In this AWeber review, I will shed light on all the important aspects of this email marketing services provider.
TL;DR: Over the years, I have been using various email marketing tools, but AWeber is one tool I find myself using more frequently. AWeber helps me manage my campaigns, design landing pages, and send newsletters.
One of the many perks of AWeber is that businesses of all sizes can use it. However, it is most suitable for small to mid-sized companies. The tool provides you with just the right number of features as needed without too many bells and whistles.
I sent automated emails, segmented my contacts and ran targeted campaigns effectively, tag subscribers, and designed custom emails using an easy drag-and-drop interface. The platform also provides a range of free stock images handy, thus making the entire process even effortless.
One thing that deserves accolades is the comprehensive knowledge base maintained by the platform. From guides to blogs, webinars, tutorials, and everything else in between - the tool provides you with everything to help you get started.
Based on my years of experience with email marketing tools, and especially this one, and considering the quality of services it provides, AWeber scores 4.0 on 5.
If you want to invest in email marketing and make your brand reach out to a broader set of audiences, then AWeber must be on your list. You can try out the software for free here.
What is AWeber?
Aweber is a smart business email marketing software that has been with us since 1998. With 20 years of proven success and more than one million customers worldwide, AWeber is an easy-to-use email marketing solution and email design tool.
The tool is used by companies of all sizes. Their website flaunts various customer success stories for you to test the water. As claimed by them, the platform is used by more than 120,000 individuals and businesses,
Mostly, AWeber is used as an email automation tool, but the platform has a lot to offer. Here are a few things you can do with AWeber:
- Email design
- Email automation
- Landing page design
- Push notifications
- Form builder
But this is not all. AWeber lets you do much more. So let’s roll our sleeves up and dive deeper to understand its features in greater detail.
What is AWeber Used for?
AWeber is an email marketing services provider that helps you build a stronger connection with your audiences. The tool enables you to grow your audiences with email marketing solutions, landing page builders, web push notifications, email automation, segmentation, auto-newsletters, and third-party integrations. I will shed light on each of these features in the subsequent sections.
Who Should Use AWeber?
AWeber helps you push your email marketing campaign just right. If you are an individual or an entrepreneur starting from scratch or a small business with a small marketing team, AWeber is the right pick for you. Containing the right blend of features, pricing, and subscribers, this email marketing service provider (ESP) hit the bull’s eye in terms of its offerings without overwhelming your team.
The free plan provides you with most of the features available in the paid plan, only restricting you in terms of the number of subscribers.
AWeber offers two pricing plans - Pro and Free. This pricing model is the same as you will find with most other email marketing tools in the industry.
AWeber free plan is available in the US, some other scattered European regions, and some regions in Asia and Africa. The free version of AWeber allows you to send emails to up to 500 subscribers.
The Pro plan costs you $19.99/month for up to 500 subscribers, $29.99/month for 501-2500 subscribers, $49.99/month for 2,501-5,000 subscribers, $69.99/month for 5,001-10,000 subscribers, and $149.99/month for 10,001-25,000 subscribers.
However, if you choose to pay quarterly, it costs $49/qtr for up to 500 subscribers, $79/qtr for 501-2,500 subscribers, $139/qtr for 2,501-5,000 subscribers, $199/qtr for 5,001-10,000 subscribers, and $439/qtr for 10,001-25,000 subscribers.
Annual plans help you save 19.2%, amounting to $16.15/month when billed annually.
For anything above 25,000 subscribers, you can contact customer support here or call them at 1-877-293-2371 to get a quotation.
Here is a comparison in terms of pricing between various Pro plans:
Here is how Pro and Free plans compare against each other in terms of features:
As can be seen, the free version provides most of the Pro features. The major difference is only in terms of the number of subscribers.
Does AWeber Have a Trial?
AWeber doesn’t offer a free trial. However, it does have a free version that allows you to email to up to 500 subscribers. The free version offers a range of features, including the ability to create and send newsletters, email automation, RSS to email, drag-and-drop email builder, email templates, HTML emails, dynamic content, hosted broadcast archive, AMP emails, and more.
I’d recommend you get your hands on the free version before committing to the paid version. Once you have figured out your needs, you can update your plan.
