Over the past few years, ConvertKit has become the email marketing tool of choice for professional bloggers. Some of the most well-known bloggers online, such as Joanna Wiebe from CopyHackers, have switched from AWeber or MailChimp to ConvertKit. What makes ConvertKit so special? Why would huge bloggers take the time and the effort to switch from a trusted email marketing service provider (ESP) to ConvertKit?
First, ConvertKit’s original focus was to be built specifically for bloggers. On the previous versions of its website, it states that it is an email marketing company built “by bloggers, for bloggers.” This is not just a vague motto for the company: It is a mission. The features on the platform are tailored towards bloggers who are bent on expanding their email lists. Most of the choices ConvertKit makes about the platform tend to be towards helping its users work quickly and efficiently. The company recently changed their mission statement to “Connect with your audience. Make a living doing work you love.” This is geared towards content creators.
On the other hand, AWeber was the former leader in the email marketing service provider space. A stagnant, aging user interface and uninspired updates caused its status to erode. However, it still has a small edge over services like ConvertKit. AWeber has a market share of 4.25 percent, which means that it is the third largest email marketing service provider by market share. There are more than 150 email marketing services on the market, so being third is no small feat.
By comparison, ConvertKit’s market share is tiny: currently, it is less than 1 percent. Clearly, despite their success in recent years, they have a long road ahead of them before they begin to encroach on AWeber’s territory. Below is a comparison of these two email services to help you discover which one will be a better fit for your requirements. Instead of the usual review comparison, going feature by feature, I’ll simply list five reasons to choose ConvertKit, and five reasons to choose AWeber. After that, the choice is yours!
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Five Reasons ConvertKit is a better ESP than AWeber
1. Industry-Leading Email Automation
ConvertKit’s powerful, advanced automation features clearly distinguish it from every other ESP available. For years, AWeber’s autoresponders were known as the paragon of email automation; their reputation was built almost entirely on that single feature. But then ConvertKit came along and launched a simple, powerful automation builder.
The builder gives users the ability to distribute perfectly timed, accurately targeted content to granular email lists. Part of the power comes from being able to customize each subscriber’s path based on how they use your site, segmenting your audience according to where they are in the customer journey.
2. Simple User Interface
On their website, ConvertKit playfully jabs at AWeber with a single bold statement: “Email marketing is too important to use a tool stuck in 1999.” Their statement is amply backed up by their user interface and email templates. AWeber’s user interface looks like it predates the dotcom era – like an undergraduate graphic designer could do a better job.
They tout the ability to choose from various customizable email templates, but those are similarly aged; to your subscribers, they may look like bootcut jeans in a slim-fit era. By contrast, the user interface inside ConvertKit is slick and clean. New and advanced users alike can easily understand all of the important features, while slowly being able to dive into more complex functionality.
ConvertKit provides three different types of email templates: text, modern and classic. In-keeping with modern design principles, the focus of the email templates’ design is on simplicity, not intricacy. All templates come devoid of any design elements that could compromise email readability. ConvertKit makes both explicit and implicit arguments – on their website and in their product – for why using beautiful email templates can be detrimental to your email marketing program.
3. Beautiful Landing Pages and Sign-Up Forms
ESPs are generally as well-known for beautifully designed sign-up forms and landing pages as your local bank is for having a gorgeous, easy-to-use website. However, ConvertKit provides powerful features that allow users to create sleek signup forms and landing pages. They may not be quite as good as the ones you might get from Sumo or GetSiteControl. However, if you do not already use additional software to help you make opt-in boxes and landing pages, then ConvertKit’s capabilities will probably be satisfactory.
4. Ease of Use
Immediately upon creating your ConvertKit account, you will notice how easy it is to use it to get your email marketing program started – even if you have never used an ESP before. If you are new to email marketing and struggle with understanding how anything works, or even just have a question, you can get answers from the ConvertKit Beginners Facebook Group.
If you are a more experienced user who has already used another ESP, ConvertKit has extensive help available. If your subscriber list is more than 5,000 strong, they provide a concierge migration service. A member of ConvertKit’s team will perform the migration for you, making the transition seamless for both you and your subscribers.
5. Platform that focuses on subscribers
ConvertKit is, at its heart, a subscriber-centric email platform. Its feature set amply demonstrates this:
- It never charges users for the same subscriber more than once.
- It allows users to manage their subscribers with both tags and segments.
- It auto-drops unsubscribers and highlights inactive subscribers so they can be removed from the list or targeted for re-engagement.
Five Reasons AWeber is a better ESP than ConvertKit
1. Low Cost
While it purports to be built specifically for bloggers, ConvertKit feels like more of a premium ESP. Since it is a relative newcomer to the market and has to take on the likes of Constant Contact and MailChimp, you would think ConvertKit would suppress its prices to lure in new users; however, that assumption is mistaken. Taking the list-based pricing into account, AWeber remains cheaper than ConvertKit.
For example, imagine you had about 4,500 subscribers to import into your ESP. On AWeber, your monthly subscription would cost $49. ConvertKit would cost not quite twice as much – $49. Its place on the market and its lack of investment in a feature set means that AWeber can undercut its competition. That makes it a more practical choice for bloggers with a low budget.
2. In-Depth Analytics Reports
Experience email marketers understand how important email analytics are to their campaigns. However, there tends to be a correlation between utility and complexity for email campaign performance tracking. AWeber has ingeniously designed around that; using the service, a few clicks is all it takes to track everything from how many people have opened an email to how much in sales was generated per email. That information can even be used later to re-segment your email list.
ConvertKit’s email analytics are not bad by comparison; they simply are not quite as easy to use as AWeber’s.
3. Online Reviews
Even as its market share declines, AWeber manages to gain glowing ratings and reviews on sites including G2Crowd, TrustRadius and Capterra. When this article was written, AWeber was rated 4.2/5 on G2Crowd (367 reviews), 4/5 on Capterra (64 reviews) and 7.3/10 on TrustRadius (48 reviews).
Although its greatest fan base – bloggers – have given it great reviews and endorsements, ConvertKit does not have a major presence on the same review sites. In fact, there are zero reviews for ConvertKit on both Capterra and TrustRadius. On G2Crowd, it has a rating of 4.4/5 (48 reviews).
4. Industry-Leading Customer Service
One of the biggest drivers behind AWeber’s bolstered online reputation is their “award-winning customer support.” While ConvertKit is by no means lacking in this area, AWeber has been in the industry a long time. They have learned how best to ensure both new and existing users are able to maximize their use of the platform and its features.
If you do not want to wait to get in touch with customer service, then AWeber’s knowledge base provides instant access to frequently asked questions and their answers. They also offer many live webinars and video tutorials, allowing you to not only learn the platform but also enhance your email marketing skills. Finally, AWeber hosts a Twitter chat using the hashtag #EmailChat every Wednesday.
5. App Integration Availability
AWeber provides the capability to integrate with myriad third-party services. That means you can augment its features using other business tools. AWeber has been an ESP for nearly 20 years, and has a lot of experience developing an API that works well with other services. ConvertKit offers more than 80 integrations, but it has a lot of work to do before it surpasses the number of integrations AWeber currently has.
The five reasons you should choose AWeber and the five reasons you should choose ConvertKit listed above should give you a good idea not only of which one you should choose, but of the strengths and shortcomings of each. In short, if you place a high value on receiving great customer service and paying a low price, AWeber will work well for you; however, you would forego design and simplicity. But if you favor automatization, ease of use and a clean, simple interface over low pricing, then opt-in to ConvertKit.