Email Marketing

AWeber Email Marketing - Functionality, Usability & Pricing (2020)

See how AWeber's email marketing platform rates for performance and reliability + see how it stacks up against other major players in email marketing.

AWeber Email Marketing - Functionality, Usability & Pricing (2020) hero image

Email marketing was once associated with spam. But thanks to the rise of mobile devices and changes in how people consume information online, email is back and won’t be going out of vogue anytime soon.

During this period, even before your favorite marketing platforms were founded, AWeber has been around the highs and lows of email marketing. To this day, the tool has endured like an Energizer bunny and remains one of the most popular tools used by marketers for launching email campaigns to subscribers.

In this post, I’ll discuss everything you need to know about AWeber; why it’s still one of the best platforms for sending promotional emails, how to use its features, and how it stacks up against its competitors.  But first, here's a quick preview:

  • Pricing: Free; Paid Subscriptions being a$19/Month for 0-500 subscribers and access to premium features
  • Free Trial: No
  • Average Rating: 4.25/5

What is AWeber?

AWeber was founded in 1998 when email marketing wasn’t in every business owner’s vernacular. But this didn’t stop the brand from being one of the most enduring and popular marketing platforms for sending emails.

The reasons for its longevity and success are its core values. The team’s unbridled passion for their work allows them to provide memorable experiences to their audience. Their 24/7 customer service from their Pennsylvania headquarters is testament to their dedication for their customers.

Every team member the company hires possesses these values as part of their unique “AWesomeness” that help shape the brand’s culture.

More importantly, the 100% all-remote team treats each other like family. Not only do they collaborate daily to solve issues, they also brainstorm for ideas and suggestions to help make their product much better.

Espousing these values through the years resulted in over 1,000,000 small businesses seeking AWeber for all their email marketing needs.

AWeber Pricing and Plans

Unlike before, AWeber now offers a free plan good for up to 500 subscribers and 300 monthly emails for sending.

Signing up for this tier lets you create newsletters using its drag-and-drop builder or by choosing from over a hundred email templates. You can also select from over a thousand of images to feature in your emails for free.

If you want to broadcast your latest content from your site to subscribers, the RSS to email feature comes in handy.

Simple analytics gives you a basic overview of the performance of your campaigns based on how your subscribers responded to them.

You can also gain access to the tool’s landing page builder. Create as many landing pages as you want from scratch or using its beautiful templates.

Aside from its selection of free images, there is an option to publish video landing pages to get the attention of your audience and increase conversions.

There’s also the ability to create sign-up forms that you can embed on your website. If you’re running your site on WordPress, the plugin lets you create the forms straight from your dashboard.

Now, if you need more power from your email marketing tool, AWeber’s Pro plan is available at $19/month for 0-500 subscribers.

While it has the same number of subscribers available for the free plan, the Pro tier lets you conduct email split-testing to help you determine the best variant of your campaign to send to subscribers.

You can also utilize its split-testing feature to create higher-converting forms so you can collect more contacts with each.

There’s also advanced analytics features so you can gather better data from the emails you send and make informed decisions for your upcoming campaigns.

The Pro plan gives way to e-commerce features such as sales tracking and cart abandonment to help you get the most revenue possible from your online store.

Your plan increases in cost as you grow your subscribers. For example, the rate increases to $29 if you have 501-2,500 subscribers, then $49 for 2,501-5,000 subscribers, and so on.

All plans include free migration of subscribers from your previous or current email software, 24/7 live support, and integrations.

