Aweber was founded in 1998, making it one of the oldest email marketing services in existence. The company was founded by Tom Kulzer, who successfully grew it without taking external funding. He founded Aweber to make it easier for small businesses to engage with customers via email at a time when the internet was in its relative infancy and sending bulk emails wasn’t as easy as it is today.
Aweber currently serves over 100,000 customers worldwide, most being small businesses. The company has dozens of employees throughout the United States. It maintains its headquarters in Chalfont, Pennsylvania.
(Image credit: AWeber)
AWeber: Plans and pricing
Aweber has a free plan that comes with several limitations. This plan lets you have only one email list and a maximum of 500 subscribers. It’s useful to test the platform’s features but doesn’t go far if you want to maximize your usage, which requires a paid plan.
There are three premium Aweber plans; Lite, Plus, and Unlimited. The Lite plan starts at $14.99 / £112 / AUD$22 per month for 0 to 500 subscribers and increases according to the number of subscribers. For example, 2,500 to 5,000 subscribers will cost $44.99 / £40 / AUD$65 per month and 10,000 to 25,000 subscribers will cost $144.99/ £140 / AUD$165 per month.
The Plus plan starts at $29.99 / £25 / AUD$45 per month for 0 to 500 subscribers and increases from that range. For instance, 5,000 to 10,000 subscribers on this plan will cost $79.99 / £70 / AUD$120 per month and 10,000 to 25,000 subscribers will cost $159.99 / £140 / AUD$229 per month.
The Unlimited plan is the only plan that supports over 100,000 subscribers. There’s no standard pricing for it; you’ll have to contact Aweber’s sales team for a quote.
You’ll get a significant discount if you pay for 12 months in one go for the Lite and Plus plans. If you change your mind after paying, Aweber offers a 30-day refund window.
(Image credit: AWeber)
Aweber provides a collection of email templates designed by professionals that you can edit to fit your brand. These templates make it easier to design appealing marketing emails instead of doing that from scratch. The platform gives you access to thousands of free high-quality stock images or you can create your own images with Canva (without leaving your Aweber account).
Aweber’s drag-and-drop editor makes it easy to edit emails after selecting a template. You can also use it to design your own email template from scratch if you have the skills.
This platform lets you send personalized emails using data that you have on your customers. Personalized emails make the recipient feel important and more likely to read a message. You can also send automated emails based on specific triggers, e.g., a welcome email to anyone who signs up for your subscriber list.
The reports section of your Aweber account lets you monitor critical metrics about your marketing campaigns like deliverability, open rate, click-through rate, unsubscribe rate, etc.
(Image credit: AWeber)
AWeber: Interface and use
Once you’ve completed the setup phase, AWeber makes it easy for you to find the key functions of the service: adding subscribers and creating emails.
Adding subscribers is an easy-to-follow, five-step process that begins by importing a file or copying and pasting your data, mapping that data to AWeber fields, confirming the opt-in message, adding tags, and then providing information about how the people came to be on your list.
Creating an email was a bit less intuitive, though. There are three options for creating emails: the drag-and-drop email builder, plain text message, and HTML editor. When choosing the drag-and-drop builder, we were presented with a blank canvas with a list of elements that could be added on the left and templates on the right.
The thumbnails for the templates are quite small, so to get a proper look at them, you have to apply them to your email. To start with, things didn’t seem to be working properly. Only part of the template seemed to be applied. It wasn’t until we unchecked a small box at the top that says “Keep My Message Content” that the whole template, including content and images, were applied. This is confusing and makes for a less than ideal user experience.
When you actually begin working on your own content, though, you’ll want to keep that box ticked.
AWeber has an impressive track record in support, having won several customer service awards in recent years. You can receive direct support either by live chat, which is available 24/7, by phone, which is available 8 AM to 8 PM ET, or by email.
For those wanting to learn themselves, there is a knowledge base with articles, a video tutorial library, live and on-demand webinars, and a certified experts program that connects you with experienced marketing and design professionals who can help you with copywriting, graphic design, or marketing strategy.
AWeber: The competition
AWeber may be one of the oldest players in the email marketing services space, but there’s no shortage of alternatives.
For a cheaper option, for instance, MailerLite will cost $10 / £10 / AUD$15 a month for 1000 subscribers and unlimited emails, or it’s free for the same number of subscribers with a limit of 12,000 emails.
Mailchimp also offers 24/7 support, an excellent template editor, and a free plan with limited features for up to 2000 contacts. For more features, its cheapest plan starts at $9.99 / £9.99 / AUD$14.99 a month for 500 contacts.
AWeber: Final verdict
If having 24/7 support options available is important to you, then AWeber is worth considering, as it does provide a high level of customer support. But it’s certainly not the cheapest option available, the user interface of its email builder isn’t as intuitive as it could be, and the design of its templates didn’t impress us much.
Having to manually keep on top of your unsubscribes to avoid being bumped up to more expensive plans is also not something busy business owners should be expected to do. And aside from useful list management tools, AWeber lacks in the automation department.