best email marketing platforms

The fact you landed on this page suggests to me that you already know the importance of email marketing.

Otherwise you wouldn’t be looking for the best email marketing platforms. So I’m not going to bore you about how great email marketing is — how it can generate a return of 44X ROI and how billions of emails are sent per day, etc.

But I do want to give a quick intro of what an email marketing platform actually is, so we’re on the same page.

An email marketing platform is a tool / app / software that you use to send bulk emails to those who have given you permission to email them.

Whether it’s sending the latest issue of your email newsletter or automated emails — the idea is to provide value to your subscribers and make their lives easier. And you do that be keeping in touch with them so they know, like and trust you — and eventually buy from you.

Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, etc. are not email marketing platforms — they are mailbox providers used to send (and receive) individual emails (not bulk emails).

Email marketing platforms are also not used for sending cold emails. Those are called email outreach platforms.

Below I’ve compiled a list of the 6 best email marketing platforms today (including our very own BirdSend email marketing platform):

In a hurry? Here’s how you can save 80% every month in email marketing platform expenses while still enjoy high email opens. Give BirdSend a free try today.

Best Email Marketing Platforms Quick Comparison Table

 BirdSendMailchimp (Standard)ActiveCampaign (Lite)ConvertKit (Creator)AWeberGetResponse (Plus)
Price 1k contacts
(per month)
$9$51.99$30$29$29.99$49
Price 2.5k$14$51.99$61$49$29.99`$59
Price 5k$19$79.99$99$79$49.99$79
Price 10k$29$105$174$119$69.99$95
Price 25k$69$230$286$199$149.99$179
Price 50k$109$230$424$379?$299
Price 100k$209$320$687$679?$499
RefundsYesNo, not even partial refundsNo, not even partial refundsYesYesNo, not even partial refunds
Free planNo (why?)Yes, with the following limitations:

- Its clickable logo on your every email

- No sequence or any kind of automation

- Max 2k contacts

- Max 2k emails/day; 10k emails/month

- Customer support only for 30 days
NoYes, with the following limitations:

- Its clickable logo on your every email

- No sequence or any kind of automation

- Max 1k contacts
Yes, with the following limitations:

- Its clickable logo on your every email

- No behavioral automation

- 1 list only

- Max 500 contacts

- Max 3k emails/month
Yes, with the following limitations:

- Its clickable logo on your every email

- No sequence or any kind of automation

- Max 500 contacts
Free migrationYesNoYesOnly for paid plansOnly for paid plansNo
Best forBudget-conscious content creators who want to get high email opens (how is this possible?)Everyone and anyone who wants an all-in-one marketing platform incl. postcard marketing, FB and Google ads management, CRM, online scheduling, domain registration, etc.Everyone and anyone who wants to do advanced email marketing automation + CRM + SMSMore affluent creators who also want online selling features inside an email marketing toolSmall businesses who only need simple email automationBusinesses ready to scale with a dedicated sales team
Standout features- The 1-Page Sequence Builder makes creating sequences super fast

- The Email Earnings Tracker automatically tracks income generated from emails
- Subscriber replies are saved and displayed in email editor- Automation map tool allows you to see at a high level how your automations connect to one another- Easy segmentation via tags- Can do simple surveys (yes/no, sentiment, 5-point how would you rate us, NPS)- Customizable dashboard

- Available in 26 languages
Cons- No fancy drag and drop email templates (why?)

- No landing page features insides an email marketing platform (why?)
- Resend to unopened can’t be set up beforehand

- None of the paid plans have unlimited sending

- There’s a max number of contacts on each plan (i.e. when you grow, you need to upgrade even if you don’t need the extra features)

- Too many menus lead to confusion

- Has a history of not taking email privacy seriously — previously almost disabled double optin for all its users
- Slow UI and clunky visual builder

- Resend to unopened can’t be set up beforehand
- Subscribers can only unsubscribe from all (can’t unsubscribe from certain topics only)

- Outsources email deliverability

- Can’t auto resend in sequences

- Can’t rename broadcasts for more intuitive naming (only shows the subject line; problem when you send the same email to different segments; confusion when there are many broadcasts and you forgot the intent of each one)
- A/B testing is flawed — no automatic winner, have to manually set up 3 emails

- Not good for segmentation

- Limited automation
- Tags can only be added to contacts via automation (can’t add manually)

