aweber alternatives - featured

Most “alternative-type” posts are for meant for everyone who wants to do email marketing — bloggers, e-com store owners, local businesses, mom-and-pop stores, course creators, coaches, etc.

I wrote this with the mindset of a content creator reviewing alternatives to AWeber.

The 5 AWeber alternatives I’m going to compare are: BirdSend (email marketing tool my small team and I run), Mailchimp, ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign, and GetResponse.

In a hurry? Go here to save 80% in email tool expenses every month, while still enjoying high email opens.

Are you facing these AWeber frustrations?

Though AWeber is a good email marketing tool, here are some reasons why you might not like it and are trying to search for AWeber alternatives.

  • No auto resend emails to people who haven’t opened.
  • Flawed (and almost unusable) A/B testing.
    • You need to manually create 3 separate email messages — the original, variation, and winner.
    • There is no automatic winner — i.e. you must remember to login to your account to manually check if the original or variation is the winner.
    • Finally, you need to (again) manually send the winner to the rest of the recipients.
    • This means you can’t “set and forget it”. If you’re on vacation with the family, tough luck.
  • Though it’s gotten better in recent years, they have a history of not keeping up with the times with regards to email marketing functionalities and technology.
  • Limited link trigger automation.
    • You can set up basic link triggers like: if subscriber clicks link X → tag with X or remove from current campaign.
    • But that’s about it. You can’t do things like: if subscriber clicks link X → subscribe to list Y (even though this is pretty basic).
  • They charge you for unsubscribed and unconfirmed contacts.
  • They also count the same email address in different lists multiple times.
    • E.g. John Doe is on 5 lists — you’re charged for 5 subscribers.

AWeber Alternatives: #1 — BirdSend

Overview

  • SuretyMail certified.
    • SuretyMail is the original email deliverability company established in 2003.
    • Its founder, Anne Mitchell, is the one who coined the term ‘deliverability’.
    • There are only 2 companies in the world that provide comprehensive email deliverability services. One of them is SuretyMail.
  • Free migration provided — zero hassle, save tens of hours.

    Competitor to Aweber - What customer says about BirdSend’s free migration service
    (click here for full image)
    • We move your data from your previous email tool to us. Your subscribers, sequences, automations, forms, integrations, etc.
  • Specifically built for content creators who are solopreneurs or with a small team size of not more than 10.
  • Send around 30 million emails every month.
  • Save 80% every month in email tool expenses, yet still enjoy high email opens.

    BirdSend’s great email deliverability
    (click here for full image)

    Open rates boost with BirdSend ESP
    (click here for full image)
    • I know what you’re thinking, “How can this be? Affordable and high deliverability / high quality doesn’t go hand in hand.”
    • We’re able to do this because we’ve been primarily relying on word of mouth to get new customers. We don’t spend any money on paid advertising. We pass the savings back to our customers.
    • If we suck, our customers would not have referred us to their friends and peers.
  • Empathetic, responsive, and knowledgeable customer support.

    See why users rave about this AWeber alternative’s customer support
    (click here for full image)

    Another satisfied BirdSend customer
    • Unlike most customer support who only give you canned answers that don’t solve your problems, we take the time to listen to you and give you real solutions that actually solve problems.
    • We understand you’re a human (like us), and you want your concerns to be heard.
    • Here’s why we want to solve your problems instead of just pretending they don’t exist: the more problems we solve → the better BirdSend becomes → the more people are going to sign up → the more users are going to recommend us to their friends and peers.
  • Fastest to set up sequence/drip emails.
    • How do we achieve this?

      With The 1-Page Sequence Builder. All emails in your sequence are created (and set-up) inside a SINGLE page. No back and forth clicking and loading multiple pages.
    • If you can find a tool that’s faster than BirdSend, let me know and I’ll give you a paid account for free.
  • Very focused tool.
    • BirdSend only does email marketing. It’s not trying to also become a chat/messaging tool, a bot tool, a shopping cart tool, a sales funnel tool, an ads management tool, and SMS tool, a social media analytics and scheduling tool, etc. A Jack of all trades is master of none.

