If you are a vigilant blogger, then you must be accustomed to all the latest marketing channels.
- Pay-per-click advertising
- Social media marketing
- SEM and SEO
- Influencer marketing
And the list goes on.
And while these are appropriate marketing trends to jump on, chances are, you are forgetting something:
If this is you, don’t worry; you are not alone.
Many marketers have been claiming that email marketing is dead, and the ones that don’t have an opinion on the matter simply forget to include it as part of their marketing strategy.
But here’s the big reveal:
Email marketing isn’t dead – Not at all.
In fact, recent data shows that email marketing is still the most effective marketing channel ahead of social media marketing, content marketing, SEO, and others.
And 59% of marketers can confirm that it is the most rewarding ROI-generating marketing tactic.
So now that we have gotten that out of the way, let’s talk marketing automation for a bit.
First, let’s paint a picture:
Some social media platforms have this feature where owners of an account can post periodical updates despite their busy schedules.
It looks something like this:
And you get the same status update every Friday.
This is marketing automation, and it works well for email marketing too.
So, let’s get started with the ActiveCampaign vs Aweber comparison.
The internet has gotten out of control.
ActiveCampaign is a solution that gives you the option of creating personalized and targeted emails in just a few minutes.
Think of it as an all-in-one marketing tool.
ActiveCampaign may not be the most recommended tool for a single feature, but it does offer a solution that allows you consolidate on the number of tools you use, and save money while at it.
Signing up on ActiveCampaign is pretty straightforward.
The platform signs you up for free for 14 days when you hit the big green button.
You will be required to provide some basic details like your name, phone number, business details, and intentions.
ActiveCampaign will not request your credit card details to sign up.
Once you have your details entered, you are all set.
ActiveCampaign offers a clean interface that can be quick for any user to understand irrespective of their technical background.
On the dashboard, both the list and tag type of segmentation are available.
This approach does it for a lot of people because then, you can choose how you want to manage or segment your subscribers.
And you can add these tags manually.
So if you head to your contacts, you can check any of the contacts and click the edit button to perform a bulk action.
For example, if you select 3 contacts to edit, you can give all three of them a new tag name and apply those changes.
It’s that simple.
Using ActiveCampaign means that you can really take advantage of the automated tagging system, with the workflow feature.
This way, you set the system to tag people based on the actions they take.
And this is very powerful because the more you know about your subscribers, the more powerful you can be with your email marketing.
ActiveCampaign does email marketing alright.
If you are looking to target a specific list segment, or you want to send a one-time email blast to everyone on your list, then ActiveCampaign is your go-to.
Active campaign autoresponders will send messages to users who just joined, and not just that, you can also schedule emails to be sent to specific contacts – all you have to do is set your dates to the time you want the email delivered, and the system takes care of the rest.
In addition, the platform allows you to set up conditional content, meaning you can choose to set up a different campaign for a specific group based on their history.
And, you can personalize your emails too.
ActiveCampaign also has around 30 predesigned email templates.
You can actually start from scratch too.
The cool thing you can do with this is to add conditions.
So you can drag several blocks to the canvas and make them conditional.
If the ActiveCampaign automation feature was a car, it would be a Bugatti Veyron.
In fact, this is where the real magic begins.
It is the major reason that a lot of six-figure marketers use it for collecting email addresses.
Here’s an example of what it looks like:
It basically asks the system to check if the person is in the buyer’s list, if not, it follows up with an email.
And it waits 3 days, after which it will try that again and send another email if the contact doesn’t move over to the buyer’s list.
Now, you can do all sorts of things with this and get unbelievable results with the type of automation you run, if you are creative enough to make that happen.
The building blocks are essentially called actions, so you can click any of the plus signs to add something on the branches.
From here, you can end the automation; send subscribers to different automation, and whatnot.
And when you combine all this with sidetracking and intelligent tagging, you can automate virtually any area of your business.
It is pretty slow a lot of the time though.
For example, adding new emails takes you out of the builder, and it just ends up being really slow.
However, ActiveCampaign claims to be working on it, but it might be awhile before we get a permanent fix, because I haven’t noticed any significant speed improvement yet.
Overall, if you can see past these little bugs, you will absolutely fall in love with what ActiveCampaign can do.
There are two different options for running a splitting test with ActiveCampaign.
The first method is the traditional approach, and it allows you to do the usual subject line testing to see which one gives you the highest open rate and all that good stuff.
But you can also test email content.
And what I like about ActiveCampaign A/B testing feature is that you can configure the system to decide who the winner is.
You can set it to the best click rate or best open rate, and amount of time.
The second option for running a splitting test with ActiveCampaign is that you can test entire workflow automations against each other.
Just add a split action at the start of the automation, and you can determine how contacts are split.
Overall, the A/B testing feature of this platform is really robust, and there are so many ways you can leverage this for your business.
ActiveCampaign seamlessly integrates with over 850 applications, which enables you to automate your mundane business management processes. Popular integrated apps include Shopify, Salesforce, JotForm, WordPress, Zapier, Google Analytics, etc.
If you want to integrate ActiveCampaign with your custom software application, then you can use the ActiveCampaign API tool.
ActiveCampaign has four pricing tiers: Lite, Plus, Professional, and Enterprise.
All 4 plans give you the core email marketing and automation features.
The main difference is in the number of subscribers it permits, plus other additional CRM and lead scoring features, like site messaging, attribution, etc.