- Clunky and buggy interface

- Deliverability could be improved
Only bills you for unique contacts? i.e. Duplicate subscribers in different lists are charged as 1 contact only?Yes, only charges unique contactsNo, bills you multiple times for same contact in different listsYes, only charges unique contactsYes, only charges unique contactsNo, bills you multiple times for same contact in different listsNo, bills you multiple times for same contact in different lists
Does it charge unsubscribed and unconfirmed contacts?No, only bill you for contacts that you can send emails toYes, bills you for unsubscribed and unconfirmed contactsNo, only bill you for contacts that you can send emails toNo, only bill you for contacts that you can send emails toYes, bills you for unsubscribed and unconfirmed contactsYes, bills you for unsubscribed and unconfirmed contacts

(mobile readers, you can horizontally scroll left and right)
 BirdSendMailchimp (Standard)ActiveCampaign (Lite)ConvertKit (Creator)AWeberGetResponse (Plus)
Price 1k contacts
(per month)
$9$51.99$30$29$29.99$49
Price 2.5k$14$51.99$61$49$29.99`$59
Price 5k$19$79.99$99$79$49.99$79
Price 10k$29$105$174$119$69.99$95
Price 25k$69$230$286$199$149.99$179
Price 50k$109$230$424$379?$299
Price 100k$209$320$687$679?$499
RefundsYesNo, not even partial refundsNo, not even partial refundsYesYesNo, not even partial refunds
Free planNo (why?)Yes, with the following limitations:

- Its clickable logo on your every email

- No sequence or any kind of automation

- Max 2k contacts

- Max 2k emails/day; 10k emails/month

- Customer support only for 30 days
NoYes, with the following limitations:

- Its clickable logo on your every email

- No sequence or any kind of automation

- Max 1k contacts
Yes, with the following limitations:

- Its clickable logo on your every email

- No behavioral automation

- 1 list only

- Max 500 contacts

- Max 3k emails/month
Yes, with the following limitations:

- Its clickable logo on your every email

- No sequence or any kind of automation

- Max 500 contacts
Free migrationYesNoYesOnly for paid plansOnly for paid plansNo
Best forBudget-conscious content creators who want to get high email opens (how is this possible?)Everyone and anyone who wants an all-in-one marketing platform incl. postcard marketing, FB and Google ads management, CRM, online scheduling, domain registration, etc.Everyone and anyone who wants to do advanced email marketing automation + CRM + SMSMore affluent creators who also want online selling features inside an email marketing toolSmall businesses who only need simple email automationBusinesses ready to scale with a dedicated sales team
Standout features- The 1-Page Sequence Builder makes creating sequences super fast

- The Email Earnings Tracker automatically tracks income generated from emails
- Subscriber replies are saved and displayed in email editor- Automation map tool allows you to see at a high level how your automations connect to one another- Easy segmentation via tags- Can do simple surveys (yes/no, sentiment, 5-point how would you rate us, NPS)- Customizable dashboard

- Available in 26 languages
Cons- No fancy drag and drop email templates (why?)

- No landing page features insides an email marketing platform (why?)
- Resend to unopened can’t be set up beforehand

- None of the paid plans have unlimited sending

- There’s a max number of contacts on each plan (i.e. when you grow, you need to upgrade even if you don’t need the extra features)

- Too many menus lead to confusion

- Has a history of not taking email privacy seriously — previously almost disabled double optin for all its users
- Slow UI and clunky visual builder

- Resend to unopened can’t be set up beforehand
- Subscribers can only unsubscribe from all (can’t unsubscribe from certain topics only)

- Outsources email deliverability

- Can’t auto resend in sequences

- Can’t rename broadcasts for more intuitive naming (only shows the subject line; problem when you send the same email to different segments; confusion when there are many broadcasts and you forgot the intent of each one)
- A/B testing is flawed — no automatic winner, have to manually set up 3 emails

- Not good for segmentation

- Limited automation
- Tags can only be added to contacts via automation (can’t add manually)

