If you’re attempting to choose between AWeber vs ConvertKit for your email marketing needs, you’re definitely considering two good options. When it comes to doing an impartial and honest AWeber vs ConvertKit comparison and review, the first thing to keep in mind is that these two famous email marketing platforms play in completely different fields.
AWeber is amongst the oldest email marketing software programs and was initially built on the unique (at the time) idea of sequential autoresponders or “drip content email marketing”.
ConvertKit on the other hand is one of the most recent players in the email marketing world but has concentrated its attention majorly on content marketers. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at how these two platforms compare when it comes to the email marketing metrics that matter.
Both ConvertKit and AWeber email marketing platforms have free plans. ConvertKit lets you have up to 1,000 subscribers and AWeber caps off their free plan at 500 subscribers. If you’re just considering which of the two gives you the most subscribers for free, ConvertKit would definitely win your mind over.
However, there’s one other important point you should know about when it comes to the number of subscribers and it has to do with how each of these email marketing services “computes” or count subscribers respectively.
ConvertKit only charges its users once per subscriber. This means if you have three lists and a subscriber is on all three, that subscriber-only counts once. AWeber on the other hand would count three times even though it’s the same person.
Below is a detailed breakdown of AWeber vs ConvertKit pricing:
From the above image, ConvertKit starts to outpace Aweber when it comes to the monthly pricing of the 2 platforms as soon as you hit over 3,000 subscribers. If pricing is what matters the most to you, AWeber will come out on top for you, especially when paying annually, which can strike off a nice chunk of the total pricing.
Nevertheless, as you’ll read in this review, don’t always base your decisions on price. We’ll go further to do this AWeber vs ConvertKit review by comparing them under the following headings:
- Ease of use,
- List management
- Landing pages
- Marketing Automation
- Third-Party Integrations and
- Customer support.
A Critical Comparison: AWeber and Convertkit
1. Email Deliverability
Deliverability is among the things that email marketing platforms don’t discuss often, but it’s essential when it comes to making sure that your email lands in the user’s inbox and not in their spam folder or even in their Gmail Promotions tab which users don’t check often. You want eyes on your email, in the inbox — and to ensure that visibility, deliverability is the metric to measure.
As you would reasonably suspect, both companies assert or claim to have deliverability in excess of 99%. But an independent test void of any bias showed otherwise, with ConvertKit leading the pack over its rival.
In a real AWeber vs ConvertKit comparison, it’s good to know which company has the edge when it comes to ensuring that emails end up where they’re supposed to go.
Winner on the basis of Email Deliverability: ConvertKit
2. Ease of Use
Both AWeber and ConvertKit are built to ensure ease of use. With drag-and-drop simplicity in everything from template design to building custom marketing automation, the two email marketing providers always stay on track with the latest trends and best practices in the email marketing industry.
Regardless, it’s worth noting that both ConvertKit and AWeber use their own vocabulary to refer to particular features, which may be confusing to newbies. For instance, ConvertKit calls email automation “sequences”, and Automations are customizable workflow. Baffled yet? Yeah, it takes some readjustments to get used to the terms. But the moment you begin to understand what each one is referring to, setting them up is a piece of cake.
3. List Management
This is the aspect where the two email marketing software programs vary extensively. ConvertKit is created around segmenting your lists with tags, whereas AWeber is more list-based. To demonstrate this, let’s say you have a site geared toward pets, and you want to send an email out to your dog owners and your cat owners.
In AWeber, the process is a bit less instinctive. You can tag your users only after they click a link in your email, for instance, something expressly says “I own a cat” or “I own a dog”.
In ConvertKit, you can even tag users into groups that overlap. Let’s say for example that when they signed up, they clicked “I own both a cat and a dog”. Rather than having to create a whole new list for this segment, as you’d have to do in AWeber, you can simply tag these users “cat and dog owners” in ConvertKit and still keep your list management nice, clean and targeted.
Also, using our previous example, if you wanted to create a list of both dog owners and cat owners in AWeber, you’d be charged for those subscribers again, even though they’re already on your dog and/or cat lists, causing your monthly fees to ratchet up more quickly than you might expect even though you haven’t actually added any “new” subscribers.
In short, AWeber is quite a bit behind the times when it comes to detailed and personalizable list management, so this round goes to ConvertKit
When it comes to sheer numbers, AWeber has by far the most significant number of customizable email templates: over 700. However, size isn’t everything, and their templates, much like ConvertKit’s, look relatively dated.
In terms of design and customizability, ConvertKit has adopted function over form, indicating that all of its email templates look very minimalist and clean. If you want an email designer that gives you all the bells and whistles, neither AWeber nor ConvertKit will really scratch that itch.
However, to their credit, ConvertKit maintains its emphasis on just that: conversions. And simple emails tend to convert better than more complex ones, especially when viewed on mobile devices. Plus, their drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to do simple tasks like add your logo and customize your colours without touching a single line of code.
