Aweber is one of the most used email marketing software in the world today (for some years now).
- But is it really as powerful as it sounds?
- What are the REAL Pros and Cons of this service?
- What are the costs even compared to the best email marketing services in the world?
Today we answer these questions, looking at the main points of Aweber and the various Pros and Cons in comparison with other email marketing services.
Overall, Aweber offers everything you need to create a successful email marketing campaign. It offers an easy-to-use interface and a solid support system that allows you to start and maintain your email campaign without any difficulty.
In particular, Aweber is an excellent email marketing software for:
- create a mailing list and work on the data obtained
- design newsletters that can be sent to subscribers on your list
- automate email marketing through the use of “autoresponders”
- view and analyze the statistics related to your email marketing campaigns
Undoubtedly Aweber remains an overall solid choice for any type of professional and corporate reality.
It also includes a free plan with no time limit (albeit with several limitations) which can be ideal for getting close to the software and trying it out before deciding on any purchase.
But let’s see it now in more detail!
AWeber Email Marketing Review in Details
AWeber is a company based in Pennsylvania (USA) that has been operating in the field of email marketing software as a core business since its birth. It was founded by Tom Kulzer in 1998.
The company is known for particularly advanced autoresponder services, solid performance, and a number of quality features that make sending emails between businesses and B2C very simple and effective.
It is also one of the email marketing services with the best delivery rates, thanks to careful control over the quality of the IP addresses used.
The IP address assigned for email delivery is essential to maintain high delivery rates (above 95%) that do not end up in the “spam” or “promotions” folder.
Aweber customers currently exceed 120,000, including businesses and bloggers. From automated emails that save on creation, to the creation of landing pages, split tests, or integrations with third-party apps.
AWeber remains today a leader and a reference point in the use of email marketing software that is always at the forefront and always kept up to date with the latest technologies.
There are 2 versions of Aweber: “Pro” and “Free”.
For Pro plans, the pricing structure is as follows:
- Hosting and emailing a list containing up to 500 subscribers: $19 per month
- 501 to 2,500 subscribers: $29 per month
- 2,501 to 5,000 subscribers: $49 per month
- 5,001 to 10,000 subscribers: $69 per month
- 10,001 to 25,000 subscribers: $149 per month
Let us remember that the figures are expressed in US dollars.
If you have more than 25,000 subscribers on your mailing list, you will need to contact Aweber for a quote, but in that case, I recommend negotiating on the price because email marketing software is competing to win over customers of these entities!
In addition, a completely free version of Aweber is available. This allows you to use most of Aweber’s features, as long as your mailing list is under 500 subscribers (after which you’ll need to sign up for a paid plan).
A 14% discount is available if you pay quarterly, while the discount is almost 20% if you pay annually. Discounts are also available for students and non-profit organizations.
An interesting aspect of Aweber’s pricing structure is that all features are available on all plans – unlike many other competing products, you don’t need to have more expensive plans to unlock certain features. The price differences concern only the size of the mailing list.
That said, some features available on Aweber, as we’ll see below, aren’t quite on par with others of competing email marketing solutions.
How is Aweber pricing compared to competitors?
The Aweber price, compared with the main competitors is:
- significantly cheaper than Constant Contact
- cheaper than Sendinblue
- roughly the same price as Mailchimp
- slightly more expensive than ConvertKit
- more expensive than Getresponse
Of course, we are only comparing the prices, without taking into account the features offered. However, all of these services have email marketing services behind them, which is often all we are looking for.
Taking an overall comparison, I’d say Aweber is priced more or less in the middle of the spectrum of email marketing tools.
Of course, price isn’t the only factor you should base your decision on… the most important thing to understand is how much you get for your money. So, let’s take a look at Aweber’s main features.
Aweber main features overview
Some of AWeber’s most popular features include:
- Dozens of integrations to make using your favorite tools even easier
- Third-party app API
- World-class customer service via telephone (in English), live chat, and email
- Easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor for emails and landing pages
- Over 150 customizable email templates
- Easy to use and effective autoresponder features
- Ability to tag emails to create triggers
- In-depth data analysis
- High delivery rates (thanks to the rotation of quality maintained IPs)
Compared to its competitors, Aweber provides one of the largest sets of e-newsletter templates available in HTML – we find over 700 available.
To give an idea, we find about 400 templates available for Getresponse, about 80 for Mailchimp, and about a hundred for ConvertKit.
To be honest, not all designs are great. Some look slightly dated. The difference is, in my opinion, that Aweber prefers to add new templates without removing the old ones, while other competitors prefer to replace the slightly outdated layouts with more modern ones.
That said, the sheer volume of templates available should give you a chance to find a suitable one for your emails. Obviously, there is always the possibility to modify the chosen template as well.