- Clunky and buggy interface

- Deliverability could be improved
Only bills you for unique contacts? i.e. Duplicate subscribers in different lists are charged as 1 contact only?Yes, only charges unique contactsNo, bills you multiple times for same contact in different listsYes, only charges unique contactsYes, only charges unique contactsNo, bills you multiple times for same contact in different listsNo, bills you multiple times for same contact in different lists
Does it charge unsubscribed and unconfirmed contacts?No, only bill you for contacts that you can send emails toYes, bills you for unsubscribed and unconfirmed contactsNo, only bill you for contacts that you can send emails toNo, only bill you for contacts that you can send emails toYes, bills you for unsubscribed and unconfirmed contactsYes, bills you for unsubscribed and unconfirmed contacts

Note:

  • For Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, and GetResponse — not all features mentioned above (or anywhere in this article) are included in the stated plan above. This is because they offer many different plans. So make sure to do your due diligence.
  • For BirdSend and AWeber, all features mentioned are included as they only have 1 plan, differentiated only by the number of contacts.

Now that you’ve seen the comparison table above, let’s review the…

Criteria for reviewing email marketing platforms

I’m going to be using the following criteria when reviewing:

  • How easy is it to migrate from another platform?
  • What kind of automation can it do?
  • Does it have A/B testing feature?
  • Does it let people to unsubscribe from certain topics only (instead of unsubscribe from all)?
  • How is the email editor?
  • How is the ease of use of the tool?
  • How affordable it is compared to other options? (covered in the table above)
  • Who the platform is best for? (covered in the table above)

How easy is it to migrate from another platform?

In many calls with prospects, the biggest objection that prevents them from switching email tools is the huge amount of work it takes to move over their data.

They’d say things like: “Your platform looks great and price is great, but I just don’t have the time to move my data over.”

Which is why to answer this question of “how easy is it to migrate”, the best way is to see if the email marketing software provides a free migration service.

Without free migration assistance, you’re left on your own or you’d need to hire someone to do the heavy-lifting for you.

What kind of automation can it do?

There are generally 2 types of email automation:

1/ Time-based automation (sequences / drips / autoresponders)

These are drip email campaigns that you set up beforehand to send automated email messages to subscribers.

The purpose is to nurture your relationships with them by helping them solve some of their pain points, so that they know, like and trust you… and eventually buy from you.

2/ Behavior-based automation

These are automations that happen because of your subscribers’ actions.

For example, if they open or click a link in your emails → tag them with X and subscribe to sequence X, and remove from current sequence.

Or if they didn’t open a particular email → tag with [didn’t open] and subscribe to [sequence Y] to follow up further.

Does it have A/B testing feature?

A/B testing refers to creating 2 or more similar campaigns to test against each other. The goal is to find which one produces a better outcome, thereby optimizing our results.

For some, best results = higher email opens.

Others view higher clicks as more important.

I personally think higher earnings is a more accurate indicator since we’re in business to make money, not to get higher opens or clicks.

You can’t deposit higher opens and clicks in the bank, can you?

Does it let people to unsubscribe from certain topics only (instead of unsubscribe from all)?

You’ve spent so much time, energy, and money to acquire new subscribers. It should be a no-brainer that they can freely choose the types of emails they no longer want to receive (and those they want to continue receiving).

In this section, we’re going to see if the email marketing tool allows subscribers to unsubscribe from certain emails and remain subscribed to others.

How is the email editor?

Money is attracted to speed. The faster you can send emails, the more money you’ll make.

And a huge factor on how quick (or slow) you can crank out emails is how easy and quick the email editor is.

Typical “drag and drop” fancy email editors are much slower than simple WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editors.

WYSIWYG email editors like what you’d find in a Google Doc or a Word document is much faster and lighter.

Furthermore, email messages should be simple in design. Its job is to communicate and maintain a relationship with your subscribers, not to impress them with how good looking your emails look.

I can bet with 100% certainty not a single folk subscribed to you because of how good looking your design is — they subscribed because of how your CONTENT is going to help them.

This is an email message we’re talking about anyway, not websites or landing pages.

With a simple email design, it also helps you in the following ways:

  1. It helps with deliverability since the backend email html code is much simpler and cleaner.
  2. It helps give readers a feeling they’re dealing with someone personal (instead of dealing with a business or company) since friends write to friends with no design.
  3. It’s much faster to create the emails.

How easy is it to use the platform?

Similar to above, the overall ease of use of an email marketing platform plays a big role in determining whether you actually enjoy using it and therefore want to keep coming back to set up more emails or not.

More emails sent = more earnings.

A confusing and slow user interface (UI), for example, would deter you from using it as much as you’d like.

