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Pennsylvania-based AWeber have been in the email marketing business for over 20 years. One of their biggest claims is that they invented the autoresponder, which is no small thing. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that one of their promoted features is email marketing automation.
You might have checked out the AWeber reviews offered by users online, and whilst they are pretty positive, they may not give you the whole picture. Our review of AWeber is based on a methodical approach and uses our practical experience and knowledge of dozens of other simple and advanced email marketing automation tools.
Paying customers have access to all their features from day one, and it’s only increasing subscriber numbers that increase the membership price. They recently launched a free plan for those with less than 500 subscribers, but features are limited, and you can only send up to 3,000 emails per month.
Apart from automation, AWeber offers split testing (A/B testing) and Email Web Analytics, which allows you to use your own domain in links you want to track clicks for; this means you can easily track product sales. Oh and in terms of mobile apps, they have not one, but three different mobile applications for Android and iOS. One for stats, one for lead capture on the go, and the other for email curation.
They also offer a smart email designer that gathers logos, images, brand colors, and text from websites and social media channels to create "ready-to-send" email templates. We’ll dive more into the email templates and builder's side of things later.
So, a handful of interesting features in there - but let’s have a closer look and see if being the first also means being the best choice for your email marketing strategy, 24 years down the track:
Keeping lists organized is simple with AWeber, as you create automation rules to manage your subscribers. Be aware, though, that you have a separate dashboard for each list, and this can be confusing.
Apart from a fast and friendly customer support, they also have great education tools for first-time users including articles, videos, and podcasts.
Landing page templates
AWeber offers loads of really nicely designed landing page templates. There are also tons of categories, so you’re bound to find something you like, whatever the industry.
High price and unfair subscriber count
Their pricing is a bit steep, coming in close to some of the more advanced newsletter tools, despite the fact that they lack the pro-features to justify the price.
They lack a lot of advanced features, such as built-in sophisticated marketing automation and spam and design testing.
Is AWeber the right newsletter service for you?
Not recommended if:
You need phone support
Not a lot of the email newsletter services provide this, but as a company that’s been around for two decades, it’s not surprising that AWeber would invest a lot into customer service. Live chat support and email support is also available.
You want to sell
Thanks to AWeber’s integration with PayPal, you can sell your services and products via emails and on your sales page. You can also automatically add those who buy from you to a list and send them ultra-targeted emails. You’ll be able to track all PayPal sales in AWeber.
You want to get the most bang for your buck
Honestly, there are very few instances where we’d recommend AWeber over another tool, mainly because there are many other similarly-featured tools that are a lot more affordable (e.g. MailerLite, Brevo).
The fact that you have to switch between lists can be a little confusing at first. Also, their terminology could be confusing for experienced users: marketing automations are called ‘Campaigns’ and regular emails are called ‘Broadcasts’. Other than that, the new interface design is easy to navigate.
Editor Info popup
The editor is easy to use and offers a good range of content blocks. Content creation is sped up by the fact you can drag images, buttons, and other elements in between paragraphs in your emails – usually, you’d have to split your content into separate text blocks. They also now offer AMP for Email, meaning you can add an image carousel, RSVP to an event, sign up for a newsletter or leave a product review all without leaving the email. What’s more, when you paste a link in your emails and hit return, and it will automatically expand into a preview card, so featuring your content couldn’t be easier!
Personalization Info popup
Similar to other tools, If/Then/Else logic is available in a fairly standard format. You can also add personalization via custom fields.
Email types Info popup
Classic newsletters, autoresponders, automations, RSS and A/B testing. You can also create paid newsletters by connecting your Stripe account.
Choice and Flexibility of Template Designs Info popup
There’s quite a good selection of responsive templates available (some offer multiple color schemes to choose from). A new partnership with design tool Canva brings added flexibility to email design, as well as the thousands of stock photos available to you through their recent integration with Unsplash.
Email Marketing Automation Info popup
It allows for creating triggered emails, limited to when someone subscribes to a list, or has a particular tag. Then you’re able to send a message, apply a tag or set a waiting period. If you want to set up more advanced email automation campaigns, you can do so by importing them from AWeber’s marketplace. It’s a bit clunky, but at least there are a few more options now.
List Management Info popup
AWeber have good list segmentation, allowing you to manage new subscribers via their automation features. You can easily set up a rule, for example, that unsubscribes someone from a particular list after leaving another.
Registration Forms/ Opt-in & Opt-out- Process Info popup
You’re given style options for pop-up, in-line and lightbox, and it offers a number of form template designs. Regarding adding contacts, it has standard options available, as well as integrations that allow you to sign up contacts from WordPress, Facebook, Wix, Paypal, etc. You can also set up forms directly on any landing pages you build in their editor.
Deliverability Info popup
AWeber haven’t always had the best track record in our deliverability tests, but we’ve seen some improvements in more recent rounds.
Reports and Analysis
Reporting is one of AWeber’s stronger areas. For emails, you can get names of openers and clickers, web visits, and also conversion and ecommerce tracking info. You also get some pretty impressive overall reports (account and list-based), including clicks over time, subscriber growth, sales over time and more. There isn’t direct Google Analytics integration available though.
Soft bounces are counted as hard bounces after three times, then they are unsubscribed.
Blocklist Info popup
This is available.
Storage available for data and images
Authentication Info popup
SPF and DKIM are supported.
Own Domain Info popup
It’s possible to use your own tracking domain via AWeber Web Analytics.
Different levels of account access Info popup
There are three roles that you can assign to your users, with varying levels of account access.
There are quite a few integrations available, and many big names are there such as Zapier, PayPal, WordPress, Shopify, Salesforce and more.