However, as I mentioned in the above section, the free version of the tool is only available in the US and scattered regions in Europe and a few locations in Asia and Africa. So, if you do not belong to any of these regions, you will have to start your journey with their paid version. I’ll highly recommend checking other free email marketing tools available out there before committing.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of AWeber
Ease of Use
As predicted from any email marketing software, AWeber flaunts an easy-to-use interface with nice features. Navigation is intuitive and straightforward. In fact, I was able to perform most of the tasks without looking for any tutorials. However, I did feel stuck in a few places. But the knowledge base offered by the tool is pretty comprehensive and covered most of my queries.
The signup process requires you to provide your personal information, including the business address and other customization you might need. This was overwhelming a bit, and I would have appreciated it if this was kept optional.
Once I was in, I was greeted by six tabs on the top of the screen. These include Sign Up Forms, Messages, Subscribers, Reports, and List Options. Most of these tabs are drop-down options. You can catch insights on new subscribers, scheduled messages recently sent newsletters, and other stats on your home page.
AWeber pleased me when it comes to customer support. I contacted them twice, and in both instances, I was provided with quick help within 10 minutes. My representatives were friendly, helpful, and prompt in replying to my queries.
You can contact their customer support in three ways:
- Email: Drop them an email. You can also reach out to them using the online contact form here.
- Phone: The support via phone is available between 8 am and 8 pm eastern time
- Live chat: You can chat with their customer support representatives at any hour of the day
Apart from these modes, you can also seek out help and get the required information through:
- Guides: AWeber provides advanced email marketing guides that can be downloaded in the form of PDFs. These guides help you learn email marketing techniques specific to your industry. I really found them helpful.
- Live webinar: AWeber also conducts live and on-demand webinars that aim to educate users on various aspects of email marketing and their platform in general. Webinars are generally scheduled every 7-15 days. If you are having trouble setting up your account, you can also attend the ‘Setting Up Your Account in 15 minutes” webinar which is hosted every weekday.
- Knowledgebase: AWeber has a comprehensive and searchable collection of hundreds of articles elaborating how the software works, troubleshooting, features, and more. It is a great resource for both novices and experts alike. Articles within knowledgebase also contain links to video tutorials, so you can easily get familiar with the tool.
- Social media: You can also reach out to AWeber through social media. The team responds to any questions and comments on Facebook within 24 hours at most. You can also write to them on Twitter and expect a quick response.
- Blog: You can stay updated with the latest news, tips, recommendations, and trends with the help of the company blog. New entries are posted weekly, and I found them pretty insightful.
I would like to reiterate that Aweber is second to none to provide top-notch customer support. They are available 24/7 across all accounts, which is something very rare, especially in the email marketing software industry. This explains why the company has rightly claimed various awards in the past years for its customer service.
Although AWeber doesn’t offer as seamless integration as is offered by other giants in the industry, like Mailchimp, it does work fine with a decent range of SaaS applications. At the time of writing, AWeber could be connected to 800 web apps. These include platforms like Wix, WordPress, Shopify, and CRM tools like Salesforce. You can also integrate it to landing page builders like Instapage and so on.
You might need dedicated widgets to make integration possible for some. While for others, adding a snippet of code into a website or using a tool like Zapier could do the trick.
The pricing of AWeber is not very competitive, especially for small businesses not looking for all the shenanigans that the platform has to offer. Further, the user is charged the monthly fee based on the number of subscribers, irrespective of whether the emails are being sent or not. Although you can opt for a monthly subscription, the subscription gets renewed on its own. Thus, you might get an unwelcome billing surprise if you are not careful enough.
AWeber neither offers a free trial nor a free version to most of the countries. This is a bit disappointing, especially when other email marketing software providers are pretty generous in terms of free trials.
You must be careful while canceling your account. Make sure you do not end up accidentally suspending it.
Limited Import Options
One thing that was a game-changer for me was the fact that the software doesn’t allow me to import contacts from Gmail or third-party address books. This could be frustrating primarily when you have always maintained your subscribers on your email client.
What are the Key Features of AWeber?
