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SendGrid vs. ActiveCampaign: Which Email Marketing Tool is Right For You?

SendGrid and ActiveCampaign are two of the top email marketing tools on the market, but which one is right for you? We’ll compare their features and pricing to help you decide.

If your company is looking for an email marketing tool, then you have likely heard of SendGrid and ActiveCampaign. 

As two of the most popular and effective email marketing software solutions on the market, SendGrid and ActiveCampaign often compete head-to-head to win the business of companies like yours.

While both tools offer top-of-field feature sets that can improve your marketing emails dramatically, identifying which is right for you can take time and effort.    

We are here to help. In this article, we will examine SendGrid and ActiveCampaign, compare their features and pricing, and detail the other considerations that can help you make the right choice for your business.

What is Sendgrid?

SendGrid is an email marketing tool with a keen focus on email deliverability. 

For more than 10 years, SendGrid has been setting the standard for email marketing campaign success with open and click rates that are second to none. 

In 2018, Twilio acquired SendGrid to create Twilio SendGrid, and the partnership has resulted in new features that support text messaging as well as voice and video calling.

What is ActiveCampaign?

ActiveCampaign is a cloud-based software toolset with a focus on email marketing and marketing automation solutions.

ActiveCampaign offers a broad set of features including lead scoring, web analytics, live chat messaging, and a native CRM platform. 

With a broad range of integration options available, ActiveCampaign takes a one-stop-shop approach with its software, offering a little bit of everything a business needs to market its product online.

SendGrid vs. ActiveCampaign: Feature Comparison

SendGrid and ActiveCampaign both offer end-to-end email marketing solutions. Where they differ are focus and specialization. 

While ActiveCampaign offers a more comprehensive toolset, including a native CRM, SendGrid specializes in tools that improve email deliverability, analysis, and legal compliance. 

Let’s take a look at their key features and see how they stack up in a head-to-head comparison.

Social media engagement image
The components of marketing automation software


Automation tools can help you improve your email cadences through timely and targeted messaging.    

  • SendGrid- SendGrid’s email automations can be triggered whenever a contact is added to a list or a segment. This allows you to create nurture cadences that support leads throughout your sales funnel.
  • ActiveCamapign- With ActiveCampaign you get a full suite of automation features that few vendors can match. 

Plus, you can combine triggers, actions, and conditions to create workflows that not only automate email sending but lead scoring and segmentation as well.

This allows you to customize your email cadences to support very specific business needs and customer preferences.

Winner — ActiveCampaign wins this round. ActiveCampaign’s automation features are more robust and comprehensive, though they do have a steeper learning curve.


Email marketing success is achieved through constant refinement. Analytics and reporting tools are essential for identifying what is working and what isn’t so that you can make strategic pivots based on data and insight. 

  • SendGrid- With SendGrid, you can track open, click, and unsubscribe rates by campaign, region, or custom category. 

What’s more, SendGrid tracks your IP reputation score, providing insights that can help you increase deliverability and improve your sender reputation.

  • ActiveCampaign- ActiveCampaign lets you track all the standard email performance metrics including open rates, click rates, and unsubscribe rates. 

At higher tiers, you can track your e-commerce performance and social media results.

The CRM features ActiveCampaign provides also allow you to track the performance of your leads and deals more in-depth.

Winner — SendGrid takes it. When it comes to email campaign reporting, SendGrid is tough to beat. ActiveCampaign does offer more reporting options, but many of these are outside the scope of email marketing.


No matter how good a software tool is, it can’t do everything on its own. Integration is an essential component of any tool in your tech stack.

  • SendGrid- SendGrid’s list of native integrations covers the spectrum of software tools you will need to interact with for your email marketing campaigns. 

Plus, through Zapier, you can connect SendGrid with thousands of the world’s most popular business apps.

  • ActiveCampaign- ActiveCampaign integrates with more than 800 apps and supports Zapier integrations as well. 

What’s more, ActiveCampaign is adding to this list all the time, so whatever tool you are looking to integrate with, they will likely have you covered.

