AWeber Review: Affordable Marketing Platform for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

AWeber Review: Affordable Marketing Platform for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Good option for small businesses and entrepreneurs looking for a basic, budget-friendly marketing platform to help create professional emails and marketing campaigns.

Pros

  • Easy-to-use software with a minimal learning curve
  • Includes an extensive set of built-in templates
  • Award-winning customer support that includes phone, email, live chat, online knowledge base, video tutorials, and free live webinars
  • Affordable relative to some of its competitors

Cons

  • Automation functionality is limited to sequential emails
  • Subscribers that are on multiple lists and people that have unsubscribed are still counted towards your total subscriber quota

Editor's Rating

3.5/5.0

Table of Contents

AWeber Pricing

  • Starts at $19/month for up to 500 subscribers, up to $149/month for up to 25,000 subscribers
  • Discounted rate for quarterly and annual subscriptions
  • Free 30 day trial

Full Review

Founded in 1998, AWeber is a well-established email marketing platform that helps small businesses and entrepreneurs connect with their audiences, and grow their business through email.

With over 100,000 customers, AWeber has gained a strong reputation in the industry with its easy-to-use software and award-winning customer service. The software incorporates an intuitive drag-and-drop editor and has over 700 customizable templates, making it quick and easy to build simple autoresponder sequences. The company is available 7-days per week via phone or online chat, while an online knowledge base of video tutorials helps to educate customers and provide valuable email marketing information.

AWeber recently introduced click automation, which enables users to build targeted sequences by applying 'tags' to subscribers based on link-clicks and email opens. However, this is the extent of AWeber’s automation functionality, which is somewhat underwhelming compared to automation capabilities from competitors, such as MailChimp, GetResponse, and Drip.

With a reasonable pricing structure based on the number of subscribers, AWeber is well-suited for budget-conscious businesses and entrepreneurs looking for an intuitive and simple way to send targeted emails and build their contact list.

Key Features

Below are the key features of AWeber and how they can benefit your business.

Create Marketing Campaigns

AWeber’s campaign functionality allows you to build automated email flows that ensure your newsletter reaches the right subscribers at the right time. Labeled as 'campaigns', users can send and manage multiple autoresponders targeting your lists. A campaign begins by selecting a 'Trigger', which is an event (such as adding someone to your subscriber list, or applying a certain tag to a list), which will then trigger an email to be sent.

AWeber Review Campaign Triggers

Users can then build email sequences through a drag-and-drop editor by incorporating different actions (Send Message, Wait, and Apply Tag). The Campaign Builder has an excellent interface making it easy to visualize and build automations.

AWeber Review Drag-and-Drop Campaign Editor

As with other marketing platforms, AWeber has automation options to create more complex and targeted campaigns. Users can apply an 'if this, then that' rule that enables a tag to be applied based on user actions (link clicks, opens).

AWeber Review Email TriggerAutomation

AWeber also has an autoresponder feature, known as 'Legacy Follow-up', which enables you to send sequential emails at predetermined time intervals. As an example, if a visitor subscribes to your list, you can send them a welcome email, followed by a coupon/discount two days later, and so on. Legacy Follow-up emails are sent to all active subscribers on a list, unlike campaigns which provide flexibility to include or exclude subscribers through different triggers.

While AWeber’s autoresponders are easy to use, several users have reported that the software falls well behind competitors regarding automation. AWeber provides only two options to trigger automation (new subscriber or tag applied), and three actions within a campaign (Send Message, Wait, and Apply Tag). While this is useful for simple automation, if you’re looking for more complex features and the ability to run parallel automation flows, then another provider such as MailChimp or Drip will be more suitable options for you.

Creating and Sending Emails

Like many other email marketing platforms, AWeber allows you to easily create professional-looking emails. The company has 700+ different mobile-responsive template options that can be customized using a drag-and-drop editor. In comparison, Constant Contact has approximately 100 templates and MailChimp has around 90.

AWeber Review Email Templates

The drag-and-drop editor is easy to use, with an extensive range of customizable options. However, some users have expressed concerns that the overall creative and styling process is somewhat outdated.

Users can create professional HTML emails in addition to plain text messages. AWeber also features 6,000+ free images to use, in addition to unlimited image hosting, which means you can store logos and frequently used images for quick use.

While AWeber’s templates aren’t as visually appealing as some of its competitor's templates, the extensive options make customizing emails according to your needs relatively quick and simple. If you can’t find a suitable template, there is also the option for custom coding, but this requires some technical background.

AWeber Review Email Example

One extremely useful feature is the RSS to email function. Called 'Blog Broadcasts', this feature enables users to transform blog posts into e-newsletters based on a predefined schedule. This can save a significant amount of time for bloggers and businesses that post regularly by automatically sending subscribers newsletters of recent content.

