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Ascend by Wix appears to give you everything you need to promote your Wix site, and for an affordable price. But when I upgraded to a paid plan, I found that it was lacking essentials like email testing tools and multi-step automations. While it’s convenient to have all your website and marketing needs in one place, I’d suggest taking a look at Sendinblue’s free plan – it gives you comparable sending capacity, custom automations, and real-time reports, even on the free plan.
Ascend by Wix Is a Complete Marketing Suite – but Is It Powerful Enough?
Ascend by Wix is described as a complete suite for marketing and customer management. If you already have a Wix website, adding email marketing and other tools you need to promote your business sounds pretty tempting.
Although I love a powerful marketing suite as much as the next agency owner, I’ve found that if a platform claims to do it all, it often includes lots of extras you don’t actually need. Rather than doing one thing really well, they offer a wide range of mediocre tools. That can be a big problem when it comes to email marketing, since you often need a dedicated platform to ensure high deliverability rates and the ability to connect with customers at the right time.
So how does Ascend by Wix stack up?
There’s a lot to like about the Wix Ascend business suite. It includes email marketing, automated workflows, social media posts, and SEO tools. It also offers over 100 app integrations so you can connect tools like Google Ads, Amazon, and Etsy. Like the Wix website builder, Ascend is geared toward small businesses looking to streamline marketing efforts as they grow – to an extent. It isn’t the right tool for every business owner.
You can sign up for a free plan, which has very limited features. The paid plans come with a 14-day money-back guarantee. Neither option lets you get a feel for the platform’s value before deciding if you want to commit. So I tested out the cheapest Wix Ascend plan to find out if this platform is powerful enough to market a small business or if you’re better off using a dedicated marketing platform instead.
Ascend by Wix Has 16 Tools Designed to Drive Your Digital Marketing Efforts
No matter which plan you choose, the business suite comes with three types of digital tools:
Marketing and SEO: Email marketing, social posts, video maker, SEO, logos, and triggered emails
Customer Management: Contact list, inbox, forms, automations, workflows, tasks and reminders, and site members
Finances: Payments, price quotes, and Invoices
Although the cheapest paid plan (Basic) gives you access to every tool, it has some serious limitations. Let’s take a look at the features and potential problems.
With Ascend, you can design your marketing emails from scratch or use one of 20 premade templates. You can easily customize your emails by changing the theme, adding more sections, or using the drag-and-drop editor to insert buttons and links.
While you can create automations (see below), Ascend by Wix doesn’t have other basic email marketing features. For example, you can’t A/B test your subject lines or check the spam score of your messages before sending. That might not seem like a big problem – until you find that your emails are going to spam or failing to deliver the results you expected.
Should the lack of email testing be a dealbreaker for you? Maybe, especially if you want to give your email marketing strategy the best shot at success. With a dedicated email marketing platform like GetResponse, for example, (which scores 4.7 out of five in my GetResponse review) you can automatically check every email’s spam score before sending or split-test your campaigns to see what gets subscribers to open messages – even on the cheapest GetResponse paid plan. That means you can make sure your marketing efforts aren’t going to waste.
In addition, the Basic plan only allows you to send five email campaigns per month. When you read the fine print, you see that the limit is 9,500 emails per month. So if you send five campaigns, your list can’t have more than 1,700 subscribers. You’ll need to upgrade to the midrange Professional plan to send up to 50,000 emails (20 campaigns) per month or purchase the Unlimited plan to send up to 1 million emails per month.
As your list grows, you’re going to want to know that your emails are landing in subscribers’ inboxes, not their spam folders. But I can’t comment on deliverability rates in this review because Ascend doesn’t publish theirs.
The Wix platform lets you create social media posts from scratch or choose from around 100 templates. Once you connect your Facebook or Instagram page, you can publish or schedule posts. With the Basic plan, you can share just five posts a month, which is less than what most small businesses would share in a week. For unlimited social posting or scheduling, you’ll need to upgrade to the Unlimited plan.
Wix Ascend has about a dozen predesigned video templates for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. You can upload photos or videos, add text and music, and then post it to a social media platform. With the Basic plan, you can create up to five videos a month. The Professional plan lets you create 10 videos a month, while the Unlimited plan allows 15.
Wix Ascend’s simple SEO tools include sitemaps, a robots.txt file editor, a URL redirect dashboard, and Google Analytics integration.
