convertkit vs aweber vs birdsend featured image

ConvertKit vs AWeber is a popular showdown. Both are popular email service providers in their own right.

Let’s add another one to the mix — BirdSend — which is a newer email marketing tool (since 2018).

BirdSend is the email marketing tool my team and I created because we saw a gap in the market. No one was serving the “budget-conscious content creators who still want great email deliverability” market.

Typically affordability doesn’t go hand in hand with deliverability — I’m sure you’ve heard this.

But we’ve solved this problem. I’ll tell you more below…

If you’re short on time and want to save 80% every month and get high email opens, sign up for a BirdSend risk-free trial here.

Table of Contents

ConvertKit vs AWeber vs BirdSend in a nutshell

BirdSend

BirdSend is an email marketing tool for content creators who want great email deliverability at an extremely affordable price (save as much as 80% every month).

As I mentioned above, typically it’s not possible to have both deliverability and affordability.

We’re able to achieve both because we rely on word of mouth to generate new customers. We don’t do paid ads → we save a ton of money and pass them back to our customers.

If our deliverability sucks, no one would refer us to their network → we’d have been out of business a long time ago.

BirdSend is suitable for folks understand it’s their email content (the meat) that matters most — not fancy-designed emails (the fluff) that look like they were sent from a company rather than an individual.

BirdSend is also best suited for a one-man operation business or those running a tiny team of less than 10.

Deliverability, speed (efficiency), and affordability is BirdSend’s core focus.

ConvertKit

ConvertKit is for more well-to-do creators who don’t mind the email tool they use outsources its email deliverability to external vendors (instead of handling it in-house).

This may or may not be a problem for you.

Do consider though… when deliverability problems occur (it’s a matter of when, not if), an external outsourced team responds slower compared to having an in-house deliverability team.

ConvertKit is also for those who want a landing page + shopping cart tool inside their email marketing tool.

AWeber

AWeber is for all kinds of businesses — ecom online shops, agencies, local brick and mortar shops, digital product creators, etc — who don’t do a lot of segmentation.

Because of how its system is set up a long time ago, it categorizes subscribers based on “lists”. If you do quite a bit of segmenting, it’s overwhelming to manage your subscribers — since each subscriber can subscribe to multiple different “lists”.

Hence it’s hard to keep track and manage your overall interaction with subscribers. Not to mention the possibility of sending duplicate emails.

How content creators save 80% every month while still getting you high email opens

Content creators use BirdSend to send 30 million emails per month affordably, but are still able to get high email deliverability.

User says the inboxing is amazing
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Another user - grow email list and boost in email opens
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Content creators includes but is not limited to: bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers, course creators, coaches, consultants, agencies, speakers and trainers. If you share / teach knowledge to others, you’re a content creator.

I’ve sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Money is attracted to speed.” With BirdSend, setting up email series / sequences / drips is super fast. I dare say faster than anything you’ve tried. If you don’t agree after taking it for a spin, let me know and I’ll give you a paid account on the house. No joke.

Lightweight and fast email marketing software
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Over the next few sections, let’s go through some (email marketing related) questions to see how each tool fares.

ConvertKit vs AWeber vs BirdSend features review

BirdSend

Can subscribers control the types of emails they get?

Yes. With The Subscriber Preferences Page — subscribers can easily select the types of emails they want to receive — whether it’s based on topics or frequency.

convertkit vs aweber - why The Subscriber Preferences Page is unique to BirdSend

Does it charge the same contact multiple times?

Only unique contacts are charged. E.g. Bruce Banner is on 7 different sequences and has 10 different tags assigned — he’ll still count as 1 contact.

For unconfirmed and unsubscribed contacts, do they get billed?

You’re only charged for subscribed contacts whom you can send emails to.

Does it offer free migration?

Yes. When you move to BirdSend, we’ll transfer all your data from your previous email tool — subscribers, forms, automations, sequences / series, integrations, etc.

What the migration process is like with BirdSend
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Does the tool have autoresponders / email series / sequences feature?

Yes. Not only do we have it, we have The 1-Page Email Sequence Builder. You simply write and edit all email messages inside this 1 page, no matter if your email series contains 10 or 25 emails. Imagine the precious time you’d have saved instead of going back and forth and loading 10 to 25 screens (which is how most email tools operate).

What is split testing (A/B testing) like?

Yes. You can set the email percentage for the original email, the variation email, and the winner.

