Both Gist and ActiveCampaign offer an email marketing tool.
ActiveCampaign is known for having the ability to create a very smart, intuitive funnel for your list of subscribers.
To be honest, they do email remarkably well. Their tools allow you to:
Create well-designed emails with a drag-and-drop builder, as well as providing templates to use
Comprehensive A/B testing tools
The ability to set automations directly with the email, even changing the content of an email based on certain triggers.
Where Gist gains some ground in this category is our all-in-one pricing.
Here’s what I mean.
Our Growth plan is based on contacts. For up to 1000 contacts the cost is $24.99/mo. At this level, you get all of our marketing automation tools for a single price.
The price for just basic email marketing at 2500 contacts on ActiveCampaign is $39/mo. To get their other tools (still 2500 contacts) starts at $99/mo and to open everything at that level is $229.
Strictly looking at the email capabilities — ActiveCampaign wins. The price is a factor, but this tool is better.
Both Gist and ActiveCampaign have multiple marketing automation tools.
Gist’s new workflow builder, in addition to our trigger/action automation tool works in conjunction with our other tools to allow for an endless number of prompts and reactions across your sites and apps.
That said, ActiveCampaign’s automation platform is very robust.
The intricacies and nuanced automations are truly impressive. It takes either a:
Decent chunk of time to learn the capabilities (and then another time investment to set it all up)
Or, the help of a marketer familiar with the tool and your products/services.
To be completely honest, after reviewing virtually every top tool in the automation market, ActiveCampaign is the most comprehensive in the category.
ActiveCampaign is a great automation tool for those who really want to get intricate with their email and marketing processes.
Gist has a comprehensive event tracking tool that allows you to create custom events based on any sort of trackable movement on your site or in your application.
The events can then be used to trigger, continue or stop automations.
ActiveCampaign also has comprehensive event tracking capabilities.
In this category, like marketing automation, ActiveCampaign gains the advantage. There are a couple reasons as to why.
A few more options of events to track, including video watch time
The native integration with their CRM to update lead data
Gist does win on pricing. While ActiveCampaign gives you event tracking with all of their plans, you really can fully utilize it until you’re paying over $100/mo.
ActiveCampaign is a smidge more robust, but with the products being so similar it comes down to the value of Gist.
Chat is the fastest growing and most popular channel for websites to grow. It’s a communication method loved by visitors, reps and marketers.
Gist’s live chat can be installed quickly allowing you the ability to instantly message site visitors, current customer and app users.
A few ways you can use live chat with Gist include:
Answer questions with site visitors and point them in the right direction
Qualify leads and see if they’re a fit for your products/services
Offer support for current customers, especially when paired with our native ticketing system
ActiveCampaign doesn’t offer a live chat solution.
Without a comparable live chat tool, Gist is the clear winner of this category in our review.
Having a strong marketing and sales team is great, but not the entire equation. A quality customer support process completes the picture. Today’s buyers want to know they can reach you quickly with their questions, concerns and problems before the sale — and after.
Gist provides a Help Desk ticketing system that’s directly incorporated with our Live Chat.
You don’t have team members on the phone for several minutes with each ticket.
Text requires brevity on the part of your customers, which creates speed in handling issues.
Our help desk allows you to organize and add team members to keep the process clean.
Gist’s help desk includes ticketing and is primarily handled with our live chat tool.
Both of these work in conjunction to provide necessary tools for offering great customer support.
ActiveCampaign does not have a help desk at the time of writing this comparison.
Without a comparable support tool, Gist is the clear winner of this category in our review.
Another piece of the support puzzle are knowledge bases. Many companies choose to include a searchable database full of articles relating to:
Common issues for your customers (and even your team)
Gist has a knowledge base tool that allows for you to quickly:
Create new articles with different media sources (text, images, videos)
Draft and publish articles that are immediately searchable
Serve customers who submit common questions to your support team
Using knowledge base articles can, not only, reduce the support burden but act as a sales and marketing tool. As visitors research your offers, they may be interested in how a dashboard looks and feels. KBs are a great way to show the experience of your tools that those who aren’t ready for a demo would enjoy.
ActiveCampaign does not offer a knowledge base solution at this time.
Without a comparable knowledge base tool, Gist is the clear winner of this category in our review.
So much of the marketing process is now automated. And as we move forward, the sales process is becoming increasingly…robotic.
Exactly why chat bots are going to be a growing category in the entire business process (marketing, sales and even support).
