Table of Contents
- Aweber Plan
- Competitor Scan of Pricing
- Aweber’s Key Features
- Data Importing
- Split Testing
- Productivity Tools
- Mailing List Management
- The Verdict
AWeber Communications has been around since 1998, when it was founded by entrepreneur Tom Kulzer. Over the past 16 years, the company has grown to include 110 employees and moved from Kulzer’s apartment to a 71,000-square-foot facility which offers slides as an eco-friendly (and fun) alternative to elevators.
AWeber is a suitable email marketing software for all. It’s relatively easy to use — although its navigation and organization of features can be confusing — which makes it suitable for inexperienced marketers who haven’t used an email marketing service before. AWeber also has enough advanced features to satisfy the needs of experienced marketers who want to create highly targeted campaigns.
In this Aweber review, we take an in-depth look at one of the most popular solutions for designing and sending HTML e-newsletters. We’ll go through the pros and cons of Aweber and discuss its pricing, features, templates, interface and more.
AWeber doesn’t offer a free plan, but you can get a 30-day free trial (you have to enter payment details to access this trial). After the free trial has ended, you have to upgrade to one of the paid plans, all of which allow you to send an unlimited amount of emails.
The paid plans all offer the same features; the price depends on the number of subscribers. Prices start at $19 per month for up to 500 subscribers, and there are five different tiers (plus an enterprise tier if you have more than 25,000 subscribers). The starting price of $19 is more expensive than other email marketing solutions — which start from as little as $9 — especially when you consider the subscriber limit of 500 is low.
There are 5 Aweber plans on offer — 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
If you have 25,000+ subscribers on your mailing list, you will need to call Aweber for a quotation.
A 14% discount is available if you pay quarterly; a 15% discount is available if you pay annually. There are also some discounts available for students and not-for-profit organisations.
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. The differences in pricing are to do with mailing list size only.
That said, the functionality available on Aweber — as we’ll see below — not necessarily as extensive as you might find in competing email marketing solutions.
However to add, Aweber is, in general,
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 (note: Mad Mimi’s feature set is much more basic however).
In some cases of course we are comparing apples with oranges, however — all these competing products have different feature sets on each plan, and subscriber limits that will occasionally make Aweber cheaper, occasionally more expensive.
But generally I’d say Aweber is priced roughly in the middle of the e-marketing solution scale.
Of course, pricing is not the only factor you should base your decision on…the more important thing to work out is what bang you get for your buck.
Aweber’s Summary of Key Features
AWeber has a lot of good features. However, it doesn’t have any features that really stand out, and it lacks the advanced or unique functionality of other email marketing software, such as attribution, email testing and display options, or dynamic content.
- a wide range of templates
- responsive email designs
- split testing
- phone, email and live chat support
- integrations with third-party apps
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, around 80 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 better than the Getresponse ones, but not quite 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.
Responsive Email Designs
Aweber’s email templates are all ‘responsive’.
This means that they automatically resize themselves to suit the device they’re being viewed on. In this day and age of smartphones and tablets, this is an essential feature.
You can also see a preview of the mobile version of your email easily within Aweber — you just click a preview button and toggle a ‘mobile preview’ switch to see how your e-newsletter is likely to look on a smartphone. (It’s still a good idea to send some test emails however, and check them on a mobile phone or tablet).
You’ll have to wait a little while after a mailing to see your stats in AWeber. I didn’t see this as a problem (few companies require up-to-the-second data on opens and clicks). About an hour after I sent my message, I received a Quick Stats email from AWeber, informing me of the number of sends and opens on my recently delivered message.
As for reporting options, AWeber presents the standard raw numbers and percentages (clicks, opens, unsubscribes, and the like). It also includes more advanced data such as opens, clicks, and revenue over time; subscriber growth; and stats by location, area code, or designated market area. In addition, you can compare results across your past 20 emails. You can track subscribers based on their signup method, and the list segmentation options provide plenty of ways to optimize your email marketing. Reports are well laid out and easy to understand; much of the data is presented in both chart and table format.
Split testing (also known as A/B testing) involves sending variants of your e-newsletters to some of your mailing list, monitoring the performance of each, and sending the ‘best’ version to the remainder of your list.
Most e-marketing tools handle this automatically for you: you create a few different versions of your email (using either differing content or subject headers), send them to a sample of your data, and your e-marketing solution will roll out the best performing version automatically to the rest of your mailing list.
With Aweber, you can send up to three variants of your e-newsletter when split testing. This compares reasonably well with other email marketing tools: Mad Mimi doesn’t facilitate split testing at all; Campaign Monitor only allows you to use two variants; and Mailchimp, like Aweber allows three.
Aweber’s support is one of the stand-out features of the product.
Phone support, email support and live chat support is all available — this compares very favourably with some key competitors including Getresponse, Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor and Mad Mimi, none of which offers phone support.
Additionally, there’s no hoops to go through to contact support: relevant phone number and email details can be viewed very easily on the company’s contact page, without any requirement to trawl ‘knowledge bases’ or fill in any forms beforehand.
On top of that, the company has won several Stevie Awards for customer services over the past few years, which augurs pretty well for the quality of the support you’ll receive when you contact them.
If you are a novice to email marketing, then this sort of easy access to good-quality support is a strong argument in favour of using Aweber as your email marketing provider.
In terms of the availability of support, you can contact Aweber’s phone support team from 8am-8pm ET Monday to Friday, and their email and live/chat support is available 24/7.
Integration with Third Party Apps
Aweber offers a decent range of integrations with other
solutions. There are hundreds of integrations available which allow you to
connect Aweber to various types of cloud-based software — web builders like Wix
CRM tools like Salesforce; landing pages like Instapage and so on.
Some of these involve dedicated widgets; others involve adding a snippet of code into a website; others involve a sync tool like Zapier or Pie Sync.
It’s rare that Aweber will plug into other software quite as seamlessly as Mailchimp (which seems to be the default ‘standard’ email marketing option for a lot of apps), but you shouldn’t have too much difficulty getting Aweber to work with a wide range of other SaaS (software as a service) apps.
It is a rather strong email marketing software. We love the fact that they provide great email deliverability. We also like their dashboard view. Their reporting interface displays account overview, subscriber stats, metrics from your recent campaigns, and stats from your lists. From the dashboard itself, one can look up a contact from the “list stats” section and can also update contact status or unsubscribe a contact. This saves you additional steps.
AWeber can work on making better the default view that’s associated with a list vs. the account — which is different from most email software out there. To elaborate, the default view will always be associated with a list of what they refer to as “Current List”. From a user perspective, this means that you have to skip between the lists to see campaigns send to that list. This as opposed to the more standard campaign list view that most other email software have is a little tricky to get used to, especially when you are starting off new on AWeber.
Overall I would say Aweber is a solid email marketing tool.It’s not the absolute best product of its kind available, but 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, web fonts, AMP for email functionality and comprehensive support. The support aspect may be particularly important for users who are starting out in e-marketing without many technical skills (because problems, should they arise, can be dealt with by talking to a real human being on a real phone line!).
Additionally, Aweber is not too expensive by comparison to some competing products, especially Campaign Monitor and iContact.
The main things that would dissuade me from using Aweber are its relatively basic automation features and the way you can’t broadcast to multiple segments of data at once.