Email marketing has the * only * advantage over the likes of social media in that it is an asset that you own.

That doesn’t mean you can do “whatever you want” with it, but compared to the likes of a Twitter feed (who could ban you), a YouTube channel (who could demonetize you), or a Facebook page (who could censor you), an email list is * still * by far the most effective and forceful way for a business to stay in touch with its community.

Of course, aside from strategy and functionality, the way an email marketing system fits into the modern business landscape is to provide an additional “step” into the world of a “funnel”, allowing users to interact much more deeply and effectively with the companies / people they value. This is where we are seeing the rise / resurgence of various email platforms (especially paid ones).

In today’s landscape, there are various email marketing offers used by most online marketers. These include:

  • MailChimp (free)

  • AWeber (from $ 20 / month)

  • GetResponse (from $ 20 / mo)

  • ConvertKit (from $ 20 / month)

To be honest, the market for “business software” is huge, with many different vendors meeting different needs. For example, MailChimp is used primarily by bloggers who want to increase their reach through the use of a “free” email system. Once they start making more money from their blog, they tend to move on to the more premium offers.

Two of these premium offerings, Aweber and ConvertKit, are now considered the “best” mid-tier email marketing solutions. Both are premium-only (no free tier) and provide users with various levels of functionality to help them email their subscribers in both a “single” (transmission) and “automatic” (auto-reply) capacity.

Understanding the difference between the two is the most important step in creating a marketing stack that actually works to deliver results …

ConvertKit

Founded in 2015 by Nathan Barry, it is aimed at bloggers / “creators” who want to improve their offering to users via email.

The service focuses on providing an underlying mechanism through which the curator can share their content through a series of “automation” features – automatic responses that work to give subscribers the ability to receive particular content at specific times.

This system, along with ConvertKit’s focus on giving users the ability to post “courses” for their audience, has led to large numbers of bloggers and creators signing up for the service.

It has now become one of the largest “email marketing” companies by revenue (its numbers are publicly available on BareMetrics), with strong growth.

We have found that a large number of Twitter influencers have adopted the system.

Aweber

AWeber was founded in 1998 and has been very successful, especially as it was the first to introduce a true “autoresponder” system onto the email marketing scene.

While its popularity has waned a bit with the “new” generation of marketers, it is still easily one of the top 5 email marketing systems.

The main benefit of using Aweber lies in its simplicity, which allows you to send emails several days after someone has subscribed to your various email lists. This allows you to continue providing updated content for the duration of your subscription.

Aweber’s main disadvantage lies in his inability to integrate well into the “social” age. It doesn’t have much in the way of intractability and thus means you’re pretty stuck trying to get a 90s tool to work in the 2010s. If you just want to put a “subscribe” box on your website, it works ok … but if you need something more specific, you’d better use ConvertKit.

Conclution

Ultimately, the choice is which service appeals to you the most.

Aweber is for more regulated “internet marketers” who may have a real consulting practice, or who are somehow involved with a more “industrial” type of business (manufacturing or whatever).

Convertkit is designed to be more progressive, “modern” and “creator-centric”. This provides a distinctly different set of “DNA” than Aweber and has thus attracted many “next generation” marketers who are often much more savvy about “social media”.

For this reason, the best thing to do is see how you are going to use the various applications. Aweber is primarily for people who need a simple service that works no matter where it’s posted … ConvertKit is more for those who are focused on providing blog readers with a reason to “sign up” for additional content.

If you are an artist, author or other “creative” type, ConvertKit will be better. If you are a marketer, a seller, a “physical” business, AWeber will be much more effective. Again, they both work the same way (they deliver emails to users) but the way they do it is different.

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