AWeber (The Definitive Review & Rating 2019)

Pros, Cons (COUPONS) & Comparison | The most Comprehensive Testing & Review Available (GUARANTEED)

Aweber

In this Aweber review, the EntrepreneursGateway.Com take an in-depth look at one of the most popular email marketing tools. The Entrepreneurs Gateway Team Leave No Stone Unturned In This Definitive Review.

We look at the pros, cons and discuss comparisons pricing, features…

And more.

Sound Good?

Let’s go…

Effectiveness

Good tool for your basic email marketing, but lacking in any serious email automations.

Cost

Moderately priced in relation to others on the market.

Usability

It’s relatively straightforward to use, but the user-interface looks a little outdated.

Support

There are a number of support options available including live chat and a knowledge base.

We Like

  • Large selection of email and form templates
  • A reasonable amount of integrations available (including Zapier)
  • Great support options available
  • Tag-based system
  • Incredibly detailed reporting for broadcast emails

We Don't Like

  • A basic automation builder
  • No A/B testing means
  • Form and email template designs are slightly out of date
  • Form and email builder can feel clunky and a little old
Aweber 1

Introduction

AWeber which was started in 1998, holds a strong position in the market today, and currently has around 100,000 users.

Most people will be familiar with AWeber, mainly because in it’s day, it was the most popular email marketing tool. It is still recommended and used by a wealth of marketing professionals, mostly because of habit.

For this review, I want to understand whether its features are out of date to determine if  AWeber is one of the worst email marketing tools around.

Features

#1. System & Segmentation

In this section, you’ll discover which method AWeber uses with list segmentation to ensure that you offer the right products to the people that are interested in them. 

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Having introduced tagging, there is now more flexibility when it comes to targeting and subscriber management. (be aware though that the same subscriber is counted across multiple lists.)

You can add tags manually to both individual or multiple subscribers if you need to.

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It’s best to apply tags on-the-fly to your subscribers, which you can easily assign on a form by form basis.

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If you want to segment your subscribers even further, simply apply tags to their custom fields. 

And the best bit is that you can apply and use tags through the automation features.

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It’s evident that tags are consistent throughout this software, but let’s discover just how deep it goes?

Virtually every email marketing tool has the ability to apply tags on simple actions that the user does. For instance, when the user subscribes via a form on your website.  That’s all well and good, but where do the behavioral tags come in?

For example, your marketing tool automatically applies a tag to someone who has clicked on a specific link in your email.

AWeber have recently introduced a new release of this – which means that AWeber’s campaigns do the work for you.  They create dynamic segments and automatically send relevant content based on the links your subscribers click. 

I did find that importing subscribers a bit of a pain.

There are a few ways to do this, but whichever way you do it, you have to then send them a re-confirmation email.

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Just imagine how long that will take with thousands of subscribers, not to mention the hassle.  Not great AWeber.

Verdict: It's great that AWeber implements tags but it doesn’t live up to other providers in the market.

#2. Automation

Automation is the main reason why people use email marketing right?…..Can AWeber automate your marketing to save you time and increase your profits?

Let’s find out…

AWeber’s automations is referred to as ‘Campaigns’.  This is what it looks like:

Aweber 7
This has a linear interface that is simple to use. It gives you the choice of 3 actions on which to build out your campaign:
  1. Send out an email or message
  2. Wait a certain amount of days
  3. Apply or remove a tag
There is no visual workflow builder with AWeber (Drip and ActiveCampaign have this feature). This means that you cannot create more complex conditions, for example, goals or spit-automations.
Aweber 8

Example: ActiveCampaign’s Conditions & Workflow options

There are a few other extras thrown into this feature.

You can apply filters to your automations which will include or exclude your subscribers based on certain aspects such as identifying how someone registered, ie. Through the website or via an app, or what country they are from. (Not sure how useful this is though!).

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There are also some list automations (although very basic) available allowing you to either subscribe or unsubscribe someone, should their status change.

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Verdict: Still not up there with its competitors

#3. A/B Testing

So how does AWeber manage it’s split testing capabilities?  How can it improve your goals and conversion rates?

We put it to the test…..

When researching AWeber’s split testing abilities, I found a few resources that explained the process.

This example is one I found:

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I was informed that this feature only shows up when you add a second form! Well at least we know now!

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These options are very basic, but it does what it needs to do.

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I’m not very impressed with this functionality, especially as AWeber has been around for a long time.