Features

  • Resend to people who haven’t opened in one-click — to maximize eyeballs to your emails.
    • You can do this for both sequences and broadcasts.
  • The Subscriber Preferences Page — subscribers can choose to stay subscribed to certain topics but not others.

    The Subscriber Preferences Page from BirdSend - an alternative to AWeber
    • It’s common for content creators to send emails about more than 1 topic or multiple sub-topics.
    • E.g. You help folks with their digital marketing. In your emails, you talk about SEO, social media, and email marketing.
    • Some only want to receive emails about SEO; some about social media and email marketing; and yet others only want emails about social media.
    • Some email tools don’t have the ability to let your subscribers choose which topics they want to stay subscribed to and which ones to unsubscribe from. These tools take an “all or nothing” approach — either subscribe to all or unsubscribe completely.
    • If you use tools like this, you’re losing hard-earned subscribers more than you should.
    • With BirdSend’s The Subscriber Preferences Page, your subscribers can choose the topics they want to stay subscribed to and which ones to unsubscribe from.
  • Email marketing automation.
    • Time-based sequences/email series based on when a subscriber joins.
    • Behavior-based automation like:
      • If contact opens or clicks link X, tag with X and subscribe to sequence X.
      • If contact buys product Y, tag with [Customer Y] and subscribe to sequence Y.
  • Send one-time broadcasts or schedule it to be sent at a future date.
  • A/B test emails to maximize the number of folks opening them. [insert screenshot – already have] [alt text: A/B split testing user interface for this alternative to AWeber]

    A/B split testing user interface for this alternative to AWeber
    • Can set the winner criteria to be: higher earnings, higher open rates, or higher click rates.
    • Can resend the winner email to non-openers.
  • Preview text.
    • Use an enticing short text (right after the subject line) to further tease folks why they should open your email.
  • Auto confirm with Incentive Emails.
    • Auto confirm subscribers when they click your lead magnet. No need to ask them: “Click the confirmation link below to confirm you want to be on my list” — which is an extra step.
  • Abandoned cart emails.
    • Automatically follow up with prospects who are about to buy, but didn’t — to close the sale.
  • Understand why someone unsubscribes.
    • Whey folks unsubscribe, they have the chance to tell you the reason for unsubscribing. Gather these data to improve your unsubscribe rate.
  • Quick and easy access to email stats.
    • Number of sales, sales revenue.
    • Opens, clicks, bounces, spam complaints, blocks.
  • Bult-in spam testing.
    • In the email editor, after you’ve written the email, simply click a button to check your spam score.
    • This ensures your email is always optimized for maximum deliverability.
  • WordPress plugin for BirdSend makes insertion of opt-in forms and conversion tracking quick and seamless — without any code.
    • Opt-in forms like popups, entire welcome screens, in-content, sidebar, and top/bottom widgets, etc.
  • Automatically send a broadcast email whenever you have a new blog post.
    • Use our Blog Broadcast feature to quickly achieve this.

Cons

  • Small team of 7.
    • But because of this small size, we’re very cohesive and responsive — and can provide personalized support to customers.
  • Relative new player in the email marketing space (have only been around since 2018).
    • We’re currently sending around 30 million emails/month though — and with good deliverability.
  • Form design choices are limited.
  • Our email editor is simple and lightweight.
    • If you want a fancy drag-and-drop system that produces fancy-designed emails, BirdSend is not for you.
    • We believe as content creators, the core focus should be on your content — not how good looking your emails are.
    • The more fancy looking your emails:
      • The more it looks “corporate-sy”. Folks don’t want to open emails from companies. We want to open emails from friends that — unsurprisingly — don’t have fancy email design.
      • The worse your email deliverability since the backend html code is more complex. BirdSend uses a simple minimalistic design → cleaner html → better deliverability (and emails look more “friend-to-friend”).
  • Not for for e-commerce online stores.

Pricing

  • All features unlocked for all contacts level tier.
    • Pricing only differs by the number of unique contacts in your account.
  • Pricing is grandfathered in for all contacts level tier, even when you grow your contacts size in the future.
  • Unsubscribed and unconfirmed contacts are not charged.
  • Only unique contacts are counted towards billing.
    • E.g. Peter Parker is on 7 different sequences with 10 different tags. You only pay for 1 contact.
  • Not only do you start very affordably with BirdSend, you also grow very affordably as you increase the number of contacts. The price increase is linear.

