Is AWeber a Good Autoresponder Solution? A Review

Posted on May 8, 2015 by in Resources | 20 comments

Is AWeber a Good Autoresponder Solution? A Review

Anyone setting up a website needs to take advantage of all the best supporting systems and software to ensure it runs smoothly, offers a great visitor experience, and makes communication easy.

One area where you’ll need to find a software package is with your email correspondence. Marketing and communication is a factor of all businesses and staying in touch with customers and sales leads is a vital aspect of building a company. Sending individual emails to every contact you have or sending a short manually created autoresponder message to indicate you’re aware that an enquiry has been sent to you can be incredibly time consuming, so this is why you will need a tool to handle all this for you.

One such product is AWeber and in this guide I’ll take you through the features and benefits of using it.

What Is AWeber?

Aweber

AWeber is a Pennsylvania based company that offers email marketing solutions, sign up forms, and autoresponder software to subscribers. The business offers subscription packages and AWeber also operates in partnership with a number of other companies to offer integration opportunities.

What Are The Features Of AWeber?

The main features offered by AWeber are:

  • Electronic distribution of email marketing newsletters
  • Newsletter creation and editing
  • Autoresponder emails and email templates
  • Sign up forms
  • RSS to email
  • Email marketing tracking
  • Subscriber management and segmentation
  • Integration of third party applications
  • Integrate with online tools

Electronic Distribution Of Email Marketing Newsletters

Aweber newsletters

Electronic newsletters distributed through email are the ideal way to keep customers up to date and to connect with sales leads.

The newsletters are straightforward to create even if you’re a beginner as there are over 700 free templates to choose from. Just add the content and it’s complete. Choose which of your email contacts the message is relevant for with the segmentation feature and then create an accompanying email. Again you have the option of over 6000 pre-created templates to look through so if design isn’t your thing or you just don’t have the time – it’s already there for you to use as part of the package.

After your newsletter has been sent, you can utilize the analytics tools AWeber provides to track how successful you’ve been.

Newsletter Creation And Editing

In the past, newsletters were created by dedicated PR and marketing staff and content was sent to graphic designers. This all took time and money, plus it was seen as a specialist task. AWeber has stripped the mystique away though with its software, offering everyone the chance to create a newsletter that looks great and reflects the ethos of the messages it conveys. With total control of the project, you can edit as you need to without the need to request changes from a designer – a great timesaving feature.

If you’re concerned that using one of the templates may be restrictive with regards to branding and colors used, don’t be. They can be adapted to your own company needs. For instance, you can add your logo and change the color scheme. Choose from layouts, such as 1 or 2 column and it will even automatically be mobile compatible.

If you really want a newsletter that is unique, AWeber can code or design one for you but there are so many different ideas already available, there’s bound to be one you think suits you.

Autoresponder Emails

Autoresponder emails are where it all started for AWeber and it’s now one of its most popular tools for website owners and marketing staff.

When new subscribers first sign up, the autoresponder will send an email you’ve pre-created to welcome them. You can then have as many other autoresponder messages ready to automatically arrive in their inbox at set times, such as information about the company the following day, some current offers after 5 days, and so on. Once you’ve sent a number of general autoresponder emails, it’s then time to look at more targeted communication.

AWeber offers a one-stop shop when it comes to autoresponder services. The 700+ email templates are always available so all you need to do to make a start is to choose one, personalize it, and even add royalty-free images from the photographic library and you’re done. Once you’re looking at targeted marketing, choose who you want to send emails to from your segmented data and also stack up a number of emails to send at dates you choose in the calendar. All you need to do then is sit back and wait for the software to do the job for you and then use the analytic tools to check the success of the key messages. Your follow-up task is to then plan more for the future.

Signup Forms

Part of being a successful company is building a database of email contacts from interested subscribers. These are called responsive contacts and these are the people you need to showcase your company to in order to convert them from potential sales leads to customers and then loyal, repeat customers.

There are over 700 sign up form templates to choose from and they are designed to be used with your website, blog, or social media sites to attract visitors interested in your products and services. The forms can easily be edited to include your branding and the colors changed as needed. They are also fully mobile responsive and are as easy to use on a laptop as on a handheld device. If you’re not sure if your form is the right one for the audience you want to attract, you can talk to the team at AWeber and they will test your sign up form complete with your content, such as giveaways and offers, and then present you with the results as to whether it will be as successful as you hope.