5. Landing Pages
Both AWeber and ConvertKit have moved far above their original email marketing roots and into landing pages and other integrations as well. From a rigid landing page design, the two services make it uncomplicated for you to drag and drop images, text, links, video and more to create beautiful, mobile-responsive landing pages.
Operating AWeber vs ConvertKit landing pages also frees you up from having to spend for a separate landing page design program, since both are incorporated with their respective email marketing services, providing beautiful and customizable opt-in forms that allow you to design code-free, or using CSS if you’d like a more hands-on approach.
6. Marketing Automation
Marketing automation with ConvertKit is one of its most powerful selling points, and rightfully so. But don’t let its simple click-and-drag interface fool you — there’s a lot of influential stuff happening in the background.
With ConvertKit, marketing automation is baked into the overall workflow, where you simply drag and drop the various steps you want to activate as they correlate to your overall goals.
Unfortunately, despite its clarity and ease of use, it doesn’t allow much in the way of split testing. You can test various subject lines by sending out a one-off email, but split-testing large campaigns are off the table. You also cannot view the granular elements, such as optimizing for things like delivery time, type of email content etc.
That means if you want to separate test large campaigns, it’s better to look for a different email marketing service altogether (we recommend GetResponse for this type of campaign!)
With AWeber, automation is enormously straightforward. Rather than being built into the workflow, you click a message and select from a drop-down menu what you want to have to happen. So if a subscriber takes a particular action (like clicks a link), do this other thing (like tagging them in a certain way).
It’s not complicated and it gets the job done for the most basic of needs, but if you’re expecting things like branching paths and logic, AWeber isn’t the service for you. In this case, though, ConvertKit is the more suitable of the two in an AWeber vs ConvertKit comparison in terms of automation.
Both AWeber and ConvertKit deliver detailed reporting on the analytics that email marketers ought to know, including:
- Email opens over time
- Email clicks over time
- Email revenue over time
- New subscribers (per day, week, month)
- Subscriber growth (per day, week, month)
You can also view demographic details about your subscribers, such as their country, city, state and more.
However, this is pretty much where AWeber’s reporting ends, whereas ConvertKit’s is just beginning.
Although the two services deliver basic reporting on any paid plan, ConvertKit’s Creator Pro plan (at $59/month) truly takes reporting to a whole new level.
For example, let’s say that you’ve been encountering a decline in the open rate on your emails, and you’re not sure what’s happening. With ConvertKit’s Creator Pro plan, you can plunge right into the detailed analytics to get into the details.
Through its smart filtering process, you can screen information for different subsets of subscribers. So if certain users aren’t receiving your email, for example, you can sift those who are using Gmail, Yahoo and other free email providers to determine if that might be the cause.
8. Third-Party Integrations
ConvertKit incorporates a handful of famous services, including Shopify, Wix and Zapier (and Zapier can be used to boost its functionality even more). Nevertheless, this is one area in which AWeber truly excels, presenting dozens upon dozens of integrations with every prevalent tool you can imagine, including WordPress, PayPal, SalesForce, FreshBooks, HubSpot and lots more.
Part of this can be attributed to the reality that Aweber has simply been around much, much longer, and if your staff is already accustomed to using specific tools, AWeber will be a welcome addition without removing them out of their comfort zone or slowing down productivity.
9. Customer Support
This is one aspect where both AWeber and ConvertKit flourish. AWeber offers support by live chat, email and phone, so if you sense that you’ll get better support talking to an actual human on the phone, AWeber is one of the few email marketing services that offer this opportunity.
On the other hand, ConvertKit offers live chat and email support, as well as a forum community where you can get support from other users. Both AWeber and ConvertKit offer detailed understanding bases that walk you through how to do various things in their separate programs.
AWeber vs ConvertKit: Which One is Better?
From the detailed analysis above, the bottom line is that although it’s a challenge to make an apples-to-apples comparison between AWeber vs ConvertKit, ConvertKit comes out on top for its ease of use, its focus on email conversions (clarity in design always wins!) and its excellent marketing automation.
If you want something that offers you the basics and does so at a good price point, AWeber is not a bad choice, particularly if you’re just a newbie with email marketing. Nevertheless, once you grow and start to stretch your email marketing wings a bit, you’ll find that AWeber is lacking in some progressive features. However, if integration is a must, AWeber is going to make the process much more seamless and precise.
The good news is that both AWeber vs ConvertKit offer a free trial that you can sign up for with no credit card required. This allows you to test out many of the features of both services (up until you reach 500 or 1,000 subscribers respectively) and although the free accounts are limited (you won’t get detailed reporting information, for example), you’ll be able to get a feel for how both email marketing services work and can decide from there which one is right for your needs.