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  5. ConvertKit vs AWeber: This Is My Expert Opinion [2022]

ConvertKit vs AWeber: This Is My Expert Opinion [2022]

Emma Ayres Emma Ayres January 14, 2022
January 14, 2022

As a creative selling online, you have to be careful about which services you invest your money in. Plenty of services promise a tailor-made experience for creative entrepreneurs, but the vast majority never deliver on that promise.

Unfortunately, the truth is that ConvertKit is one of the services that just doesn’t deliver. It doesn’t offer anything unique to creators. And when you look at it against other well-known email marketing services – like AWeber – you might start to wonder whether you’re better off with one of those instead.

Disappointed? I was too. After testing both of these EMS providers, I can safely say that you’re better off investing in AWeber. Not only does it offer a great free plan with 24/7 support, but its paid plan also offers far better value for money.

So grab a hot drink, get cozy, and keep reading to see why AWeber came out on top. Or, if I’ve convinced you already, take a look at AWeber’s latest deals.

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Features

AWeber Offers More than Just the Basics

aweber's-email-templates
AWeber offers over 700 email templates, even on its free plan.

When you compare AWeber vs. ConvertKit, one of the starkest differences is the number of email templates. AWeber offers more than 700 email templates, while ConvertKit has only 9. No, I’m not missing any zeroes there.

convertkit's-email-templates
ConvertKit offers only 9 templates with limited customization – even on the paid plan

Sure, some of AWeber’s templates look a little dated, but all of ConvertKit’s are extremely basic and have very few customization options. That might seem okay if you’re using ConvertKit’s free plan – but the fact that you don’t get any more templates on a plan that costs a similar amount to some of the biggest names in email marketing isn’t promising.

Another area where ConvertKit falls short is A/B testing. Although this feature is available on the free plan, it only allows you to split test subject lines, and the winning subject line is automatically sent after 4 hours. In my experience, this is nowhere near enough time to get a full picture of what your subscribers want.

By comparison, AWeber’s A/B testing tool allows you to test up to three options, and you can test everything from your subject lines to which call-to-action or email design works best. This feature is only available on the Pro plan, but I can’t complain too much given how extensive it is.

Overall, AWeber easily wins this round. With hundreds of templates, a comprehensive A/B testing tool, and even an AI-powered email template designer to save you time, this EMS is by far the better pick when it comes to features.

Ease of Use

ConvertKit Is Messy and Confusing

aweber's-drag-and-drop-email-editor
With a stock image library and an in-built Canva integration, it’s easy to jazz up your emails in AWeber.

Almost all EMS let you design an email in the same way. You click create, fill out a few details, choose a template, and get to editing. Simple. These platforms work this way because we’re all familiar with it.

Except for ConvertKit, that is. To design an email in ConvertKit, you have to use two different editors – one to create the template and edit fonts, and one to add images and write your content. Honestly, I have no idea why it’s so convoluted.

On the other hand, AWeber’s EMS is designed to be as easy as possible to use. The drag-and-drop editor is pretty slick, even if it doesn’t offer as many content elements as other platforms (like my personal favorite, ActiveCampaign). And, as you’d expect, you can edit the template in the same editor you use for the content.

Which is, in my opinion, exactly as it should be. There’s simply no need for ConvertKit to make this process harder than it has to be. It’s for that reason that AWeber wins this round. It wasn’t even a competition here.

Deliverability

Average Deliverability on Both Counts

convertkit's-dkim-authentication-guide
ConvertKit has a series of guide articles to help you improve your deliverability.

Look, I wish I could wrap up deliverability in a tidy little percentage, but I’m not here to lie to you. Deliverability tests are pretty unreliable, so I don’t use them.

There are just far too many variables for a percentage rate to be meaningful. Every email provider treats incoming emails differently, and the time of day, infrastructure, server locations, and thousands of other things will always influence whether an email reaches a subscriber’s inbox or their spam folder.

Now, I’m not saying that every time you send an email, the Internet Gods toss a coin to figure out where to send it. There are some proven ways to improve your deliverability – you just can’t represent them as a percentage rate.

A key factor in deliverability is DKIM authentication, which is just a technical name for a chunk of code that tells the receiving email provider that you are who you say you are. AWeber and ConvertKit both offer DKIM authentication and have guides to help you to set it up.

AWeber and ConvertKit also both allow affiliate marketing on their servers. That’s not all that surprising for ConvertKit, since affiliate marketing can be a lucrative income stream for online creators. However, it’s worth bearing this in mind because affiliate marketing emails can have a higher than average spam complaint rate.

With AWeber, contacts have to consent to receive affiliate emails, and those affiliate programs can’t flout AWeber’s guidelines. Seriously, that’s it. ConvertKit is much stricter. It has restrictions on which affiliate programs are allowed, and you have to have a business outside of affiliate marketing. The majority of your content also can’t consist of affiliate marketing content.

Something else to consider is that access to a dedicated IP can make all the difference with deliverability. When you share a server with thousands of other businesses sending emails, the whole server can be blacklisted if just one person is caught using that server for spam.

