A quality autoresponder is not only important, but absolutely necessary if you want to run any sort of email marketing campaigns. As such, you might think that the "inventor" of autoresponder technology would be the best choice for your needs.
Today we are going to look at an autoresponder service that claims to be that very inventor that we are talking about. AWeber, a Pennsylvania-based company, has been providing autoresponder services for nearly 20 years, and this service will be the highlight of this review.
We're going to go over what AWeber.com is and a bit of it's history. From there, we will discuss their features and see how it stacks up against competition by assessing strengths and weaknesses. From there, we will give our final evaluation on whether you should consider them or not.
A Brief Bit About Me
Before we get started, I want to take a bit of time to introduce myself. My name is Sam, and I'm a 33-year-old from Chicago. Like many independent entrepreneurs, I began to seriously look into self-employment opportunities after working several underpaying, stressful and stifling jobs.
I began working with freelance writing online when I got fired for sticking up for a coworker's safety. It was pretty terrifying leaving behind the illusory "safety net" that minimum-wage jobs cast on employees who want to quit, but can't find the strength to do so.
Fortunately, I was able to quickly triple my income with freelane writing, but had the free time to focus on my health and save money for proper online business training and tools. Now I specialize in online lead generation and freelance to keep myself sharp!
What is AWeber?
Now that I've given you a little more info on who I am, let's dive into what AWeber is all about. Honestly speaking, many of you are probably already familiar with them to some degree. If you have even signed up for someone's mailing list through a lead capture page, there's a good chance that this is the service powering that list.
The company was started in 1998, and to this day services an impressive 115,000 active subscribers. Despite being in business for so long AWeber.com is still one of the most sought-after and respected autoresponders out there.
Speaking of autoresponders, they actually claim to be the inventor of this technology. This claim may be true, as they are one of the pioneers of email marketing services.
One of the reasons that they continue to be so popular is based on two critical features: customer support and highly-successful email delivery. Deliverability is extremely important in making sure that your emails get to your subscribers, and they are consistently reliable for delivering solid emails that are spam-proof.
AWeber is also very simple to use. We will cover this later, because its simplicity is a strength and a weakness depending on what your needs are. While it is simple, they give you the tools and options to customize and control the critical aspects of your email campaigns.
Features + Pros & Cons
With this review, I'm going to do a little something different. Normally, pros and cons are left at the end of reviews so that you can understand them better. However, this particular review, we are going to use the Pros & Cons to help you understand the features better.
The reason for this is because AWeber.com really caters to specific needs. As we mentioned before, they are very simple, and this simplicity is what allows people to utilize it so easily. However, for many of the advanced needs and desires of modern internet marketers, their services are TOO basic.
As such, I feel that analyzing the features through a pros-and-cons lens can help us see how these features really stack up. To start, let's take a look at the key features they provide:
Another important aspect of AWeber is the type of memberships it offers. As with many other email marketing services, this service is offered according to tiers. The tiers are based on the amount of subscribers you have, as the service and all its features are the same across each tier.
You can also try a fully-functional, free trial for 30 days. Now that you have a look at the features it provides, let's take a look at how these features play into their strengths and weaknesses.
Pros of AWeber
Top-Notch Customer Support
We've mentioned simplicity as a big part of their philosophy, as it makes sense that another core priority for them is also ease of use. As such, they have a reputation for highly-responsive and useful customer service for its members.
The Customer Support is available 12 hours a day on the weekends (8 a.m. - 8 p.m.) and 8 hours on the weekends (9 a.m. - 5 p.m.). You can contact them through the phone or live chat at these hours, as well as through e-mail. Email inquiries are usually met with a real-life response withing 24 hours, not an automated message.
Simple User Interface For Building Autoresponders
The campaign builder is very easy and simple to use, and it allows you to set up your automation features fairly quickly.
The dashboard interface and customizations utilized a drag-and-drop function that allow you to set your automation functions according to what you need. It is also very easily to include tracking information for sales through their analytics feature.
Multiple Capture Forms In A Single List
Content upgrades are a very useful tool that can be critical for growing your list. These materials are bonuses that are related to your email subjects, and people can get access to these by signing up through your autoresponder.
They give you the ability to create multiple forms for each list. This gives you the ability to offer a large multiple content upgrades, which increases your value to list subscribers. This feature also maximizes the value of your list, as many other services require a separate list for each content upgrade.
Tagging Based On Subscriber Link Clicks
Tagging give you the ability to classify your subscribers more specifically and maximize how you market to them. Based on the interests they demonstrate through their links, you can send them additional material to cater to that desire.
The emails that come from campaigns consistently pass spam filters, which means that you emails are being sent to where your subscribers can read them. Dilverability can make or break a campaign, so this aspect is very important.
Cons of AWeber
Very Limited Automation Features
We mentioned the automation features like tagging. However, aside from tagging, the automation features there are very slim.
There are no integrations of sales funnels, branching and running parallel automations, and you can only apply automation when tagging and when someone subscribes. In comparison to a lot of modern companies, they are severely lacking with automation.
While they are very simple to use, a big reason for this simplicity is based on how many features they do NOT include. As we mentioned above, there is a severe lack of automation options, and template designs are extremely outdated.
One aspect of creating a list is how you deal with unsubscribed, blacklisted, and inactive subscribers. Many services will have features that exclude these members from your membership price.
However, they not only include these members as a parted of your subscriber package, but also counts duplicate subscribers as separate entities. For example, if you have one subscriber who is subscribed to 6 lists, that subscriber counts as 6 subscribers instead of 1.
Before talking about pricing, one positive about the pricing structure is that you can try them for free for 30 days. Many other services offer trials, but the features are usually limited. However, they are a fully-functional free trial, which is rare.
That being said, they are comparatively priced, if not more expensive than a lot of competitors. This might not seem like a con by itself, but when you add that many competitors offer quite a bit more features than them, then it seems unfair that they would charge the same for a considerably less loaded package.
When you stack up what AWeber offers in relation to competitors, it might seem like a no-brainer to look into something else. They do have reliability under its belt, but if it isn't providing the depth of tools that others do, then why consider them.
Well, sometimes less is more. The problem with variety is that, in some cases, it is unnecessary and adds to your confusion. If you are a beginner or someone will rather simple needs for your marketing work, then you might not need a lot of advanced automations.
AWeber can be a good place for those who anticipate having very basic needs for their email marketing and don't want to create complex, layered campaigns. However, if you need substantial email marketing options, this might be too basic a package for your needs.