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The right email marketing tool supports your most valuable business asset: the email list. You may spend most of your time focused on getting traffic to your website and blog, but as the saying goes, “the money is in the email list.”
Having a strong email marketing strategy helps businesses reach and connect with their target audience in a personalized way. Implementing emails into your marketing strategy can help you increase sales at an affordable cost.
But what if you don’t know much about email marketing? How can you create your email campaign from scratch? Don’t worry – we’re here to help you out! The most straightforward way to get started with email marketing is by using a tool that will guide you through the entire process. We’ve gone through the most popular email marketing tools and narrowed down the list to two: ConvertKit vs AWeber.
AWeber is a well-established industry player with almost two decades of experience under its belt. ConvertKit entered the industry much more recently, but it’s managed to catch up to AWeber and provide decent competition.
In this post, we’re digging into ConvertKit vs AWeber, pointing out all the advantages and disadvantages of each tool, and helping you choose the right email marketing tool that will boost your sales.
What is ConvertKit?
ConvertKit is a relatively new tool in the email marketing software industry. They describe themselves as a perfect tool for professional bloggers, as their goal is “to make email easier and more robust for professional bloggers like you.”
No, blogging isn’t dead. It’s more active than ever, and you can use it to generate income!
Besides bloggers, ConvertKit also targets affiliate marketers, YouTubers, course creators, and podcasters.
One great advantage of ConvertKit is that it offers all the advanced features in all of the paid plans. The only excluded feature from lower tiers is free platform migration. If you purchase a plan for more than 5,000 contacts, they’ll migrate your lists into their system.
Who is ConvertKit for?
Not everyone will find ConvertKit suitable for their email campaigns.
You must get ConvertKit if:
- You have less than 1,000 contacts. ConvertKit offers a generous freemium plan with advanced features for users with less than 1,000 contacts.
- You want to run ultra-targeted campaigns. ConvertKit has a very flexible tagging and segmentation system that allows you to run very specific and ultra-focused campaigns.
- You’re interested in easy campaign management. ConvertKit features a built-in landing page editor that allows users to manage end-to-end campaigns within one tool.
ConvertKit is not suitable for users who:
- Want to send visual emails. ConvertKit offers its users only three email templates, and all of them are text-based. There is no option to create or upload your own email templates.
ConvertKit Monthly Plans & Prices
ConvertKit’s pricing works quite simply – no matter which paid plan you sign up for, you get all the advanced features. Not all email marketing tools offer this, including MailChimp, which is one of the most popular marketing tools, in addition to these two.
The only excluded feature from lower tiers is the free platform migration. When you purchase a plan for more than 5,000 contacts, ConvertKit will migrate your lists into their system, so you don’t have to worry about it.
When choosing a ConvertKit plan, the only thing you’ll have to pay attention to is the number of your subscribers. Prices start at $29 a month for a maximum of 1,000 contacts, $49 per month for up to 3,000 subscribers, or $79 monthly for a list of 5,000 contacts.
ConvertKit doesn’t offer a free plan to all users like MailChimp. However, they have a fairly generous freemium plan for less than 1,000 subscribers. ConvertKit offers pricer plans as well – for example, if you have 50,000 contacts, you can sign up for a plan that costs $379 a month.
Here is some additional info regarding ConvertKit pricing:
- The free plan includes 30 premium landing page templates and allows you to create as many landing pages as you like.
- There’s a 30-day refund period, no questions asked.
- ConvertKit comes with 70+ integrations.
- If you invite friends to join ConvertKit, you both can grow your list by 100 more subscribers for free.
- ConvertKit allows you to choose between purchasing a monthly plan or a yearly plan (pay in advance for one year of use). The yearly plan comes with a 16% discount. But if you choose to cancel the account, you won’t get a refund.
- Unlike MailChimp that charges you extra if you go over the limit of your subscription plan, CovertKit automatically bumps you to a higher level.
- There are no hidden fees! You won’t have to pay extra for storage or any other random service.
Also, ConvertKit offers a free 14-day trial to all its new users!
What is AWeber?