AWeber doesn’t offer dedicated IP addresses, but ConvertKit does. I can’t say I’d recommend paying for a dedicated IP address with ConvertKit given my experience testing this EMS, but at least it offers this service for anyone who sends more than 150,000 emails a week.

Otherwise, AWeber and ConvertKit both have similar spam policies. Both of these platforms will terminate your account as soon as they catch you sending spam. Overall, I’d say ConvertKit wins this round, but neither EMS is anything but average when it comes to deliverability.

While no EMS offers perfect deliverability, Benchmark comes pretty close. In our Benchmark review, we found that they have a strict anti-spam policy, a super easy-to-follow DKIM authentication guide, an extremely cautious affiliate marketing policy, and dedicated IP addresses for Enterprise-level customers. And better yet, Benchmark has a free plan

Reporting and Analytics

If You Want Actionable Insights, AWeber’s Got You Covered

aweber's-reporting-dashboard
AWeber’s reporting is pretty decent, even on the free plan.

No matter whether you’re a beginner or an experienced email marketer, numbers are your best friend. This is, unfortunately, another area where ConvertKit let me down, and, to be honest, the reporting and analytics was one of the key areas that disappointed us in our ConvertKit review.

To begin with, it’s really hard just to find ConvertKit’s reporting dashboard. Yep, the usability issues with ConvertKit don’t end with the weird template/email editors situation. If you want to see any analytics, you either need to click onto the Subscribers page or click into each individual email. You can’t see an overview of your campaigns (or broadcasts, as ConvertKit calls them) at all.

Even once you’ve found these stats, all you’ll get is some basic information on how many subscribers you have, plus how many of them received each email, opened it, clicked links, and unsubscribed. That’s it.

By comparison, AWeber has an easy-to-read analytics dashboard that’s recently been revamped. On top of the basic open, click, and subscription rate, you’ll also be able to see metrics like your sales over time and subscribers by location, both of which can help you plan future campaigns, and they’re available on the AWeber free plan. If you upgrade, you get even more statistics. So it’s no surprise it received a near perfect score in our AWeber review.

However, AWeber wins this round because, honestly, it knocks ConvertKit out of the water given how much more reporting capability you get on the free plan alone.

Pricing

AWeber Offers Far More for Your Money

AWeber and ConvertKit both offer free limited plans, but the main difference between these two EMS platforms comes with their paid tiers.

If you find AWeber’s free plan too limited, then you can upgrade to AWeber Pro to access the whole suite of features. Like most other EMS, this costs more the more subscribers you have, but there are no features hidden behind different paid tiers.

By comparison, ConvertKit offers two paid plans – Creator and Creator Pro. This is charged by the number of subscribers you have, but it starts at 300 instead of 500.

If you want more information, luckily for you, we’ve put together detailed articles on both ConvertKit’s pricing plans and AWeber’s pricing plans. Or read the shorter version below.

Here’s What You Get for Free

ConvertKit’s free forever plan includes unlimited emails for up to 1,000 subscribers. You also get unlimited landing pages, the ability to sell digital products, and a digital tip jar. If you need help, you can ask the community forum or message the platform team through Intercom.

AWeber allows you to send up to 3,000 emails a month with a subscriber list cap of 500 contacts. While you won’t get a digital tip jar, you will get a ton more features than ConvertKit offers, like 700+ email templates, far more comprehensive analytics, and sales tracking.

ConvertKit’s free plan isn’t bad for email volume – but if it’s volume you’re after, I’d seriously consider Sendinblue’s free plan instead, which allows you to send 300 emails a day to up to 2,000 subscribers. My colleague got on really well with this EMS in his Sendinblue review, plus it comes with transactional emails, which is a big win.

Here’s What You Get If You Pay

ConvertKit has two paid plans. You get slightly more than you do on the free plan if you pay for ConvertKit’s Creator plan, as this opens up live chat and email support, automated funnels, and 70+ integrations with platforms like Patreon, Teachable, and Zapier.

ConvertKit’s Creator Pro plan has the features you’ll probably find the most useful, like subscriber engagement scoring, advanced reporting, and priority support.

However, I can’t say I recommend paying for ConvertKit based on how lackluster its features are. You can get far more for your money elsewhere.

AWeber’s Pro plan is pretty comprehensive, and it’s refreshing to see an EMS that only uses one payment tier. It makes my job as a reviewer a lot easier, so it’ll definitely simplify things for you as an email marketer too.

AWeber Pro offers all the features you’d expect – like advanced analytics, custom segmentation, and automation – and it removes the cap on how many emails you can send each month. You can even split-test sign-up forms with AWeber Pro, which is a nice addition.

Here’s a quick breakdown of ConvertKit vs. AWeber pricing:

ConvertKit Creator
AWeber Pro
Starting Price
Contact limit*
500,000
25,000
Email limit
Unlimited
Unlimited
Email templates
9
700+
Integrations
70+
1,000+
A/B Testing
Subject lines only
All email elements and can test up to three variants
Transaction fees
3.5% + 30c
0.6%

*This is how many contacts you can have before you need to contact customer services for a custom quote.

