You know the money is in the (email) list. And you’re looking for a great email marketing software which will help you make that list, grow that list, and make money from that list.
Well, you’re in the right place.
In this article, I’m going to talk about two of the most awesome email marketing tools ever: ConvertKit vs. AWeber.
Which of these two tools are right for you?
That’s what you and I will try to figure out in this article. And I say ‘try’ because ultimately, there is no definite, single answer. Maybe ConvertKit’s automation features will woo your heart or maybe you’ll fall for AWeber’s better email editor.
Right now, I don’t know – and neither do you. So let’s find out…
ConvertKit & AWeber: What Kind of People Are These Tools Made For?
Creators who have just bought hosting for the first time. Budding entrepreneurs who are still figuring out how Shopify Works. Bloggers who’ve just installed WordPress.
That – and anyone who isn’t a multi-million dollar company and is just getting their online business off the ground- that’s the kind of people for whom both these tools are made for.
Why do I say that?
Because of three main reasons:
- They have affordable pricing that starts at a price you can actually afford.
- You don’t have to deal with unnecessary features that aren’t related to email marketing.
- It doesn’t take a thousand years to learn how both these tools work.
In short, the highlight of both these email marketing tools is that they do one job: Build, grow and monetize your email list. And they do that job really well.
In the next section, we’ll show you the exact features these tools have – and what makes them different.
ConvertKit vs. AWeber: What You Need To Know About Their Features
But before we get started, here’s one thing you should know.
Both ConvertKit and AWeber are really similar tools. This is because they serve the same audience, and hence, have many similar features.
For example, both ConvertKit and AWeber provide you with a system to organize your subscribers using tags and segments. But the way this system works in both tools is drastically different than you’d think.
That’s why, to help you properly understand the difference between both these email marketing tools (so you can choose the best email marketing tool for your business), we’re going to systematically look at the feature they provide – and then compare the different ways each feature works in each tool.
Before we get to my comparisons, check out my full ConvertKit review here to learn more!
Let’s get started…
ConvertKit Vs. AWeber: Feature List + Comparison
In email marketing, you need to do these three things:
- Managing Your Subscribers: The first thing you every email list needs are subscribers. Both ConvertKit and AWeber have their own way of letting you capture new subscribers, adding them to list(s) and segmenting them which we’ll discuss in this section.
- Writing Your Emails: The second thing you need to do is write emails for your broadcasts, autoresponders and automated campaigns.
- Automating Your Email Marketing Process: The last thing you need to put together is the automations of your emails. This is what lies at the heart of every email marketing software. We’ll discuss in-depth in this section how both ConvertKit and AWeber approach automation.
You can think of these things as ‘steps’ you need to accomplish to fully create your automated email marketing campaigns.
That’s why, I’ve divided this section into the above three steps – and listed (and compared) each feature of both the tools under each step so you can easily understand how ConvertKit and AWeber are different.
Step 1: Managing Your Subscribers
To start your using your email marketing software, you’re going to need to add some subscribers into it first.
There are two ways you can do that:
- If you’re starting from scratch and don’t have any subscribers, you’ll want to create opt-in forms to put on your website or on a domain.
- If you already have a subscriber list, you’ll want to import it as a CSV file into your email marketing software.
This brings us to discussing…
Feature # 1: Forms
However, in AWeber, you get 70+ templates for your opt-in forms, each designed for a different purpose. But in ConvertKit, you get three kinds of forms which aren’t even templates, just different versions (full, minimal and stripped) of the same design.
Now, moving on to the similarities, in both these tools, you can customize pretty much everything about your form. You can change the colors, the images, the text, the location of the elements and even add your own custom CSS.
And the best part?
If you don’t have a website, both ConvertKit and AWeber can host the forms (and landing pages too in ConvertKit) which you create in each respective tool for you. No domain required!
Once you’ve started getting subscribers, you’ll need an intelligent way of sorting them based on their interests.
This brings us to…
Feature # 2: Segmentation
Once you start gathering subscribers, you’ll want to segment them based on how their interactions with your emails.
For example, let’s say you have a photography course. One evening, you decide to send an email to all of your 500 email subscribers promoting it. Next morning, you’re delighted to see 5 people have bought your course.
The smart thing to do would be to send them emails showing how they can make the best of your course – and even send them advanced tips.
To do that, you’ll want to segment the 5 people who’ve bought your course so only they receive your emails.
In ConvertKit, you can only create one list of subscribers. That list can then be categorized using tags.
For example, for those customers who bought your photography course, you can tag them as ‘photography_course_buyers’. If someone clicked on the link to your course but didn’t buy it, you can tag them as ‘photography_course_interested’.
Once you create the tags you want, you can organize your tags further into ‘segments’.
For example, suppose you have three courses: photography, photoshop, and web design. You want to divide your list depending on what subject your subscribers are interested in.
In this case, you’ll want to add the tags ‘photography_course_buyers’ and ‘photography_course_interested’ into a segment – and repeat the process for your other two courses as well.
And in this way, you can manage your subscribers in ConvertKit.
AWeber’s segmentation is more robust, mainly due to one feature: You can create multiple lists – with each list having its own subscribers, tags and segments.
The rest of the process i.e. adding tags and segments – works in a similar fashion to ConvertKit. You add the tags you want to a subscriber and add those tags to a segment to organize your subscriber list.