You’re also able to specify the winner criteria — based on higher open rate, higher click rate, or higher sales revenue.

And you can also set the test duration.

A/B or split testing feature

What about auto resending emails to subscribers who didn’t open?

You can do this easily in 1-click while you’re setting up the email so that it’s “set it and forget it”.

How to set up auto resend to subscribers who didn’t open email

Is it easy and quick to set things up?

Yes, BirdSend’s core focus is simplicity so that users can set things up quickly. I’ve already mentioned The 1-Page Email Sequence Builder above, which is all about speed.

Can it do automation based on subscriber behavior?

Yes. For example, when someone opens a specific email message or clicks a particular link, you can “profile” (tag) them and subscribe them to another sequence, remove from current sequence, remove tag from subscriber, etc.

Or when subscribers complete sequence X, move them to sequence Y, etc.

Can it segment subscribers?

Yes. Because we’re a subscriber-centric tool (as opposed to list-centric), you essentially have 1 master list and subscribers are “categorized” or “profiled” based on tags.

Hence it’s very quick to segment subscribers based on their behavior and what they signed up for.

Can it also create opt-in forms and landing pages?

You can create opt-in forms, but there isn’t a landing page feature. We believe in focusing on our core competency — email marketing — and let dedicated landing page tools focus on their competency too.

Are the stat reports comprehensive?

Yes. You can view the open rate, click rate, bounce rate, spam-complaint rate, earnings, earnings per subscriber, lifetime value, average lifetime value for the whole account or based on a specific campaign / tag, etc.

You can also know who opened a particular email, who clicked a specific email link, who bought which product for how much, and when.

Is the email editor fun and easy to use?

BirdSend’s email editor focuses on simplicity and speed. There is no “drag and drop” design elements for you to “drag and drop”. You can still add images / logos and call-to-action (CTA) buttons though.

Folks subscribe to your email list in the first place because of how your email content (knowledge, expertise, experience) can help them, not because of how cool your email design is. They subscribe not because they want to say, “Wow the email design is so nice.”

We’re talking about emails here, not website or landing page design.

Furthermore, a minimalistic email design achieves better deliverability because the backend html code is cleaner — which mailbox providers like.

Plus, it’s how friends email friends — there’s no “design” — white background, some text. Do you look forward to opening an email from a friend or from a company with a “beautiful” email?

Does it have “abandoned cart emails” functionality?

Yes. We currently integrate with these order-taking systems / carts out of the box:

  • aMember
  • MemberPress
  • SamCart
  • SendOwl
  • Shopify
  • Teachable
  • Thinkific
  • ThriveCart
  • WooCommerce

When someone buys, refunds, or cancels their subscription, you can run automations in your BirdSend account — e.g. tag them with the relevant tags, subscribe them to an abandoned sequence where you try to recoup lost sales, or remove them from the customer sequence, etc.

For carts not in the list above, you can achieve the integration with Zapier.

Can you send or schedule one-time broadcast emails?

Yes, you can do both easily.

Does it have a spam-score checker?

Yes, it’s built natively in the email editor and it only takes 1-click to check your spam score.

built-in spam score to check the how spammy your content is

Any free plan?

We don’t have a free plan because we want to focus our limited resources (we’re a small team) on giving our best support to paying customers, instead of spreading ourselves too thin.

We do, however, offer a free trial and a 30-day money back guarantee should you go past the free trial and don’t like us.

Does it provide good customer service?

Here you go:

Customer support sentiment for birdsend
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How good is the customer service provided by this email marketing app

How is the value for money?

When it comes to delivering emails to the inbox and offering email marketing functionalities like we do, at the price point we ask — there isn’t a tool that I know of that can match our “value for money”.

I’m obviously biased, so take that with a grain of salt 😅

Another important thing to note is: make sure the price of the tool does not jump like crazy as you grow the number of subscribers. With BirdSend, the price increase is linear and predictable.

And we “grandfather / lock in” your prices for every contacts level tier at the time of signup, even when we increase our price in the future.

Feedback from customers about value for money

Another customer review

High value for money according to this user

Pro

  • Save 3x – 5x every month (imagine how much you’ll save in years!)
  • Great email deliverability
  • Speed

Con

  • New player in the email marketing space (since 2018 only)
  • We’re a small team of 7
    • This could be a positive or negative. Positive because since we’re a small team, we’re tight knit and able to provide personalized customer service to our customers. Negative because — you probably want round-the-clock 24/7 support — in which we don’t provide.
  • We focus on simplicity. If you want advanced and complex automation, BirdSend is not for you.
  • Our plain-style / minimalistic email editor is not for folks who want fancy-designed emails

Next we’ll see what ConvertKit brings to the table in this ConvertKit vs AWeber vs BirdSend comparison post.