AWeber provides you with a wide range of valuable features, including:
Easy importing of data
You can import an existing email database pretty easily. AWeber supports a range of file types, including txt, csv, xlsx, xls, and tsv. You can also add individual subscribers manually, although this will be a time-consuming process. As you add data to your account, you can also add your subscribers to a set of autoresponders and tag them.
However, the tool doesn’t let its guards down when you import the data for anti-spam reasons. You will need to answer a few questions about how the imported data was collected. Further, if you are importing a large file with more than 10,000 records, you will need approval from the anti-spam compliance team of AWeber. All in all, the data importing policy of the platform is 10 on 10.
The support for autoresponders is the least you expect from an email marketing service provider, and this tool ticks the right boxes. For starters, autoresponders are a series of follow-up emails that get triggered automatically when a user performs a certain desired action. For instance, sending a welcome email when someone signs up on your website successfully or sending an ‘order received’ email when someone places an order on your e-commerce store.
AWeber allows you to send follow-up emails pretty easily. On the flip side, the options available to trigger autoresponders are relatively limited.
AWeber helps you monitor key figures like open rate, bounce rate, and other important analytics, including your emails' open rate, the growth of lists over time, and so on. Although analytics is not too comprehensive and doesn’t integrate well with Google Analytics, the tool provides enough information to help you make critical business decisions.
Depending on your preferences and requirements, you can ask your users to subscribe on either a single opt-in or a double opt-in basis. Single opt-in allows them to subscribe to your newsletters automatically after completing a form. On the other hand, double opt-in requires them to click on a confirmatory link sent to their email. Both the modes have their merits, so it is good to see that the platform extends its support to both approaches.
Consider marketing automation as an advanced version of autoresponders wherein you get to customize and define email marketing campaigns beyond the traditional drip campaigns. You can define your own journeys using ‘if this, then that’ scenarios. Marketing automation is the real face of email marketing, letting you assist and track your customer on each phase of their journey. However, this is one area where AWeber didn’t impress me. I recommend using tools like Mailchimp and GetResponse for this purpose as they are better equipped to deal with such
Responsive Email Designs
AWeber’s email templates are responsive. This means that they can adapt according to the screen size depending on the device. This means that whether the email is being viewed on a mobile or a desktop, the user will not have to pinch in and out the screen to see.
AWeber has a huge library of about 700 HTML email newsletter templates. To provide a better perspective, GetResponse only provides 115 of them, and Mailchimp only has 80. Although I don’t like all the available designs as some of them look really clumsy and outdated, you can definitely tweak them to your requirements to make things work. You can also choose to code your own template.
AWeber vs. Competitors?
There are many alternatives to AWeber. Let’s briefly discuss how AWeber compared against each of them.
Mailchimp is the new kid in the block, compared to AWeber, which is with us since 1998. However, everyone is talking about this new kid thanks to its generous pricing structure, easy interface, and clever marketing campaigns. While AWeber lacks a freemium plan in most locations, Mailchimp offers one. Mailchimp is also easy to navigate and comes with a well-designed backend. In terms of email marketing features, both these tools perform fine. There are, definitely, far better options like GetResponse and Active Campaign.
Both AWeber and GetResponse came into being in 1998. While about 100,000 small businesses and individuals use AWeber, GetResponse has more than 350,000 customers under its kitty. In terms of pricing, GetResponse provides you with a 30-day free trial with no credit card required. This is something worth appreciating considering that AWeber offers its free version only in limited locations and still requires your credit card details. Further, GetResponse provides more subscribers even in its free version, which is not the case with AWeber. All in all, GetResponse is about $4 per month cheaper when compared to AWeber’s equivalent plan consisting of 1000 subscribers. However, AWeber provides you with all the required features from day one. This means that you don’t have to pay extra just because you need more features.
Offering the best of both worlds, Active Campaign is an advanced email marketing tool offering you a wide array of segmentation and personalization capabilities. This essentially means that the tool is a perfect pick for experienced marketers who are already familiar with how an email marketing tool works and want to get into granular details. On the other hand, AWeber is a pretty basic tool for small businesses and individuals who need a handful of features to keep their campaigns going. In terms of pricing, Active Campaign does offer a free trial for 14 days but no free version. On the other hand, AWeber offers a free version in limited locations. The starting price is a bit similar for both the tools.