Wix is best known as a website builder. It was founded in 2006 by a trio of Israeli entrepreneurs; Avishai Abrahami, Nadav Abrahami, and Giora Kaplan. It started by allowing users to create HTML5 websites using drag-and-drop tools. Given the relative difficulty of coding websites at that time, Wix was a boon for small business owners and individuals with little or no technical skills looking to build websites at a low cost.
Wix gathered a lot of popularity and has amassed more than 200 million users worldwide, including over 3 million paying users. It launched other features complementary to website building like the Wix Hotels booking system and WixHive API. In 2014, the company launched Wix ShoutOut, an email marketing tool. It later merged the tool under its Ascend bundle of business management software.
Wix Ascend: Plans and pricing
There’s a free Ascend plan that’s included in your Wix subscription. However, this plan offers pretty limited features, which makes it unsuitable if you want to send emails to many customers. You’ll need a premium plan to make the best use of the software.
There are three Ascend plans; Basic, Professional, and Unlimited. The Basic Plan costs $10 per month, the Professional plan costs $24 per month, and the Unlimited plan costs $49 per month.
The Basic plan lets you send a maximum of 9,500 emails per month and create 10 customizable forms. The Professional plan lets you send a maximum of 50,000 emails per month and create 20 custom forms. The Unlimited plan, as its name suggests, lets you create an unlimited number of email campaigns and signup forms whereas the other plans are capped at specific amounts.
(Image credit: Wix)
Wix Ascend: Features
Wix provides a lot of email templates designed by professionals that you can edit to fit your brand. You can edit them using an intuitive drag-and-drop editor or use the editor to design your own template if you have the skills.
The email editor lets you customize many aspects of your email. For instance, you can change the fonts, colors, and background images to one that goes along with the website you have on Wix. Your emails will be optimized for both PC and mobile displays out of the box, so you don’t have to worry about that.
You can send automated emails with Wix Ascend to save time that you would have otherwise spent sending them manually. For example, you can send an automatic notification to anyone that fills out a form on your website or an abandoned cart email for people who added items to their cart but didn’t purchase them.
Wix provides advanced data analytics to help you monitor the success of your email campaigns. You can view critical metrics like open rate, delivery rate, click-through rate, etc. This analytics tool empowers you to A/B test your email campaigns to see which marketing strategies work best.
(Image credit: Wix)
Wix Ascend: Interface and use
Wix Ascend’s email marketing interface is refreshingly simple. At the top of the page, there is the option to utilize one of the platform’s pre-made, well-categorized templates, an option that’s also offered every time you create a new campaign.
This would be a useful opportunity for businesses with little time and money to spend on marketing, but the email editor makes producing and sending custom emails very straightforward too.
We found the email editor easy to use. It’s self-explanatory, a simple case of editing the existing boxes or adding elements like videos, images, or links. It’s even possible to change the style of the email with a single click.
After completing the email, you are directed to step two—adding recipients—which can be done manually or by importing contacts in bulk.
Finally, it’s a case of publishing and sending. Wix has managed to replicate the simplicity of its website building platform into its email marketing software, and we were impressed by its usability.
(Image credit: Wix)
Wix Ascend: Support
In the Wix Ascend interface, you can click the question mark at the bottom left of the page to be sent directly to the Wix Email Marketing support page.
Otherwise, Wix has a dedicated support site covering all help topics. We were impressed by the size and complexity of this support site and every test question we could come up with had an adequate answer.
Failing this, there is the option to contact a customer service agent directly and arrange a callback in a choice of languages.
Wix Ascend: The competition
Although Wix Ascend ‘s free option may be appealing to small business owners, MailChimp offers a free alternative that is a far better choice, offering a much wider range of features and advanced functionality.
Wix Ascend ‘s paid plans are very reasonably priced, but the features you receive are very limited. If you need more out of an email marketing service, VerticalResponse offers a Basic package starting at $11 per month and is packed with features including live support and access to an image library.
Wix Ascend: Final verdict
We felt Wix Ascend performed badly as a standalone service, but we can see the benefit of using it alongside an existing Wix website.
It’s reasonably priced and simple to navigate, so for very basic email campaigns it could be useful, but for anything more comprehensive you’ll need to look elsewhere.