Email marketing has the *only* advantage over social media because it’s your property.
That’s not to say you can do “whatever you want” with it – but compared to, say, a Twitter feed (which could ban you), a YouTube channel (which could demote you), or a Facebook page (which could censor) you), an email list is *still* by far the most effective and loudest way for a company to connect with its community.
Strategy and functionality aside, the way an email marketing system fits into the modern business environment is of course to provide an extra “step” into the “funnel” world, allowing users to interact much more deeply and effectively with businesses/people they value. Here we see the rise / revival of different email platforms (especially paid ones).
In today’s environment, most online marketers use multiple email marketing offers. These include:
AWeber (starting at $20/month)
GetResponse (starting at $20/month)
ConvertKit (starting at $20/month)
To be honest, the market for “enterprise software” is huge – many different vendors to meet different needs. For example, MailChimp is mainly used by bloggers who want to increase their reach by using a “free” email system. When they start making more money from their blog, they usually upgrade to a premium offering.
Two of these premium offerings – Aweber and ConvertKit are now “best” mid-range email marketing solutions. They are both premium only (no free tier) and offer users different levels of functionality that allow them to email their subscribers in both a “one-off” and “automated” (auto-reply) capacity.
Understanding the difference between the two is the most important step towards creating a marketing stack that really gets results…
Founded by Nathan Barry in 2015, this is aimed at bloggers / “creators” who want to improve their offering with users via email.
The service focuses on providing an underlying mechanism through which a curator can share their content through a series of “automation” features – autoresponders that allow subscribers to receive specific content at specific times.
This system – combined with ConvertKit’s focus on allowing users to publish “courses” to their audience – has resulted in a large number of bloggers and content creators signing up for the service.
It has now become one of the largest “email marketing” companies by revenue (their numbers are publicly available on BareMetrics) – with strong growth.
We have found that a large number of Twitter influencers have adopted the system.
AWeber was founded in 1998 and has enjoyed tremendous success, especially because it was the first to introduce a true “autoresponder system” to the email marketing scene.
Although its popularity has waned somewhat with the “new” generation of marketers, it’s still easily one of the top 5 email marketing systems out there.
The main advantage of using Aweber is its simplicity – it allows you to send emails several days after someone has subscribed to your various email lists. This allows you to continue to provide updated content for the duration of your subscription.
Aweber’s biggest drawback is its inability to integrate well with the “social” age. It doesn’t have much handling, which means you’re pretty much stuck trying to get a 90s tool to work in the 2010s. If you just want to add a “subscription” box to your website, it works fine… but if you need something more specific, you’re better off using the likes of ConvertKit.
In the end, the choice is between which service you feel more drawn to.
Aweber is for the more determined “internet marketers” who maybe have an actual consulting business or a somewhat more “industrial” business (manufacturing or whatever).
Convertkit is designed to be more forward looking, “hip” and focused on “creators”. This gives a distinctly different “DNA” to the likes of Aweber and has thus attracted many “new generation” marketers who are typically much more “socially” savvy.
For this reason, the best thing you can do is look at how you plan to use the different apps. Aweber is mainly for people who need a simple service that works no matter where it’s published… ConvertKit is more for those who focus on giving blog viewers a reason to “sign up” for additional content.
If you are an artist, writer or other “creative” type – ConvertKit will be better. If you are a marketer, salesperson, “brick and mortar” business – AWeber will be much more effective. Again, they both work the same way (deliver emails to users), but the way they do it is different.