RSS To Email

If you have a blog, using the RSS feed will take your latest posts, transform them to emails, and send to your subscribers. Not only will they be automatically mailed, the posts will be turned into a marketing newsletter that looks interesting to read and will grab attention more than just pure content in an email. The feature is compatible with just about every blog software in use.

Email Marketing Tracking

After you’ve spent time creating your newsletter and email and know where you want it to head off to, knowing what’s actually happened to the email is vital. Sending them off blindly and then ignoring the outcome means you’re missing out on gathering data on your subscribers and possibly missing out on leads being converted into sales.

AWeber offers an analytics feature as part of its package and you can access graphs to show who is opening the emails and which ones are more popular. You can also see what your subscribers are interested in, such as finding out more about your company, making an order, or perhaps watching embedded videos you’ve sent about offers and products.

Subscriber Management And Segmentation

Aweber list

Gathering subscribers is always a huge part of any online database. They will be a combination of repeat customers, new customers, those showing an active interest in specific items for sale, and those who have just signed up to find out more about you.

With AWeber you can easily integrate and manage your subscriber list. When you sign up it’s a simple process to move your existing list and you can then take advantage of the tools to segment your audience to be able to target them specifically based on their activity.

There are a number of pieces of data you can gather from the segmentation tool:

  • Who opens the emails (and who doesn’t)
  • Who clicked on a link in an email
  • Products bought and the amount spent as a result of opening an email and clicking on a link
  • The pages subscribers visit through links in emails
  • Location of visitors through their IP address
  • Information from the sign-up form and then customize your email marketing accordingly

With segmentation you can make specific offers, such as for those who are in certain age groups, live in particular regions, or have disclosed information like having children. It’s a good way to see the most popular pages visited so you can manage your site content and remove pages that are not of benefit. Every person you have email interaction with is unique and it’s crucial to treat everyone as such. Don’t fall into the trap that subscribers are faceless email addresses; they are individuals and you can tap into their needs and desires to offer them ideas and products to enhance their lifestyles.

Integration Of Third Party Applications

If you want to develop and add apps, you can work on them with AWeber and then add them to your site. The company has a feature called API Developer where you can not only learn how to create apps if you’re a beginner but also test and troubleshoot before launch and then when live. For those who want to become more involved in the “back room” aspects of site development, this is a great area to spend a few hours working on your killer app ideas. You can keep them private for your own use or make them public through the AWeber platform.

Integrate With Online Tools

Using AWeber, you can integrate the features of the software with a number of popular online tools. There are many that AWeber is compatible with. Some of the most popular are:

  • Facebook
  • Etsy
  • PayPal
  • WordPress

The way AWeber works is that it allows you to add a link to sign up forms on your Facebook page for followers to start to receive email newsletters; place a sign up form on your WordPress blog where it displays on the sidebar of each page constantly reminding readers that they can find out more by completing the form; sync PayPal with AWeber so customers can receive personalized invitations to subscribe following a purchase; or use Etsy to create newsletters through the drag and drop feature to copy item descriptions and instantly turn them into content. You can then use this to email to one-off customers and ask if they are interested in receiving regular information about new items for sale.

Facebook is a particularly straightforward way to dip your toe into online tool integration. It uses one-click technology and only needs a few steps of configuration of your Facebook profile or business page account to go live.

What Are The Benefits of AWeber?

AWeber is a very comprehensive suite of interlocking tools, which means you have every email aspect covered without the need to add extra add-ons. It offers free, live customer service and a help desk 7 days a week as well as a toll-free number to call and you know exactly what you’re getting when you make your payment to them. You’ll instantly receive updated features and tools as technology progresses so you don’t have to worry that the software you’re using for your marketing is falling behind that of your competitors.

Blog

If you’re a little short on ideas of how to get started or you feel you’ve exhausted all possible avenues, you can utilize the AWeber blog called Inbox Ideas. It’s full of tips and guides on how to get the most from the software as well as how to raise awareness of your brand, news on marketing trends, and quick tip videos.

Is AWeber For Me?

