Digital Marketing Guides
Finding email marketing software that works for your business can be tricky. There are thousands of marketing tools available, and they all want you to choose them.
However, every single one of the automation services that have sprouted up since Mailchimp can’t be the best. Only one is the right one for you.
If you have narrowed it down to ActiveCampaign or AWeber, you’ve already cut out a lot of the competition. However, this is still a great place to start if you’re still looking around and want to compare these two. Here is a complete guide to ActiveCampaign vs. AWeber and which one might be good for your business.
We will look closely at both email campaign services and compare their main points. Once you have that information, you can decide which is better for your small business. After all, you are the one writing and sending the emails, and you know your needs and growth desires best.
ActiveCampaign is an email automation service that focuses on growing businesses and converting email traffic into direct sales. It is known for its email automation and live chat functionality on your website. ActiveCampaign attempts to simplify the automation process and make more sales while sending fewer emails.
This service has multiple features for a growing business and a price tag to match. It provides users with real-time data on views, clicks, and sales and has some of the most in-depth customer tracking and personalization capabilities available. ActiveCampaign focuses on turning pictures into sales and does just that with ease.
ActiveCampaign is a top choice for serious small businesses and marketing departments. While it is a bit more expensive than Aweber or other email campaign options, the campaign automation, email send rate, and personalization features are virtually unmatched. The benefits of ActiveCampaign are its power and its sales abilities.
AWeber is one of the older email marketing solutions around. Founded in 1998, it rivals even Mailchimp, the first big email marketer, for longevity. AWeber has stayed in business for over 20 years by keeping its strategy the same: make a simple email campaign service and make it work well.
AWeber is a service that provides all the basics – automated campaigns, customizable email marketing campaigns, and importable customer lists. It is easy to use and well-liked by beginners and experienced businesses. AWeber also offers a free plan for businesses with under 500 subscribers to give smaller companies a chance to grow.
Although AWeber isn’t as adept at sales conversions as some of the newer email services (such as ActiveCampaign), it’s an excellent choice for beginners, those on a tight budget, and anyone interested in growing their business through emails. AWeber can create sales through personalized emails and landing pages.
Here are the main features of ActiveCampaign:
The best automation available
Multiple tracking and data-analyzing features
Deliverability and spam tests
Capability for multiple user accounts
Personalized domain (available on pro account)
Campaign editing and personalization
Here are some of AWeber’s top features:
Email campaign automation
Subscriber list imports
A blog to email conversion
Reporting and data analytics
Multiple different email templates
Customizable landing pages
As you can see, several of these features overlap or are very similar. This is to be expected from two email automation services. Although they might seem similar on the surface, AWeber and ActiveCampaign are two very different companies. We will dive into that with a comparison of each of their features.
Email templates serve as the backbone of any online campaign service. Without emails, you don’t have a campaign service. Without email templates, you don’t have emails. Templates are great for beginners who don’t want to spend time crafting emails. Every email service has a selection of templates and a build-your-own email section.
ActiveCampaign features about 250 different email templates with an easy drag-and-drop design feature. When building an email, you can use one of the templates and rearrange blocks, add design elements, or include media. ActiveCampaign also allows you to create and reuse custom template blocks.
On the other hand, AWeber has over 600 different email templates available. Some of these are less appealing than others, but with the various options, you’re sure to find one that works for you. You can also start from scratch and create your templates with design blocks or coding.
Both AWeber and ActiveCampaign feature templates. As email campaign services, both email marketing platforms feature templates and email designs as some of their most essential tools. AWeber has many more options for pre-made templates, while ActiveCampaign allows you to customize and save individual template blocks.
A/B testing, or split testing, is crucial for growing businesses. If you want to test how your website or campaigns perform and how they could perform better, A/B testing will help by giving you data on two different appearances for your pages. The page that offers more return on your investment will stay up.
ActiveCampaign offers comprehensive A/B testing tools. You can test several different campaigns or website landing pages at once. Of course, you have to have enough subscribers to provide proper data, but with ActiveCampaign, you can use split testing to decide which type of email campaign is better for your business.
Whereas ActiveCampaign offers unlimited A/B testing to premium subscribers, AWeber offers a single version of split testing to all levels of subscribers. Once you have enough subscribers to make the data worthwhile, you can split 40% of your subscribers between two different versions of an email. The winner will be sent to the other 60%.
Both ActiveCampaign and AWeber offer revealing data on split tests. Once you’ve run it, you can see which email worked better and the exact results. Of course, A/B testing primarily works for larger businesses and companies with hundreds or thousands of subscribers. Without enough subscribers, it will be challenging to get useful data.
Email marketing automation is the bread and butter of email marketing. Automations keep customers engaged without you needing to develop new content each day for interaction. ActiveCampaign and AWeber offer email automation, sending the same pre-written email to subscribers when they fill in a certain command or form.