Winner —ActiveCampaign wins the integration round. Few vendors can match ActiveCampaign’s vast integration library.


The true measure of email marketing success is deliverability. Email marketing is a numbers game in which every shot counts and even a fraction of a percentage can make a difference. 

  • SendGrid- One of SendGrid’s primary value propositions is their exceptionally high email deliverability rates. With results consistently above 90%, it is not uncommon for SendGrid users to achieve scores of 97% and above.

SendGrid also employs the industry’s largest team of email deliverability experts, who can provide guidance and support for increasing engagement

  • ActiveCampaign- ActiveCampaign tends to perform above the industry standard, averaging around 86-88% deliverability in any given year.

Winner — SendGrid takes this round easily. No one in the industry can match SendGrid’s deliverability rates and expertise.

SendGrid product image
ActiveCampaign email automation product image


When evaluating the cost of any software tool, you have to look beyond the price tag. ROI comes down to getting the most out of the features available, so payment structures that are scaleable and flexible are a must. 

  • SendGrid- SendGrid pricing offers two types of purchase plans, each with variable tiers. For this comparison, we will look at their Marketing Campaign Plans, as these services are the most similar to what Mailchimp offers.

SendGrid’s Marketing Campaign Plans are similar to Mailchimp’s in that they are based on the number of contacts stored and emails sent monthly. Where they differ is flexibility. 

With SendGrid, you can tailor the price more finitely, making smaller adjustments to the number of contacts needed or emails sent. This improves scalability, as adding a few more contacts to your list won’t push you into a higher tier.

  • ActiveCampaign- ActiveCampaign offers a variety of payment tiers based on your needs. Their Lite tier is all you need for email marketing purposes but does not include the CRM features.

Winner — This is a photo finish. Both software toolsets offer flexible pricing plans to fit a wide range of business needs. We’ll give SendGrid the edge for their scalability.

SendGrid vs. ActiveCampaign: Which is right for your business?

The fact of the matter is you can’t go wrong with either of these email marketing tools. Both offer top-of-field features at a competitive price. So how do you decide which is right for you?

SendGrid is right for...

With SendGrid, you get a complete email marketing service that is focused on improving the results of your email marketing campaigns.

Companies that are struggling with email deliverability and campaign success will benefit tremendously from the tools and expertise SendGrid offers. Further considerations include:

  • Data and analytics- With SendGrid, you can dive deep into the numbers when analyzing your email marketing campaigns. The insights you gain can help you avoid the spam folder, decrease unsubscribe rates, and improve your IP reputation.

  • Deliverability experts- SendGrid’s team of deliverability experts can teach you how to optimize any email marketing campaign. The lessons you learn can be carried forward, providing value beyond their toolset.

ActiveCampaign is right for...

ActiveCampaign has a steep learning curve initially, but offers a lot for businesses who see email campaigns as a sales tool.

  • Advanced feature set- Few vendors can match the complete feature list that ActiveCampaign provides. The native CRM makes the transition between your marketing efforts and sales activities easier, though as a stand alone CRM, it is somewhat lacking.   

  • Integration library- ActiveCampaign has one of the largest integration libraries in the industry.

For additional resources that can help you find an email marketing tool that is right for you, check out:

Whether it’s SendGrid or ActiveCampaign, FreeAgent has you covered

FreeAgent CRM integrates with the industry’s top tools to offer a complete work management solution for your business. That means whichever email marketing software solution is right for you, FreeAgent has you covered. Plus, FreeAgent is:

  • Easy to use- FreeAgent’s modern user interface is quick to learn and easy to use, encouraging teams to work within the platform, driving up adoption and aligning your work processes. 
  • User-configurable- With FreeAgent, the power is in your hands. You can customize and personalize FreeAgent to fit the specific needs of your business and teams without external support. 
  • Flexible and adaptable- FreeAgent’s robust toolset and extensive integration library supports teams and businesses of all types and structures. Whatever challenge you face, FreeAgent can help.

To see FreeAgent in action, get a demo, and discover for yourself how we are leading the way to a better workday.

FreeAgent CRM Mailchimp vs SendGrid

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