AWeber vs BirdSend At A Glance

AweberBirdSend
Target audienceEveryone and anyone.Content creators.
Target business sizeSmall businesses.Solopreneurs or a team size of not more than 10.
Top featureAuto get color theme from your website, to be used for your emails.ONE-page super fast sequence email creation and editing.
ConA/B testing is cumbersome and flawed.Simple, minimalistic email editor — not suitable for folks looking to create fancy email design.
Price (5k contacts)$49.99/m$19/m


AWeber Alternatives: #2 — Mailchimp

Overview

Every time a friend or relative asks what I’m working on and I tell them I run an ESP (email service provider), they give me that clueless look.

But when I say, “It’s like Mailchimp”… they immediately know what I’m talking about.

Mailchimp is the biggest and most famous email all-in-one marketing platform.

  • Founded in 2001, Mailchimp was initially an email marketing tool.
  • It has now grown into an all-in-one platform that can pretty much do any marketing- and sales-related task you can think of.
  • Mailchimp has been bought by Intuit in Sep 2021 for $12 billion USD.

    Intuit acquired Mailchimp
  • Being the grandaddy of email marketing tools, it’s a trusted brand used by 12 million users.
  • Good deliverability.

Features

  • In addition to email marketing, Mailchimp also has features for Facebook and Instagram ads management, social media scheduling and posting, postcards, online appointment booking, domain registration, and an online store site builder.
  • Send one-off broadcast emails to subscribers.
  • A/B test emails.
    • You can test subject line, sender from name, body content, as well as email sending time.
  • Preview text.
    • Same with BirdSend above, this is like a 2nd subject line where you further entice subscribers to open your email.
  • E-commerce selling.
    • Build your online store with Mailchimp.
    • Then sell your products through them. They take a certain percentage from your sales revenue, on top of payment processing/Stripe fees.

Cons

  • No free migration provided.
  • Doesn’t take data privacy seriously.
    • Some time ago they were about to disable double opt-in for all accounts. Only after many users protested, they canceled the decision.
  • Doesn’t have a clear target audience. Mailchimp targets everyone and anyone who wants to do email marketing.
  • Mailchimp targets all business size — from small businesses to large corporations.
    • They have this “everything and everyone I also want to target” mentality.
  • A generalist all-in-one tool like this is typically harder to use and bloated with features that you don’t need.
  • Big corporation with more than 1,200 employees.
    • Typically a company of this size has rampant office politics, and the quality of the 1st-level support is subpar.
    • Big companies also tend to be difficult to work with, and hard to talk to an empathetic human who’s willing to listen to you.
    • If you have an issue and need to escalate your problem to a higher-tier support level, it takes a lot of back and forth and a long time before they’ll take a look at your issue (if that happens at all).

      Poor Mailchimp customer service
  • Setting up drips emails/sequences is cumbersome.
    • Takes a lot of back and forth clicking and waiting for pages to load.
    • Especially frustrating when you have a lot of emails in the sequence and/or have a lot of sequences.
  • Mailchimp is a “list-based” platform, but can also do “tagging”.
    • New users could be confused as to which one to use to segment their subscribers. Should they use lists or tags?
  • Need to create a different list (and set up the respective settings) for each interest/topic is cumbersome.
  • When an all-in-one marketing tool breaks or goes down, your entire marketing pieces go down as well.

Pricing

  • Free plan is available with the following conditions:
    • Their logo on every email you send.
    • Max 10k emails/month with a limit of 2k emails/day.
    • No customer support after 30 days.
    • No automation at all.
    • Once you go past their free plan, the pricing gets expensive quickly.
  • No free trial for paid plans as they already have a free plan.
  • Unsubscribes and unconfirmed contacts count towards your billing.
  • The same subscriber in different lists are counted multiple times.
    • E.g. John Doe is on 6 different lists. You are charged with 6 subscribers (instead of 1).
  • There’s a sending limit cap, even on paid plans: [insert screeenshot – already have] [alt text: This AWeber alternative places a sending limit on their plan]

    This AWeber alternative places a sending limit on their plan
    • E.g. Essentials plan — 10x limit
    • Standard plan — 12x limit
    • Premium plan — 15x limit
  • There’s also a contacts limit on each plan:
    • You’re forced to upgrade to a higher plan when you reach a certain number of subscribers.
    • E.g. The Standard plan can only accommodate 100k contacts.