ActiveCampaign has a visual automation builder and over 100 different types. If a registered customer visits a specific page on your website, you can set up an automation to send them related links a few days later. With ActiveCampaign, you can do much more than basic automation – you can track your customers.
AWeber also offers automated email campaigns, but not to the same extent. With AWeber, you can set up automation for when a customer fills out a form, subscribes to a new list, or becomes part of a new group of subscribers. You can segment your email lists and send automated emails to various groups.
Although AWeber isn’t as data-driven as ActiveCampaign, both services can send automatic emails when a customer completes an action. If you need simple automation, AWeber is available. However, for more complex data-driven information, ActiveCampaign is the better choice.
Landing pages are dedicated to polls, surveys, subscriber forms, and other customer fill-ins – they are simple websites that collect data and not much more. However, if a landing page is clunky or doesn’t work very well, it may discourage a customer from inputting data or signing up for a newsletter.
ActiveCampaign has a few landing page templates to choose from, but not much customization is available. However, if you have anything above a Lite plan (Professional or higher), you can keep your landing pages on personal domains. It’s possible to add or remove elements but not design your own.
AWeber has a landing page builder. With over 50 templates to choose from, you can customize AWeber’s landing pages to match the aesthetic of your website or email design. If you don’t have a website, you can purchase a simple domain as part of your subscription and keep all your landing pages in the same place.
Both ActiveCampaign and AWeber have landing pages available, and both platforms make their landing pages accessible through a custom domain. However, ActiveCampaign’s landing pages aren’t nearly as customizable, and AWeber’s personalized domains cost extra money.
AWeber and ActiveCampaign have referral programs, so you can earn extra money by referring friends to the program. Both campaigns offer referral bonuses and affiliate links (as well as supporting outside affiliate links with some limitations). Here’s how to make money while paying a subscription.
The ActiveCampaign referral program has two tiers – a gold affiliate and a platinum affiliate. Either tier gets a minimum of 20% of the referral’s subscription fee, so you can continue earning after you’ve referred someone. If a customer stays with the company for a while, you will earn more (up to 30% total).
As an AWeber advocate, you don’t even have to be a paying member (although it helps if you know about the services). All you need is an affiliate link; anyone who signs up and continues paying a monthly fee will count toward your affiliate earnings. AWeber has some of the highest affiliate link payments in the industry.
Both referral programs can make you solid money – it depends on how many people you plan to refer. If you refer one person a year, neither ActiveCampaign nor AWeber will be very lucrative. However, 20 returning subscribers can make you a few thousand dollars a year.
If you run an international business or are looking to attract customers who speak different languages, you need a delivery service that offers language support. Whether the service translates emails to match the location or simply provides translation services for your landing pages, it’s important to look at language support as an essential feature.
ActiveCampaign’s website is available in six languages, including English. The support matches these languages, but if you speak a different language, you might be able to find a customer support agent who can help you. However, you can change your profile and personal emails to over 20 other languages.
AWeber also offers language support in several different languages but has the added benefit of Unicode. Unicode is an addon that allows you to translate your campaigns and email automation directly into the receiver’s native language. With this service, you can increase potential customers. It’s available for all plan levels.
However, any language changes or email segmentation will take a little bit more work and will not be entirely perfect. While you will be able to translate your email to match all of your visitor’s native languages, the automatic translation tool can make some simple mistakes. Keep that in mind as you consider language support.
Regarding email deliverability, it’s essential to look at a few things. The emails you send should go directly to your customer’s inbox instead of to spam or promotions, and they shouldn’t be flagged as scam emails or potential viruses. Each email delivery service focuses on making your emails a priority.
ActiveCampaign has a variety of services to ensure that your emails get delivered as they should. With deliverability tests, spam checkers, and other systems in place, you can see exactly how your email will look in the inbox. ActiveCampaign’s emails generally land in the primary inboxes of most major email providers.
AWeber also has good deliverability but doesn’t perform as well in this area as ActiveCampaign. Because it’s an older website, it doesn’t have duplicate spam checkers and up-to-date deliverability tests. However, AWeber’s emails almost always go through, and they send reports to you on which ones do not.
Email deliverability is one crucial area where ActiveCampaign outperforms AWeber. However, the difference is small enough that you shouldn’t notice too many emails being marked as spam or not being delivered. Both of these services do a good job of ensuring that their emails are delivered overall.
Integrations are an easy way to personalize your website or marketing campaigns and bring in other accounts or websites. With integrations, you can add extensions such as Google Analytics, Facebook, Amazon, and PayPal, making it easier for your customers to find, pay, and provide you with information.