How affordable it is compared to other options?

(covered in the table above)

How much money can you save by using one of the tools compared to another?

Who the platform is best for?

(covered in the table above)

Each email marketing platform / tool, though share many similar features, has nuances that makes it more suitable for a certain type of user than others.

Next, let’s review 6 of the best email marketing platforms using the criteria above.


Email marketing platform #1 — BirdSend

How easy is it to migrate from another platform?

BirdSend offers a free concierge migration service that moves everything — your contacts, forms, sequences, automations, integrations, etc.

And this migration service is manually done by a human, not using any kind of script.

Simply tell us what you want moved, and a teammate will go inside your current email marketing tool and manually over your data.

See from a fellow user about her migration service experience:

birdsend migration review
(click here for full image)

— —

How is the deliverability?

Now, I want to address the elephant in the room — how can such an affordable email marketing tool deliver good email opens / deliverability?

Typically, affordability and deliverability don’t go hand-in-hand. They’re the direct opposite of each other.

Want to save money? Then experience poor deliverability.

Want to get good deliverability? Then be prepared to pay a premium.

BirdSend is able to offer both because unlike other tools, we don’t do any kind of paid ads. Our primary way of getting new customers is via word of mouth recommendations — existing satisfied customers referring us to their friends, peers, and network.

This, in turn, means we save a lot of money → we pass the savings back to our customers.

I cover more here on how we’re able to achieve and maintain good email deliverability / email opens.

Here’s what some of our users say about our deliverability / email opens:

birdsend open rate review
(click here for full image)

what people say about birdsend’s deliverability
(click here for full image)

And here’s our sending reputation according to Google Postmaster:

domain reputation according to google postmaster

ip reputation of this email marketing platform as rated by google postmaster

— —

Is there a free plan?

We don’t offer a free plan because we want to focus on serving paid customers to the best of our abilities. We’re a small team and have limited resources.

If we’re 100% only after fast growth at all costs, we’ll definitely introduce a free plan. But that’s not our target. We want to gradually grow and still have the capacity to provide the best service to customers.

— —

What kind of automation can it do?

Time-based automation (sequences) — check.

Not only check, but with BirdSend’s 1-Page Sequence Builder, it’s the fastest at creating email sequences. If you can find a tool that’s faster, let me know and I’ll give you a paid BirdSend account. Simply contact us by clicking the bottom right icon on this page to shame us 😅 + get a paid account on the house.

(no hard feelings)

build email drip campaigns quickly

Behavior-based automation — check.

— —

Does it have A/B testing feature?

Yes. You can split test subject lines.

You can customize the email ratios for the original, variation, and winner email.

And you can set the duration of test (1 hour, 6 hours, 1 day, etc.)

Plus, you’re able to specify the winner criteria — higher earnings, open rate, or click rate.

As far as I know, we’re also the only email marketing tool that has the “resend to unopened within an A/B test” feature, thereby generating more eyeballs for your emails:

a/b test of this email marketing software

— —

What is the email address collection process like?

BirdSend provides you with a WordPress plugin so that you can quickly display opt-in forms on your site(s).

We provide you with different types of opt-in forms like popups, in-content forms, bottom and sidebar widget forms, and welcome screens.

You can collect any kind of data you want apart from email address, in the form of custom fields.

The display trigger for these forms can also be set on a granular level.

E.g. Only show forms based on these conditions:

  • Exact URL entered
  • URL that contains or starts with certain keywords
  • Specific WordPress categories or tags or post types
  • URL parameters that has a certain value
  • Time on page after X seconds
  • Visitor scrolls for more than X% of the page
  • Exit intent

You can also set the frequency of the form:

  • Don’t show if closed in the last X days
  • Don’t show if submitted in the last X days
  • Don’t show if shown in the last X days

BirdSend does not have a dedicated landing page builder though, although you can use the “Welcome Screen” as a simplistic landing page that looks like this:

birdsend’s welcome screen used as a simple landing page

We believe in focusing on our core strength — email marketing — and let dedicated landing page tools focus on their core strength at creating great landing pages.

— —

Unsubscribe experience for subscribers

With BirdSend’s Subscriber Preferences Page, subscribers have total control of the types of emails they want to unsubscribe from and which ones to remain subscribed to. Or they can unsubscribe completely if that’s what they want.

subscribers can unsubscribe from this page

— —

How is the email editor?