Ascend’s customer relationship management (CRM) tool keeps track of all your customers and subscribers. With this CRM, you can manage your list, chat with people who have interacted with your site, or create notes and tasks for individual contacts. Although the CRM has labels that you can add manually, it doesn’t have advanced segmentation or automated labels.
All paid Ascend by Wix plans come with a live chat feature with customizable hours. Once you activate it, you can see and respond to all messages on the Inbox tab. You can also create forms that visitors can fill out and submit to request help outside of live chat hours. This feature would be great for customer service or identifying potential leads.
Whether you want to gain more email subscribers, collect leads for your sales team, or get customer testimonials, Forms can help. With the Basic plan, you can create up to 10 forms with unlimited fields. The Professional plan allows 20 forms, while the Unlimited plan lets you create as many forms as you want.
Automations let you send welcome or abandoned shopping cart emails, greet visitors with your chatbot, or remind customers about invoices and quotes. With the Basic plan, you can design up to seven automations with two steps each. If your needs are simple, you might be able to get away with that. But if you think automations may become a crucial part of your business strategy, you’ll need to upgrade to a more expensive plan.
Is it worth paying more to upgrade your Ascend plan? Well, after working with competing services, I’m not so sure. With GetResponse’s cheapest plan, for instance, you get unlimited automation templates. Especially when you’re taking your first steps in automation, it’s nice to know you have the freedom to play around as much as you like and see what really works for you.
Wix Ascend has eight workflows for processes like nurturing sales leads or managing your online store. You can also create unlimited workflows from scratch to track important systems for your business. Unlike automations, workflows are for internal project management.
Tasks and Reminders
If you need a hand with project management, the platform also lets you create unlimited tasks with deadlines. The Basic plan doesn’t allow you to assign tasks to team members, so you’d need to upgrade for more advanced project management.
When you have a Wix site, visitors can become subscribers for various reasons, such as when they make a purchase, register for an event, book an appointment or chat with a support rep. The Site Members tab helps you manage these contacts in an interface that’s almost identical to the main CRM.
With the Ascend suite, you can accept payments through chat and forms. Payment options include the native Wix credit and debit card processor, PayPal, Afterpay, and AliPay. For more advanced payment and e-commerce options, you could upgrade to an Ascend Business plan and set up Wix Stores.
If your business offers service or product packages, you might find the Price Quotes section helpful. Here you can create custom quotes for potential customers. When a customer accepts the quote, it automatically becomes an invoice.
You can also set up one-time or recurring invoices to collect customer payments. With the Basic plan, you can create up to five recurring payment plans.
Although Wix Ascend has over a dozen built-in tools, you can integrate more apps to customize your business suite. You can choose from categories like marketing, events, design, communication, or e-commerce. The platform has about 250 integrations, and it also connects with Zapier, which offers about 2,000 additional integrations.
Once you’re in the business suite, you can find the tools in dropdown menus on the left side of the dashboard – but you have to know where to look. For example, email marketing is under Marketing & SEO, but automations are under Customer Management. You have to navigate in and out of the nested menus to find the full list of features.
The interface wasn’t super intuitive – I spent a lot of time clicking around. Fortunately, once I located the tools I needed, they were fairly easy to use.
If you’ve ever sent an email campaign without a working link or with dummy text by mistake, you’ll appreciate Wix Ascend’s email assistant. It automatically reviews your campaign and alerts you to tasks you still need to complete, such as customizing buttons or updating links.
Email Marketing Reports Only Track Open and Click-Through Rates
In the Email Marketing tab, Ascend provides statistics like the number of opens, click-through rates, and delivery rate. You can view a list of the subscribers who received your email and the top links clicked.
However, the dashboard doesn’t show real-time data, and it may take several hours for your email marketing statistics to appear. If you need the data to make marketing or advertising decisions, be prepared to wait. In addition, you can’t track more advanced metrics, like revenue, or create segments from the most engaged subscribers.
Automation Reports Stick to the Simplest Metrics
Like the other metrics, Ascend’s automation analytics are incredibly simple. You can track the number of automations triggered and the number of emails sent, but that’s it. It doesn’t track data like revenue, which could help you improve marketing and business performance.
So do these analytics give you the results you need to know? After comparing Ascend to other dedicated email marketing tools, probably not. With Sendinblue, for example, you can get real-time reporting, even with the free Sendinblue plan. Most of its paid plans also include advanced statistics and heat map reporting so you can see what factors drive results. Advanced analytics might sound like overkill, but they can help you make better marketing decisions from the outset.