ActiveCampaign is very supportive of integrations and offers most of the integrations available. In addition to the big-name integrations, you can use add-on language translators, shopping integrations, survey forms, and many others. You should have no issue integrating many of your current systems with ActiveCampaign.
AWeber also offers a host of third-party integrations – over 700 of them. It’s easy to put them on your website or email campaign. All you need to do is find “Integrations” on the dashboard and add your desired app. From Shopify to WordPress, you should be able to choose what to include in your email.
Both platforms do an excellent job of integrating third-party apps and making them seem like natural parts of your campaigns. Unless you have an obscure third-party app that doesn’t mesh with the service, you shouldn’t have any problems getting everything squared away with integrations.
For customers looking for in-depth information on their website and email customers, email analytics is the place to see it. With analytics, you can see key stats such as how many times a customer has visited your website, which pages they looked at, and from where these visitors originate. The cookie data is also great for helping you tailor how you send information.
Email analytics and data reporting are where ActiveCampaign thrives. The service was created so that businesses could track in-depth analytics about customers, and ActiveCampaign leads the market in data tracking. You can send emails based on a customer’s location, subscription type, and even what time of day they tend to be online.
AWeber isn’t at the forefront of data analytics like ActiveCampaign is, but their data reporting is enough to help a beginning business decide what to send. With the analytics provided by a premium AWeber account, you can see how many people have viewed, opened, and clicked links in your email, as well as the translation to sales.
A primary difference between ActiveCampaign and AWeber is the depth of their data reporting. ActiveCampaign has a much more specific data mining technique. However, if you don’t need that much depth in your analytics, you might be happy with the simplicity of AWeber’s effective system.
Of course, an email-sending tool is about sending emails and receiving data on your customers. However, if you can’t use or understand the interface, it becomes pointless even trying to customize and send emails. Usability is a crucial factor often overlooked in email sending.
ActiveCampaign has an intuitive interface with multiple features. While it takes a slight learning curve to fully utilize ActiveCampaign’s interface, you will pick up on how to move things around and complete your tasks relatively quickly. It is sleek and modern, with simple guidelines and a flowchart for ease of use.
AWeber also boasts an intuitive interface but has fewer features and is much easier to use. Because of the simplicity of the interface, many beginners and small businesses prefer AWeber for their email campaigns and advanced automation. It’s easy to navigate the online space and understand the dashboard.
Although both of these services are easy to use, AWeber is initially simpler than ActiveCampaign. It has a user-friendly interface that caters to those unfamiliar with email campaigns. ActiveCampaign is more focused on the details of data and analytics and less on how to make everything easy to use.
Even the best email campaign servers have issues sometimes. If you need help running something or the server’s down, you need to be able to reach out to support with ease. However, some campaigns don’t offer support at night or on weekends, when many businesses design email campaigns.
ActiveCampaign’s website features a help button at the bottom that provides an answer to many of the most commonly asked questions. It can also connect you with a live agent, give you a phone number, or provide an email address for support questions. ActiveCampaign is based in Chicago, and the working hours are during the Chicago workday.
AWeber has 24-hour tech support, available through chat on the website. The live chat is easy to access, and a live technical support agent will answer your questions within minutes. There is also 24-hour email support and limited (during the day) phone support.
Both companies offer webinars, tutorials, and a large knowledge base of articles based on frequently asked questions. You might be able to find an answer to your question by looking through the online resources before contacting support. If you do need customer service, AWeber and ActiveCampaign have good support options.
One of the most significant differences between these two programs is their pricing. ActiveCampaign offers top-of-the-line data and charges premium prices for its content. AWeber offers a tier of prices that provide the same services for varying numbers of subscribers. Here are the details on each of the company’s price breakdowns.
For their Lite plan, ActiveCampaign’s tiered pricing is as follows:
Up to 500 subscribers: $15.99/month
Up to 1,000 subscribers: $29.99/month
Up to 2,500 subscribers: $55/month
5,000 subscribers and above: $99/month
ActiveCampaign offers a 14-day free trial. Every price here is for the Lite plan; to get the full experience, you will have to pay more for each tier of subscribers. ActiveCampaign is one of the more expensive email services available, and if you don’t need in-depth data, it might not be worth it.
AWeber also has a tiered pricing structure based on subscriber numbers. Here is the information:
Up to 500 subscribers: free plan
Up to 500 subscribers premium subscription: $16.15/month
Up to 2,500 subscribers: $26.15/month
Up to 5,000 subscribers: $46.15/month
Up to 10,000 subscribers: $66.15/month
Up to 25,000 subscribers: $146.15/month
Above 25,000 subscribers: personal contact with AWeber
Although the prices start steeper than ActiveCampaign, AWeber limits increase at a much more generous rate. However, the company continues to set limits well above the average 10,000 or 20,000 subscriber rate. AWeber’s free plan offers almost everything a pro plan has but limits subscribers to 500 or fewer and does not offer unlimited automation.