BirdSend is a lightweight email marketing tool that embraces simplicity.

As such, it uses a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) email editor like Google Doc and Microsoft Word.

You can still insert images, banners, gifs, emojis, etc., but we don’t believe in a fancy drag and drop email editor.

(why? explained above)

customer testi about ease of use of this email marketing app
(click here for full image)

— —

How easy is it to use the platform?

BirdSend is a simple, no-frills and lightweight email marketing platform that places a heavy focus on speed of implementation. The user interface (UI) is minimalistic and things are where they should be.

This means navigating through the app, writing emails, setting up sequences and behavior-based automations are quick.

Here’s what the UI looks like:

clean and minimalistic user interface of birdsend

You’ll be up and running in no time.

this user says it’s easy to use


Email marketing platform #2 — Mailchimp

In September 2021, Mailchimp was bought by Intuit for $12 billion USD.

Mailchimp is one of the oldest email marketing companies around. It’s currently the biggest email marketing company on earth, comprising of more than 1,200 employees.

mailchimp has 1200 employees

From its humble beginnings, Mailchimp has grown into an all-in-one “marketing” platform (not just “email” marketing) — meaning you can do almost any kind of marketing activity you can think of inside the platform.

Things like postcard marketing, website builder, e-commerce online shop builder, Facebook, Google, and Instagram ads management, landing page builder, online booking / appointment tool, shopping cart, social media posting and scheduling, domain registration, etc.

This is what their UI looks like:

mailchimp’s confusing UI

— —

How easy is it to migrate from another platform?

If you fancy a move to Mailchimp — unfortunately, it doesn’t provide a free migration service. You need to move everything yourself or pay someone to do it for you.

— —

What kind of automation can it do?

With regards to automation, it can do both sequences / drip emails (time-based automation) as well as behavior-based automation.

It’s a hassle to set up automated emails though because you need to go back and forth and load endless pages. If you have 10 emails inside an automation, you’d need to go back and forth to load 10 different pages.

— —

Does it have A/B testing feature?

Yes, you can test subject line, from name, email body, and send time.

— —

Opt-in forms

You can create opt-in forms and landing pages to capture people’s email addresses.

Sadly, the opt-in form creation process is confusing and convoluted. Unlike forms, however, creating landing pages is smoother and much more intuitive.

— —

Unsubscribe experience for subscribers

Subscribers can simply click an unsubscribe link in the email footer and they’ll be taken to a page where they can choose which list they want to unsubscribe from or unsubscribe completely.

— —

How is the email editor?

Like 99% of email tools, it uses a “drag and drop” email editor to create the email message. You can build fancy-designed emails with one- or multiple-column layouts.

— —

How easy is it to use the platform?

Because there are so many features, there’s a deep learning curve to use it. But you really can’t fault it since it has to taken into account hundreds if not thousands of use cases from so many different types of users (Mailchimp targets anyone and everyone).

— —

mailchimp does not offer refunds

Email marketing platform #3 — ActiveCampaign

It seems like ActiveCampaign suddenly sprung out of nowhere to fame in recent years, but it’s actually been around for a long time (founded in 2003).

activecampaign founded many years ago

Though not as famous as its competitors in the early years, it has now become a powerhouse in the marketing automation software space.

— —

How easy is it to migrate from another platform?

Moving over to ActiveCampaign shouldn’t be too much of a hassle as it provides a free migration service.

Though if your previous email marketing platform don’t have automation capability as advanced as ActiveCampaign, you’ll most likely have to hire a consultant / agency to implement your ideas (unless you’re well-versed in this area).

— —

What kind of automation can it do?

ActiveCampaign is famous for its ability to create advanced and complex marketing automations. Read that again: I didn’t say “email” automation. I said “marketing” automation.

Like Mailchimp, it’s an all-in-one marketing platform that can do a lot — SMS, sales and CRM, email marketing, A/B test within automation workflows (rare feature), site / support / chat messaging, landing pages, lead scoring, etc.

Same as Mailchimp, setting up automated emails is a hassle with the constant back and forth loading of pages. Say you have 15 emails in the automation → you’d need to load 15 pages to write 15 emails.

— —

Does it have A/B testing feature?

Yes, you can A/B test subject line, from name, and email body.

You can also do A/B test within automation workflows — which is a rare feature.