But since AWeber lets you create multiple lists, you can manage different businesses and websites within one account without having to pay for another.
Step 2: Writing Your Emails
Ok. Once you’ve added your subscribers and now know how to segment them, we can move on to writing emails for them.
- As a Broadcast: Broadcasts are one-off emails you can send to all your subscribers.
- As an Email Sequence: An email sequence is a sequence of emails which are sent over a period of time to a subscriber. For example, if you want to send a 5-part email course, you can send that automatically using an email sequence.
- As an Automation: An automation is when you create tie in your email sequences – and the actions your subscribers take when they interact with them – with specific triggers which leads to a fully automated email marketing campaign.
This isn’t anything new. Every email marketing tool lets you do this. The difference is when it comes to actually creating emails. Which of the two tools is best for that?
ConvertKit Email Editor
ConvertKit’s email editor is nothing out of the extraordinary. And that’s what makes it special.
Well, here’s why:
In ConvertKit, you can only create text-based emails. No fancy templates. No nothing. Not even videos.
Just plain simple text – combined with some basic color, font and size editing along with some pictures and gifs (yes!). That’s what your emails are going to look like in ConvertKit.
This is because ConvertKit claims that text-based emails have a higher conversion rate and will help you avoid most spam filters.
But, I really wish ConvertKit would have given the option to create fancy emails if we wanted too. Completely taking away templates seems like a drastic move.
AWeber Email Editor
AWeber’s email editor is far superior that ConvertKit’s basic text editor.
First of all, you can create both simple text-based emails and fancy template-based emails. Your choice (as it should be). And you get many templates to choose from (over 700+!) for your emails.
In addition, AWeber has a really awesome ‘elements’ panel on the left side of the editor which allows you to drag and drop any ‘element’ you need in your email.
This means you can easily add images, a text box, social media share icons, and even coupon codes to your emails in an instant. All you need to do is edit the elements. No need to spend time messing with the arrangement of the elements on the email.
But you’re still not finished.
Once you create your emails, one final thing which still remains is…
Step 3: Automating Your Email Marketing Process
The importance of this step cannot be underestimated.
Automating your email marketing process is directly tied with the activities you did in step 1 and 2.
In fact, it isn’t an understatement when I say that the success of your whole email marketing depends upon how well you automate your email marketing process.
That’s because, without effective automation, you won’t be able to:
- Categorize your email subscribers into relevant tags and segments when they interact with your emails.
- Which means you won’t be able to engage them with the relevant content your email subscribers deserve.
- This will lead to bad conversion rates, failed campaigns and ultimately, low sales.
Automations stop this from happening.
In our example in the first step, we mentioned how you can tag the people who bought your photography course with ‘photography_course_buyers’ tag.
Well, with automations, you don’t have to do that. The moment a subscriber of yours buys your course, your email marketing software can tag them based on that ‘trigger’ i.e. a subscriber purchasing.
In AWeber, creating automation is a simple process.
You simply select which subscribers, tags, and segments you want to put in an email campaign. Then, you send them the relevant emails – and assign additional tags at the end of each email to trigger the next email.
And whenever you want, you can add the subscribers you tagged from previous automation to a new email marketing campaign by simply creating new automation.
But there’s the main problem with AWeber:
Every single automation is created separately in a new window. This means whenever you want to create a new automated email marketing campaign, you’ll have to do that in a new window.
And because of that, you won’t be able to see how your different automations ‘connect’ with each other.
In the automation game, without any doubt, ConvertKit wins.
When compared to AWeber, ConvertKit offers a much more visual, coherent and better automation system.
You get a visual graph in which you can easily start with an email, tag it with a specific action your subscribers take when reading it and then follow up with other emails and campaigns.
Unlike AWeber, ConvertKit lets you connect email campaigns within automation. And since it’s all visual, you can see exactly in which campaigns your subscribers will go based on the actions they take.
In my opinion, this feature alone single-handedly makes ConvertKit a more powerful email marketing tool than AWeber – just because it is so much better at automation.
The Final Verdict: Which is Best for YOU?
As with all things, pricing often plays a bigger influence on our decision – simply because of many of us have tight budgets (more than we’d like).
Well, the good news here is both ConvertKit and AWeber offer similar pricing, with AWeber’s pricing getting better the bigger the plans get. But the difference isn’t that much that AWeber should sway your decision based on pricing alone. And thankfully, both give you access to all their features regardless of which plan you get.
Here’s a screenshot of both their plans you can check out:
You can get a free trial of ConvertKit and test out this email marketing platform for yourself today!
The main difference in both these tools is this:
- AWeber lets you build separate lists and has a better way of segmenting your subscribers. If you have multiple businesses, you’ll save a lot of money because, with ConvertKit, you’ll have to create another account to get another list.
- ConvertKit gives you a better automation tool than AWeber. You can clearly see how you different email campaigns interlink with each other using the visual builder. In AWeber, each automation is in a separate window which makes things disjointed as time progresses.
With that being said, both tools are awesome and don’t have any deal breakers which make the other one the outright winner. We can confidently recommend both, depending on your needs.
If I had to choose one that’s best overall, I would say I prefer ConvertKit’s automation tools and visual builder the best and that’s the one I would choose!
So, based on the features we’ve discussed above, which email marketing tool will you choose?