Aweber Review – A Great Email Marketing Solution in 2020?

Last Updated on November 19, 2020 by Chris

aweber reviewToday I’m reviewing Aweber’s email marketing software.

I’ll be including what Aweber does, who Aweber’s for, features, pros and cons, alternatives, and pricing.

By the end of this article, you should have enough information to decide whether you’ll purchase an Aweber subscription.

Let’s begin!

 

Aweber Review – What it is and Who it’s for

aweber screenshot
Source: Aweber homepage

Aweber is an email service provider that offers email marketing and autoresponder tools, which connect bloggers, small businesses, and entrepreneurs to their audiences.

Currently, over 120,000 small businesses avail of Aweber’s services.

If you’re a small business owner, who’s looking to contact customers to promote products and/or services, then Aweber is for you.

Aweber Review – Features

Here’s a list of some of the features I’ll be reviewing today:

  • A/B/C Split Testing
  • Email Segmentation and Tagging
  • RSS Option (blog-to-email)
  • User Interface (UI)
  • Support
  • Email Creation Options
  • Adding Subscribers
  • Autoresponders

Aweber Review – A/B Split Testing

Before you launch a campaign with Aweber, be sure to perform a split test. Split testing is great because it optimises your emails for conversions.

How it works is you create several email variants. You do so by altering the content of your emails, subject lines, Call to Actions (CTAs), or Images.

Anyway, once you’ve created the emails, you send them to a portion of your subscribers.

So, say, for example, you create two emails. You send one email to one-half of your subscribers, and, the other, to the other. Whichever email performs best is the one you use in your campaign.

Now, split testing can be done manually, but it’s boring, not to mention, time-consuming. Luckily, Aweber (along with most email marketing tools) automates the process for you. All you have to do is create the emails and input some general info for the tool to analyse.

For example, you’ll have to choose a percentage sample of contacts to email, and drip schedule content for release, as well as select recipients.

Is it easy to Split Test with Aweber?

Yep!

You simply create a draft of the email you want to send. Then, hover over “Messages”, and click “Split Tests”.

Now, find and click the green “Create” button.

split tests

Next, “Name your Split Test, “Select Your Recipients”, and “Define Split Segments” (allocate the percentage of recipients who’ll receive each message, i.e. 50%|50% or 33%|33%|34%.

Afterward, go to the blue “Select a Draft” button. Select the emails you’re testing.

To proceed, click “Schedule”.

split test broadcast

Revise and review the “Broadcast Settings”.

when sent

Finally, click “Send Message Now”. Or, if you’re dripping the content, click “Schedule”.

send message

Aweber Review – How It Stacks Up Against the Rest

Aweber lets you split test a maximum of 3 emails. MailChimp also lets you test three emails. But, GetResponse and ActiveCampaign let you split test up to 5 emails at a time.

Please, be aware the number of variants you test varies by plan. Also, functionality and performativity are equally as important when it comes to purchasing a subscription. These factors vary within email marketing tools. Pricing plans also play a role in determining the power of your split testing.

Aweber’s split testing isn’t the best, but it’s up there.

Aweber Review – Email Segmentation and Tagging

Segmenting emails pertains to dividing your list into small groups of leads that are the most likely to read your content. Tagging aids in this process through associating keywords, or tags, with groups.

Aweber makes this process extremely straightforward. So, no major complaints from me, although it could be a little more advanced in terms of functionality.

Aweber Review – Blog Broadcasts (Blog to Email)

The blog to email option allows you to reach out to your contacts and blog simultaneously. This option can be found under “messages”. Here’s a tutorial by Aweber.

blog broadcast

To avail of this feature, you need to provide Aweber with your blog’s RSS feed. Not every blog will have an RSS feed, and it can be tricky to find.

Finding my URL proved time-consuming. But, to Aweber’s credit, their tutorial made my life a lot easier.

In a nutshell, to find the URL of your RSS feed, go to your website’s blog page. Next, open its HTML Source code. Finally, type “RSS” into Google’s “Find” option. Don’t include quotation marks.