AWeber vs Mailchimp At A Glance

AweberMailchimp (Standard)
Target audienceEveryone and anyone.Everyone and anyone.
Target business sizeSmall businesses.All sizes — small, medium, and large corporations.
Top featureAuto get color theme from your website, to be used for your emails.All-in-one platform can do a lot of things under one roof.
ConA/B testing is cumbersome and flawed.Doesn’t take data privacy seriously. No free migration.
Price (5k contacts)$49.99/m$49.99/m


Alternative to AWeber #3 — ConvertKit

Overview

  • This next alternative to AWeber was founded in 2013. Its name is ConvertKit and they initially targeted bloggers. It has since undergone a few iterations and now targets creators.
  • It provides good deliverability and customer service.
  • Email sequences are set up within a single page — making it quick to set them up.

Features

  • Email marketing automation.
    • Email drip campaigns / sequences / email series — e.g. welcome series.
    • Subscriber behavior-based automation like: if subscriber clicks email link X → tag with [interested in X] and subscribe to sequence X.
  • A visual automation builder is also available for more complex automations.
  • Send real-time broadcasts to subscribers.
  • Incentive emails.
    • If you use confirmed/double opt-in, you can activate this feature to automatically confirm subscribers when they click to download your lead magnet in the confirmation email.
  • Sell your products and services.
    • ConvertKit has recently ventured into online selling. You can sell your products/services through them.
    • They’ll take a certain cut from your revenue, in addition to payment processing/Stripe fees.

Cons

  • Subscriber can’t choose which topics they want to unsubscribe from and which ones to remain subscribed to.
    • As mentioned above, it’s common for people to change their mind.
    • One day they’re interested in SEO and social media; the next month they’re only interested in SEO.
    • But because there’s no way to stay subscribed to SEO-only related emails, they unsubscribe from you completely, never to hear from you ever again.
    • Result → you lose precious subscribers (which could have been avoided if they can choose to receive emails only about SEO).
  • There isn’t a way to set up an auto resend to people who haven’t opened your sequence emails. You can only do so for broadcast emails.
  • A/B testing is limited.
    • You can’t customize the email percentages for the Original, Variation, and Winner email. Their set up (which can’t be changed) is as follows:
      • 15% for Original
      • 15% for Variation
      • 70% for Winner
    • There also isn’t a way to customize the test duration (4 hours in CK’s case).
    • And you can’t specify the winner criteria.
      • The ConvertKit criteria is only based on email open rate. If you want to based on click rate or sales revenue, you can’t.
    • ConvertKit’s premise is to keep things simple and they decide it for you so that you don’t have to make these decisions. However, if you want more control, you’re out of luck.
  • No built-in abandoned cart email functionality.
    • You need to use another external tool — Zapier — to achieve this.
  • No spam testing built inside the email editor.
    • Spam testing is useful so that folks know how “spammy” their email messages are, and if they’re too spammy, they can adjust the content.
  • Stats reporting is limited. Open and click rates are available, but…
    • No bounce stats.
    • No spam stats.
    • Can’t know who has opened a specific email but hasn’t clicked.
    • Stats are also randomly sorted.

      AWeber’s competitor - ConvertKit - their stats are randomly sorted
  • Hassle to search things inside CK.
    • Most of their sections/pages don’t have filters for users to search.
      • Some of these known pages: sequences page, visual automations page, rules page, forms and landing pages.
      • This means you’d need to use your eyes to manually search for things you’re looking for. If you have a lot of data in the account, it’s gets really tiring and frustrating.
  • Sales and revenue tracking is limited.
    • They are able to track sales and revenue, but they don’t tell you which emails contributed to the sales.
    • They also don’t tell you how much money a specific email generated.

