked the simplicity of ClickFunnels, and I’m glad GoHighLevel implemented this simplicity.
In fact, if you are a ClickFunnels user and you’re thinking of switching to GoHighLevel, you can import your pages over quite easily with a click of a button.
Another benefit of GoHighLevel’s page editor is that you can add pop-ups to your pages quite easily (within the same editor).
ActiveCampaign currently does not have a “funnel builder” equivalent to GoHighLevel. However, they have a landing page builder at their “Plus” plan, starting at $70/month (we’ll go over price comparisons soon).
ActiveCampaign’s landing page editor is pretty standard and slick. It’s everything you’d expect from a landing page software without the bells and whistles of popups and checkout capabilities.
For instance, you won’t be able to add a checkout cart, a bump offer, or an upsell page without creating a tech stack. But, with HighLevel, you can.
GoHighLevel is the clear winner this round. Matching the ease of use of ClickFunnels was an intelligent move. ActiveCampaign gave its users the ability to create landing pages which is a step in the right direction but doesn’t rival HighLevel in this regard yet.
Only one of these two competing platforms lets you create full-featured websites for your business (or that of your clients) with your own domain name.
GoHighLevel offers a website builder that’s just as easy to use as its funnel-building feature.
In fact, it uses the same editor you use to build funnel pages for website building.
A few new elements in the website builder editor make things easier to build responsive websites.
An example of a website element is the Navigation Menu element which I liked a lot.
It lets you easily create a desktop menu for GoHighLevel websites that becomes a hamburger menu when you see it in the mobile editor.
And of course, just like in the funnel editor, you can make your website pages mobile responsive.
If you’re a GoHighLevel member on the Agency Unlimited Plan, the website builder could help you scale your business if you’re not already offering websites to your clients.
Now a caveat to this is it’s not the world’s best web design tool, but it’s enough to get the job done and capture new leads for your business or clients.
Unfortunately, ActiveCampaign doesn’t have a website builder per se.
Yes, it lets you build landing pages, and you could manually create a menu and insert a hyperlinked menu to other pages you made on their platform, but it’s a lot of work to glue this all together.
Plus, I don’t think it’s what ActiveCampaign envisioned when creating their landing page tool. They wanted to offer another way for their users to build their email lists (aside from form embeds) and not build company websites on their software.
This round goes to GoHighLevel. It gives you all the tools you need to build business-friendly websites. If you’re a digital agency, you can white-label GoHighLevel and have your clients log in to their websites on a platform you own. These are all features ActiveCampaign currently can’t match (and may not want to).
Courses and Membership Sites
Membership sites can be vital for your business at one time or another.
As my marketing agency, we’ve thought about investing in online course platforms, like Kajabi or Thinkific, to host some of our onboarding employee training.
And we’ve also thought it’d be cool to offer our clients customized website training videos built just for them and have it be on a membership type of website.
This is where HighLevel shines (again).
If you’ve ever heard of Kajabi, one of the better online course platforms around, you’ll notice that GoHighLevel has used them as inspiration for their membership/course features.
Just like Kajabi, GoHighLevel makes it easy to get started with your course or membership site. You can start from a predesigned template or create your course or membership site from scratch.
The image below is what a standard course/membership page would look like in HighLevel.
I give HighLevel props for once again taking inspiration from a simple to use platform like Kajabi and offering it on their platform. It’s going to save agencies a lot of money!
Unfortunately for ActiveCampaign, courses and membership sites are not native to their software.
Having a membership site or creating an online course with ActiveCampaign requires a third-party integration to membership software like Memberium or WishListMember. And for courses, they integrate nicely with the top course platforms in the market.
GoHighLevel is the clear winner here as the ability to create membership portals within a white label platform such as theirs can take your agency to the next level. If an agency actually implements training courses for clients, HighLevel has helped you create a new offer, provide a professional experience to your client(s), and made you money in the process.
Email Marketing & Automation
Okay, ActiveCampaign is going to start getting some love now that we’re about halfway through our GoHighLevel vs ActiveCampaign comparison.
When it comes to email marketing and automation capabilities, GoHighLevel tries to emulate ActiveCampaign with their native email marketing system.
Let’s start with the email drag and drop editor.
You can build any email you’d like to with their element widgets. There are email templates, but they fall short when matching the templates that ActiveCampaign provides.
As for email marketing, GoHighLevel is pretty standard. Once you capture leads for your business or that of your clients’ you can set up custom automation to nurture your leads with an automated email sequence. You can also include text messages to be part of your automation too.