Although it’s tedious and difficult to set up, Blog Broadcasts are worth the effort. Also, once your past the setup phase, it’s easy to schedule and maintain Blog Broadcasts.

blog broadcast

Aweber Review – Simple User Interface

Aweber’s UI is simple and effective! I find navigating through their menus and carrying out tasks effortlessly. The formatting and labeling of pages are minimal and clear. I find it makes for a smooth transition from page to page.

Aweber UI

Also, I believe it’s easier to use than some of its competitors (namely GetResponse), and perhaps more so than MailChimp.

Aweber Review – 24/7 Support

Aweber offers 24/7 support and leads many of its competitors in this field.

Aweber live support

Having emailed them seeking info to help me write this Aweber review, I can confirm their support is responsive. Its Customer Solution Specialist Chris was excellent and answered my questions in detail. He is used to answering questions about Aweber reviews.

Also, a few days after contacting them, I received an email asking me to rate my experience and for areas that they could improve.

I was pleased and received the solutions I was after. But, I will say that it took them over 30 minutes to respond to my initial message, which isn’t great for 24/7 service.

Also, I’ve seen some other reviews stating they were left waiting hours before they heard anything. But, I can’t attest to the validity of those statements.

The moral of the story, their support is fast and helpful, but (allegedly) not all the time.

Helpful Tutorials and Guides

In this Aweber review, I also state that Aweber also offers tonnes of helpful tutorials and guides. These guides helped me create and schedule the various types of emails Aweber offers.

I found their tutorials easy to follow, but they can be a little vague at times.

For instance, when researching how to create blog broadcasts, they’re not overly specific. Particularly using different browsers. They only note that every browser is different, so you kind of have to figure it out yourself.

In the interest of fairness, they do state that you can contact their support if you run into difficulty, so there’s that.

Oh, Aweber’s Youtube channel is also insightful:

Aweber Youtube channel

All-in-all, its guides, and support made my life much easier, so props to Aweber!

Aweber Review – Email Creation Options

Drag and Drop Editor

drag-and-drop-editor

Aweber’s Drag and Drop editor makes it extremely easy to create and format your emails.

As you’d expect, it requires no knowledge of coding, and it lets you create an email in minutes.

I found the option to “Personalise” my emails useful. Email personalisation aids in preventing emails from being marked as spam, thus increasing opens.

A few cool ways to personalise your emails include adding your subscribers’:

  • First Name
  • Full Name
  • City
  • Country
  • Region
  • Postal Code

Aweber Drag And Drop Editor

Another thing I liked about Aweber’s Drag and Drop functionality is the ability to add web fonts. Of course, you can just use their standard fonts, but they don’t look as good in my opinion. There are 11 web fonts available. They look crisp and add an air of professionalism:

11 fonts

And, if you’re well versed in coding, you still have the option to take a look under the hood, so to speak. Just click “Source” (the microchip with the code symbols):

source

The autosave feature is also useful. It saves every two minutes, so I could rest assured that my work was safe. Also, you can access each autosaved version of your message, which I liked.

Overall, there was nothing that bugged me too much, so I’d recommend Aweber’s drag and drop editor.

Plain Editor

plain-text-message

Aweber’s plain editor is great for creating quick messages containing basic information. For example, if you wanted to reach out to your customers with a “Welcome!” or “Thank You” email, I’d recommend you use the plain editor. You have the power to personalise email subject lines as well as content, so it’s ideal for this purpose.

plain text editor

But, if you’re looking to promote products or services, I’d recommend using either the drag and drop or HTML editor instead.

HTML Editor

HTML editor

The HTML editor is excellent for those who are familiar with coding. It gives you the option to access more advanced functionality. Web designers could benefit greatly from this feature.

Aweber HTML Editor

However, for the average business owner, this might be too advanced. So, use the Drag and Drop editor instead.

Schedule Broadcast Emails

Broadcast emails are essentially dripped content. You write the email, then set the release date. It’s a fantastic way to connect with contacts while managing your workload.

You’ll be able to track the number of contacts who’ve received your emails and then see how many subscribed. You can also check how many unsubscribed, which enables you to adapt your strategy accordingly.

AMP for Email

Aweber was the first email marketing provider to incorporate AMP into their newsletter creation process. To the extent of my knowledge, no other email provider does so to this day.