Be Prepared for Limited Support or Pay for Priority Support
When you need help with your Wix email marketing, you can use the Wix Help Center to search for answers, submit an email support ticket or use the callback service. The Unlimited plan comes with VIP customer support, but even this high-priced option doesn’t include live chat or phone support.Instead, you have to submit a ticket or request a callback. Support for most languages is available during limited hours, but both English and Spanish callback service is available 24/7.
I tried all three support options available with the Basic Ascend by Wix plan. Here’s what happened when I asked three different questions about using the email marketing features:
Wix Help Center: I searched for help with preventing my emails from going to subscribers’ spam or promotional folders. The Help Center had good recommendations for staying out of the spam folder but didn’t say anything about the promotions tab.
Email Support Ticket: I submitted an email support ticket asking for help personalizing my emails. The support system warned me that it could take over 24 hours to get a response, but I received an email in about an hour. It answered my question completely and provided links to relevant Help Center pages.
Callback: In the Help Center, I couldn’t find any information about importing subscribers via a Word document, so I requested a callback. I received a call in two minutes and then waited on hold for about five minutes while the support person searched for an answer. They couldn’t resolve my issue and offered to connect me to a more specialized team. They warned me that it might take awhile since there were a few people ahead of me. I continued to wait, but after 30 minutes I hadn’t moved up in the queue so I hung up.
Wix Ascend’s Inexpensive Pricing Comes with Serious Limitations
Wix Ascend’s rates look relatively affordable until you dig into the details. There is a free option, but the features are very limited. Pricing for thecheapest option (the Basic plan) is on par with some of the more affordable email marketing services, such as Benchmark and AWeber. However, the Basic plan limits you to just five email campaigns and seven two-step automations per month.
The mid-priced (Professional) plan is a little less restrictive, with up to 20 email campaigns and 20 automations per month. However, you ultimately have to pay for the top-tier (Unlimited) plan to remove limits on emails, automations, and other marketing features.
# Email Campaigns Per Month
# Automations Per Month
# Site Contributors
2 (up to 2 steps)
7 (up to 2 steps)
20 (up to 10 steps)
Unlimited (up to 10 steps)
Ascend by Wix Offers a Limited Guarantee
If you decide to try Ascend by Wix and aren’t happy with your experience, there is a 14-day money-back guarantee. If you cancel your account within 14 days of signing up, you can get a full refund.
I canceled my Basic account within the initial 14-day period and was able to request a refund. It was an easy process, but make sure to export your contacts and unsubscribers list before canceling your account so you can pass them on to your next email marketing service.
Ascend by Wix is a decent choice if you already have a Wix website builder account and want to fully integrate your marketing efforts with your website. In addition to email marketing, the platform has over a dozen tools to market and promote your business.
However, if you don’t want to commit to running your entire business through Wix – or if you anticipate outgrowing the platform – Ascend is not a good choice. Wix doesn’t allow you to export much of your content, so switching platforms as your business grows could be a major hassle. Plus it’s best not to rely on one platform for all your needs.
How much does Wix Ascend cost?The Wix Ascend marketing suite can quickly get expensive. The Free plan is available at no cost, but its features are so restrictive that you’ll outgrow it quickly. The Basic plan is affordable, but its features are limited. If you want unlimited emails, social posts, and automations, you need the Unlimited plan, which comes at a cost.What does Wix Ascend offer?This business suite has 16 marketing, customer management, and financial tools to help you streamline your marketing efforts. It offers email marketing, social posts, a video maker, SEO tools, a chatbox, website forms, automations, workflows, site members, recurring payments, and tasks and reminders. See detailed descriptions of each feature in the Ascend by Wix review above.Is Wix Ascend free?There is a free Wix Ascend plan, but it’s very limited. With the free Wix Ascend plan, you can send three email campaigns per month, set up two automations, and share three social posts. In addition, the free version includes Ascend branding on your email marketing campaigns. Instead of Wix Ascend, I’d recommend checking out our list of the best dedicated email marketing services and particularly the generous Sendinblue free plan.Is Ascend by Wix worth trying out?If you already have a Wix website and the limitations detailed in this review aren’t dealbreakers, then you might want to try this business suite. However, before committing to Wix Ascend, think carefully about what you’ll do when you outgrow Wix. You can’t export much aside from your contact list, so if you switch platforms, you’ll have to start from scratch.
Anna Sonnenberg is a digital agency owner who specializes in email marketing, content strategy, and social media management. For over 6 years, she has run Sonnenberg Media, a digital micro agency that works with small businesses in the CPG, SaaS, marketing, and health & wellness industries.