ActiveCampaign vs Aweber: Which Autoresponder Is Best?

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There is no doubt that email marketing is one of the most effective ways to market your products and services.

However, the choice between autoresponders can sometimes be a hard decision, as most offer very similar features. Two of these autoresponders are ActiveCampaign and Aweber.

Both of these are extremely popular among marketers and business owners of all sizes but have significant differences between them.

That’s why in this article, we are going to compare ActiveCampaign vs Aweber to help you find the best autoresponder. 

activecampaign vs aweber - Aweber vs Activecampaign

ActiveCampaign vs Aweber: Overview

Here is a brief overview of the key information about Aweber and ActiveCampaign.

ActiveCampaignAweber
Websiteactivecampaign.comaweber.com
Founded in20031998
ServicesEmail marketing, CRM, SMS MarketingEmail marketing
PricingStarting at $15 per month

Full: See website 

Starting at FREE

Full: See website

Support9/109/10
Trial?Yes Free 14 Day TrialYes freemium + premium trial
Money-back guaranteeNoneNone
Overall rating9/108/10

About ActiveCampaign

What is ActiveCampaign used for?

ActiveCampaign is an autoresponder that was founded by Jason Vandeboom in 2003.

Since then, it has become one of the most popular solutions for email and SMS marketing automation, as well as CRM.

It has over 300,000 customers, making it one of the most popular autoresponders on the market. It’s also known to be one of the most powerful email marketing automation & CRM solutions on the market.

About Aweber

Aweber is seen as the “godfather” of email marketing by many. 

I’m not sure whether it was the first autoresponder, but it was one of the first ones publicly available to purchase. It was founded by Tom Kulzer in 1998 and has since then, helped over one million customers stay connected with their contacts through email marketing.

As you have probably figured out, Aweber is also one of the most popular email marketing solutions on the market.

ActiveCampaign Features

ActiveCampaign has a long list of features that we’ll get into in just a moment.

I see it as the ultimate back-end communication hub that allows you to communicate with your contacts and manage them effectively.

  • Email marketing software
  • Form builder (forms)
  • Dynamic content
  • Lead tagging
  • A/B testing
  • Marketing platform automation
  • Site tracking
  • Event tracking
  • Automation goals
  • Automation maps
  • Attribution
  • Split actions
  • Sales & CRM
  • Gmail extension for Chrome
  • Lead Scoring
  • Apps
  • SMS
  • Site messages
  • Facebook custom audience
  • Conversations
  • Machine learning
  • Win probability
  • Predictive sending
  • API & Integrations

Do you see what I mean? It makes the perfect back-end communication hub as I mentioned earlier.

What I would say is that it somewhat lacks in the front-end part where you collect emails. Yeah, I understand that it’s an SMS & email autoresponder, as well as a CRM, but most of their competitors are adding features like landing pages.

It does also have forms, but I find they are not as good as dedicated form/page builders like for example Elementor or Thrive Leads. That being said, most people who use it love (and, I mean love) it thanks to its great communication tools.

Aweber has started which we’ll talk about later on and GetResponse has too. If you would like to compare ActiveCampagn with GetResponse check out ActiveCampaign vs GetResponse.

The email builder and templates in ActiveCampaign are also really easy to use. I still to this day find it hard switching to any other autoresponder because ActiveCampaign is so easy to use, despite their powerful features.

So, in terms of ease of use, ActiveCampaign is right up there.

Aweber Features

Although Aweber is one of the oldest autoresponders in the game, it has evolved which means it has a long list of powerful features too. Plus, it gives you some tools to collect emails as well such as their landing page builder.

  • Automation sequences
  • Tagging
  • Drag & drop email builder
  • Sign up forms
  • Autoresponders
  • Html templates
  • 6,000+ stock photos
  • Analytics and tracking
  • Email newsletters
  • Email attachments
  • Mobile app
  • Split-testing
  • Landing pages

As you can see, it’s not quite all the bells & whistles that ActiveCampaign offers, but you do get the basics. For many marketers and business owners, it will have all the features needed.

And, if you take a look at the features, you might notice that Aweber has everything you need. Plus, it also has landing pages, although there isn’t a custom domain functionality yet (it’s coming soon).