Opt-in and subscribe to the email list
Signing up for email is a crucial moment and must be as effective as possible.
Also, when it comes time for your users to join your mailing list, you need to decide whether you want to implement a single or double opt-in process. Not all email marketing software offers this double chance.
With a single opt-in process, your user signs up to your mailing list. That’s all. The user can sign up in several ways, including using a custom activation form which can be provided by Aweber.
After registration, the user does not have to do anything else before they can receive your emails. This means that the entire registration process is simple enough for all parties involved.
Double opt-in adds an extra step to the signup process for your email list. The user will enter your list, but then you will ask the user to confirm their subscription. This generally takes place via a welcome e-mail that allows you to:
a) ask for confirmation of the info and the choice to be subscribed to the mailing list
b) ask for confirmation of subscription, limiting users who insert fake emails or bots
The double Opt in process is very useful because it allows you to have a list of truly interested subscribers and tend to be more “reactive” than the average. Conversely, not everyone will complete double opt-in, so signup rates will be lower than a single opt-in list.
As we’ve seen, hundreds of templates are provided, which makes creating emails quick and easy by eliminating the need to create messages from scratch. All you need to do when creating emails is to customize your chosen template using intuitive tools in the email editor.
The editing tools available are in line with all major email editor software and are actually quite simple and straightforward. It is possible to add the company logo, add content, add images and change the color scheme with just a few clicks.
Furthermore, the whole structure of the email editor is in drag and drop, making the modification and editing of each email really very simple and intuitive. From this point of view, Aweber is one of the easiest to use ever.
Responsive email design
Aweber’s email templates are all “responsive” depending on the device used.
This means they automatically resize to fit the device they are displayed on. Nowadays and in the era of smartphones and tablets, this is an essential feature.
You can also easily see a preview of the mobile version of your email within Aweber: simply click on a preview button and activate the “Smartphone preview” item to see how the email will appear on a smartphone. (It’s still a good idea to send a few test emails and check them on a mobile phone or tablet.)
RSS to the mailing list
Like other e-marketing services, Aweber can take your site’s RSS feed and turn it into e-newsletters sent according to a schedule you define. In Aweber, this is called “Bog Broadcast”, although technically you can use this feature with any content that has an RSS feed.
This feature is particularly useful for bloggers who want subscribers on their mailing lists to automatically receive newsletters containing their new posts (or, alternatively, a monthly summary of the blog posts). Essentially, it means you can feed your newsletters from your website – this can save you a lot of time.
It is worth noting that you cannot use Aweber’s standard templates for RSS-to-email purposes, however, you can choose from a number of templates designed specifically for this purpose.
On the downside, many of these models don’t look good, they are a bit reminiscent of the ’90s. My advice is to redesign them manually.
Sadly, you can’t use Aweber’s standard drag-and-drop email interface to edit them – you have to use another editor that’s a little less easy to use.
With a little bit of tweaking, you will probably be able to find something that works well, but I think there is definitely room for improvement from that point of view.
AMP for an email in Aweber
One area where Aweber has an advantage over most other email marketing platforms is the ability to use AMP technology for email.
Traditionally, newsletters are quite static – a simple combination of text and images. The AMP for email changes this concept, allowing recipients to perform simple actions (such as making an appointment or responding to an event) directly within an email, i.e. without leaving the email program or visit a website.
This also allows senders of an email to insert dynamic content into it, such as live scores of any kind, weather updates, football scores, and so on.
This “dynamic” nature of AMP emails gives recipients a reason to come back to them periodically and turns electronic newsletters into significantly more powerful and engaging content.
The AMP technology for creating dynamic email content is very recent, but certainly interesting: it allows you to create emails with updated content, giving a considerable added value to the Newsletter to which the user is subscribed!
Automation and Autoresponder
Autoresponders are a series of follow-up emails that are triggered automatically over time or by particular actions taken by the user.
For example, you could create an autoresponder program so that when someone signs up for your mailing list:
- immediately receives a welcome message
- a week later they receive a discount code for a product
- three weeks later they receive an encouragement to follow you on social media
…and so on.
Since they can really help you save time and monetize your mailing list, they are usually a key part of any e-marketing solution.
Aweber claims to have invented autoresponders in 1998, and as a result, you would expect their autoresponder functionality to be excellent. Oddly, it’s great, but not great.
On the plus side, it should be mentioned that it is very easy to set up follow-up emails in Aweber based on the timeframe, for example, by automatically sending subscribers an onboarding email immediately after signing up, a code promotional 2 days later, and a “follow us on social media” a week later. This is a typical use of the autoresponder and is a breeze with Aweber.