AMP for email is so powerful because it changes your emails from static messages to interactive pages. In other words, your audience is being requested to not only read your newsletter but engage with its content.

This approach is great at increasing your conversions by subtracting steps your audience must take to buy your products or services.

How to Use Image Carousels

I used Aweber’s Drag and Drop editor to utilise AMP in a few sample messages.

Simply select “Image Carousel”.

Drop it into your message.

Next, add an image/images to use in your email.

Finally, add alt texts and links.

image carousel

It’s straightforward; hence I’m a big fan.

Templates

When you enter Aweber’s template manager, you’ll have the option to use one of its templates, import a template, or create one using Code.

I opted to use one of Aweber’s templates, and I was impressed by the wealth of options.

Aweber Email Templates

Aweber provides templates available in multiple themes. Its themes are mobile optimised and allow you to alter colour schemes. I also loved the option to keep the default message content I created.

Aweber vs GetResponse vs MailChimp vs ActiveCampaign – Email Creation

Aweber’s Web Fonts place it above MailChimp when it comes to email customisation and design. From what I could see, MailChimp only boasts the standard fonts, which aren’t going to help your newsletters stand out.

GetResponse also offers web fonts, but I would say GetResponse’s email creation options are slightly weaker. But, GetResponse is superior if you’re seeking an all in one marketing automation platform.

Finally, Aweber is the only email marketing tool to offer AMP. So, it gains a distinct advantage over its competitors in that respect.

For me, Aweber’s email features and functionality are superior to its competitors.

Adding Subscribers

Adding subscribers to your mailing list is simple. And, it’s one of the many things that pleased me about Aweber.

You have two options when importing subscribers: Manual and Automatic.

Manually importing subscribers is optimal when you’re looking to add under 10. Conversely, automatically importing subscribers is best if you’re looking to add over 10:

Add subscriber

Instead of stating the obvious by talking about my experience manually importing subs, I thought I’d focus on doing so automatically.

Automatically Importing Subscribers with Aweber

Automatically importing subscribers with Aweber is excellent for time management. You can copy and paste new subs into Aweber’s database, or import them via a file.

Acceptable file types include:

  • .xls
  • .xlsx
  • .tsv
  • .txt

There’s not much of a tradeoff between either method, so do what you prefer.

Anyway, once you’ve imported your list, you’ll be asked to match its info against Aweber’s description. This confirmation is great to ensure Aweber has the correct data for your newsletter. Also, the tool requests info such as where your importing subscribers from, and are they from another email provider.

Import Subscribers

After providing a bit more info on follow-ups and whatnot, you’ll be able to import your list.

I must say, I found adding subscribers to be an uncomplicated process. I recommend you try it out and see for yourself.

But, I would like to stress for those who don’t yet have any subscribers, be careful using Aweber’s form signup feature to grow your list. This caution is, of course, to do with increasingly strict GDPR laws. If you’re found to be in breach of these laws, you could receive a hefty fine.

While Aweber’s forms contain a privacy policy, it’s a good idea to add a line on data consent. This should be hyperlinked containing your small business’s policy on data collection. I found it kind of tricky to add a data agreement to my form’s template, so that’s annoying.

Aweber Sign Up Forms

In summary, Aweber makes it easy to add subscribers. But, be careful when using forms to grow your lists due to possible data protection infringements.

Autoresponders

Aweber claims to have invented autoresponders, yet it’s somewhat ordinary in that respect. For those unaware, autoresponders are messages that are automatically sent. They trigger when a certain amount of time has elapsed, or as a result of specific actions.

Time oriented autoresponders are easy to set up with Aweber, so I’ve no complaints there. If you want to send welcome messages, promotions, or just about any message, you can.

Where Aweber falls short for me, is its sophistication when automatically sending action-based responses. While it does allow for the combination of goal-setting along with tagging, it’s not enough in terms of what its competitors are offering.

If you’re seeking advanced email marketing automation, go with ActiveCampaign or GetResponse.

