Thinking of using Aweber for your online business, read about it below!
We are going to take an in-depth look at one of the most popular solutions for designing and sending HTML e-newsletters. We’ll go through the cons and pros of Aweber and discuss its pricing, features, templates, interface and more.
How much does Aweber cost?
There are 5 Aweber plans on offer:
- 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
If you have 25,000+ subscribers, you will need to call Aweber for a quote.
A 14% discount is available if you pay quarterly; a 14,9% discount is available if you pay annually. There are also some discounts available for students and not-for-profit organizations.
One aspect of Aweber’s pricing structure that potential users might like is that all features are available on all plans – unlike some competing products you don’t have to be on more expensive plans to unlock certain functionality.
How does Aweber’s pricing compare to that of its competitors?
- Significantly cheaper than Campaign Monitor
- Considerably cheaper than iContact
- Roughly the same price as Mailchimp
- Marginally more expensive than Getresponse
- Considerably more expensive than Mad Mimi
It’s worth noting that the above comparisons don’t really apply to very small email database, several of the competing products are better value.
Key Features of Aweber
Aweber provides you with the following key features:
- The ability to import / host an email database
- A wide range of templates autorespnders
- Some marketing automation functionality
- Responsive email designs
- RSS / blog to-email functionality
- Segmentation options
- Phone, email and live chat support
- Integrations with third-party apps
Importing data into Aweber
Importing an existing database into Aweber is a pretty straightforward affair.
You can upload the following file types:
Alternatively, you can add individual subscribers manually, or copy and paste rows of subscribers into Aweber.
As you import your data, you are given the option to add your subscribers to a particular set of autoresponders, and tag them. Not all competing products permit the addition of imported data directly into autoresponder cycles so this is a nice feature to have.
For anti-spam reasons, you will have to answer some questions about how you collected the data you’re importing. If your list is on the larger side, you may also have to wait until it is reviewed by Aweber’s anti-spam compliance team (as is the case with other email marketing tools).
By comparison to its competitors, Aweber provide one of the largest sets of e-newsletters templates available: there are over 700 available.
To provide a bit of context, there are around 500 templates available for Getresponse, 90 for Mailchimp and around 50 for Campaign Monitor.
Toe be honest, I don’t love all of the designs – some of them look slightly dated. I would consider them to be slightly dated. I would consider them to be slightly better than the Getresponse ones, but not as good as Mailchimp’s or Campaign Monitor’s.
However, the sheer volume of templates available means that with a little bit of tweaking you should be able to find a suitable one for your e-newsletters. There is, of course, always the option of coding your own too.
Autoresponders – a series of follow up emails that are automatically triggered by either time or user actions – are a key part of any e-marketing solution.
Aweber claim to have invented autoresponders back in 1998 and as such you’d expect their autoresponder functionality to be mind-blowing good. Oddly, it’s just okay.
One the plus side it is very easy to set up follow up emails based on time interval – for example, automatically sending subscribers an onboarding email immediately after sign up, a promo code 2 days later and a ‘follow us on social media’ email a week later is extremely easy. This is a typical use of autoresponders and it’s a breeze with Aweber.
One the down side, triggering autoresponders based on user actions and purchases is a bit more complicated than with key competitors Mailchimp and Getresponse.
Marketing automation is a feature which is increasingly offered by email marketing solutions like Aweber.
I tend to think of it as ‘Autoresponder 2.0’ – where you go beyond traditional ‘drip’ campaigns and create complex user journeys using ‘IFTT’ – if this, then that – style workflows.
With marketing automation, you typically design a flowchart where emails are sent based on user actions: email opens, link clicks, site visits, purchases made and so on.
Aweber suddenly introduced a new marketing automation feature which to a degree provides this functionality: ‘Aweber Campaigns’. With this feature, you can use certain user actions – namely opens and clickthroughs – along with the application of tags to determine what should be sent to whom and when.
However, I think this functionality needs to go a bit further really, tools like Getresponse and Mailchimp provide considerably more flexibility when it comes to which types of user behavior can trigger mailouts.
Pros of using Aweber
- It’s reasonably priced – whilst not the cheapest product of its kind out there, it is cheaper than several similar solutions.
- Support options are more extensive than is the case with some key competing products and based on Aweber’s Stevie awards for customer service, should be high.
- It’s so easy to use.
- It has good import functionality, with the option to import a wide range if file types and add the email addresses you’re importing directly to an autoresponder cycle.
- It lets you choose whether to subscribe people to your list on a single or double opt-in basis.
- It integrates neatly with a good range of third party tools and apps.
- It comes with a very large range of templates – more than its key competitors.
- Setting up simple time-based autoresponders is very easy to do.
- All email templates are responsive.
- Reporting features are strong.
- Segmenting data is relatively easy and you can use both field contents and user activity (email opens, links clicked etc.) to create your segments.
Cons of using Aweber
- Split testing is currently disabled.
- There are cheaper options out there which offer considerably more features in the marketing automation department – Getresponse being a prime example.
- Some of templates look a bit dated.
- The RSS to email templates are poor and they can’t be edited using Aweber’s standard drag and drop email builder.
- You can’t include or exclude multiple segments at once when sending an e-newsletters.
Overall I would say Aweber is a solid email marketing tool.
It’s the best product of its kind available, it is reasonably priced, easy to use and contains most of the key features you’d expect from an email marketing solution.
The main aspects of the product that would nudge me in Aweber’s direction are its ease-of-use and comprehensive support. The latter may be particularly important for some potential users, particularly those starting out in e-marketing without a truckload of technical skills.
Additionally, it’s not too expensive by comparison to some competing products, especially Campaign Monitor and iContact.