On the downside, the options available to trigger autoresponders based on user actions and purchases are far less extensive than you might find in some competing services.
Using Aweber, you can create “goals” or combine automation rules with tagging to make autoresponders behave in reasonably sophisticated ways.
However, if you want to use autoresponders in really advanced ways, you will probably have to look at other products, in this area, the number one remains Getresponse, which provides much more extensive “marketing automation” capabilities.
The autoresponder is the TOOL to implement marketing automation:
Marketing Automation Aweber
Marketing Automation is a crucial feature in any self-respecting email marketing tool. Almost all newsletter and email marketing software offer some degree of automation. But certainly, not everyone is on the same level.
We can think of automation as an “Autoresponder 2.0”, in which we go beyond the traditional “drip” campaigns, but create complex user paths using “IFTT” style workflows ( if this, then that ).
IF the subscriber makes … a certain click … THEN … apply a tag (or send to a certain page, etc).
With this type of automation, you typically design a flowchart where mails are sent based on user actions: opening emails, clicking links, site visits, purchases made, and so on.
Aweber recently introduced a new marketing automation feature that to some extent provides this functionality: “Aweber Campaigns”.With this feature, you can use certain user actions, such as openings and click-throughs, along with the application of tags (which can be triggered if a user visits a certain page on your site) to determine what needs to be sent, to who and when (as in the image above).
The tags are “markers” that help us to divide the subscribers: over time, we will be able to understand the most “reactive”, those most inclined to purchase, the different interests, and eventually divide them into different lists.
However, I think this feature could have some room for improvement – tools like Getresponse provide significantly more flexibility when it comes to what types of user behavior can trigger email messages.
Let’s compare it with one of the main competitors, GetResponse, in fact:
we can use triggers such as purchase, specific page visits, subscriber “score” and stages of the sales process to send differentiated messages.
Furthermore, the creation of the email flow in GetResponse is block and drag-and-drop, making it much easier to create particularly complex flows.
In an effort to compete with competing services, Aweber offers a completely free plan. This is relatively unusual in the world of email marketing – most similar products offer a free trial, but not indefinite access to the product.
Aweber’s free plan manages to be both less generous and more generous than others, such as Mailchimp. It’s more generous because, with the exception of a couple of features (notably split tests and abandoned cart emails), you get access to most of Aweber’s features for free.
Mailchimp’s free plan limits functionality to a few main features: for example, you can’t use any automation (which is no small feat).
Aweber is less generous as the free plan only works if the list is 500 contacts or less, while the free plans usually grant a minimum of 1000 subscribers.
Aweber offers very cutting-edge features in list management. Let’s see the main ones.
Split testing (also known as A/B testing ) involves sending variations of your emails to different subscribers or different mailing lists. It also allows you to monitor the performance of each to figure out the “best” version to send to the rest of your list.
Most e-marketing tools handle it automatically for you: you create a few different versions of your email (using different content or subject headers), send them to a sample of your subscribers, and the best e-marketing solution it will automatically show the data advising you to use it.
With Aweber, you can send up to three variations of emails during split tests. This aspect is much better than other email marketing services, in fact, usually, email marketing software offers only 2 variants instead of 3.
The analysis of the data relating to the e-mails sent through Aweber is objective of a high level. In addition to being able to track key stats like open rate, delivery rate, click-throughs, and bounces, you can also look into many other useful insights/insights, including:
- the growth of the lists over time
- an overview of registration methods
- where and when people open your email
- an individual’s activity history – you can view previous opens and clicks, etc.
and much more.
In terms of comparing to competing products, I’d say Aweber’s reports are some of the most comprehensive ever. With the analytics offered it is really possible to get more than one insight into information in one place, particularly when looking at the performance of individual emails or certain campaigns.
Data segmentation in Aweber
Data segmentation in Aweber is pretty straightforward. You can create segments not only based on the contents of any field in your database, but also on user activity: emails opened, web pages visited, links clicked, products purchased, and so on. It’s all very flexible and easy to use.
However, it is a bit tricky to figure out how to get to the screen where you create segments: basically, you have to go to a section called “manage subscribers”, and then save the search as a segment.
Aweber does not allow you to broadcast emails to multiple segments at the same time. This will cause problems for those who need to “select and mix” segments on a regular basis.
For example, suppose you are a car dealer with a mailing list containing a field called “car model”. You have used this field to segment your mailing list into VW Polo, Golf, Passat, Tiguan owners.
You now have an offer that is specifically relevant to Polo, Golf and Passat owners, and you want to send a message about those three segments in one go.
In an ideal world you would be able to select the relevant segments and send the message to those three groups. With Aweber, however, this is not possible. You will need to create three messages (each per mailing list) or create a brand new segment targeting “Polo OR Golf OR Passat”.