Aweber Review – Pros and Cons

ProsCons
FREE Plan availablePRO Plan: Price is Average
Great email deliverabilitySome of the templates look outdated
Email SegmentationUnsubscribed email addresses count in your monthly quota
Great EditorsLess Powerful Than You’d Expect
Easy to UseRSS to email templates are poor and can't be edited
Importing SubscribersAverage Autoresponders

Aweber Review – Alternative Email Marketing Solutions for Small Businesses

Here are three Aweber alternatives.

1. Mail Chimp

Mailchimp
Source: MailChimp Homepage

MailChimp’s all-in-one marketing platform is easy to use but lacks some advanced features.

  • A/B Split Testing – The platform offers A/B split testing, which aids in the segmentation of email campaigns and helps increase your conversion rate.
  • Automated Landing Page Ads – When you create a landing page with MailChimp, they’ll automatically create a Facebook and Instagram ad for you. You could add an opt-in form to grow your contacts.
  • Real-Time Analytics – Find out who’s opening your emails and their location to create better newsletters and campaigns.
  • Custom Automations – Avail of pre-made and custom automation to help run your campaigns.

2. Constant Contact

Constant Contact
Source: Constant Contact Homepage

Constant Contact offers email marketing software to small businesses.

  • Automations – Segment emails, welcome visitors, generate more leads with list building tools, and send trigger emails.
  • Email Template Customisation – Optimise and design email templates for every device using Constant Contact’s editor.
  • Manage Contacts With Ease – Upload contacts from other platforms and manage them in one place using the email provider’s marketing tools.
  • Real-Time Analytics – Check and see how your email campaigns are performing. Analyse Bounces, Open rates, and click rates.

3. GetResponse

Getresponse
Source: GetResponse Homepage

GetResponse is another marketing automation platform tailored to small businesses. Here are some of its email marketing tools.

  • Email Autoresponders – Schedule the release of content. For example, promotions or advice to boost sales and engagement.
  • Powerful Analytics – Track how your campaigns and newsletters are performing. Analyse clicks, bounces, and more.
  • Split Testing – Find the best content, subject lines, and sending times to create better emails.
  • Email Templates – Choose from a range of professional templates.

Review of Aweber – Pricing

Currently, there are 2 versions available of Aweber: Free and Pro

Aweber pricing

For the Pro plan, Aweber’s pricing is determined by your subscriber count. This structure is the industry standard.

Anyway, there are six plans available. All plans offer unlimited functionality.

Aweber Pro pricing

Here’s a breakdown of the plans:

  • $19/Month (0-500 Subscribers)
  • $29/Month (501-2,500 Subscribers)
  • $49/Month (2,501-5,000 Subscribers)
  • $69/Month (5,001-10,000 Subscribers)
  • $149/Month (10,001-25,000 Subscribers)
  • Quote Available (25,000+ Subscribers)

For the Free plan, you can have up to 500 subscribers and 1 list profile. For higher than 500 subscribers, you will need to change to a paid plan.

You can access the Free plan of Aweber here.

Aweber vs MailChimp and GetResponse – Is it Cheaper Than its Competitors

Additionally, when compared with rival email services, Aweber’s pricing isn’t great. For instance, GetResponse and MailChimp are much cheaper. Plus, they offer greater functionality.

Take GetResponse for example, it offers access to Surveys, a QR code generator, and visual marketing automation. And, it costs way less. Also, when you sign up to GetResponse’s “Essential Plan”, you can access create landing pages, use eCommerce tools, build sales funnels, and host webinars.

Even with MailChimp, which is by far the cheapest option, you can create and customise landing pages.

Although Aweber does offer 700+ templates, which is more than GetResponse and MailChimp.

Overall, for what you’re getting, Aweber is reasonably priced.

Aweber Autoresponder – Is it Worth it?

In short, yes. If you’re looking for a tool that’s easy to use and doesn’t cost a crazy amount, then Aweber’s for you. I’d probably cite their email creation and subscriber importation options as the reason behind why I think that. On somewhat of a downer, I’ll say there are platforms out there offering greater functionality at a similar price.

In conclusion, for a small business owner with a significant budget, who does not require advanced marketing functionality, Aweber is a smart choice. I hope you enjoyed this Aweber review. Please comment below with your questions and suggestions regarding this review of Aweber.

I give Aweber a 4 star rating.

 

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