Pros

  • Free migration of not only your list, but also your segments, forms, landing pages, and more.
  • Collect subscribers not only from forms but also from social media, payment gateways, and others.
  • Tag subscribers to segment them so you can send them highly targeted broadcasts later on to increase sales.
  • Create broadcasts from its template gallery and analyze their spam scores so you can lower the risk of them going to your subscribers’ spam folder.
  • Automatically broadcast your latest blog posts straight from your RSS feed.
  • Create drip email campaigns to put engaging with subscribers on autopilot.
  • Understand why your email campaign performed the way it did using AWeber’s QuickStats page.
  • Split-test your subject lines to know which variant increased your open rate.
  • Automatically send emails to subscribers who abandoned their carts to return and complete their orders.
  • No-frills and straightforward email marketing tool at your disposal. It doesn’t have the bells and whistles from more sophisticated platforms which is a great thing. If you simply want to build a list and send them emails, then this tool is for you.
  • Create unlimited forms and landing pages to help grow your list faster and better. No need to integrate with other lead generation tools as the forms and pages provide you with different custom options. Plus, they are easy to publish and dispatch on your website.
  • Clean broadcast builder with different elements to drag onto the email. There’s also a built-in Spam Score Analyzer to ensure that your emails don’t go straight to the spam folder of subscribers.

Cons

  • Triggers and conditions available on the Campaigns feature are limited.
  • Email and form templates look outdated. You’re better off building your own from scratch as a result.
  • While AWeber has made changes in its platforms (as you’ll see later on), it does show its age in its form templates. The outdated designs and layouts of each almost render them unusable.
  • Creating an automation workflow is hampered by the limited choices for your steps. While this might not be a problem for others, it is impossible to create a fully-automated email series that includes conditions and multiple options.

Standard AWeber Features

By signing up for its free plan, you can take advantage of AWeber’s powerful standard features. You don’t have to shell out cash to create forms for collecting subscribers and send them beautiful emails to increase your bottom line.

In fact, the basic features are more than capable enough to help you build your business from the ground up. Once you’ve gathered 500 subscribers, only then will you have to pay and access its premium features.

For now, however, let’s look at what makes AWeber one of the best email tools after all these years.

ISetting up Your Account and Moving Your Subscribers

Before being able to use AWeber, you need to sign up for an account and select your plan.

For now, I’ll take the free plan so we can take AWeber for a spin.

The tool will then ask you to import your list from your email software. You can do this by downloading the list as .csv file and uploading it to AWeber. You can also enter the subscribers manually if you have them on a different file format.

However, if you also want to move your sign-up forms, landing pages, and tags, to name a few, you can use its free migration services.

In line with the brand’s commitment for providing memorable customer experiences, AWeber gives you the opportunity to move everything from your previous email platform at no costs to you. This way, you don’t have to manually recreate your forms and landing pages on the tool because its team will do it for you.

This is a great way of putting a human touch on top of their email marketing services. Oftentimes, people are stuck with their current email tools because there is no way for them to move to another platform seamlessly. With AWeber, now you have a way to do it.

Click here and fill out the form below the page. Wait for one of their people to answer your request.

IICreating Forms and Landing Pages to Gather Subscribers

For newbies, your email marketing will only deliver results if you have a list of people whom you’ll send emails to.

In this case, you need to create forms you can feature on your website so people will sign up as subscribers.

The first step is designing your form. You can drag different elements to include and drop them on the form. This makes the process easier since you don’t need coding experience to bring your form ideas to life.

However, if you want to build a form fast and quick, you can choose from AWeber’s Template Gallery. With more than a thousand templates across 17 categories, you can find something that fits your brand. Once you’ve chosen, you can further edit the design to achieve the look and feel you want.

From here, you can also change the form type (inline, pop-over, etc.) and behavior (pop-over, exit intent) to help the forms make an impression to visitors. Using these features, you wouldn’t have to use another form builder that does the same things.

If you’re happy with your form, all you need to do next is to customize the form properties.

Type in the appropriate name of your form, use a custom Thank You that people will see after signing up to it.

Once you’ve saved the form, you can choose what to do next with your form.

There’s an option for you to email your developer to embed the code on their site if you’re not confident in doing it. You can also embed it on a page on your site or you can turn it into a landing page.

However, if you want to create landing pages, go straight to the tool’s landing page builder.

To start, you must choose a template for your landing page.

Similar to forms, you can choose from templates each of which are named according to its niche.

For instance, if you have a course to promote, use the Sell an Online Course template and replace the elements and text with your own.

From here, you can even add more elements as well as rows and columns to achieve the best possible layout for the page.

Once you’ve published the page, you get a unique URL that you can share to your email list or on social media.