GoHighLevel’s Workflow Builder is modern and modeled after ActiveCampaign and similar workflow map software.
With GoHighLevel’s workflows, you can set up basic to advanced marketing automation. An example of basic automation for agencies includes reputation management automation. You can also create marketing automation that works with your CRM, which we’ll discuss in the next section.
ActiveCampaign is one of the leading email marketing services on the internet, so the majority of the email marketing automation features here will triumph over HighLevel.
Let’s start with their email templates.
As you can see, they let you start your emails from scratch or choose from templates that’ve already proven to work in email campaigns. GoHighLevel, at this point and time, is not able to match these templates.
However, you can technically build an email design you like on their builder, so it’s not a dealbreaker.
As for marketing automation, ActiveCampaign’s workflow builder is amazing.
Our agency hasn’t used it at its full potential, but just clicking around it, I know it can do advanced automation like follow-up campaigns that turn leads into customers with both email and text messaging automation that revolves around their CRM.
Below is a snapshot of the new actions you can build with ActiveCampaign’s workflow.
ActiveCampaign’s business automation can be complicated to master. You may not even use it to its full potential, but if you ever need to take things to the next level, they have the tools, support, and resources you need to make it happen.
The clear winner here is ActiveCampaign. They’ve mastered email marketing for their customers and have helped online businesses and agencies get more leads and make more sales.
This section is specifically helpful for businesses that need customer relationship management (CRM) software. CRMs help companies capture leads, make sales, and manage relationships with leads & customers, all through a CRM dashboard and automation.
Both of these platforms include a CRM. However, ActiveCampaign requires you to be on their Plus plan to use theirs.
Not every business needs this feature, but a marketing agency might, and I know 7 figure agencies that use ActiveCampaign and some that use GoHighLevel.
Note: this specific feature comparison section will be shorter as it’s complex, and I believe it’s better to see the CRM demo videos of each tool below to see which is the right platform for you.
As you can see, both CRMs are similar in how they look and can help grow your agency if used properly. For this round, I’m calling it a tie. The decision here really boils down to if you’re a traditional online business or an agency. If you’re an agency, it’s simple, go with HighLevel as it offers more.
Integrations are essential depending on which software you pick.
GoHighLevel is an all-in-one platform, so it doesn’t come with as many native 3rd-party integrations as ActiveCampaign.
Here’s a list of what they natively integrate with:
- Google Analytics
Any other form of custom integrations will need to be handled with Zapier. The list is short for GoHighLevel’s native integration list because they’re an all-in-one solution type of platform.
ActiveCampaign gives you native integrations to the most prominent third-party software.
Here’s a list of what they natively integrate with:
- Salesforce (an industry-leading CRM)
- Google Analytics
The clear winner here is ActiveCampaign. They’re not an all-in-one software, and they understand that and make integrating your tech stack easy with native integrations.
Both software will cost you a monthly bill when it comes down to it. Let’s see which has the better deal for you.
GoHighLevel pricing plans start at $97/month, increase to $297/month, and go up.
Here’s a breakdown of the plans:
Agency Starter Account Plan ($97/month): This is a single account plan for your agency or a client. You get all the tools included in this plan.
Agency Unlimited Account ($297/month): This plan unlocks unlimited sub accounts that you can create for your clients or other businesses you may have.
White Label Mobile App+ Custom Zap Upgrade ($497/month): This is an additional cost to your Agency Unlimited account. You’ll get a mobile app for your agency, a custom-made Zap for your company, and more.
How to Get Started with GoHighLevel
Getting started with HighLevel is easy. You get to test it out with their 14-day free trial (no credit card required). If you don’t like it during or after your trial, you can cancel anytime.
ActiveCampaign’s pricing plans, with 500 contacts, start at $15/month and can go up to $187/month+.
Lite Plan ($15/month @500 Contacts): This plan comes with basic email marketing features but is not comparable to HighLevel’s starting plan.
Plus Plan ($70/month @500 Contacts): This plan includes landing pages, SMS marketing, automation mapping, a mobile CRM app, and it’s the first plan that’s most comparable to HighLevel.
Professional Plan ($187/month @500 Contacts): This plan has more advanced features than the previous one. It introduces in-app messaging.
How to Get Started with ActiveCampaign
ActiveCampaign also has a 14-day trial and doesn’t require a credit card to start. If you’re looking for a discount on their prices, I’d recommend paying annually to save money. Check out their pricing table to get the annual savings and get started creating incredible email marketing campaigns.