One thing I would say is that ActiveCampaign has much more advanced email and triggers than Aweber, as well as a more visual automation builder.

I find Aweber lacks a little in ease of use personally, as the dashboard looks somewhat old. Then again, ease of use is something that is down to opinions, so that might not be the case for you.

Key Differences In Features

In terms of features, ActiveCampaign does take the crown and you will see why it does in a second. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that ActiveCampaign is the perfect solution, as it does come at a little more expensive price.

So, if you aren’t going to use these features you may as well go for Aweber. If you might need them, you should consider ActiveCampaign.

ActiveCampaign Dominates Email Marketing

Activecampaign email marketing

ActiveCampaign completely dominates email marketing, despite also offering a bigger variety of communication tools.

Here are some of the features only available in AC:

  • more triggers
  • conversations (i.e manage conversations from AC dashboard)
  • more comprehensive email split-testing
  • more comprehensive automation (with goals, lead scoring, etc)
  • better site & event tracking
  • Chrome extension for Gmail

I think it’s fair to say that ActiveCampaign wins in email marketing. If you’re somebody that wants to get as much out of your email marketing as possible and have the best possible tools, you should consider it as it has some of the strongest email marketing tools on the market.

On the flip side, there is no need to go for ActiveCampaign if you just need simple automations, tagging, and a couple of newsletters.

Aweber Has Landing Pages and Stock Images

Aweber takes the point in this regard, as it has landing pages and stock images.

ActiveCampaign? Doesn’t have any.

With Aweber, you can create basic landing pages to help you collect emails. And, Aweber also comes with stock photos that you can use in your emails or landing pages.

The landing page builder can be used through their drag and drop editor to easily create beautiful landing pages quickly.

These two little bonus features/perks can be beneficial in your social media campaigns, as you can collect emails and use the stock images.

They can also be useful for social media advertising or a range of other places outside of social media like for example on your blog.

Killer tip: Try to not use images in your emails as heavy image HTML code is likely to send your emails straight to the “promotions tab” where you will get a lower open rate.

ActiveCampaign Has a CRM (which is super-powerful)

The next key difference in the features is the fact that ActiveCampaign has a CRM tool.

Its a brilliant CRM tool that lets you automate your entire sales processes including advanced tasks such as contacting your sales team. I must admit it’s quite advanced and as a blogger, I have never felt the need to use it.

However, if you’re looking for a powerful CRM, then ActiveCampaign could be the solution for you.

Some other cool ActiveCampaign CRM features include:

  • Win probability
  • Lead scoring
  • Customer attribution & Path to purchase
  • Predictive Sending
  • And more

You get the point though, ActiveCampaign has a pretty nice CRM.

ActiveCampaign Has a Native SMS Autoresponder

It’s possible to integrate SMS autoresponders with Aweber, but ActiveCampaign has a native SMS autoresponder (if you’re on the right plan).

This means you can set up SMS sequences that will go out directly from your ActiveCampaign dashboard.

SMS sending is only available in certain plans, but we will talk more on that in the pricing section later on.

Deliverability

Now, let’s talk about email deliverability. In case you are unaware, deliverability is the ability to get your emails delivered as the name suggests.

If you have a bad deliverability rate, then your emails are often going to land in the spam folder. On the flip side, if you have a good deliverability rate, they are usually going to land in the inbox or the promotions folder.

I have a whole article on Deliverability if you would like to read more on this topic, but for this article, I am just going to be comparing the Aweber vs ActiveCampaign deliverability. 

According to a study by emailtooltester in February 2020, ActiveCampaign emails were delivered 90.2% of the time, whereas Aweber emails were delivered 85.4% of the time.

This is not a big difference at all and I can confirm that as long as you are following deliverability best practices and not sending spammy-looking emails, you shouldn’t run into deliverability issues with either of these autoresponders.  

Support

Both of these email marketing platforms have great support teams.

They are available via email support, phone support, and live chat for both platforms. What I would say is that ActiveCampaign has a better knowledge base and better resources. Also, the onboarding process of AC is a little better than the one from Aweber.

Overall though, I have nothing to complain about though with either of their support teams, as they are fast and friendly.