Regarding the design flexibility of an email campaign service, the choice is much less objective than many other factors. You don’t want to showcase emails that look unappealing or dated. Fortunately, the specific design options are up to you on both platforms. For an accurate idea of what both email services look like, you can watch a demo video or sign up for a free trial.
ActiveCampaign has a sleek and fresh design, with a visual flowchart and an easy-to-follow user interface. It’s easy to use and offers the latest in email design. However, the email designs are not very flexible, and there aren’t that many options for them. If you want fully customizable designs ActiveCampaign falls short here.
AWeber, on the other hand, has hundreds of templates and unlimited media and photo storage. You can create any type of automated email, regular email, or landing page. Some of its designs and functions are a little outdated, especially if you want to send sleek, modern emails.
Both AWeber and ActiveCampaign offer professional flexibility regarding scheduling, arranging, and designing your email campaigns. Thanks to the flexibility of both platforms, you can showcase your business without worrying about strict schedules or timelines.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about ActiveCampaign and AWeber and their answers. We hope they answer your questions and help you make the best decision for your business!
ActiveCampaign and AWeber are two very different email services. AWeber focuses on designing and sending unique emails, while ActiveCampaign’s strengths lie in its ability to track customers and provide top-of-the-line data sets to the user. If you are looking for which one is best, it depends on what you need for your business.
Because both ActiveCampaign and AWeber have excellent qualities, you should decide what you need the most. If you’re looking for serious email campaign software that can tell you exactly how many customers you have at any moment, ActiveCampaign is for you. However, if you’re looking for something simple and more customizable, using AWeber may work out better.
ActiveCampaign has a free fourteen-day trial. During the free trial, you can send unlimited emails, import your contact list, and set up an ActiveCampaign account. However, you do have to put your personal payment information on the website, and the company will charge your card if you don’t cancel the trial before the two weeks.
Two weeks is not a lot of time if you are trying to discover whether a business is good enough for your email needs. However, you can send a few test emails, try out the template builder, and get a glimpse of what your statistics and sales funnel would look like with an ActiveCampaign subscription.
AWeber does not technically have a free trial. However, if you have under 500 subscribers on your email list (subscribed or unsubscribed), you qualify for a free plan. With a free program, AWeber customers can receive almost everything that Pro subscribers get with a few limitations.
AWeber offers a free plan until you reach 500 subscribers. After that, there are tiers based on subscription, but each level has the same benefits and features. The price depends only on how many subscribers you have. If you are starting with more than 500 subscribers, you can contact AWeber for a trial period.
If you use affiliate links to gain extra income, you need an email campaign service that allows you to continue using these links. ActiveCampaign allows affiliate links with some restrictions. These links shouldn’t be the focus of your emails, and you shouldn’t send emails advertising your affiliate agreement.
However, you can include affiliate marketing links in all of ActiveCampaign’s emails, landing pages, and website posts as long as you don’t break the rules of their Acceptable Use Policy. ActiveCampaign also offers an affiliate program for those interested in making money by recommending the email company.
AWeber does not directly support affiliate links, but there is no active rule against them. With an AWeber add-on such as ClickBank, you can add in your existing affiliate links and continue to earn revenue from them. The ClickBank integration is simple to use and has existed for a while, making it an easy way to continue earning money.
AWeber also has a referral program very similar to an affiliate program, so you can make money off referring people to AWeber as well. The process is simple to sign up for and involves very little work from you. You can continue using your existing affiliate links while deciding to promote AWeber as another business partner.
ActiveCampaign has fewer templates than AWeber and is harder to use but has a better email deliverability rate and sales turnover. AWeber has a better user interface and is less expensive than ActiveCampaign, but it doesn’t have as many features. Both services are excellent at what they do, and both have certain negatives.
The email campaign you choose is up to you. Depending on the needs of your business, the size of your team, and the type of email service you’re looking for will largely influence which platform is for you.
After reading this review, you have hopefully gained clarity on whether either of these companies is the right choice for your small business.
Whether you choose ActiveCampaign, AWeber, or another email campaign service, you will be able to use it to send out automated campaigns, personalized emails, and sales pitches. You can convert website visitors to subscribers and subscribers to sales and watch your business grow.
Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. If you decide to purchase a paid plan or program by using the links provided on this page, I may receive a commission for that purchase at no additional cost to you.
Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. If you decide to purchase a paid plan or program by using the links provided on this page, I may receive a commission for that purchase at no additional cost to you.
Walter Voronovic shares accurate, honest & pragmatic information on how to use the internet to build profitable digital business assets.
Digital Marketing Guides
Email marketing software
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