GoHighLevel Pros and Cons
- An all-in-one marketing solution for agencies and saves on costs
- You can build websites, landing pages, sales funnels, and even membership sites for your team and/or clients
- GHL used the pros of past marketing tools and built them on their platform
- 2-Way SMS text messaging
- CRM and Lead tracking features such as call tracking, chat widget, and integration to Facebook messenger
- Email marketing standard and advanced features for automated email marketing campaigns (includes automation maps)
- Has book appointment software that can replace Calendly
- Has contract software (allows users to sign documents within HighLevel)
- A 24/7 support team that includes chat and phone support
- Has some known bugs that the team at HighLevel is still working on
- It can be an overwhelming amount of features
- The email builder is not as great as ActiveCampaign’s
ActiveCampaign Pros and Cons
- Probably amongst the top 3 email marketing software in the world
- CRM and pipeline features are world-class
- Email automation creation is seamless
- It has a decent landing page builder (only on the Plus plan)
- 1-way SMS text messaging (only on the Plus plan)
- Great email templates
- Has 1-way text messaging
- The cost can start to add up on the Plus plan if you have more than 500 contacts
- You don’t get as much for the money you pay for
What I Like About GoHighLevel
As an agency owner, there’s much to like about GoHighLevel. It condenses a lot of tools into one platform and allows you to save money on tools such as an email autoresponder, a sales funnel builder, a website builder, call tracking, a chat widget, a CRM, and these are to name a few.
It offers a lot of bang for your buck. As our agency started to grow (25+ clients coupled with inbound and outbound calls), we knew we needed a CRM.
Our first thought was ActiveCampaign, but that quickly changed when I learned about HighLevel and why agencies use it.
HighLevel can truly save you between $500-$1200/month in software expenses and can do way more than ActiveCampaign can do.
What sealed the deal for me was hearing the past ActiveCampaign users below.
Former ActiveCampaign User That Made the Switch to GoHighLevel
If you’re a current ActiveCampaign user and you’re thinking about HighLevel, definitely try it out. It can lead to a cutdown on expenses as it has all the features AC has, plus more. Sign up for their 14-day free trial to check out their full suite marketing platform.
What I Like About ActiveCampaign
Before our CRM hunt, we were paying members of ActiveCampaign’s Lite plan and didn’t use it as much as we should’ve.
But, with my past email marketing experience, I could tell it was a world-class email marketing platform.
Their CRM features look stellar, but as an agency, we had to go with GoHighLevel.
One last thing I’ll praise ActiveCampaign on is their support team. Their chat and email support were good, but you can’t compete with HighLevel’s support which offers 24/7 live chat and phone support.
How to Choose Between GoHighLevel vs ActiveCampaign
Thankfully, this GoHighLevel vs ActiveCampaign comparison is one of the easier comparisons I’ve written on this site. The choice is straightforward if you run an agency.
Let me put it this way, if you need software that builds sales funnels, landing pages, has a CRM, lead tracking (for text messages, lead capture forms, calls, and live chat widget conversations) at a minimum, AND you’re an agency, you should go with HighLevel.
The platform was made for business owners like you (and I) for B2B sales and marketing.
If you don’t run an agency, but your business involves getting more leads to scale your business, then go with ActiveCampaign. It gives you all the tools you need, including great integrations to pair them with your favorite tools.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Is Better For Landing Pages & Sales Funnels?
HighLevel won this round in our GoHighLevel vs ActiveCampaign feature comparison. It can build traditional landing pages to capture new leads, but it can also create product funnels, physical book launch funnels, membership funnels, and the like.
Which Is Better For Email Marketing & Automation?
As a standalone software, I’d have to say ActiveCampaign is better for email marketing campaigns and contact management. It’s been around longer than HighLevel and is an industry-leading email marketing software. Read more about why we think this in our ActiveCampaign review.
HighLevel can compete, but they can’t compete directly as all of ActiveCampaign’s product efforts go to improving their email marketing and automation features, while HighLevel’s focus is subdivided into improving their many features.
Which Is Best for CRM Usage?
I’d have to give ActiveCampaign a slight edge here; however, HighLevel offers similar CRM functionality on their platform plus a lot more tools for agencies. It’s hard to beat HighLevel if you’re an agency.
What Alternatives Are There?
On the other hand, ActiveCampaign competitors similar in caliber are Keap, Mailchimp, and GetResponse.