— —

Opt-in forms

There are 4 types of opt-in forms you can create: inline, floating bar, floating box, and modal (popup):

types of opt-in forms in activecampaign

Recently, it has also introduced landing page capability.

— —

Unsubscribe experience for subscribers

ActiveCampaign allows subscribers to choose which list(s) to unsubscribe from, simply by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of the email.

— —

How is the email editor?

To create emails in ActiveCampaign, you open their “drag and drop” email editor. You can either start from scratch or choose from an existing email template. The idea with drag and drop editors like this is to build “beautifully-designed” emails that try to look fancy.

As I’ve explained above, I personally don’t like an editor like this because it’s slow.

— —

How easy is it to use the platform?

The curse of being an all-in-one platform is that it’s hard to use. Same reason as stated above — the platform has to take into account all use cases and built those into the platform since it’s targeting all kinds of users from all types of businesses who want to do all types of marketing activities (which is what ActiveCampaign targets).

— —

activecampaign does not offer any kind of refunds

Email marketing platform #4 — ConvertKit

ConvertKit was founded in 2013. It initially targeted bloggers but has since expanded to the more general “creators” to become one of the best email marketing platforms around.

Recently, it has introduced online selling features, enabling creators to sell their products or services inside the email tool. If you do sell through ConvertKit, it charges you an additional 0.6% fee on top of Stripe payment processing fees (which is 2.9% + $0.30). So the total fee is 3.5% + $0.30

— —

How easy is it to migrate from another platform?

If you’re on a paid plan, ConvertKit provides you with a free migration service. Free plans, understandably, don’t get this privilege.

— —

What kind of automation can it do?

ConvertKit can do both time-based (sequences) + behavior based automation.

ConvertKit uses a similar type of structure when it comes to sequence emails. All emails are created (and edited) within 1 single page — there’s no need to load pages endlessly.

— —

Does it have A/B testing feature?

Yes, but ConvertKit’s A/B test is limited in the following ways:

  • Can’t customize the email ratios for the original email, the variation email, and winner email (it’s preset at 15% for original and variation; and 70% for winner)
  • Can’t set the winner criteria (it’s only based on higher open rate)
  • Can’t set the duration of the test (it’s fixed at 4 hours)

— —

Opt-in forms

It has opt-in forms and landing pages that you can use to capture email addresses.

— —

Unsubscribe experience for subscribers

One of the biggest negatives for ConvertKit is it uses an “all or nothing” approach.

Subscribers can only choose to subscribe to all types of emails or unsubscribe completely from all emails.

There is no “in-between”.

If Harry Potter wants to subscribe only to topic X but not topic Y… or if he wants to receive monthly updates instead of weekly — tough luck — he can’t.

This type of approach (as I’ve explained above) is detrimental to your business. You’ve worked so hard to acquire subscribers only for them to unsubscribe completely from you… just because your email marketing platform can’t handle unsubscribes based on preferences.

— —

How is the email editor?

Like BirdSend, ConvertKit believes in simplicity when it comes to email messages.

It also uses a simple WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) email editor like those found in Google Docs or Microsoft Word. There isn’t any drag and drop element or feature when creating email messages.

— —

How easy is it to use the platform?

Using ConvertKit is straightforward, although it used to be easier before online selling features were introduced. But overall, it’s still a pleasure to use.

There are, however, a few annoyances:

  • In some sections of the app, there isn’t a search feature. When you have a lot of automation, sequences, rules… it adds up over time and everything gets cluttered.

Say you want to edit a particular sequence or automation, you need to manually (and endlessly) scroll through the page to find what you’re looking for (with your EYES) — which gets tiring → frustration and waste of time.



convertkit doens’t have search function - makes it hard to find things

  • Stats are also randomly sorted, which isn’t useful:

    stats in convertkit are randomly sorted

Email marketing platform #5 — AWeber

Founded in 1998, AWeber is one of the grandaddies of email marketing tools.

It used to compete head-to-head with Mailchimp and GetResponse in the early 2000s when there weren’t many options for consumers.

But along the way, it got complacent and stopped innovating and improving. ConvertKit describes it as “a tool stuck in 1999”:

convertkit says aweber is stuck in the past

As more email marketing tools emerged, each promising innovative features and improvements current with the latest developments in email marketing, AWeber gradually got relegated to the lower echelon of email marketing platforms.