All landing pages you build are published on AWeber’s subdomain. But if your site is on WordPress, you can use the plugin to integrate the page into your domain. Also, you can edit the URL to make it shorter and more readable.

Both the forms and landing pages of AWeber are more than capable to help you gather the subscribers you need to grow your list and business.

IIIManaging Your List

It’s not enough to just keep collecting subscribers from the forms you create. You need to determine how you plan on engaging with them so you can turn them into life-long fans of your brand, if not one of your most loyal customers.

But before sending them emails that will do just that, you need to organize them using tags and custom fields.

As mentioned earlier, tags play a vital role in your email marketing efforts. The idea here is to tag subscribers after performing an action.

For example, if they sign up to your forms, you can tag them into your automation workflow so they receive your drip campaign without you setting it up for them individually.

Also, if you have to email people who signed up for your drip campaign, you can use the tag to target them. This way, you don’t have to search for each one of them manually before sending the message.

Therefore, tags help you segment your subscribers so you can send your workflows and campaigns to the right people with relative ease.

There are many ways to enable this function on AWeber. As mentioned, you can tag users immediately after signing up from your form. You can enter the name of the tag from the form settings.

The other way is to manually add the tag on each subscriber in case you missed them out the first time.

Finally, the List Automation feature lets you assign tags to subscribers when they perform a specific action on your site.

The Subscriber Automations allows you to move from one tag to another. For instance, if subscribers with a “leads” tag purchase something from your website, you can turn the tag into “buyers” or “customers.”

The Page Hit Automations enables you to tag subscribers who click a link onto a page from your site. If you send an email with a link to your latest course on your site, you can tag those people into your list.

And since they clicked on the link to your course, you can send them broadcasts further promoting your course until they buy it. Or if you’re selling a product similar to the course, you can send them an email about it too.

While tags seem like a small deal, they can make a world of difference in your email marketing especially if you tag the right way.

IVSending Broadcasts

If you are launching a weekly newsletter or have an important announcement to share with your subscribers, you need to send them a one-time email also known as broadcasts on AWeber.

There are three ways you can create broadcasts from the platform: drag-and-drop builder, plain text, or HTML editor.

The first one is the most popular choice because it’s the easiest way to create your broadcast.

Writing announcements using the builder is just like typing on a word processor with the added benefit of dragging and dropping elements you want to include in your email. This way, you can make your CTAs pop out and possibly get higher conversion rates.

If you want to send out newsletters, a simple letter won’t do. You need to design a layout that organizes the information in a beautiful and well thought-out manner.

For design-challenged users out there, you can just choose from its template gallery.

By choosing a template, you don’t have to start from scratch. Save time by just editing the color, font, images, and copy to fit your brand and message.

Before sending out the email, test it out first by sending it to your address and see how it looks like.

If there’s something wrong with the sent email, make the necessary changes and send it to your address again until it’s perfect.

The email is then saved as a draft. You can schedule the email for sending or you can blast it now to your subscribers.

But before doing that, you’d also want to make sure that the email will go straight to the inbox of subscribers.

Even if you created an email meant for your subscribers, there are triggers that cause certain emails to be mistakenly flagged as spam.

To avoid this from happening, run the Spam Score Analyzer. It checks your emails for key areas that the spam filter catches.

You need to strive for a score lower than 5 before sending it out to your subscribers.

That said, sending broadcasts using AWeber is easy and gives you peace of mind. The template gallery cut downs the time in building newsletters. Meanwhile, the spam analyzer minimizes the chances of them going to the spam folder of your subscribers.

VBroadcast Your Blog Posts to Subscribers

Normally, whenever you publish a new blog post, you promote them to your subscribers by creating and sending them a broadcast. While this isn’t difficult to do and takes a few minutes of your time, it eventually piles especially if you keep cranking out blog posts at a high volume.

Sending broadcasts about them becomes a chore that you wish you can automate.

Thankfully, AWeber lets you send your latest posts in newsletter format on autopilot.

To do this, you need to get your site’s RSS feed and enter it on the feed URL bar.

Next, add the text that will be included in the blog broadcast on the HTML editor. You then need to choose a template for the layout of the email.