Something also worth noting is that Aweber’s phone support is available more often than the one of ActiveCampaign. I think Aweber’s support team is available on more hours per day, but both support teams are great.

So, if you’re somebody who hates bad support (who isn’t?), there is nothing to worry about with these two companies.

ActiveCampaign Pricing

ActiveCampaign has four pricing levels. You can see them below for up to 500 subscribers and annual discounts, however, for the full pricing please visit the website.

The pricing table depends on how many contacts you have, so I can’t show you the full pricing here.

As you can see in the image below, most CRM features are only available in the professional and enterprise plan. However, even the lite plan has key email marketing features such as split-testing, lead tagging, and automation sequences.

If you’re looking for a powerful email marketing tool without all the CRM features in the upper plans, then the lite plan could already be the perfect plan for you.

ActiveCampaign pricing

Even with the “lite” plan, there is a greater selection of triggers than with Aweber.

That shouldn’t come as a surprise, as ActiveCampaign is known to be one of the best email marketing tools on the market. Plus, the selection of automation triggers that ActiveCampaign has is truly huge and beats any email marketing tool I can think of.

Aweber Pricing

Aweber offers a completely free plan which you can use to test things out. Or if it meets your requirements, you can also use it as it’s completely free, forever.

It comes with:

  • An autoresponder
  • A landing page builder
  • Email templates

Not bad for a free autoresponder right?

Now, I’m sure you might be wondering where the limitations are, so we might as well get those out of the way too.

  • 500 Subscribers & 3000 emails per month
  • No behavior-based automation sequences
  • No custom domains (coming soon to paid plan only)

Still, the free plan has proven to be one of the best free autoresponder plans.

Aweber’s pricing also depends on the number of contacts that you have, but if you’re just starting, you can use the pricing table below. For full pricing see Aweber website.

Something that I do like about the pricing of Aweber is that the only plan includes all features. There isn’t no messing around in that sense, as SaaS tools can be so annoying when they have all these amazing features, but then they are only available in the most expensive plan that is often severely overpriced.

Of course, you’re not going to get everything in the free plan, but what do you expect?

There is also a free trial available for the Pro version.

Key Differences Between ActiveCampaign and Aweber

Here are the key differences between ActiveCampaign and Aweber:

  • Aweber has a free plan, whereas ActiveCampaign doesn’t.
  • ActiveCampaign has slightly better deliverability
  • Only Aweber has a landing page builder, whereas only ActiveCampaign has a CRM tool.
  • Aweber has a lower cost than ActiveCampaign
  • ActiveCampaign has better email marketing tools overall

What I like about ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is one of my favorite email marketing tools of all time.

It has low-cost pricing if you need it in the “lite plan” or it has the big guns in the upper plans. The choice is yours. Saying that even the “light” plan has some of the best email marketing tools out there with advanced automation sequences & triggers, I don’t think you can go wrong with it.

Plus, I also remember when I first signed up, the support and on-boarding were super friendly, so that’s always good too. You can give the ActiveCampaign free trial a shot using the link below. 

Try ActiveCampaign For Free (No Credit Card Required) 

What I like about Aweber

Aweber is basic but gives you everything you need for a low price. Or, now there is even a free plan available.

I also like how low-cost they are considering that they give you a full autoresponder with automation sequences, as well as landing pages.

So, if you’re looking for a cost-effective solution that does all the things you need, Aweber might be a good option. You can check out both the free trial or the completely free plan using the link below.

Check Out Aweber’s Free Options (No Credit Card Required) 

ActiveCampaign vs Aweber: Final Words

I hope you have enjoyed this comparison between ActiveCampaign and Aweber.

Keep in mind, this article is always just a guideline, ActiveCampaign offers a free trial and Aweber has a completely free plan, so don’t shy away from testing them out.

While I personally prefer ActiveCampaign that doesn’t mean it will be the same for you.

If you’re just looking for the basics, then Aweber will probably do the job. Either way, both of these autoresponders are easy to use, efficient, and powerful meaning there isn’t a completely wrong choice.

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Kartra Email Marketing: Is it any good?

GetResponse vs MailerLite

 

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