Verdict: Not impressed AWeber

#4. Form Building

Almost every email marketing tools have their own form builder.  But…..are AWeber’s form building capabilities enough to help you to build your forms seamlessly to ensure your leads are captured through whichever method you use?

This is what we found….

At least AWeber has a form builder and this is what it looks like:

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It’s not all that great if I am honest.  I think it looks and feels old, ugly and not very intuitive.  Just look at its interface:

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It’s form templates are incorporated within the builder and covers a broad range of categories.

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What about the designs?

Nothing that jumps out at me.  I think they need to rethink this seriously.

So what about the functionality of the form?

Drip is a good example of giving you the ability to create a form which will show as a pop up (this can be activated if you click on it, or pops up after a certain time).

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AWeber’s configuration options don’t seem to be as comprehensive:

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It’s not all bad…… if you want AWeber to host your form rather than display it on your website. 

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Verdict: You can get by with AWeber's form builder, but I am not greatly impressed

#5. Email Templates

We all know that having a selection of email templates not only saves you time, but is also a way to keep the consistency of your brand. It’s also vital that they are responsive, so that it doesn’t matter what device your customers are viewing them on, your email won’t disappoint.

So how does AWeber compare when it comes to their choice, design, customization and responsiveness of their email templates?

Firstly you don’t have to use a template if you don’t want to; instead you could use HTML-coded templates, or even use plain text. 

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AWeber has a Drag & Drop Email Builder, so let’s look at that….

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Well, it’s definitely more advanced than the form builder, but it still looks out dated.

It doesn’t even sort out any spacing or padding automatically. I didn’t know how to fix this and felt it all looked rather cluttered.

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The builder is definitely lacking with some flexibility with its styling options.

What about their email templates?

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You do have a lot of templates to choose from, but as there are no categories, I found it very hard to find what I was looking for.

I also felt that the designs were a bit out dated and I couldn’t help but think of them being more of a theme than an actual template.

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Verdict: This is a big disappointment AWeber

#6. Integrations

Can AWeber communicate with third party applications?

It’s vital that your email marketing software can integrate with the most popular software tools out there….

Here’s what we found…

AWeber can integrate with over 180 different services and apps, and these include the very popular integrations such as WordPress, Paypal, LeadPages, Shopify, and Facebook.

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AWeber is better than some of the newer solutions available with regards to the sheer numbers, but it doesn’t match up to MailChimp, who offer up to 700 possible integrations.

Verdict: AWeber has sufficient integrations if you need them.

#7. Tracking & Reporting

No email marketing tool is complete without being able to track and report.

How does AWeber rate at being able to review its data analytics so that it helps you to improve the overall effectiveness of your email marketing and also improve your profits?…..

Before you send an email broadcast in AWeber, you have some tracking options available.

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It’s important to note that by default, AWeber automatically tracks the open and bounce rates which is why this feature isn’t shown here.

“QuickStats” is their reporting dashboard which displays the activity of your subscribers.

This is what it looks like…

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Don’t be disheartened by the lack of information shown above as there is a lot more reporting features that AWeber provide.

This can be found under their reports tab and provides you with 26 different variations.

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These reports really allow you to delve deeper into the numbers. My only issue here is their user-interface.  See below:

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It just looks a little out dated.

I have mentioned the reports for broadcasts, so wanted to move onto the reporting for automations….

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Not great I am afraid. The only thing you get with this reporting is the open and click rate. It’s a strange imbalance.

Verdict: I was really impressed with the broadcast reporting even if the automations wasn't great.

Support & Documentation

You get a variety of options to choose from when contacting AWeber support. The first place to check out is their knowledge base, which I found to be very useful.

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Unfortunately though, their knowledge base hasn’t been updated for a while as when I tried to search for something, there were entries there that were 5 years old.

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There is also the options of Live Chat and phone support within office hours, which is really helpful when you want a live person to communicate with.  The support team is also very well equipped when offering their knowledge of the product.

There is also the option of emailing your query, if you’re not in a hurry for a response, and the Facebook group was quite large with over 3,000 members to date.

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Verdict: All in all, I was impressed with their support, but their knowledge base could do with an update!

Pricing

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AWeber offers a choice of 5 plans

Hosting and emailing based on the number of contacts:

  • Up to 500 subscribers: $19pcm
  • 501 to 2,500 subscribers: $29pcm
  • 2,501 to 5,000 subscribers: $49pcm
  • 5,001 to 10,000 subscribers: $69pcm
  • 10,001 to 25,000 subscribers: $149pcm

They do offer another plan if your subscriber list is more than 25,000. You need to call them to get a quote.

