Unveiling the Strategies Behind Leading CRM and Email Automation Platforms


Email is still the KING to convert your audience, turn interested visitors into loyal customers, and boost your sales figures. The reality is that this has created an extremely competitive market and there are so many tools out there that compete for your attention. So we decided to wear our competitive intelligence analyst hat on and spice things up a little bit to analyze the email automation competitive landscape and the best strategies that the top email automation tools are using.

Ready to learn which strategies to steal? Lots of gems are waiting for you 😉

Who did we analyze?

We analyzed:

ActiveCampaign, HubSpot, Mailchimp, ConvertKit, Beehiiv, and GetResponse. Our aim was to understand what sets each platform apart, focusing purely on its presence and strategy in the email automation landscape.

What did we analyze?

Our thorough competitor research delved into four pivotal channels: advertisements, social media presence, and reviews.

  1. We drew competitive insights into their branding, messaging, and target demographics by examining their advertising campaigns across different media.
  2. Their social media activity was scrutinized to understand engagement metrics, content strategies, and best posts.
  3. Public reviews shed light on their market reputation and what people think about them.

We first analyzed their ads and identified their messaging and target audience

We started our research by analyzing the ads of the competitors. The goal was simple. How does each CRM advertise and try to get the user to engage with their ad? Also, which were their best ad creatives? Let’s find out.

What Channels do they advertise in?

The most important channel for all CRM systems is Google Ads. Mailchimp has the largest ad budget, followed by Hubspot and ActiveCampaign. Market leaders have similar ad budget distributions. Most of the budget is spent on Google, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Nobody is advertising heavily on Facebook, which could be a good opportunity for any brand to capture demand on Facebook, especially for those who focus on creators and smaller businesses.

Positioning & Target Audience

PlatformPositioningTarget MarketUnique Selling Points
ActiveCampaignFocuses on marketing automation, email marketing, and CRM capabilities, emphasizing personalization and automation.Broad, including online courses, healthcare, and eCommerce.Integration with over 940+ apps, pre-built automation templates, and segmentation.
MailChimpHighlights easy-to-use email builder tools and AI-powered segmentation for personalized marketing.Broad, from small businesses to larger entities.Free trial, behavior-based email sending, AI for benchmarking, and social media tools integration.
HubSpotOffers a free CRM platform that integrates with email marketing services to boost engagement and lead conversion.Ranges from small businesses to larger organizations looking for an all-in-one solution.Free CRM, email marketing automation, and insights into the latest marketing trends.
KeapFocuses on simplifying CRM and email marketing automation to save time and convert more leads.Small businesses seeking powerful but easy-to-use CRM software.Easy automations that save time and automate daily tasks.
ConvertKitTargets creators and YouTubers, offering tailored email marketing and automation solutions.Creators and YouTubers.Case studies highlighting successful use cases, such as significant course sales by using email segmentation and automation.
Zoho CampaignsOffers feature-rich email marketing tools designed for easy campaign creation, sending, and tracking.General, with a focus on easy creation, sending, and tracking of email campaigns.Drag-and-drop editor, integration with Zoho’s in-house platforms, and behavior-targeted emails.
Constant ContactEmphasizes the simplicity and effectiveness of their email marketing tools for finding new customers and keeping them engaged.Businesses looking to improve their email marketing efforts without extensive effort.Segmented and automated emails, targeted towards improving marketing efforts.

Top Ad Creatives

ActiveCampaign’s creative is an absolute stunner. Short copy that works best on LinkedIn. Social proof and customer testimonials. A great way to convince new and retargeting users to use ActiveCampaign. It is no surprise that it has many interactions compared to its competitors.

We Analyzed their Social Media Presence

We then compared their social media presence. According to Forbes81% of consumers’ buying decisions are influenced by their friends’ posts on social media, and 78% of consumers state their purchases are influenced by posts on the social media pages of brands so analyzing this was just mandatory. So, who is winning with their social media strategy?

The table, which is a screenshot from the Competitors App Competitor Benchmark Dashboard, details the social media activity of various email automation platforms over the last month. It breaks down the number of posts they’ve made, along with the engagement those posts received within the same timeframe. The rightmost part of the table displays the total number of followers each platform has accumulated. Additionally, the figures highlighted in green and red indicate the change in posts, engagement, and followers compared to the same period last year, with green showing growth and red showing a decrease.

So what do we learn?

ActiveCampaign is killing it on Social

An evident insight is that every software has been doubling down on Social media since last year. Another great insight is how much ActiveCampaign kills it on their social media game. Their social media followers growth is through the roof, with 42k more followers than last year.

Beehiiv has the best engagement and is upcoming

Also, the most up-and-coming social media page is BeeHiiv. Their engagement rate is the highest among anyone else in the market – especially killing it on Instagram.

engagement ratefacebookinstagramlinkedin

Where do they post the most?

Top Social Media Posts over the last month and What we learn from them

Following Trends works

When Facebook and Instagram were down last week, Hubspot didn’t miss the chance. They posted this and they managed to get the most engagement among the competitors.

The second best post is the one for the women’s day. Again following trends works.

Review Insights

We analyzed reviews from top review websites using the data provided by Competitors App and summarized them using our own GPT. Most specifically, we compared 978+ reviews from Capterra, Trustpilot, SoftwareAdvice, Gartner, and Trustradious.

Here is what we found about how they compete:

Competitors Analysis (Reviews) by Competitors.App

Feature CategoriesActiveCampaignConvertKitMailchimpBeehiivHubSpotGetResponseKeap
Top Things People like about them– Automation
– Advanced Integration
– Support
Ease of use– Automation
– User-friendliness
-A/B testing
– Intuitive DesignComprehensive tools
– Reporting
– Landing pages
– Webinar Features
– Sales pipeline management
-Customization Options
Ease of UseUser-friendly interfaceSimplistic design; easy to navigateVery user-friendly, with a wide range of features accessible to beginners
Highly intuitive and easy to use, with positive feedback on design

Intuitive UI; steep learning curve for advanced featuresEasy setup and operationUser-friendly but with a learning curve
AutomationAdvanced options for email campaigns and workflowsFocused on email sequences Strong automation capabilities for email marketing campaigns
Not highly mentioned Extensive automation across marketing, sales, and serviceEffective for email marketing and autorespondersStrong sales and marketing automation
Customer SupportHighly responsiveSome features can be complex for new usersNot great supportExceptional customer service noted as a key strength

Comprehensive support with resources and trainingResponsive and useful supportGood, with personal coaching available
IntegrationExtensive with third-party appsGood with major platforms, lacks some niche integrationsWide range of integrations with other platforms and services
Easy integration and lots of platformsBroad range covering most needsIntegrates well with e-commerce and other toolsIntegrates with many tools, especially for small businesses
Unique FeaturesCRM capabilities integrated with marketing toolsFocus on creators and simplicityComprehensive suite of email reporting
Focus on user experience and email design quality
All-in-one platform with CRM, marketing, sales, and serviceCombination of email marketing with webinars and landing pagesSales pipeline and advanced customization
Things that people don’t likeSome features can be complex to new usersLacks some advanced automation and reporting featuresHigh costs and some deliverability issues mentionedSmaller scale compared to other software
Can be expensive for small businessesSome users desire more analytics featuresPricing can be unclear; needs improvement in reporting features

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