On the plus side, Aweber now allows emailing to multiple lists, which is forbidden by a ton of competitors, including Mailchimp.
Ultimately, however, other email marketing tools, most notably Getresponse or Active Campaign, handle segmentation in a way that I think is better, as we saw in the comparison on the best email marketing services.
Landing Page Builder Aweber
Landing Pages are Web pages designed with specific objectives: conversion and/or data acquisition. They usually consist of a form, some images, and a small amount of text explaining the benefit of signing up and leaving the email address.
They typically capture data more effectively than forms entered on regular websites, simply because fewer distractions are available – there is no navigation or content that distracts attention from the registration form.
The good news is that Aweber recently introduced Landing Pages as a new feature – you can now use the platform to design simple pages that can be used in conjunction with advertising campaigns.
On the plus side, the Landing Page Builder is very simple to use and you can use some free stock photos when designing your page. You can also add a Facebook pixel and Google Analytics tracking code to your pages, which is useful when trying to evaluate the performance of advertising campaigns.
On the downside, there is no A / B testing available. One of the main benefits of using a landing page builder is the ability to run real-time testing of different landings, to see which version works best. Too bad for this lack.
Overall, the creation of landing pages is an extra “optional” well implemented and very easy to use. Of course, however, if we want 100% functional landing pages and with several other options, it is recommended to opt for real landing page software.
Aweber support is one of the distinguishing features of the product.
Phone support, email support, and live chat support are available – this compares very favorably with some key competitors including Getresponse, Mailchimp, ConvertKit, none of which offer phone support.
Plus, it’s really easy to contact support – the phone number and relevant email details can be viewed very easily on the company’s contact page, with no obligation to fill out any forms.
Additionally, the company has won several Stevie Awards for customer service over the past few years, which bodes well for the quality of support you will receive when you contact them.
If you’re new to email marketing, this kind of easy access to good quality support is a strong argument in favor of using Aweber as an email marketing provider.
In terms of support available, you can contact Aweber’s phone support team from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET Monday to Friday (in English) and 24/7 email and live/chat support days a week.
Pros and cons of Aweber
- A completely free plan is available.
- It is really easy to use.
- Excellent delivery rates (above 98%, but on non-free plans).
- It comes with a very large range of templates, far more than its main competitors.
- Support options are broader than some key competitor products and faster.
- It’s reasonably priced: While it’s not the cheapest product of its kind, it’s cheaper than many similar solutions.
- It has a good quality built-in Landing Page generator.
- Facilitates AMP for email, a first for email marketing tools.
- It allows you to choose whether to allow people to subscribe to your list on a single or dual basis.
- It has good import functionality, with the ability to import a wide range of file types and add the email addresses you’re importing directly to an autoresponder loop.
- It integrates with a decent range of third-party tools and apps.
- It makes setting up simple time-based autoresponders very easy.
- All email templates are responsive.
- You can use web fonts in newsletters sent with Aweber.
Cons of using Aweber
- You cannot include or exclude multiple segments at the same time when sending a newsletter.
- There are cheaper options.
- While the Landing Page Builder is useful, it doesn’t provide A / B testing.
- Some models look a little dated.
- RSS to email templates are poor and cannot be edited using Aweber’s standard drag-and-drop email generator.
- It is in English only
Conclusions: do I recommend Aweber?
Overall, Aweber is one of the strongest email marketing tools ever.
The only thing it does not excel at is the marketing automation system because if compared with the block diagrams of some competitors it is less immediate.
That said, it remains functional and reliable software, offered at an average price, easy to use, and capable of offering all the key features you would expect from an email marketing solution.
The main aspects of the product that would push me in the direction of Aweber are its ease of use, the solidity of support, excellent delivery rates, AMP for dynamic email functionality, and an excellent list segmentation (so such as data analysis ). The free plan is also generous, but we value the fact that 500 subscribers are still few.
The support aspect can be especially important for users who are starting e-marketing now without much technical skills (because problems, if they arise, can be solved by talking to a real human being on a real phone line or a chat!).
Also, Aweber isn’t too expensive compared to some competing products, most notably ConvertKit or Active Campaign.
So would I use it? Absolutely yes, and it is no coincidence that I have placed it among the first places in the ranking of the best email marketing software ever.
The closest and equally valid alternative remains, in my opinion, GetResponse which allows assistance in Italian and marketing automation a little easier to use. However, it doesn’t offer a free plan.
In short, Aweber remains an internationally recognized and appreciated email marketing software, and certainly, if we had to choose, it will be able to meet our expectations in all cases.
Do you have any doubts, questions or have you tried Aweber? Write me in the comments! See you soon!