If you’re just starting out in the online world of business then AWeber is definitely for you. It’s particularly useful for beginners in this field of marketing as there are so many templates, drag and drop features, and ready-made aspects that there’s very little technical knowledge needed. If you already have an online business with emails and newsletters, it’s definitely worth checking out and comparing to your current set-up to see if AWeber can offer more bang for your buck. Even the more technical wizards can make use of the software as those with advanced skills can code their own forms and templates.

What Are The Costs?Pricing

There’s a monthly price plan you sign up to pay with AWeber and on top there’s possibly a fee depending on the number of subscribers you have. It also offers deals if you sign up to a quarterly or annual package.

AWeber often offers a free 30 day trial to see if you like its features and then after that prices are from $19 per month. For this you have access to all the features and you can send unlimited emails to up to 500 subscribers. As your subscriber list rises above this figure the cost increases accordingly. It also offers a 30 day money back guarantee.

Overall Thoughts

Aweber is an excellent software package for all website owners. For those taking their first tentative steps into online marketing through using email, it’s a “must-have” choice as it’s so user-friendly. The pricing is competitive and the online assistance is vital if you’re trying to achieve something for the first time and don’t know what to do next. It’s definitely one to seriously consider when building your day-to-day web management toolkit.

Article thumbnail image by vasabii / shutterstock.com

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20 Comments

  1. A better solution is to use MailChimp. Lower cost, easier integration with WordPress, much much better template builder, excellent support, and best of all a higher percentage of its mail makes it into the Inbox of its subscribers.

    A must have feature is tight integration with your forms, and since I use NinjaForms I absolutely love the Mailchimp plugin for Ninja.

    Having worked with Aweber, Constant Contact, Infusion Soft, and a host of other email marketing products, MailChimp is the best I have seen.

    2 centavos deposited

    • Mail Chimp has alot of restrictions. Also it uses a distributed network to send emails. Aweber also has a much higher deliverability rate…

      • Ethan, I could NOT agree with you ANY more.

        So far, no one has addressed that Mail Chimp allows for ZERO (No) affiliate marketing using their system. it is expressly stated in their Terms of Service, and I am willing to bet that many of us will, from time-to-time, off a product or service as an affiliate, which is NOT allowed IF you use Mail Chimp.

        • Kevin,

          I’ve used Aweber for years, so that’s my recommended choice, but your post that Mailchimp “allows for ZERO (NO) affiliate marketing” isn’t correct.

          They do allow affiliate marketing and links:

          http://kb.mailchimp.com/accounts/compliance-tips/about-affiliate-links-in-mailchimp

          People should make their decisions based on facts, not on rumors (the MailChimp doesn’t allow affiliate links is a rumor that has been bouncing around the Internet for years).

          But they’re more strident about affiliate links since they do scan those links to ensure they’re not from sites that have been blacklisted. But if you’re an affiliate marketer for reputable programs, like Amazon, for example, you’ll be fine.

          Do you have a link to MailChimp’s TOS where they “expressly state” that affiliate marketing is not allowed?

  2. I suggest Mad Mimi, it’s very fast on delivery, very easy to use no crazy templates just create and customize the way want, and plus it’s much cheaper.

    • Mad Mimi is cheaper, but you get what you pay for. We’ve been with Mad Mimi for quite some time and ever since the acquisition by GoDaddy we’ve seen a huge performance and reliability drop in Mad Mimi. *Hence why I’m on this post as I search for a better solution.

      Just for further clarification, we’ve been seeing very low deliverable rates with Mad Mimi. Just tonight, our RSS to email feed did not go out on schedule. This inparticular instance has happened many times over the past. Their support basically states that they will take a look. Mysteriously, the email goes out some time later. Usually this is 11pm or later… unacceptable. An email feed going out at 11pm does us no justice.

      Mad Mimi in my option is not a viable option any longer and should be categorized along with Godaddy hosting. It might be good for a personal website with under 500 subscribers where you do not rely on emails sent out ontime, but for any small business, Mad Mimi does not cut it anymore.

  3. I agree with Jerry above – I’ve used all the products above, and more, and MailChimp wins hands-down. A recent problem that I’ve been seeing with AWeber is that the links behind the CTAs get stuck in error mode – they set off browser security warnings from a number of internet security software programs on Chrome, Firefox & Safari so far…

    An article that compares some similar options would be much more helpful (though this article is very well written and offers a lot of good information).