Signup Forms

AWeber includes hundreds of different signup form templates, which can be styled to reflect your business. Sign up form options include In-line, Pop-Over, Lightbox, and Pop-up allowing you to reach visitors at the right time. You can also easily integrate sign-up forms with Facebook, Wordpress, and even PayPal (so that users who make purchases through PayPal are automatically added to your list).

AWeber also has the functionality to A/B split test forms, allowing you to find the best combination to increase conversions and grow your list. To conduct an A/B test, you will need to set up two forms to test, and allocate a percentage to each (e.g, 50% to your first option, and 50% to your second option). When testing, it’s important only to change one thing at a time to get accurate data (as an example, changing the color or image of the sign-up form), so that you can understand what changes are responsible for any differences in conversion rates.

AWeber Review Create Signup Forms

AWeber also allows you to create multiple signup forms per list. This is extremely useful functionality for building your subscriber lists, since it enables you to place various signup forms at key places throughout your website, such as at the end of topical blog posts.

Managing Subscribers

AWeber makes it easy to add and manage subscribers to your lists. In addition to the signup forms, subscribers can be added manually (up to 10 at once) or imported from an existing file (XLS, XLSX, TSV, CSV, or TXT). The company provides support in migrating lists from other marketing platforms, and recently included the option to import a list without needing subscribers to re-confirm, which was previously mandatory. AWeber also has an import limit of 10,000 subscribers per month, although their team will manually review your list if you exceed this limit.

AWeber Review Adding Subscribers

You can segment lists by using tags in order to have more granular control and targeting options for your campaigns. Tags can be added manually or through the use of specific signup forms. In addition to basic tags, users can segment lists and add subscribers by incorporating behavior-based tags such as opens, clicks, purchases, visits, location, or custom information, such as demographic information collected through your signup form. This can be particularly useful for creating personalized campaigns based on user actions.

One frustrating aspect of AWeber is that if one subscriber is on several of your lists, they will be counted multiple times to your subscription quota. As an example, if you have one contact that is in four different lists, this will count as four subscribers. This can be particularly frustrating, since your overall subscription count is what determines the price of your AWeber account. In addition, contacts that have unsubscribed from your list are still counted towards your subscription quota. As a result, you'll need to regularly maintain your list and delete unsubscribed addresses from your list.

Reporting

Tracking and analyzing several different performance metrics is crucial to improving the effectiveness of your email campaigns. AWeber provides a comprehensive range of reporting options that enable you to track everything from email opens, clicks, and bounces to subscriber growth, and even more detailed information about your list, such as geographic location. While there is a wealth of data available, we've found the user interface to be somewhat dated, which can take away from the user experience.

AWeber Review Campaign Performance Reports

Integrations

AWeber has excellent integration capabilities, and connects with 140+ different websites and services including Facebook, Wordpress, and PayPal. While not as exhaustive as MailChimp’s integrations, there are plenty of options for users to include additional functionality.

AWeber Review Supported Integrations

How does AWeber Compare to its Competition?

To get an idea of how AWeber fares against other marketing software on the market, we put together this side by side comparison against some of its more popular competitors.

AWeber vs. MailChimp

Both AWeber and MailChimp are robust email marketing platforms that simplify the process of sending professional emails and growing your lists. MailChimp includes a forever-free plan for up to 2,000 subscribers, while on the other hand, AWeber’s pricing starts at $19 per month for up to 500 subscribers and increases from there.

Several users have reported that MailChimp has more attractive out-of-box newsletter templates and more robust customization ability. However, with AWeber’s 700+ template library, AWeber still provides several options for newsletter templates.

We've found AWeber’s autoresponders to be a little easier to set up than MailChimp's, although they are limited to simple automation capability. If you value customer service, AWeber wins hands down. MailChimp’s customer support is only online (and certain support channels are only available for paid customers), whereas AWeber has phone, email, live chat, and an online knowledge base to assist customers.

AWeber vs. Constant Contact

AWeber and Constant Contact are two of the longest-running email marketing providers, and both have similar features. Autoresponders are easy to set up in each, and both offer exceptional customer support. Both companies incorporate a visual email builder and offer an extensive range of templates (700+ for AWeber and 400+ for Constant Contact).

AWeber comes out on top for marketing automation, as the ability to assign tags provides users with more flexibility. Constant Contact also has limited storage space that is capped at 2GB and only allows for subject line A/B split testing, while AWeber has full design split testing available. AWeber is also a bit less expensive than Constant Contact on a per-subscriber basis. However, Constant Contact offers a free 60-day trial for users who sign up through our referral link.

Is AWeber the Right Software for you?

AWeber is an excellent choice if you’re just starting out and have limited technical experience, as the in-depth knowledge center and customer support is among the best in the industry. It’s also a smart choice for small businesses that don’t have complex email marketing requirements and are looking to create simple autoresponders.

However, the lack of automation functionality may be a concern as you grow, and subscriber duplication can cause headaches if not adequately managed as it can quickly add to your overall cost.

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