Landing Page Builder Info popup
The templates provided are plentiful and really modern-looking. It’s also easy to customize them as you wish. SEO options are available. You can accept payments in 100+ currencies, and AWeber’s ecommerce element will let you pull in products you have already created in Stripe. A recent addition is a “Link in Bio” page for Instagram and TikTok users. This LinkTree-style feature is available on all AWeber accounts.
Support is fast and friendly, via all mediums. Their knowledge base is good, though I’d recommend email and online chat over the knowledge base.
All in all, AWeber has the essentials, it just doesn’t provide enough advanced features or a strong enough user experience for the asking price. Their deliverability is also something to keep an eye on. You can get more for your money with other email tools. That said, we do like their landing page templates and sales tracking options.
A More Detailed Look Into AWeber's Main Features
As you can see from this AWeber review, it offers some good features, but it is on the pricey side. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of its key features to see if it’s worth the price tag:
Drag and Drop Email Builder
Aweber’s drag-and-drop email builder offers an extensive selection of HTML email templates, and by extensive we mean a whopping 700 fully customizable email templates. What’s more, they are all responsive, automatically resizing their email design based on your device.
Building an email campaign on Aweber is particularly easy thanks to their user-friendly platform and the design options and integrations available. Compared to the email marketing competition, this is particularly appealing, but as we mentioned, it comes at a considerable cost.
Within the drag-and-drop builder, you can easily change color schemes and design layouts, add your logo, and even add free stock photos to your email templates thanks to their handy integration with Unsplash.
Their integration with Canva is also extremely useful, allowing you to stay within one platform when both designing your email marketing banners and building your campaigns. If you aren’t familiar with Canva, it’s really easy to create highly professional-looking marketing material thanks to its broad content library.
For the more advanced user, Aweber recently added a new tool to their email editor to help speed up your writing process. Markdown allows you to format your email text through symbols, scaling writing time right down. For example, you can type ** before your copy to make it bold.
Smart Designer Email Builder
The Smart Designer Email tool seems like an extremely powerful tool from the outside. Let’s see how it works in 4 easy steps:
First of all, you select the Smart Designer once you click on “create message”
Next, you’ll be asked to submit your website and will be asked for your email editing skill level. You can select Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced.
From here, you are asked to define your business goal- you can choose from the following: Sell a Product Online, Build an Audience, Sell a Service, and Others.
Then you’ll be presented with a selection of templates to choose from, in our case, there were 7 templates. Each template featured our logo, the general color scheme, and some imagery from our website. The quality of these templates and their relevance to your brand probably depends on how well-structured your website is, but I was quite happy with the result.
And if the drag and drop email builder, smart designer, and plain text email marketing tools aren’t enough, there’s also the option of coding your own template.
Note: Once your campaign is ready to send, one thing that could be slightly confusing is the scheduling part, as the option for this is not very obvious. Sending your campaign out immediately, on the other hand, is much more straightforward, so I can see some people going for this option by mistake.
Awebers Mobile App Suite
As we mentioned, Aweber offers not one, but three mobile apps, each one built with a very different purpose.
This app enables you to check your email marketing stats from your iPhone or Android device. You can view all of your campaign stats; from sent messages to scheduled broadcasts, your subscriber activity, and more.
This Aweber app is very beneficial for those who need to keep track of your email marketing activities when out and about, you even have the capability to track your customer follow-ups, and other up-to-the-minute updates such as click-through rates, open rates, etc.
This app is essentially a mobile-hosted signup form that allows you to add new subscribers to your email list on the go. It’s extremely easy to use, all you need to do is select the mailing lists you’d like them to sign up to and job done!
This app is perfect for those who may need to gather contact information at networking events or business meetings, as you can easily add the people you meet directly to an email list without an active internet connection. Another great aspect is that you can edit the theme and the design to keep it consistent with your brand.
Aweber customers can use this app to create an email newsletter directly from their smartphones. From the app, you can edit, preview, and send the newsletter to your subscribers, which is a really practical tool for marketers on the go. However, we’d suggest using the web version to set up more sophisticated marketing campaigns.
Aweber has not had a great track record in our deliverability tests. Especially, in our most recent test they saw quite a decrease, they were one of the providers who saw the highest percentage of emails go missing.
It’s fair to say, AWeber has all the basics you need for a small business and does quite a good job at educating first-time users with its range of customer support articles, videos, and podcasts. The issue is that, apart from customer service and landing page solution, there isn’t a particular area where Aweber really excel in when it comes to its features.
With all things considered, this wouldn’t be a problem if it was priced for budget-conscious beginners, yet the costs are on par with other email tools like GetResponse, which offer much more for the same price. One positive thing about Aweber is that, no matter how many subscribers you have, you always have full access to their features (unless you’re on their free plan). But these features still might not be enough for the asking price.
MailerLite is a cheap solution with excellent designs and a solid email marketing system. It also comes with a couple of perks (like a landing page editor) and we find their interface very easy to use.
GetResponse is an interesting alternative. It has many advanced features (e.g. sales funnel), and comes with excellent automations and advanced design and testing tools.
Hey, I'm Charlotte! I've always been enthusiastic about helping others. After working for various tech startups and eCommerce businesses, I developed a strong passion for email marketing. Now, at EmailTooltester, I'm putting this knowledge to good use by recommending the very best digital tools for your business.
Hey, I'm Roberta! Having worked as a digital marketer for a host of online businesses, I've tried, tested, fallen in love with and despaired with so many marketing tools. I'm excited to help you find the email marketing and CRM tools you need to thrive.