AWeber is one of the longest-standing tools in the email marketing industry. This tool has been in the game for more than 20 years and they boast over 100,000 satisfied customers. As a matter of fact, AWeber claims to have invented the autoresponder (the automatic email that’s delivered as a welcome to new subscribers on your list).
ConvertKit claims they are the best choice for bloggers. But what about AWeber? On their website, AWeber points out that their mission is to deliver a powerfully-simple email marketing tool for small businesses that does 90% of the work for you.
Why 90%? Well, they want to give their users an opportunity to customize, personalize, and have fun with their email campaigns!
Who is AWeber for?
Not everyone will find AWeber suitable for their email campaigns.
You must get AWeber if:
- You are just starting out with email marketing. AWeber is an excellent choice for those who are not experienced in email marketing. If you want a fully-featured, simple, low-cost tool to get started with emailing your subscribers, then this is the tool for you.
- You rely on simple autoresponder-style emails. If you’re looking for an affordable email marketing tool that will help you send out simple autoresponder-style emails, and you don’t need any extra bells and whistles, then AWeber is the best choice for you.
AWeber is not suitable for users who:
- Want an advanced email marketing tool. AWeber is a marketing tool that is easy to use and doesn’t have too many advanced features. If you’ve been in the email marketing industry for some time, then you may want to get a more professional tool such as ActiveCampaign.
AWeber Monthly Plans & Prices
AWeber’s pricing is ideal for small businesses, affiliate marketers, beginner bloggers, or anyone who is looking to explore the world of email marketing. What you will love about AWeber is that you can use it for free if you have less than 500 subscribers.
This is a great way to experiment with the tool if you’re just starting out. If you need a more advanced plan, then sign up for AWeber’s free 30-day trial.
As you’ve probably noticed already, AWeber’s plans are based on the number of your subscribers. AWeber’s entry-level Pro plan allows you to contact 500 subscribers for $19 per month. Their next plan gives you up to 2,500 subscribers and costs $29. AWeber’s most expensive plan costs $149 per month and gives you 25,000 subscribers. You can contact them directly and request a quote if you have more subscribers than that.
You can pay for each plan on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis. Choosing the annual plan gets you a 14.9% discount. Another great pro of this tool is that, no matter which plan you choose, you get access to all features.
AWeber’s pricing is quite transparent and easy to understand. However, the way they count your subscribers is a bit troubling, because they count your unsubscribers as well. So, people who aren’t receiving your emails will be counted towards your overall number of subscribers and affect your plan. This is especially troublesome for blogs that have lots of traffic and their email lists and unsubscribers keep growing each day.
Also, if a person subscribes to more than one list, they will be counted in twice (or more). Imagine if you offer your visitors a webinar every month. One visitor decides to sign up for 12 webinars. You will pay for 12 people instead of one, even though it is the same person.
Having to pay twice (or more) for the same person may result in overpaying quite a bit with Aweber, especially if you have a big list. But if you don’t have multiple lists or a big email list overall, this drawback shouldn’t worry you.
ConvertKit vs AWeber: What Are the Differences?
Both ConvertKit and AWeber are designed to help you build and manage an email list and run a successful email marketing campaign. Before we get to the main features of each tool and the comparison, let’s take a look at the most significant differences between these two tools.
The main differences between ConvertKit and Aweber are:
- ConvertKit is primarily subscriber-centric, whereas AWeber is more list-centric.
- ConvertKit is specifically tailored to bloggers, whereas AWeber targets a wider audience in digital commerce.
- ConvertKit is slightly easier to use, whereas AWeber has a more complicated user interface.
- Aweber is generally less expensive, starting at $19/month, whereas ConvertKit starts at $29/month. However, keep in mind that AWeber will count in the same subscriber twice (or more), if they sign up for two (or more) lists.
ConvertKit vs AWeber: Main Features
One feature that makes ConvertKit stand out from AWeber is the marketing automation. The automation manager is easy to use tool that is ConvertKit’s strongest buying point. It presents its automation rules in lists, which can get pretty messy, but its visual automation builder will step in to save the day.