Here’s a sample pricing for 500 contacts:
- Lite – $15 per month when billed every month, or $9 per month for annual subscription
- Plus – $70 per month when billed every month, or $49 per month for annual subscription
- Professional – $159 per month when billed every month, or $129 per month for annual subscription
- Enterprise – $279 per month when billed every month, or $229 per month for annual subscription
Note: ActiveCampaign has a 14-day free trial period.
- Supports advanced automation
- Comprehensive email marketing solution
- Visual automation builder functionality
- Supports contact sharing
- Supports email segmentation and automation
- Conversion tracking
- Steep learning curve
- No visual report system
- Periodic spam issues
Aweber is a popular email marketing tool that has been around since 1998 and was founded by Tom Kulzer to provide a simpler and more profitable email marketing solution for businesses.
Signing up on Aweber is as easy as it gets.
The platform offers you a 30-day free trial when you opt to sign up.
But there’s a catch.
To sign up, you will be required to fill in your credit card information so that Aweber can smoothly charge you for its features after the free trial is over.
However, you can cancel at any time.
Once you have provided your basic details, you will be required to set up your account, create your first list, and customize your confirmation link.
Aweber interface is slightly more complicated than ActiveCampaign.
That being said, it is clean and easy on the eyes, and if you spend some time on it, you will get the hang of it quickly.
Aweber used to be a list-based platform, but nowadays it also has a tag system which provides for a lot more flexibility in terms of management.
One downside to Aweber is in importing subscribers.
You can do it quite easily with the ‘Add subscriber’ button, but when you add a CSV, it will ask to reconfirm their subscription.
This means that if you are bringing a list from another provider, Aweber will ask all those people to reconfirm their subscription.
Aweber offers a plain editor and a drag-and-drop email builder.
You can add templates by clicking the blue button on the right corner, and it will bring out quite a good selection in terms of quantity.
You can integrate Aweber with about 180 apps and services, which is on a high side in terms of email marketing tools.
Aweber calls this ‘Campaign’.
And honestly, there’s not a lot you can do here when compared to ActiveCampaign.
You can see that it has just two triggers, so already, it is restricted.
When you click any of the action buttons, it takes you to a basic canvas where you only really have to drag and drop blocks.
The good side is that the process is fast.
The not-so-good side is that it is linear which means that you can’t set conditions.
Aweber split testing lets you find out how changes to your newsletter affect your readers.
First, you have to have at least a hundred subscribers on your list before you can create your test.
Any fewer will be of no statistical importance.
On Aweber, you can create 2 to 4 broadcasts to test against each other, and designate the percentage of your list that will receive each one.
Like other email marketing solutions, Aweber integrates with several applications across different categories. Some of the supported app categories include content management system, CRM, landing pages, eCommerce, social media, webinars, etc.
For custom integration, you can use the Aweber RESTful API to integrate Aweber with your software application.
Aweber offers both a free and premium pricing system. Although their Free Plan has limited features, they do not charge users with up to 500 subscribers. However, you will pay more if your subscribers exceed that number.
Once your free trial has ended, Aweber will charge you based on the number of email subscribers.
Here’s a sample of their Pro Plan costs:
- 0 – 500 subscribers: $19.99 per month for monthly subscription, or $193.80 for annual subscription
- 501 – 2500 subscribers: $29.99 per month for monthly subscription, or $313.80 for annual subscription
- 2501 – 5000 subscribers: $49.99 per month for monthly subscription, or $553.80 for annual subscription
- 5001 – 10000 subscribers: $69.99 per month for monthly subscription, or $793.80 for annual subscription
- 10001 – 25000 subscribers: $149.99 per month for monthly subscription, or $1753.80 for annual subscription
- User-friendly interface
- Fast automation process
- Split testing functionality
- Email segmentation
- Landing page templates
- Reliable conversion tracking
- Basic sales and conversion tracking functionality
- Can be quite cumbersome after an upgrade
- Both Aweber and ActiveCampaign support email automation
- They both allow contact segmentation
- Both ActiveCampaign and Aweber support third-party integrations
- They both provide custom templates for quick email campaigns
- With either Aweber or ActiveCampaign, you can carry out split testing
- They both offer API for custom integration
- Reporting is quite different on both platforms. Aweber has a better visual reporting interface than ActiveCampaign.
- While both have user-friendly interfaces, ActiveCampaign has a steep learning curve for first-time users.
How good are they for eCommerce?
ActiveCampaign is ideal for eCommerce. Notably, ActiveCampaign integrates with top eCommerce platforms such as WooCommerce, BigCartel, BigCommerce, Shopify, etc.
Upon integration, you can easily build sales funnels, track conversion, and send emails to the contact list in your CRM.
Aweber is also good for eCommerce users. In fact, Aweber integrates with all major eCommerce platforms, which includes Shopify, WooCommerce, ThriveCart, SamCart, Etsy, Big Cartel, BigCommerce, Ecwid, etc.
With Aweber, you can easily send out automated emails to your contacts. Not to mention, Aweber enables you to segment prospects, returning customers, and first-timers for recurring emails.
Some of the best ActiveCampaign alternatives include:
- Agile CRM
- Constant Contact
Some notable Aweber alternatives you can explore include:
It’s hard to choose between the two.
List building and marketing automation should be a crucial part of your marketing strategy, and both ActiveCampaign and Aweber cover that.
If you are just starting out, or you are a small business owner or blogger, you will find more value in using ActiveCampaign over Aweber.
However, Aweber provides an easier way to automate emails, has about 20 times the templates, and seems like a better plan for larger businesses.
That being said, these two email marketing tools are top notch, so you cannot be wrong with whichever one you choose.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.