Pricing


ConvertKit pricing table

  • Free plan available with the following limitations:
    • No automation at all — no sequences, rules, visual automation.
    • Their logo on your every email.
    • Max 1k contacts.
  • For their paid plans, they offer a free 14 days trial.
  • You are not charged for unconfirmed and unsubscribed contacts.
  • Only unique contacts are counted towards your billing.

AWeber vs ConvertKit At A Glance

AweberConvertKit (Creator)
Target audienceEveryone and anyone.Creators.
Target business sizeSmall businesses.Small businesses.
Top featureAuto get color theme from your website, to be used for your emails.Segmentation is easy via their tagging feature.
ConA/B testing is cumbersome and flawed.Simple email editor. Folks who want fancy email design is not suitable.
Price (5k contacts)$49.99/m$79/m


AWeber Competitor #4 — ActiveCampaign

Overview

  • Many people thought this AWeber alternative (ActiveCampaign) is a “new-ish” company. But it’s been around since 2003:
    When this Aweber alternative was founded
  • All-in-one marketing platform that can do a lot of things.
    • In addition to email marketing, it can do SMS marketing, site/chat/support messaging, sales & CRM, etc.
  • Targets everyone and anyone who wants to do email marketing, and then some.
  • Targets all business sizes, from small to big corporations.
  • Very advanced automation. If you can dream of an automation, you can probably build it in ActiveCampaign.

Features

  • Email marketing automation.
    • Can do simple email sequences/drip campaigns.
    • Also have behavior-based automation.
      • If X happens, do Y. E.g. If contact clicks link X, tag with X and subscribe to sequence X.
    • Can also do advanced marketing automation.
  • Send or schedule one-off broadcast emails.
  • Sales & CRM (Plus plan).
    • For planning and managing your sales pipeline.
  • Lead scoring (Plus plan).
    • Identify the most engaged contacts in your list so you can treat them better.
  • A/B test emails.
    • You can test the subject line, from name, as well as the body content of the email message.
  • Preview text.
    • Short teaser right after the subject line to further entice subscribers to open your emails.
  • Site messaging or chat/support (Professional plan).
    • Communicate and provide support to visitors, subscribers, and customers right on your site.
  • SMS (Plus plan).
    • Send SMS in addition to emails.

Cons

  • Slow and clunky UI.
  • Setting up simple email drip campaigns/sequences require a lot of mouse-clicking and back and forth loading of pages.
  • Resend to non-openers is inconvenient.
    • You can’t set it up beforehand — can only resend manually.
    • When you’re inside your account trying to resend manually, you also can’t schedule the resend. This means you must login at the exact date and time you want to do the resend.
  • Sales tracking is only available in the Professional plan (which costs a whopping $159/month for 1k contacts).
    • Even at this price point, there’s no way to get the ALTV (average lifetime value) of your subscribers.
  • ActiveCampaign is a list-based platform — meaning you’d need to create a separate list and configure the settings for each list (which is a hassle).

Pricing

  • No free plan, but a free 14-days trial is available.
  • Price lock is for 2 years only.

    Pricing is only grandfathered in for 2 years
    • When they increase their price later, you’re only grandfathered in at the old price for 2 years. After that, you’ll have to pay the new, higher prices.
  • Does not charge you for unconfirmed and unsubscribed contacts.
  • Count only unique contacts towards your billing.

AWeber vs ActiveCampaign At A Glance

AweberActiveCampaign (Lite)
Target audienceEveryone and anyone.Everyone and anyone.
Target business sizeSmall businesses.All sizes — small, medium, large companies are all welcomed.
Top featureAuto get color theme from your website, to be used for your emails.Very advanced automations. If you can dream of an automation, you can probably build it.
ConA/B testing is cumbersome and flawed.Slow UI. Setting up simple drip emails is cumbersome and involves a lot of mouse-clicking.
Price (5k contacts)$49.99/m$99/m

With 4 AWeber alternatives compared, let’s move to the last one…


AWeber Alternatives: #5 — GetResponse

Overview

  • Founded in 1997 by Simon Grabowski, GetResponse is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, email marketing automation software around.

