September 1, 2014

Review: AWeber Email Marketing Service for Small Business

Most email providers offer a free trial, but AWeber does not. That’s not a negative. In fact, by putting a value on their service, I believe that many people equate it with greater value. Charging for the service sends the message that AWeber is completely confident that you will love their service and will pull out your wallet to sign up.

This review is about one of the first email marketing companies on the Web: AWeber Communications. As far back (in Web years) as I can remember, AWeber has been the simple-to-use autoresponder service. If a person emailed you, you could set a sophisticated auto-reply via the service and keep the sales conversation going (or do whatever nurturing you wanted to do). They then branched out to let you send email newsletters and have sign-up forms on your website. Soon after, there were advanced analytics to analyze performance and better tools for segmenting your subscribers.

What I really like

  • Unlimited emails. You are charged by subscribers, not email messages. It is a healthy approach compared to many in the industry that charge by the message (or tiers of messages).
  • They’ve changed the signup forms. It used to be you could only create an ultra-simple form, but now there are many templates and styles to choose from. You can add checkboxes and radio buttons, just to name two of the flexible options.
  • You can set when and how autoresponder messages are sent. You can track who opened a message and who didn’t. You can track if they clicked a link. The key is that it’s all easy to use and set up. Not all email systems are as easy to use or set up. I’m sure you’re not surprised by that statement if you’ve played around in email marketing at all.

Now, most email marketing platforms will let you do this stuff. But AWeber keeps the interface and steps to a minimum so you can get on with running your business. Marketing is important, but many of us do not have a dedicated marketing person or unlimited hours to get our messages out there.

What I think could be improved

Their pricing language is confusing to me.  It is $19/mo for up to 500 subscribers. If you go to 501 subscribers, it is $10 more per month (on top of the $19). Now, I eventually figured it out, but it would have been easier to just say, “501 subscribers is $29/mo.”

Again, email marketing platforms have all evolved and have many advanced features, but AWeber has done a great job over the years of focusing on what the customer, often a small business owner, needs and wants in a customer messaging system. They are fairly prolific with sharing advice and ideas for improving your email marketing, and if you do some searching you’ll find that they have been around a long time. In Internet years, that says a lot, and their blog is worth studying no matter which platform you use.

Learn more about email marketing with AWeber.

8 Comments ▼
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TJ McCue - Product Editor


TJ McCue TJ McCue is the Product Editor for Small Business Trends and an entrepreneur who publishes Tech Biz Talk. TJ is a former Wall Street Journal columnist. He also writes for Forbes and American Express OPEN Forum. He loves learning about technology apps and software services - share yours with TJ.

8 Reactions

  1. TJ,

    Another fine review.

    I was using another email marketing provider for a few years. Then, after watching my bud, Jim Kukral in action, I switched over to Aweber.

    Glady I did!

    The Franchise King®

  2. I’ve been using Aweber for years. They are continually evolving and improving their service which consistently adds value for their customers. It is one of the easiest methods to help small business owners build one-on-one relationships with their prospects and customers.

  3. TJ: I have heard good stuff about AWeber. I am not ready to pay USD 19 per month at the moment, adding up all other monthly costs I have with web hosting / platform, podcasting, etc. I need sponsors! ;)

    I will look into AWeber after I have grown my mailing list a bit. Right now I am using a service called TinyLetter (recently purchased my MailChimp). In order to cover another provider, I am reading a book by a person at ConstantContact! I will start my newsletter in the beginning of 2012. Here is my slogan:

    “A hot & spicy newsletter by a chile-head. You will receive food for thought on new media and good things in life.”

    Have you compared and contrasted AWeber with MailChimp and ConstantContact?

  4. Three Words: Infusionsoft is better

  5. thanks Joel and Denise. Glad to hear your experiences. I have used aweber on several projects and always found it useful and easy to use.

    Martin, I personally think that MailChimp and Constant Contact are excellent solutions. I leave the comparisons up to others who like to build matrices… I have trouble drawing a straight line. ;-)

    Thanks Brian — i appreciate your input. I’m a fan of Infusionsoft, too, but it is aimed at a relationship marketing power user in my mind. It does so much more than just email marketing and is a system that can drive your business. It is not an apples-to-apples comparison, though.

    I’m revisiting a 2009 list post of email marketing providers. I listed 30 before and most of them are still going strong. http://smallbiztrends.com/2009/12/small-business-email-marketing-apps.html

  6. TJ: Thanks for your input regarding email marketing alternatives such as MailChip and ConstantContact. I will have all these (including AWeber) in mind when I am ready to upgrade to a premium service.

    If you want to learn more about e-mail marketing, I recommend you to check out APSIS’s free handbook.

  7. Excellent job there TJ,

    However I have to say that we used to use aweber but we moved onto marketmailer.co.uk because they where so much cheaper and offered everything aweber had plus really helpful customer service.
    Don’t get me wrong, Aweber is an excellent bit of kit, I just thought I should share my experience with everyone else :)

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