ConvertKit

Can subscribers control what types of emails they get?

No. It’s an all or nothing approach. They can either subscribe to all types of emails or unsubscribe completely from you.

This means ConvertKit unsubscribes your subscribers completely even when they’re only interested in hearing about certain topics.

It’s common for people to change their mind. Today, they’re interested in cooking delicious food + baking cakes. The next month they’re only interested in baking and no longer want emails about cooking.

Because there isn’t a way to only unsubscribe from certain email types, they end up unsubscribing completely → you lose more subscribers than you should.

Does it charge the same contact multiple times?

No. It only charges you for unique contacts (i.e. the same email address will only be counted as 1 contact).

For unconfirmed and unsubscribed contacts, do they get billed?

No.

Does it offer free migration?

Yes, for paid plans.

Are there autoresponder / email series / sequences feature?

IMO, this the “price of entry” for an email marketing tool. Yes ConvertKit has this feature.

What is split testing (A/B testing) like?

Limited A/B testing can be done with ConvertKit.

It’s limited in the following ways:

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

What about resending emails to subscribers who didn’t open?

You can resend broadcast emails to non-openers, but you can’t do so for sequence emails.

Is it easy and quick to set things up?

Yes. Like BirdSend, ConvertKit makes it easy for folks to set up email series / sequences.

Can it do automation based on subscriber behavior?

Yes. For example, you can tag subscribers’ interests based on their link clicks or move them from one sequence to another.

Can it segment subscribers?

Yes. Using its tagging system, you can easily and quickly create and assign tags.

Can it also create opt-in forms and landing pages?

Yes, you’re able to create opt-in forms and simple landing pages.

Are the stat reports comprehensive?

The reporting is somewhat lacking / shallow. It only shows you the open and click rates. Bounce and spam-complaint rates are not provided even though these are important indicators to a healthy (or unhealthy) list.

Open stats are also randomly sorted, which makes reviewing a bit harder.

ConvertKit vs AWeber - ConvertKit stats are shallow

Is the email editor fun and easy to use?

Yes. The email editor is simple and there isn’t any fancy template or drag and drop element. Like BirdSend, ConvertKit focuses on the actual email content instead of trying to come up with media-rich emals.

Does it have abandoned emails functionality?

Not out of the box, but you can do so with the help of Zapier.

Can you send or schedule one-time broadcast emails?

Yes.

Does it have a spam-score checker?

No. You’d need to use an external tool to check the spam score of your emails.

Any free plan?

Yes. The free plan comes with the following caveats:

  • its clickable logo in every one of your email
  • no sequences
  • doesn’t have behavioral automation
  • doesn’t provide free migration
  • max 1k contacts

A free trial is also available for its paid plans.

Does it provide good customer service?

This is kind of a hit and miss, depending on which customer support gent you’re interacting with. Overall, the customer service sentiment is good — they respond quickly and are knowledgeable about the product.

How is the value for money?

Given ConvertKit is for the more affluent creators (pricing is pretty steep for what it can do), there are better alternatives in terms of value for money.

Pro

Segmenting is easy and quick — via its tagging feature.

Con

  • No auto resend in sequences
  • Doesn’t provide you with a search filter based on when contacts joined your list
    • This type of filter is helpful, for example, when I want to exclude new contacts from receiving certain emails (e.g. promo emails)
  • If you have a lot of automations, sequences, broadcasts, and forms inside ConvertKit, it’s not easy to find what you’re looking for. This is because it doesn’t provide you with a search filter. You’d have to manually use your eyes to locate (which could get tiring)

    hard to find what you’re looking for
  • Its plain-style / minimalistic email editor is not for folks who want fancy-designed emails

AWeber

Can subscribers control what types of emails they get?

Yes. From the unsubscribe page, they can choose the types of emails they want to keep receiving and which ones to unsubscribe from.

Does it charge the same contact multiple times?

Yes. AWeber was built as a “list-based” system from the very beginning (since 1998 when it was founded).

At that time, it was how most email marketing tools were built. Today, a list-based system is considered archaic.