The automation builder streamlines the whole process with its marketing automation default view that displays workflows in the context of your desired business outcomes. Everything from adding sign-up forms and emails happens inline, on your workflow. Thanks to this feature, email automation becomes incredibly fast and simple.
With AWeber, you can automate email marketing in two different ways: customer subscription or the application of tags. AWeber does not allow the running of various automation or branching. This platform lacks versatility in the area of automation as compared to ConvertKit, limiting the type of email funnels you can create for your marketing.
Both tools come with limited A/B testing capabilities. You can test different subject lines with one-off emails, but there is no split-testing capability. Also, you won’t be able to check out delivery times, email content, or automation. This can make it difficult to run massive campaigns, especially if your campaign requires split-testing data for optimization.
Tag-Based Segmentation vs. List-Based Segmentation
ConvertKit’s second strong point is its segmentation process. This tool uses a tag-based system that manages subscribers more efficiently and runs automation better too.
With ConvertKit, you can apply tags to your subscribers based on their personal information. And if you know anything about marketing, then you should be aware of the power of personalization and how it can help you better target your audience and build brand loyalty.
How does tag-based segmentation work? Let’s say you send out an email that contains a few links to all your subscribers. ConvertKit gives you the ability to target those readers who click specific links for personalized marketing (optimizing click-through rates). This feature also allows you to merge tags and create amazing dynamic emails. The tags feature will allow you to send an email that has information as per the tags applied to a specific subscriber.
ConvertKit also released a WordPress plugin that allows you to track visitors on your blog or website when applying tags. This plugin allows for a very effective use of behavior-based tags in response to how users interact with a website.
Things work a bit differently with AWeber. This tool makes it very easy to create a content upgrade to grow your email list. Content upgrades are something like a cheat sheet that is related to one of your successful blog posts. Once your customers access that content, they are asked to provide their email addresses. AWeber’s list-based system is a bit archaic, but it does a good job in the creation of multiple forms for each list.
As part of its functions, AWeber makes it easy to send an email to an entire subscriber list or to a specific subscriber group. You can also use AWeber to create tags based on link clicks. You can tag your customers based on if they have clicked a specific link for personalized marketing.
It is important to point out once again that every subscriber on your list contributes to your subscriber quote, even if it is the same person. Also, people who unsubscribed from your emails also count in. Unless you’re keen on constantly updating your subscriber list, AWeber might cost you more than necessary.
When it comes to templates, both ConvertKit and AWeber could use some updates.
ConvertKit also allows you to use slide in forms, modal, or inline embeddable forms to assist you to collect emails. The downside of the forms is the design – they are a bit unimpressive, and you can only change their color.
If you want a more creative design, you will need to use custom CSS. The same goes for ConvertKit’s landing page builder and email templates. So, if you care about your email templates and you want to make yours fancy, then ConvertKit’s default templates will disappoint you a bit. But the good news is that you can design and code your own. However, for many users, this is a hassle since they lack prior knowledge of CSS and HTML.
The similar can be said for AWeber. This tool comes with archaic email templates that don’t do much for their image (or yours!). The only difference is that it has more email and form creation templates than ConvertKit. To be more precise, you get to choose from 700 outdated templates.
Once you take a look at them, you may be tempted to create your own templates or use a third-party tool to get more creative designs.
In terms of integrations, AWeber takes the lead. This tool integrates with more than 150 third-party apps, whereas ConvertKit is compatible with less than 100 third-party programs. Both tools integrate with the most popular apps, so for most users, the integrations available are sufficient.
If you are interested in integrating some more obscure programs, then you will be a little disappointed with ConvertKit.
AWeber has been around for quite a while, so they’ve had enough time to ensure excellent support for their users. Each user can contact customer support via email, chat, or 24/7 live phone support. They also have a strong deliverability infrastructure – and with almost 2 decades of experience, it’s safe to say that they know what they’re talking about when it comes to delivering emails to your subscribers’ inboxes.
ConvertKit doesn’t fall short in this category. It has a very robust team and excellent knowledge base. Each user user gets a custom welcome video made just them for them, signaling a commitment to support.