Support

ConvertKit’s Promptness Surprised Me

convertkit's-live-chat-customer-service
ConvertKit’s live chat is prompt and helpful.

Given my experiences with ConvertKit so far, I was pleasantly surprised by the support options available, even on the free plan. The ConvertKit free plan offers live chat and access to the Creator Community, which is essentially a social media-style help forum. Strangely, ConvertKit doesn’t advertise that the free plan has a live chat support option.

ConvertKit’s Creator and Creator Pro plans offer 24/7 live chat support, with the latter offering priority support.

However, I couldn’t find ConvertKit’s email support anywhere. The help option on my dashboard opened Intercom, which this EMS uses for live chat and its knowledge base. I admit I wasn’t too fussed about this because Intercom live chats automatically get sent to your email address anyway, but it seems odd that they’d advertise this and not offer it anywhere.

aweber's-live-chat-customer-service
AWeber’s live chat, on the other hand, was an odd experience.

AWeber offers 24/7 live support via live chat, email, and phone, even on the free plan. There’s also a knowledge base, as you’d expect, and video tutorials to help you find your way around.

Unfortunately, my experience with AWeber’s live chat wasn’t great. The answer I received felt like a copy-and-paste response to price plan-related questions, and it didn’t address what I was asking for help with. Still, email support was a lot better. A support agent got back to me within an hour, and the response was helpful.

Overall, ConvertKit steals the win for support. Deciding between the two was difficult, but I found ConvertKit a lot more helpful. It didn’t feel like the support agents were relying on a spreadsheet of canned responses, which is a lot more than I can say for AWeber.

ConvertKit vs. AWeber: Creator-Focused Doesn’t Equal Good

Overall, AWeber’s got a lot more to offer than ConvertKit. AWeber has a great free plan that focuses on quality communications, and it’s a lot easier to find your way around.

I also found AWeber’s feature suite was a lot more comprehensive. Seriously, 700+ email templates compared to ConvertKit’s 9 isn’t even a competition. Even though a good number of those templates are pretty dated, you’ve still got hundreds more to play with.

Whether you’re a content creator or just looking for an alternative (and, in some cases, cheaper) EMS to the big-name platforms, I would personally avoid ConvertKit. AWeber offers a lot more for your money, and you’re less likely to get frustrated along the way.

ConvertKit
AWeber
Templates
9
700+
Automation
Multi-step automation with templates and an “if/then” single-step automation builder
Multi-step automation builder with templates, behavioral automation, transactional emails
Native SMS Automation
No – has to be connected via integrations
No – has to be connected via integrations
Apps and Integrations
70+
100+
Landing Page Builder
Yes, with 50+ templates and unlimited landing pages
Yes, with 40+ templates and unlimited landing pages
A/B Testing
Yes, subject lines only
Yes, testing for all email elements for up to three variants, plus A/B testing for sign up forms
Native RTL Language Support
No
Yes
Ease of Use
Confusing interface with more editors than it needs
Clearly laid out and simple to navigate
Deliverability
Average deliverability, dedicated IP addresses available for high-volume senders, but affiliate marketing is allowed
Average deliverability, but affiliate marketing is allowed
Reporting and Analytics
Extremely basic with no single analytics dashboard
Fairly detailed with report filtering and the ability to download reports as a CSV
Pricing
Free limited plan, paid plans start at $29.00
Free limited plan, paid plans start at $16.15
Support
Creator Community, knowledge base, and live chat, with 24/7 live chat/email, and priority support available on paid plans
Knowledge base, video tutorials, 24/7 live chat, email, and phone support on all plans
Total
2
4

FAQ

What is the difference between AWeber and ConvertKit?The main difference between AWeber and ConvertKit is that AWeber’s feature suite is a lot more comprehensive. AWeber offers far more templates, a more advanced A/B testing feature, and it’s a lot easier to navigate. Read our full AWeber review to see the full range of features.Which is better: AWeber or ConvertKit?Overall, AWeber is a lot better. Even on the free plan, it offers far more features and is a lot less frustrating to use. With even more advanced features on the Pro plan – like custom segmentation, transactional emails, and behavioral automation – it’s better value for money, too. It’s for these reasons that it’s one of our top ten email marketing services in 2022.Is ConvertKit any good?ConvertKit’s free plan is fine if you’re planning to send a lot of emails, but there are better free options available. I certainly wouldn’t recommend paying for ConvertKit, as other EMS platforms like AWeber offer far more value for your money. Make sure to check out our coupons page to save yourself some money on AWeber’s Pro plan.Can you use AWeber for affiliate marketing?AWeber allows affiliate marketing on its platform, but you can only send affiliate links to people who have signed up to receive them. There are also restrictions on which affiliate program links you can use in your emails. Good news if you’re an affiliate marketer – but be aware this can reduce the deliverability of your emails.

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