Finally, you must set the variables that will determine when the broadcast will be sent to subscribers. Aside from the frequency of the email, choose how many new posts should be published before the emails are dispatched.

You can also save the emails as drafts first if the prerequisites are met so you can review it first before hitting the “Send” button.

VIBuild Email Campaigns

To fully leverage the power of AWeber, you need to learn how to create campaigns made from multiple emails and are sent to specifically tagged subscribers.

In the default example above, this is the automation campaign for new subscribers. Upon subscribing, the tool will apply the “welcome-campaign” tag on them. This will set the next step in motion, which is to send them the “Thanks for signing up” email.

If you look closer at this step, you will see that an automation triggered is included. It says that, if the subscriber opens the email, the tool will add the “engaged” tag on them. This informs you and the tool that they indeed engaged with your message.

Finally, once the email is sent, the tool will remove the “welcome-campaign” tag and apply the “welcomed” tag. This means that the subscriber was sent the welcome message.

This is just a basic example of what an automation campaign can do for your business. Using its builder, you can create campaigns that match your goals and needs.

For instance, you can create a drip feed campaign about tips or advice about a topic. Then on the last email, you can include a link to your product or service related to the subject so you can rake in some profit.

On the downside, the triggers you can use for your campaign are limited to three (tags, email, wait).

VIITaking a Quick Look at Your Email Performance

Sending the email is just half the battle. The other half involves you analyzing the results and implementing the fixes on your next campaign to increase its conversion rate.

With AWeber’s QuickStats page, you can learn everything you need to know about your broadcast or campaign’s performance and make the necessary improvements later on.

Source

QuickStats gives you a brief overview of your campaign thus far broken down into different factors:

  • Opens - Shows you how many subscribers opened the email you sent.
  • Clicks - Tells you the number of people who clicked a link on your email (if it has one).
  • Sales - Computes for how much you earned from your campaign. You can only access this statistic if you’re using sales tracking on your account (which is only available for the Pro plan).
  • Web Hits - Uses AWeber’s web analytics to count how many subscribers visited your websites and which pages they jumped to.
  • Unsubscribers - Counts down the number of people who unsubscribe from your list from the campaign.

Using the information here, you can make informed decisions on your upcoming campaigns by correcting the mistakes you made here.

Unique Features of AWeber

As you can see above, the tool’s primary features are good enough to help any business gain a foothold in their respective industries.

But now, we move on to the stuff that makes the platform a cut above the rest.

Most of its premium features are much more suitable for bigger and more sophisticated sites like an online store. Nonetheless, AWeber helps you make these features work to your advantage.

Below are some of the most notable ones:

VIIISplit-testing Your Campaign

There are times when you have different versions of the subject lines in mind that you want to feature on your email. You can’t settle for one because you feel the versions you came up with are good enough to achieve what you need for your campaign.

In these cases, however, you need to split-test these elements to determine which among the variants will convert more.

Source

To create a split test, type in the name of the test and choose who will receive it from your subscribed. Most of the choices here have to do with how long they have been subscribed to your list.

Next, choose how many variants of the subject line you want to test. You can test a maximum of three subject lines and decide on how frequent each variant will be used for the email.

If you want to get the best results for your subject lines, send them at equal percentages. So if you have three variants, set the percentage of the two variants to 33% and the last one to 34%. Therefore, out of 100 emails you will send, 33 will receive the email with the first variant of the subject line, another 33 will see the second variant, and the remaining 34 will see the last one.

After sending out the split-tested emails, you can review the results from the reports page and see which variants received the highest clicks.

Doing this on all your emails will help you get the most out of your campaigns so you can increase your sales.

IXIncreasing Revenue from Abandoned Carts

AWeber has features to help online stores get the most sales possible. We’ve discussed how the tool can track sales from your email campaigns and show the results on your QuickStats.

Using tags, we also saw how you can label people who purchased from your site. By compartmentalizing your subscribers, you get to see where they are in your sales funnel and learn the best way to email them moving forward.

Both these options are available in your paid subscription. However, there’s another AWeber feature that ecommerce site owners will love.

