If you’re trying to decide between AWeber vs ConvertKit for your email marketing, you’re in luck. When it comes to doing an unbiased, legitimate AWeber vs ConvertKit comparison and review, the first thing to keep in mind is that these two popular email marketing programs play in completely different fields.
AWeber is one of the oldest email marketing software programs and was originally built on the unique (at the time) idea of sequential autoresponders or “drip content email marketing”.
On the other hand, ConvertKit is one of the newest players in the email marketing world but has focused its attention squarely 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 have a free plan, with ConvertKit letting you have up to 1,000 subscribers and AWeber capping off their free plan at 500. If you’re just wondering which of the two give you most subscribers for free, ConvertKit wins.
But there’s one other important point you should know about when it comes to number of subscribers and it has to do with how each of these email marketing services “count” subscribers respectively.
ConvertKit only charges you once per subscriber. That means if you have three lists and a subscriber is on all three, that subscriber only counts once. On AWeber, they count three times even though it’s the same person.
Here’s a detailed breakdown of AWeber vs ConvertKit pricing:
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As you can see, ConvertKit starts to outpace Aweber in terms of monthly pricing when you hit over 3,000 subscribers. If pricing is what matters most to you, AWeber comes out on top, especially when paying annually, which can knock a nice chunk off of the total price.
However, as you’ll read in this review, price shouldn’t be the only thing you base your decision on.
Deliverability is one of those things that email marketing platforms don’t talk about often, but it’s critical 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. You want eyes on your email, in the inbox — and for that, deliverability is the metric to measure.
Not surprisingly, both companies claim to have deliverability in excess of 99%. But an independent test showed otherwise, with ConvertKit leading the pack over its rival.
In a true AWeber vs ConvertKit comparison, it’s good to know which company has the edge when it comes to making sure emails end up where they’re supposed to go.
Ease of Use
Both AWeber and ConvertKit are built around ease of use. With drag-and-drop simplicity in everything from template design to building custom marketing automations, both email marketing providers continue to stay on track with the latest trends and best practices in email marketing.
However it’s worth noting that both ConvertKit and AWeber use their own vocabulary to refer to certain features, which may be confusing to beginners. For example, ConvertKit calls email automations “sequences”, and Automations are customizable workflows. Confused yet? Yeah, it takes some getting used to. But once you understand what each one is referring to, setting them up is a piece of cake.
Here’s where the two email marketing software programs differ considerably. ConvertKit is built around segmenting your lists with tags, whereas AWeber is more list-based. To illustrate 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 intuitive. You can tag your users only after they click a link in your email, for example, 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 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.
Furthermore, 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
In terms of sheer numbers, AWeber has by far the greatest number of customizable email templates: over 700. However, size isn’t everything, and their templates, much like ConvertKit’s, look somewhat dated.
In terms of design and customizability, ConvertKit has embraced function over form, meaning that all of their 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 colors without touching a single line of code as you can see in the video below:
Both AWeber and ConvertKit have moved far beyond their initial email marketing roots and into landing pages and other integrations as well. From a strict landing page design, both services make it easy for you to drag and drop images, text, links, video and more to create beautiful, mobile-responsive landing pages .
Using AWeber vs ConvertKit landing pages also frees you up from having to pay for a separate landing page design program, since both are integrated 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.
Marketing automation with ConvertKit is one of its strongest selling points, and rightfully so. But don’t let its simple click-and-drag interface fool you — there’s a lot of powerful stuff happening in the background.
With ConvertKit, marketing automations are baked into the overall workflow, where you simply drag and drop the different steps you want to activate as they relate to your overall goals
Unfortunately, despite its simplicity and ease of use, it doesn’t allow much in the way of split testing. You can test different subject lines by sending out a one-off email, but split testing large campaigns is off the table. You also cannot view the granular details, such as optimizing for things like delivery time, type of email content and so on.
That means if you want to split 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 extremely simple. Rather than being built into the workflow, you simply click a message and select from a drop-down menu what you want to have happen. So if a subscriber takes a certain action (like clicks a link), do this other thing (like tag them in a certain way).
It’s simple 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 better of the two in an AWeber vs ConvertKit comparison in terms of automation.
Both AWeber and ConvertKit offer detailed reporting on the analytics that email marketers need 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 getting started.
Although both services offer 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 experiencing a decline in open rate on your emails, and you’re not sure what’s happening. With ConvertKit’s Creator Pro plan, you can dive right into the detailed analytics to get into the details.
Through its intelligent filtering process, you can filter information for different subsets of subscribers. So if certain users aren’t receiving your email for example, you can filter those who are using Gmail, Yahoo and other free email providers to determine if that might be the cause.
Third Party Integrations
ConvertKit integrates with a handful of popular services, including Shopify, Wix and Zapier (and Zapier can be used to extend its functionality even more). However this is one area in which AWeber truly excels, offering dozens upon dozens of integrations with every popular tool you can imagine, including WordPress, PayPal, SalesForce, FreshBooks, HubSpot and many, many more.
Part of this can be attributed to the fact that Aweber has simply been around much, much longer, and if your staff is already accustomed to using certain tools, AWeber will be a welcome addition without uprooting them out of their comfort zone or slowing down productivity.
This is one area where both AWeber vs ConvertKit thrive. AWeber offers support by live chat, email and phone, so if you feel like you get better support speaking to an actual human on the phone, AWeber is one of the few email marketing services that offers this option.
Conversely, ConvertKit provides live chat and email support, as well as a forum community where you can get help from other users. Both AWeber and ConvertKit offer detailed knowledge bases that walk you through how to do various things in their respective programs.
AWeber vs ConvertKit: Which One is Better?
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 (simplicity in design always wins!) and its excellent marketing automations.
If you want something that just gives you the basics and does so at a good price point, AWeber is not a bad choice, especially if you’re just getting started with email marketing. However, once you grow and start to stretch your email marketing wings a bit, you’ll find that AWeber is lacking in some advanced features. However, if integration is a must, AWeber is going to make the process much more seamless and straightforward.
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.