They respond admirably to customer queries and have live chat support as well. ConvertKit also promotes community-based support. So, if any issues come up, you can rest assured that ConvertKit will resolve them.
ConvertKit: The Good vs The Bad
ConvertKit: The Good
- ConvertKit provides unlimited offers for a campaign, allowing you to provide as many freebies or downloads as you wish.
- You can migrate everything from your previous tool for free with ConvertKit.
- ConvertKit allows headline A/B testing to help improve open rates and impact your bottom line positively.
- The tool works well for social media campaigns.
- A very flexible and convenient management of user subscription.
- Excellent and responsive support team.
- Optional double opt-in sign up forms.
ConvertKit: The Bad
- Its default templates and design options are not impressive.
- There are no in-depth analytics that can be used to boost email marketing campaign knowledge.
AWeber: The Good vs The Bad
AWeber Email Service Provider: The Good
- Excellent integration with a host of other related programs.
- Great customer support.
- Easy to use email autoresponder creation user interface.
- 30-day free trial.
- AWeber supports tagging by clicks.
AWeber: The Bad
- AWeber charges for duplicate and unsubscribed email addresses
- Archaic email and landing page template designs.
- Limited social media integrations.
- Does not allow email split testing.
ConvertKit vs AWeber Wrap-up
Congratulations! You’ve reached the end of our ConvertKit vs AWeber review. Each of these email marketing tools have their strengths, as well as some drawbacks. However, both ConvertKit and AWeber can be the right fit for different use-cases, with their approaches to pricing and different features.
AWeber has been in the market for about twenty years and boasts more than 100,000 satisfied users. It has a host of mobile apps to assist with email marketing, and it also has a 30-day trial for anyone looking to dip their toes in first, whereas ConvertKit’s free trial lasts for just 14 days.
The different price tags may be the deal breaker for many users. AWeber’s entry-level plans are excellent for beginner bloggers or affiliate marketers experimenting with email marketing. The plans begin with at $19 per month for 500 subscribers. ConvertKit pricing structure starts with a higher $29 per month for 1,000 subscribers. Both tools offer a freemium version to their users as well. For AWeber, it is for those who have less than 500 subscribers. On the other hand, ConvertKit’s freemium plan is for all those who have less than 1,000 subscribers.
AWeber comes with some great features, but the tool just didn’t catch up with the latest trends in email marketing. Their list-centric focus, as opposed to ConvertKit’s subscriber-centric focus, leaves very little room for personalized or customized email marketing.
ConvertKit has one significant advantage to AWeber: it organizes your subscriber lists more efficiently than AWeber does. AWeber focuses on separate lists, while ConvertKit relies on tag lists (a more automated marketing tool and trigger). When using ConvertKit, all you need to do is tag your subscribers to a certain list.
This eliminates the need to create a brand new list for every product or webinar you want to invite them to. This way of “organizing” your subscribers also eliminates the issue with overcharging. Thanks to the tag method, ConvertKit will not charge you for duplicate subscribers.
With AWeber, it can become challenging to track down your customers’ interaction with your brand at a user level, because the tool offers a list based segmentation only. You could end up spamming your customer to death with repetitive or unfocused emails if their address appears on multiple lists.
Last but not least, it’s important to mention integrations. AWeber integrates with more than 150 programs, while ConvertKit is compatible with less than 100 third-party apps and programs. But both tools integrate with the leading industry players like WordPress, Shopify stores, and Facebook.
All in all, the final decision depends on you and your specific needs. If you’re just starting out and you’re looking for a basic tool, then AWeber is the way to go. Also, if you have a limited budget, AWeber’s entry-level plans are more affordable. But keep in mind that ConvertKit offers a freemium plan if you have less than 1,000 subscribers, which is a great offer for beginners!
Ultimately, if you’re looking for a more advanced tool with powerful automation features, then your decision is a no-brainer: ConvertKit is the right choice for you. Just in case you don’t want to make a mistake, pay for something, and end up not liking it, you can try ConvertKit out for free!
And if you’re interested in other email marketing tools, be sure to read our MailChimp vs ConvertKit review!