There is also a discount of 14% if you choose to pay quarterly and if annually, it’s 14.9%.

AWeber also offer a discount if you are a non-profit organization or a student.

What I liked about AWebers pricing plan is that all their features are available on all of their plans.  So it’s equal to all budgets.

Testing & Deliverability

We wanted to truly test the deliverability with each of the email marketing tools within this review.

This can be quite difficult to test, and we then decided upon two different methods:

  1. Run an identical campaign to measure the open rates across all email marketing tools
  2. For a more analytical, instant result, test with GlockApps

This process is covered in more detail – check out my roundup review on email marketing tools, so go check it out…

Results:

AWeber, when tested, achieved 30.1% open rate in the time frame given. This was in fact the lowest out of all the email marketing tools we tested.

We weren’t able to test with GlockApps, AWeber simply refused it.

To get a better understanding of these results, the attached table has been put together and here is what this looks like for all the email marketing tools we are covering:

Software Open Rate Inbox Tabs Spam Missing
34.6%
65.7%
23.9%
9%
1.5%
30.10%
--
--
--
--
34.4%
89.6%
6%
1.5%
3%
39%
85.1%
1.5%
13.4%
0%
36.1%
91%
1.5%
7.5%
0%
34.77%
71.6%
4.5%
17.9%
4.5%
35.7%
84.8%
7.6%
6.1%
1.5%

Is AWeber the Right Email Marketing Tool for you?

Let’s remember that Aweber is not going to be the right tool for everyone.  Let’s check out who it suits.

Budget Bloggers

AWeber probably isn’t for you if you are on a tight budget. 

Let’s see the numbers, based on the lowest plan for others out there in the marketplace:

Software Free Plan 1,000 subs 10,000 subs 25,000 subs 50,000 subs 100,000 subs
No
$29 p/m
$139 p/m
$225 p/m
$299 p/m
$459 p/m
No
$29 p/m
$69 p/m
$149 p/m
$392 p/m
$792 p/m
No
$45 p/m
$95 p/m
$295 p/m
$335 p/m
$595 p/m
No
$29 p/m
$119 p/m
$199 p/m
$379 p/m
$679 p/m
Yes
$49 p/m
$149 p/m
$254 p/m
$429 p/m
$779 p/m
No
$15 p/m
$65 p/m
$145 p/m
$250 p/m
$450 p/m
Yes
$15 p/m
$75 p/m
$150 p/m
$240 p/m
$475 p/m

GetRespone and ActiveCampaign offer a cheaper choice for the same type of email marketing tool. This makes it very difficult to recommend AWeber to anyone on a budget! 

Beginner Bloggers

Even if you are starting out, AWeber does lack basic requirements that a good email marketing tool should have, and there is no mention of them looking to improve that at this moment in time.

This is why I don’t feel it would be a great choice for beginners, especially with it’s complicated user-interface.

ConvertKit, however, is a much better choice if you are a beginner. Its price is on a par with AWeber and its user-interface is much more powerful with a great automations builder.

Best for Support

Good solid support options available, with both phone, live-chat and email.

Best for WordPress

Many business owners/professionals and bloggers integrate this program with their own WordPress site.

Conclusion

Even though AWeber was extremely popular back in its day, I don’t feel they have kept up with the other email marketing tools in the market.

It’s not a terrible tool, but compared to the others that I have reviewed, I can’t recommend this to anyone starting out or any level.

Disclaimer

(The EntrepreneursGateway.com team are committed to produce independent, thoroughly researched and comprehensive guides and reviews for the best products and services that will help you in your business and your life. If you like what we do, you can support us through our chosen links, which earns us a small amount of commission which helps us fund our research and maintenance of the blog to better help you. Learn more about our Review Process.)

Now, over to you...

Now I’d love to hear from you:

Are you going to purchase AWeber or are you already using it?

Perhaps you started reading this review with the intention to buy, and maybe now you’re not so sure!

Feel free to leave a comment below and we’ll see if I can help…. or check out the other reviews like MailChimp or ConvertKit.

Still not sure, got a question, I’ll be personally replying to comments and questions that come in.

If you like this article don’t forget to subscribe and let us help you grow your business.

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