You should know by now that people don’t always complete their purchase even after placing their order in a cart. According to Barilliance, the global abandoned cart rate in 2019 is at 77%. That means only 23% of people who place an order on your site follow through with it.

But instead of finding out the many reasons why they abandoned their carts, you should focus on how to get them back to complete their orders instead.

Source

By connecting your eCommerce platform with AWeber, you can set up cart abandonment triggers that tag subscribers who left their carts and send them an email notification so they can recover them back.

AWeber Integration

One of the reasons why AWeber is a hit among marketers and website owners is because of its integration. Since the company has been in the email marketing game for quite some time now, it’s built relationships with third-party developers to help users create a more streamlined marketing process.

This way, they don’t have to switch from one tool to another to complete tasks and get the job done. Through these integrations, AWeber users can simplify the process by removing steps from creating forms and sending emails to subscribers in between apps.

Below are the more prominent integrations with AWeber:

a. Website Platforms

You can integrate AWeber with your website and access its features from within. This way, you don’t have to leave your site’s dashboard to tweak and monitor your campaigns. Some of its more popular website platforms integrations include:

- WordPress

Using this plugin, you can manage the AWeber sign-up forms and landing page embedded on your site. You can see the performances of each such as the number of impressions the forms and pages got and how many people signed up or clicked on them.

And aside from collecting form subscribers to your AWeber list, you can also collect the details of people who commented on your posts.

- Drupal

Similar to WordPress, Drupal is an open source CMS that lets you build beautiful web experiences for your audience. Using AWeber’s module, you can assign the forms you’ve created on the platform and configure them as block content on your Drupal dashboard.

- Webflow

The AWeber application is available on Simvoly, a website and funnel builder with the goal of increasing your conversions. While the platform is powerful enough to create forms in itself, the application allows you to link AWeber custom fields within the form. Also, whenever someone fills out the form on Simvoly, you can automatically send them to a list on AWeber.

b. Landing Pages

While AWeber has a native landing page builder, you may already be using another platform to publish even better and higher-converting pages.

Therefore, instead of migrating your landing pages to AWeber, you can just keep the pages and integrate them with the email platform.

Below is a shortlist of landing page builders that can integrate with AWeber:

- LeadPages

Not only is LeadPages one of the most well-renowned landing page builders in the market, but it also has a sign-up form and alert bar builder to help you supercharge your lead generation efforts.

And by integrating AWeber into the pages and forms you create using LeadPages, you can better segment the contacts you collect into their right tags and lists.

- Instapage

Instapage provides users with the complete landing page building experience with its A/B testing and personalization features. And with the AWeber integration, you can take your marketing campaign a notch higher.

By collecting the details of people who fill out the Instapage forms into your AWeber lists, you can automatically send them emails to engage them further with your brand.

- Unbounce

Unbounce is similar to LeadPages feature-wise, but it has an AI-powered optimizer that automatically chooses the best variants for your pages and forms to increase sign-ups without having to test them. Leveraging on this technology, you can generate more leads if you integrate AWeber with it.

c. Others

I can’t cover more than a hundred integrations with AWeber here. This goes to show the brand’s commitment to helping you improve your productivity by connecting with other business apps.

Nonetheless, below are the other top integrations to cap off the list:

- Shopify

There’s a lot for Shopify users to love with AWeber. By subscribing to its Pro plan, you can track sales of your email campaigns, send emails regarding abandoned carts, and label subscribers across your different tags as they progress down your sales funnel.

Regarding the latter, you can send tagged people discounts codes, coupons, and freebies to help them make a purchase on your site.

- GoToWebinar

If you use GoToWebinar to create audio and visual conferences for generating sales to your business, then it only makes sense to integrate an email platform like AWeber with it.

You can add registrants and attendees to your AWeber list automatically. You can also add upcoming, recurring, and finished webinars to your email list using the platform.

- Clickfunnels

Clickfunnels is the most popular, if not the most powerful, funnel builder platform around, and the AWeber integration makes it even stronger.

You can add people who sign up to your funnels to one of your tags and lists on AWeber. FRom here, you can stay in touch with them by sending them upsells via broadcasts.

