After using at least three other email authoresponders, I started with AWeber a few years ago. Email marketing is a must for any online business. This marketing method has been around since the 1970’s and continues to outperform other marketing methods like social media.
When people opt into your subscriber list, you have a chance to nurture relationships with them through an email autoreponder. Finding the best one is crucial because switching after you have thousands of subscribers is a time consuming pain.
One reason why email marketing is so important is that unlike your followers in social media channels, your email list is an asset that you own to use as a direct line to your subscribers.
You probably see lead capture opt-in forms on most websites in several varieties like popups, slide in, sidebar, inline, and upon exit. This is how you entice your visitors to go from reader to subscriber.
With so many email services available to help you create opt-in forms, automated emails and provide tracking information, which one do you choose?
Today I’m reviewing AWeber to help you decide if this popular email marketing tool is a good fit for your needs.
What is AWeber?
AWeber is an email marketing service that was founded in 1998. It includes many of the email capture and automation features that you would expect from an email marketing platform. Some of these are email newsletters, drag and drop editor, tagging, and autoresponder follow ups. Another important feature provided by AWeber is the ability to analyze how well your email campaigns are performing, which I love and use often.
Let’s explore some of the key features that AWeber excels at and some that could use a refresh.
AWeber Customer Service: Top Notch Service
Having customer support that is easily accessible is at the top of my list. AWeber telephone support is available 5 days a week, 12 hours a day.
Most problems can be solved using their online chat, available 7 days a week, 16 hours a day with shorter hours on the weekend. Their friendly support has a knowledgeable team that is quick to resolve any issue I’ve thrown their way.
They also have an incredible knowledge base that answers just about any question you might have, through text based content and videos.
I want to note here that I haven’t had any huge problems with AWeber. Most of my customer support issues revolve around turning off confirmed opt-ins for integrated services and infrequent question here and there about something I couldn’t figure out on my own.
But whatever the issue, they were quick to respond and help me solve the problem. That’s a big plus!
Simple to Use Targeted Email Campaigns
AWeber has done a great job of keeping up with technology. They recently implemented some targeted email features.
Using a drag and drop interface, AWeber’s campaign builder makes it easy to target your emails to the people in your list who most want to receive them. For example, you may want to only send emails to people based on a previous purchase or interest.
AWeber’s simple setup uses a finite number of Actions, including:
- Send a Message
- Apply Tag
You can drag and drop each action into your campaign in the order that you want each action to take place. Then you set up the detailed customization for each action and make changes at any time.
For example, if a subset of subscribers clicked a link in an email, you can apply a tag to those subscribers and trigger another message to be sent only to those subscribers.
This is definitely a feature worth having!
Campaign Sharing with AWeber is a Time Saver
The campaign sharing feature can save you time if you plan to use a similar set of messages for another email list. You can copy one or more messages between lists. This is helpful if you just need to tweak a few things and a huge time saver.
It’s also helpful if you want to share your email campaigns with others on your business team that have their own AWeber account.
I’ve used this in a team setting where other people need to send the same type of email. With a little bit of editing to make it more personal to their own subscriber list, it is just a matter of importing the campaign and tweaking some of the individual content.
I love this feature because it just makes creating all the autoresponders that much easier.
Easy Email Creation with AWeber’s Drag and Drop Interface
When I first started with autoresponders, it was overwhelming to figure it all out! AWeber makes it simple to create email if you are just starting out with email marketing. The interface is much improved over what it was a few years ago when it was more difficult to figure out!
Whether creating campaign emails or broadcasts, AWeber’s drag and drop interface makes it simple to use. You can choose from a variety of pre-made templates or create your own. This is great because I am NOT creative! Having a nice template to work from just makes it that much easier to create emails that are pleasing to look at.
When creating an email broadcast or autoresponder message, the left-side of the screen gives you access to the elements you can drag and drop into your message. These include Headline, Paragraph, Image, Video, Buttons and more.
Once the elements are in place, you can easily move, copy or delete them. It’s simple enough to use without instruction.
AWeber also provides over 6,000 images to choose from to include in your email. That’s a huge plus!
You can test out the email in a Preview window or send a test message to yourself (which I highly recommend!)