But in recent years (starting in 2017 ish) it seems to be making a comeback by introducing improvements and features more comparable to current email marketing standards.

— —

How easy is it to migrate from another platform?

To entice you to sign up for AWeber, it offers a free migration service to move over your data from your old email tool. Only for paid plans though.

Free plans — no migration service.

— —

What kind of automation can it do?

For automation, it can do both sequences / autoresponders and also behavior-based automation.

The latter is a bit limited though. For instance, if you want to move a contact / subscriber from one sequence to another when he clicks a link, you can’t. You can only tag him with X and / or remove him from current sequence.

Same with Mailchimp and ActiveCampaign, prepare to load infinite pages when setting up your autoresponder / sequence emails.

— —

Does it have A/B testing feature?

AWeber claims it has A/B test, but I feel it’s more a hack rather than an actual feature.

Here’s why:

  • First, you need to manually set up 3 email messages — for the original, variation, and winner
  • Second, there’s no “automatic winner” feature — i.e. you’d need to REMEMBER to login to your account after a certain amount of time has passed since the emails were sent, and then send the winner to the remaining recipients

aweber a/b or split test is flawed

— —

Opt-in forms

You can create forms as well as landing pages within the tool.

— —

Unsubscribe experience for subscribers

When subscribers click the unsubscribe link in the footer of the email, they’ll be taken to a “subscriber preferences page” where they can select the type of emails they wish to unsubscribe from or unsubscribe entirely.

— —

How is the email editor?

AWeber’s email editor features some 700 email templates (which is a lot!), though many are outdated as they’ve been accumulated for decades (since the very beginning of its inception)

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How easy is it to use the platform?

The platform itself is intuitive and easy to navigate. Things are where they should be, and the UI is simple.

One thing to watch out is to make sure you’re in the correct “list” when editing / creating. Otherwise you could accidentally make changes to the wrong list.

aweber email marketing platform be careful of which list you're on

Email marketing platform #6 — GetResponse

In the early 2000s, if you were to ask which are the best email marketing platforms — the answer is likely to be one of these: Mailchimp, AWeber, or GetResponse.

GetResponse was founded in 1997 and was originally a tool for email marketing only.

founding year of getresponse

Today it is an all-encompassing marketing platform that does pretty much every marketing task imaginable.

From email marketing to building your own e-commerce online store, CRM, webinars, website builder, landing page builder, Facebook and Google ads management, chat / support / site messaging, lead scoring, full-fledged sales funnels — you name it, it has it.

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How easy is it to migrate from another platform?

Moving to GetResponse is tricky because it doesn’t provide you with a free migration. You have to do it yourself or pay someone to do it for you 😭

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What kind of automation can it do?

You can do both drip emails / sequences and behavior-based automation.

Again, same as the other email marketing platforms in this article (apart from BirdSend and ConvertKit), creating and setting up automated emails is a hassle.

Have 10 emails inside a sequence? Go back and forth and load 10 different pages.

Imagine having 5 sequences like this? You’d need to load 50 pages!

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Does it have A/B testing feature?

Yes, you can test subject line. You can also set the winner criteria — higher open or click rate.

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Opt-in forms

It provides you with forms and landing pages functionalities that you can use to build an email list.

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Unsubscribe experience for subscribers

Like other email platforms on this list (with the exception of ConvertKit), subscribers can easily choose the types of emails they want to unsubscribe.

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How is the email editor?

For the email editor, GetResponse also uses a “drag and drop” style to build emails. If designing beautiful emails with heavy media is your cup of tea, drag and drop email builders like this should meet your needs.

However, the editor is clunky and buggy, though it has gotten better in recent years.

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How easy is it to use the platform?

Like other all-in-one platforms, learning to use it is going to require patience as there are lot of menus and sub-menus inside the app. The UI is also somewhat slow.

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getresponse no refunds

TL;DR Which email marketing platform should you choose?

It’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it?

As you’ve probably guessed, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. As much as you (and I) hate it, the answer is, “The best email marketing platform depends on your needs”.

If you’re a budget-conscious content creator and high email opens / deliverability is important, go for BirdSend.

If you want super advanced marketing automation, go for ActiveCampaign.

If you have a sales team and sell high ticket deals that require lead nurturing, but don’t mind the no refund policy, go for 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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Save 80% every month. High email opens. Super fast email sequence setup.

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