Because each list is treated differently, subscribers who are present in multiple lists are considered as different individuals.

I think the way they charge the same subscriber multiple times (if they’re in different lists) is because of this design flaw rather than intentional.

I also suspect AWeber’s insistence of using lists is because it’s very hard to switch and to keep their legacy customers happy.

For unconfirmed and unsubscribed contacts, do they get billed?

Yes, you are charged for both.

Does it offer free migration?

Yes.

Are there autoresponder / email series / sequences feature?

Yes.

What is split testing (A/B testing) like?

No really. AWeber says it has A/B test functionality.

But it’s flawed and cumbersome because:

  • You need to manually create 3 separate emails (original, variation, winner)
  • There is no automatic winner — i.e. after you’ve sent the broadcast → you wait for a while (you decide how long to wait) → you login to your account to manually check (using your eyes and brain) which one is the winner
  • And finally, you manually send the winner to the rest of the recipients

    ConvertKit vs AWeber - AWeber’s a/b test is manual & cumbersome while ConvertKit’s is limited

What about auto resending emails to subscribers who didn’t open?

No, they don’t have this feature.

Is it easy and quick to set things up?

The UI is pretty straightforward, although you need to be careful when switching between different lists. Make sure you’re on the correct list when you make changes to the settings or when you’re trying to send broadcasts.

This is also one of the annoying parts of using a list-based tool — you’d need to double check which list you’re on.

Can it do automation based on subscriber behavior?

Yes. It’s a bit limited, however.

For instance, even though you can auto subscribe contacts (who clicked an email link) to a new sequence, you can’t unsubscribe them from the current sequence or other sequences.

Can it segment subscribers?

Yes. AWeber puts subscribers with different interests into lists. This is how you segment subscribers, which is vastly different than how ConvertKit or BirdSend does it via tags.

Can it also create opt-in forms and landing pages?

Yes, though some of the design are outdated. Popups are not available though.

Are the stat reports comprehensive?

Yes, you’ll be able to know the open rates, click rates, bounce rates, and spam rates. They also have dedicated report sections with charts.

Is the email editor fun and easy to use?

Like many email marketing tools, AWeber uses a “drag and drop” email editor to create fancy-designed emails.

Does it have abandoned emails functionality?

Yes, for WooCommerce and Shopify. For other tools, you’d need to use Zapier.

Can you send or schedule one-time broadcast emails?

Yes.

Does it have a spam-score checker?

No. If you want to test the spam score of your email content, you’d need to use an external tool.

Any free plan?

Yes, with these limitations:

  • No sequences / autoresponders / drip emails
  • No behavioral automation — e.g. if clicks link → tag with X
  • AWeber’s clickable logo on your every email
  • Max 500 subscribers
  • Max 3k emails sent per month
  • No free migration

Does it provide good customer service?

This is an area it’s doing a job in. Along with its help center articles and video tutorials, it offers email, chat, and phone support. The customer support is also known to be helpful, and they really do get back to you when they say they’ll get back to you (something rare these days).

How is the value for money?

AWeber is less expensive than ConvertKit but more than 2X the price of BirdSend.

Pro

  • Good deliverability
  • Good customer support

Con

  • No auto resend to non-openers
  • A/B testing is manual and cumbersome
  • Use lists instead of tags as the main way of segmenting subscribers, which makes it hard for you to gauge the overall interaction you have with subscribers + there’s a high chance you’ll send duplicate emails

ConvertKit vs AWeber vs BirdSend Price Comparison

(price per month)

Brand1k Contacts2.5k Contacts5k Contacts10k Contacts25k Contacts50k Contacts100k Contacts
ConvertKit (Creator)$29$49$79$119$199$379$679
Aweber$29.99$29.99$49.99$69.99$149.99$?$?
BirdSend$9$14$19$29$69$109$209

Conclusion — ConvertKit vs AWeber vs BirdSend: which is better?

No single email marketing tool is the best for everyone. The nuances are important — it depends on your needs and what you’re trying to achieve.

If you’re a budget-tight content creator + high email deliverability is important to you, and don’t mind the simplistic email editor → BirdSend is a good fit.

For more affluent creators who don’t mind deliverability is outsourced to another vendor, and don’t mind subscribers can’t choose which email types they receive → give ConvertKit a try.

Go for AWeber if you want a list-based tool and don’t mind being charged for unsubscribed, unconfirmed, and duplicate contacts.

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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