    Mailchimp’s competitor - GetResponse - their history through the years
  • It has a unique customizable dashboard that you can tweak to your liking.
  • They provide good customer support.

Features

  • Email automation capabilities.
    • Set up email series / drip campaigns.
    • Subscriber behavior automation like: “if subscriber do X, then perform Y”.
      • E.g. If subscriber opens or clicks, tag with X and subscribe to sequence X.
  • Send one-time broadcast emails or schedule them to be sent at a later time.
  • Abandoned cart emails (Pro plan).
    • Follow up with folks who abandoned their shopping cart via emails, to convert them to sales.
  • Lead scoring feature (Plus plan).
    • “Profile” each of your subscribers by giving them a score based on their engagement with you.
    • You can then identify your hot subscribers and make more offers to them.
  • Spam testing.
    • Test the “spamminess” of your email message before sending it out to subscribers, for maximum results.
  • Sell your products/offers.
    • Integrate your Stripe or PayPal account with your GetResponse account to start selling via GetResponse.
    • Auto delivery of simple digital products to your customers.
  • Tagging contacts (Plus plan).
  • Also have other features like Instagram and Facebook ads management, website builder, chat/customer support tool, and even a webinar tool (Plus plan).

Cons

  • No free migration if you move to them from your current tool.
  • Deliverability not that good; could be improved.
  • All-in-one marketing tool means there’s a lot of features under the hood.
    • Typically when you have so many features, it becomes harder and more clunkier to use.
  • Setting up simple automated email series is inconvenient.
    • Involves a lot of back and forth clicking of the mouse and loading pages after pages.
    • E.g. If you have 10 emails in the series, you’d need to go back and forth 10 different times to load 10 different pages. That’s for 1 email series. What happens if you have 5 email series?
  • Though the email editor has improved, the UI is still buggy.
  • The need to set up a different list (along with its settings) for each segment/interest is inconvenient.

Pricing

[insert screenshot – already have] [alt text: GetResponse plans and prices]

GetResponse plans and prices

  • GetResponse as a free plan with the following caveats:
    • No sequences / email drip campaigns.
    • Their branding on every one of your emails.
    • No automation whatsoever.
    • Max 500 subscribers.
  • For their paid plans, they offer a 30 days free trial.
  • They don’t charge you for unsubscribed and unconfirmed contacts.
  • But they do charge you for the same contact in different lists.
    • E.g. James is on 5 of your lists. You pay for 5 “contacts”.
  • Tagging is only available in Plus plan (and above).

AWeber vs GetResponse At A Glance

AweberGetResponse (Plus)
Target audienceEveryone and anyone.Everyone and anyone.
Target business sizeSmall businesses.All sizes regardless if it’s small, medium, or big corporations.
Top featureAuto get color theme from your website, to be used for your emails.Webinar functionality.
ConA/B testing is cumbersome and flawed.Deliverability not that good.
Price (5k contacts)$49.99/m$79/m


AWeber Alternatives Price Comparison (price per month)

Brand1k Contacts2.5k Contacts5k Contacts10k Contacts25k Contacts50k Contacts100k Contacts
Aweber$29$29.99$49.99$69.99$149.99??
Mailchimp (Standard)$51.99$51.99$79.99$105$230$320$540
ConvertKit (Creator)$29$49$79$119$199$379$679
ActiveCampaign (Lite)$29$55$99$155$259$345$505
GetResponse (Plus)$49$59$79$95$179$299$499
BirdSend$9$14$19$29$69$109$209

Conclusion — which AWeber alternative should you go for?

Now that you’ve seen the 5 AWeber alternatives, which one is right for you?

If you want to save 80% in email tool expenses every month, yet still enjoy high email deliverability, go for BirdSend.

If you need to create super advanced marketing automation beyond just emails, give ActiveCampaign a try.

If you want webinar functionality but don’t mind the not so good deliverability, try GetResponse.

Welly Mulia

👋 My customers (Content Creators) send 30M emails/month via BirdSend. They save 80% in email tool expenses every month while still enjoying high email opens.

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Try BirdSend Free Now!

Save 80% every month. High email opens. Super fast email sequence setup.

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