AWeber Reviews from Users

AWeber has an aggregate score of 4.2/5 from 541 users as of writing over at G2. Most reviews are effusive about the platform, but the general criticism was regarding the initial pricing of the tool ($19/month and no free tier). However, as we’ve seen above, AWeber rectified the issue and is now providing free accounts.

Over at Capterra, AWeber scored 4.3/5 from 130 users.

Similar to G2, most of the users were criticizing the plans and the lack of a free account (which has been rectified as seen in this review).

Chris Motola, finance writer at Merchant Maverick, gave Aweber a perfect score. He praised the tool’s simple approach to creating beautiful forms and pages as well as sophisticated campaigns. More importantly, he believes the 24/7 US-based customer support is the cherry on top of a great platform.

While everybody has shared a generally positive experience using, others are less enthused by the tool.

Steve Lamattina at EmailToolTester, the most prominent email marketing review site, gave AWeber a score of 3.3/5.

Here’s what he feels about the platform in a nutshell:

AWeber has all the basics you need for a small business, and does quite a good job at educating first-time users with its bevy 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 in the last few years since we first reviewed the tool.

Keep in mind, however, that the review was published in 2019. Based on the features we saw above, AWeber seemed to have listened to the criticisms and made the necessary changes to make the platform much better.

AWeber Alternatives

AWeber is just one of the many email marketing tools available. While it’s a more than suitable platform especially for startups and small businesses, you may be looking for a different tool that possesses other features not found in AWeber.

If that’s the case, below are the more well-known alternatives of Aweber:

AWeber Alternative #1: AWeber vs MailChimp

Unlike AWeber, MailChimp has a less intimidating and more modern UX/UI to help you carry out your marketing tasks. It also has more ecommerce features like Content Studio where you can store all your photos in one place to use for your campaigns, as well as Facebook Ads retargeting.

AWeber Alternative #2: AWeber vs GetResponse

What separates GetResponse from AWeber is the webinar feature. You can host conferences and livestreams with your audience and collect their emails without using a third-party tool. However, you can only access this if you sign up for its Plus plan ($49/month for 1,000-2,500 subscribers).

AWeber Alternative #3: AWeber vs Convertkit

Convertkit has some of the best and simplest automation features for an email marketing tool other than ActiveCampaign (more on that later). Also, the software charges you per email subscriber regardless of how many segments they’re included in your list.

AWeber Alternative #4: AWeber vs Constant Contact

Similar to AWeber, Constant Contact is perfect for growing your small business. It even has unique features like the ability to collect surveys, donations, and promote local events by integrating it with sites like Eventbrite and others.

However, the only thing going against it is the lack of a free plan - the lowest plan starts at $20/month.

AWeber Alternative #5: AWeber vs ActiveCampaign

Among the AWeber alternatives listed, ActiveCampaign is the most complex and powerful of them all. Aside from its intuitive automation workflow builder, you can also set up a live chat widget on your site and sync your Gmail with its CRM features. Also, its AI and machine learning features allow users to send the best email variant to subscribers at the right time.

Conclusion: Is AWeber Legit?

Based on what we’ve seen above, AWeber is as legit as they come. The company shouldn’t have survived over 20 years of providing email marketing services to users if that weren’t the case.

It possesses the core email marketing features to help you get in touch with your audience. Aside from broadcasts, you can create drip campaigns to provide more value to subscribers upon signing up. Also, its integration with popular third-party apps allow you to generate even more subscribers to engage with.

One of the biggest things about AWeber is the inclusion of a free plan. Most of the criticisms from review sites stem from how expensive the platform is. Therefore, the introduction to the free-tier plan should help stop naysayers in their tracks and allow people to give this tool a fair shake.

However, there are additional issues the platform must address, first of which is the lack of more modern template designs. The ones available from its gallery don’t stand the test of time. Also, the limited steps available in creating workflows make it harder for users to get acquainted with email automation.

Other than these things, AWeber should and will help business owners with their email marketing needs. Its singular approach to providing users a way to collect subscribers and send emails should attract people who want a simple yet effective email tool that will get the job done.