Your team is available while they’re on the clock. Bots can be anywhere on your site 24/7 acting as:
Responsive content (answering the most common questions)
Qualifiers asking questions and scoring leads
An appointment setter for consults, sales calls or demos
Gist offers a linear bot creation tool that does not require coding.
Fully-functional bots are ready in about 15 minutes.
Bots can even be used to show common issues (and even link to knowledge base articles) or to point traffic in the right direction.
ActiveCampaign doesn’t offer bots.
Without a comparable bot tool, Gist is the clear winner of this category in our review.
A large part of the sales process, in many organizations, involves a real conversation. Book those conversations has been a hassle — until the meeting scheduler tool was created.
Suddenly these tools allow so much.
Hook up your calendar
Choose your availability
Send a link to prospects and allow them to choose the best time for them
Gist’s meeting scheduler tool is good for this and other functions, too.
Send the meeting link in your emails to book prospects right then and there
Use bots to book meetings for you
Send them to escalated support issues that need more interaction
Schedule a demo for your software
Any meetings you need to set, a scheduler tool makes it easier.
ActiveCampaign does not have a meeting scheduler solution.
Without a comparable meetings tool, Gist is the clear winner of this category in our review.
Both ActiveCampaign and Gist offer a tool to create and display forms on a user’s website.
ActiveCampaign offers 4 types; inline, floating box, pop up and floating bar.
Gist offers 6 native form types:
Really both of the form products are lightweight, giving the ability to create basic data collection points on your website.
I could give it to Gist for having 2 more types, but they are too similar to give one or the other a solid win.
Site and mobile notifications are awesome.
So awesome that Gist is actively working to provide notifications on our own platform. But they’re not ready just yet.
ActiveCampaign does offer site notifications that act as a way to convey a quick message. Mostly they look like chats that don’t have the ability for customers to talk back.
Without a comparable notification tool, ActiveCampaign is the clear winner of this category in our review.
CRMs are integral to the sales process.
If you need many of the others tools on this list, it’s likely you already have a CRM in use at your organization.
This feature is another tool actively being created at Gist. And again, it’s another that is not ready yet.
ActiveCampaign does offer a CRM with their other marketing and sales tools.
Without a comparable CRM tool, ActiveCampaign is the clear winner of this category in our review.
ActiveCampaign’s pricing is based on two factors:
Number of contacts
Sets of features
Due to this, there are 4 plans that change in price based on the subscriber count of a customer.
Gist’s pricing is a bit less complicated. We have 4 plan options.
Our free plan rivals many paid plans from competitors. Really. Here’s what you get:
Email Marketing (up to 500 contacts)
Unlimited Pages, Chats and Visits
And up to 2 Users!
Growth (starts at $24.99/mo)
Growth gets you everything in the free plan and up to 1000 contacts. It also opens up our marketing automation and visual workflows.
In addition to all the free features, the Growth Plan includes:
Re-Send to Unopens
Support ($9/mo per user)
This plan also includes everything in the free version. In addition to those free tools, you’ll also get:
Chat bots (and snippets
Insert those KB articles into chat
Team Inboxes for Chat
The All-in-One (Based on number of contacts and number of users)
With our “All-in-One Plan”, you get everything. And the pricing is $9 per user plus the Growth Plan price, based on the number of contacts you have.
So, if you have fewer than 1000 contacts and 2 users, the price would be $24.99 + $18 = 42.99.
It’s really some of the most affordable pricing on the market. The power of 8 tools for the price of 1 (with more coming soon).
The least expensive plan with ActiveCampaign is $9/mo and includes up to 500 contacts and basic email marketing capabilities.
To compare these relatively different pricing models, I’ve used ActiveCampaign’s price for 2500 contacts.
The four plans with 2500 contacts are $39/mo for basic email marketing, $99 unlocks the CRM and other marketing functionality, $129/mo gets a few additional features (mainly for the CRM), $229/mo unlocks everything they’ve got with 2500 contacts.
One advantage with ActiveCampaign is their generous user count. Basic plans include 3 users and their most expensive plan includes unlimited users.
ActiveCampaign’s pricing is relatively clear, but Gist wins out in terms of the number of tools you get vs the price you pay.
Overall, ActiveCampaign is a powerhouse marketing and sales tools for those with the time and/or financial resources to fully implement the product.
Gist is the value, but not really less powerful — especially when you consider the entire wing of support options included in a lower price point.
Another benefit for Gist is that just about anyone in your organization can fully implement the entire marketing, sales and support platform within an afternoon (or morning, if you prefer :)).
Overall, this comparison goes to Gist for it’s affordability and range of tools for the entire business cycle.