Tracking Email Statistics with AWeber
Knowing the open rate of your emails and click through rate is crucial to planning your future email campaigns.
Why does this matter?
Checking data helps you understand if you did your targeting correctly. AWeber does a good job of showing at a glance rates for open, clicked, bounced and complaints.
You can dig deeper into the statistics to find out exactly who opened, clicked or unsubscribed to your email.
Getting details about any subscriber is pretty straight forward. You can easily see which emails they opened and clicked.
For example, if your email campaigns have a low open rate, you can go back and rethink the message you are sending to your subscribers.
AWeber does a good job providing analysis tools.
Best Integration Options Between AWeber and other Services
AWeber does a great job of integrating with other services.
In Facebook, it’s a straight forward process of using an AWeber hosted form and copying the URL to the “Sign Up” option of your Facebook Page button.
Although the process is seamless, the main drawback here is that AWeber’s forms are outdated looking.
You can also integrate AWeber with a number of other services that include:
- Contests and Promotions
- Data and Analytics
- Landing Pages and Forms
- Text SMS
- Social Media
- And more.
Integration is initiated through the service you want to use.
For example, I use OptinMonster forms to add more functionality to how my forms are shown on my website. It’s as simple as choosing the AWeber integration during the form setup and selecting the email list you want to use to collect subscribers.
AWeber Forms are Outdated
I use OptinMonster for many my opt-in forms because AWeber forms are outdated and have limited customization – BUT they still work!
You can change the width, colors, and fonts but that’s where it ends. They give you plenty to choose from but they all have the same antiquated look.
Part of email marketing is creating effective, nicely designed forms that are visually pleasing to your audience.
Here’s an example. Need I say more?
Turning Off Confirmed Opt-in with AWeber Integrated Services
Most of the time, you will want your subscribers to confirm their request to receive information from you. This is called Confirmed Opt-in.
There may be times when you want to turn that option off. It’s easy enough to do in AWeber, except if you are integrating with a service such an OptinMonster (or any of the others.)
Even if you turn the option off in AWeber, the confirmation message will still be sent to the subscriber.
There are no hints available on the opt-in setup page to find out how to turn it off with integrated services.
Lack of File Download within Email
Creating a freebie download is a commonly used method to entice someone to join your email list. AWeber doesn’t provide an all-in-one method to accomplish this.
You have to store the file in another location like DropBox or Google Drive, and then include the link in the email.
The subscriber then clicks the link and is taken to the source location to download the file. It’s a multiple step process for both you and your subscriber.
Contrast that with a service like ConvertKit, where you can upload your file to the email that is sent to your subscriber. Subscribers can easily download it directly from the email they receive and opt-in at the same time.
While the lack of an all-in-one feature is not ideal, it was not a deal breaker for me.
AWeber pricing is based on the number of subscribers and is within range of other email providers. They offer 5 different types of plans:
- $19/mo (0 to 500)
- $29/mo (501 to 2,500)
- $49/mo (2,501 to 5,000)
- $69/mo (5,001 to 10,000)
- $149/mp (10,001 to 25,000)
AWeber also has an ongoing “Try AWeber Free for 30 Days” offer which is a great way to try out their service without a commitment.
All the plans offer the same features. The drawback of their pricing plan and list-centric business model is that if one subscriber is included in two lists, they count as two billable subscribers. That can add up if one subscriber is included in multiple lists.
Contrast that with ConvertKit’s subscriber-centric model. Using tags to segment subscribers instead of lists allows them to count each subscriber one time for billing purposes regardless of how many tags are applied to each subscriber.
That’s a huge money saver!
Final Thoughts on AWeber Review
To stay competitive in today’s marketplace, building your email list is essential for turning your website visitors into enthusiastic buyers through lead nurturing.
To do that you need to use an email marketing platform that helps you with all the list building components.
While AWeber has many simple to use features to create automation that any beginner can tackle, their lack of a subscriber-centric business model can end up costing you more.
Over the years, I’ve had a great experience with AWeber. It’s simple to use, reasonably priced, and their customer service is always top notch. I recommend it for any blogger who wants to start building their subscriber list.