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AWeber Review - Where it all began

steve lamattina

May 6, 2021

Professor

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 marketing automation.

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, as well as the number of emails you can send per month (3,000).

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 track product sales easily. Oh and they also have not one, but three mobile apps! 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.

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, 20 years down the track:

Try AWeber for free: http://aweber.emailtooltester.com/Find a more detailed AWeber review here: http://www.emailtooltester.com/en/reviews/aweber/Learn all ab... AWeber Review - The Pros & Cons of the Newsletter Tool 2016-06-08 https://img.youtube.com/vi/xCHU12Q1kFk/hqdefault.jpg

Try AWeber for free

500 SUBSCRIBERS

$0/MO

Comes with limitations

500 SUBSCRIBERS

$19/MO

Annual discounts available

2,500 SUBSCRIBERS

$29/MO

Annual discounts available

5,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$49/MO

Annual discounts available

10,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$69/MO

Annual discounts available

25,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$149/MO

Annual discounts available

50,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$239/MO

Annual discounts available

1,000,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$369/MO

Annual discounts available

For more information about AWeber’s prices and plans check out our guide.

> Compare prices with our cost calculator

List management tools:

Keeping lists organized is simple with AWeber, as you can use their automation to manage subscribers via rules you create. Be aware, though, that you have a separate dashboard for each list, and this can be confusing.

Sales tracking:

Not always an option, even with advanced marketing automation, yet AWeber allows this via their email web analytics feature (you just need to insert some JavaScript code into your website).

Support:

Apart from a fast and friendly service, they also have great education tools for first-time users including articles, videos and podcasts.

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.

The worst part is that even unsubscribed email addresses count towards your monthly quota!

In need of an update:

They lack a lot of advanced features, such as sophisticated automations and spam and design testing. They could do with an overhaul in the design department, too – the user experience isn’t as exciting or intuitive as it could be.

criterion rating comments

Ease of Use

The menu structure mostly makes sense, although some sections are a little hidden, and 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: automations are called ‘Campaigns’ and regular emails are called ‘Broadcasts’.

Newsletter Creation

Editor

The editor took quite a while to get my head around but, in saying that, it did allow for a number of sections I needed to create our monthly newsletter, such as triple column sections and text with in-line images. 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.

Personalization

yes

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

Classic newsletters, autoresponders, automations, RSS and A/B testing.

Choice and Flexibility of Template Designs

There’s quite a good selection of responsive templates available (some offer multiple color schemes to choose from), although a few of them look a bit outdated. A new partnership with design tool Canva brings added flexibility to email design, as well as the thousands of stock photos available to you.

Email Automation

It’s good to see that they have certain automation features. However it would be good to see a little more complexity within this system, as not much has been updated in the last few years. 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.

List Management

AWeber have good list segmentation, allowing you to manage 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

You’re given style options for pop-up, in-line and lightbox, yet this section really needs an update. It’s over-complicated and difficult to navigate. Regarding adding contacts, it has standard options available, as well as integrations that allow you to sign up contacts from WordPress, Facebook, Wix, etc. You can also set up forms directly on any landing pages you build in their editor.

Deliverability

We would have liked to have seen better results from AWeber. Sadly they’ve consistently scored poorly in our deliverability tests. As you can see in our results, they had problems reaching contacts with Microsoft email addresses (Outlook and Hotmail).

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.

Languages

The site is only available in English.

Further Features

Spam- and Design-Testing

These are not available.

Bounce Management

yes

Soft bounces are counted as hard bounces after three times, then they are unsubscribed.

Blacklist

yes

This is available. It’s called a ‘blocklist’.

Storage available for data and images

Unlimited

Pro Features

Authentication

yes

SPF and DKIM are supported.

Own Domain

yes

It’s possible to use your own tracking domain via AWeber Web Analytics.

Different levels of account access

yes

There are three roles that you can assign to your users, with varying levels of account access.

Integrations

yes

There are quite a few integrations available, and many big names are there such as Zapier, PayPal, WordPress, Shopify, Salesforce and more.

Landing Page Editor

yes

This is a fairly new feature. A number of nice-looking templates are provided, and it’s fairly easy to customize them as you wish. SEO options are available.

Support

4.5/5

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.

Overall rating

3.3/5

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.

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 articles, videos and podcasts. The issue is that, apart from customer service, there isn’t a particular area they excel in when it comes to features. And disappointingly, they haven’t really updated a whole lot since we first reviewed the tool a few years ago.

This, of course, would not 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. And the competition not only offers more advanced features but often a more visually appealing experience, too. One positive is that, no matter how many subscribers you have, you always have full access to their features (unless you’re on the free plan). But these features still might not be enough for the asking price.

 

Try AWeber for free

ActiveCampaign comes with a very flexible and powerful automation approach and modern-looking and flexible registration forms – something AWeber should really work on. Additionally, ActiveCampaign’s deliverability is outstanding. If you need further information, check out our AWeber and ActiveCampaign comparison.

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.

AWeber is a cloud-based email marketing service used to send newsletters, autoresponders, set up forms, amongst other things.

Arrow Up

AWeber stores your email marketing subscribers, allowing you to move them between lists, send emails, etc. However, it is not a CRM system; it’s lacking in sales and lead generation functionality.

Arrow Up

After much testing, we’d say no. You can see our full analysis of the two providers in this Mailchimp vs AWeber comparison.

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steve lamattina
His career has spanned across areas such as film, digital media and literature, with the tech and mobile world remaining a personal passion. Now he’s interested in sharing that passion for email marketing, through honest reviews and good content. Oh, and he’s Australian...but don’t hold that against him.
6 May 2021 - General update
15 Mar - Deliverability rating updated
15 Jul 2020 - Added free plan
25 Apr 2019 - Review updates
7 Jan 2019 - Deliverability rating updated
20 Mar 2018 - Deliverability rating added
19 July 2017 - Update in automations and templates.
22-31 May 2016 - Initial tests
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