    Thanks for all your great content, ElegantThemes!

  4. I started with Aweber but am using Mailpoet and Bloom these days.

  5. I’ve been using MailChimp free account for myself and clients. Very easy to use and good reports. However, I’ve been looking into autoresponders for some projects I am doing.

    MailChimp, Aweber, GetResponse look like the top 3. Since I’ve been using MailChimp and their paid account that includes autoresponder is reasonable, I’m leaning towards MailChimp… unless someone convinces me why something else is better. I don’t want to spend more than I have to… I currently have a very small mail list – under 100.

    Thanks for another great article.

  6. While Jerry & Lori prefer Mail Chip over AWeber, there is one CRUCIAL aspect of Mail Chimp that they did NOT address,…

    Mail Chimp allows for ZERO (NO) affiliate marketing, whereas AWeber does.

    I consulted with an eCommerce website that offered A=>Z Products and sold them as an affiliate. They were using Mail Chimp, and I had them switch over to AWeber.

    It CLEARLY states it in their Terms of Service (T.O.S.), so just as a warning, if you do ANY affiliate marketing and use Mail Chimp, I suggest you start looking for an alternative autoresponder (A/R).

    http://facebook.com/PulsMarketing

    • Kevin,

      I posted this up thread too… I’ve used Aweber for years, so that’s my recommended choice, but your post that Mailchimp “allows for ZERO (NO) affiliate marketing” isn’t correct.

      They do allow affiliate marketing and links:

      http://kb.mailchimp.com/accounts/compliance-tips/about-affiliate-links-in-mailchimp

      People should make their decisions based on facts, not on rumors (the MailChimp doesn’t allow affiliate links is a rumor that has been bouncing around the Internet for years).

      But they’re more strident about affiliate links since they do scan those links to ensure they’re not from sites that have been blacklisted. But if you’re an affiliate marketer for reputable programs, like Amazon, for example, you’ll be fine.

      Do you have a link to MailChimp’s TOS where they “expressly state” that affiliate marketing is not allowed?

  7. i like mailchamp very much for cheap email marketing services. AWABER is too high. but there analysis data is 99% correct ! Thanks for this post

  8. Thank you for the great Review. On my next project i definitely will work with bloom and aweber! Great combination. Thanks a lot for the great work. Matthias

  9. Great article on Aweber, Brenda.

    My view is cloud hosted email autoresponder services like Aweber, MailChimp and the like have their individual pros and cons. However almost all of them start becoming very expensive when your subs list rapidly starts growing.

    All the bells and whistles in Aweber come at a price and either your conversion rates have to be robust or the ticket size of sales have to be high or both.

    An alternative for folks who don’t mind tinkering with a bit of tech (or paying for installation) is to get a self hosted autoresponder service like arpReach mated with Amazon’s SES service. The templates will be relatively basic vis-a-vis Aweber but deliverability will be high thanks to Amazon’s reliability in SES. To get a comparison of costs check out this link http://www.sendy.co which compares Mail Chimp with Amazon SES costs via a sliding scale.

  10. I think this article needed some focus. It did not analyse the problems Net businesses or bloggers face and did not “review” Aweber against Getresponse or any other company.

    Also it came across as completely uncritical and dedicated to selling aweber to us.

    Overall – too general and totally biased. I expect better from Elegant Themes!

    • I started with Aweber but now I’m using GetResponse- it’s much better. You can easily get free trial version here http://www.getresponse.com but if you wanna try Aweber you have to pay something for it…

      • Aweber has a free trial for 30 days as well.

  11. I don’t really care for any of these companies. Because what really matters at the end of the day is, “can you export your entire mailing list somewhere else once you don’t want to work with that company anymore?” and the answer to that question is, NO i’m sorry mam/sir you can’t.

    I’d rather go rogue, and host my own auto-responder. At least if anything happens on either my end or on the server end I’ll have a copy of my entire mailing list not in my computer but on a thumb-drive sitting in my pocket. Yes, 50,000 customers in my pocket from one of many lists. I’m not willing to give another company ( who I don’t know, or don’t ever care to know me) that much control over my revenue and my finances.

    Welcome to the new world lady, watch your butt because no one is going to watch it for you.

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