If you are looking for an email autoresponder, then AWeber is probably one of the first choices on your list. I have been using Aweber for as long as I can remember. If you are in my email list and if you receive regular emails from me, you know that it always lands on the main inbox (thanks to Aweber). They never had a free plan though (unlike Mailchimp) which is why I never felt like reviewing them. I didn’t think people would go for Aweber if they didn’t had a free plan.
Fortunately, that has changed and now you can use Aweber for free here.
AWeber is universally acclaimed among its users, and its functionality is sufficient for most business needs.
With that said, AWeber isn’t the only email marketing platform on the market, nor is it the best for some business owners.
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In today’s review, we are going to introduce you to the good and bad sides of AWeber, hopefully helping you make the right decision for your email marketing demands.
What Is AWeber?
AWeber is an email marketing platform that is primarily aimed at helping businesses deliver automatic newsletter messages to their subscribers. With that, AWeber would be excellent for the following businesses:
- Bloggers who want to stay in touch with their audiences.
- Store owners that want to notify their subscribers of new discounts, restocked items, suggestions, and more.
- Any business owner who realizes the value of long-term business-customer relationships.
The ultimate goal of email marketing is, needless to say, to increase your ROI, improve conversion rates, and drive sales. AWeber allows you to do that very easily thanks to its convenient tools and rich functionality.
AWeber has two subscription plans – Free and Pro. The Pro version is obviously paid and has a tiered pricing system based on the number of email subscribers. Have a look at the pricing system of AWeber below:
PS: The pricing might change based on when you are reading this so a good idea would be to look at the latest pricing here.
|Number of subscribers||Monthly price (annual billing)||Monthly price (quarterly billing)||Monthly price (monthly billing)|
|0 – 500||Free||Free||Free|
|501 – 2,500||$26.15||$26.33||$29|
|2,501 – 5,000||$46.15||$46.33||$49|
|5,001 – 10,000||$66.15||$66.33||$69|
|10,001 – 25,000||$146.15||$146.33||$149|
The more subscribers you have, the more you have to pay. And on the contrary, if you don’t have many subscribers, then you will be able to save money.
What’s also neat is that AWeber allows you to pay monthly, quarterly, or annually. The more months you buy, the cheaper the Pro subscription gets.
Another thing that we really like about AWeber is that it doesn’t push you to purchase more expensive premium plans. It just has one paid plan, and no matter how large your audience is, you are getting the same features.
This is in contrast to many other email autoresponder solutions. For example, Mailchimp offers 3 premium plans, and with each successive plan, you are getting more subscribers and more features.
The problem with such a pricing structure is that if you need advanced features but do not have many subscribers, you will have to buy a more expensive plan that may be designed for way more email subscribers than you need.
With AWeber, you don’t have such issues because it has a single plan for everybody regardless of their email list’s size. We really like this about AWeber, though it does have some other limitations that may make you lean toward other services (more on that later).
AWeber Pro vs Free
Now, how does AWeber Free compare with Pro, and should you bother with the paid plan? Well, judge for yourself – here are some of the differences between AWeber Pro and Free:
- Pro allows you to have an unlimited number of subscribers, send unlimited emails, and have unlimited profiles for your lists. With Free, you are only getting 500, 3,000/month, and 1 respectively.
- Pro has split testing, automation, click-tracking links, and removed AWeber branding.
- Pro has custom segments.
- Pro offers advanced analytics and reporting.
- Pro can track sales and detect cart abandonment.
With that in mind, Free AWeber is essentially a free trial of Pro. It allows you to give the core features of AWeber a try, but the access to the sweetest things remains behind a paywall.
How does AWeber pricing compare to competitors?
To help you figure out whether AWeber is the right pick for you, let’s also briefly compare it to the competition.
Among other tools in the niche, AWeber is priced somewhere in the middle. With that, we think that it offers reasonable value for the money it asks.
For some perspective, here’s how AWeber compares to its competition price-wise:
- AWeber is much cheaper than Campaign Monitor.
- AWeber is a little cheaper than ConvertKit.
- AWeber is priced more or less the same as Mailchimp.
- AWeber is slightly more expensive than GetResponse.
- AWeber is much more functional and more expensive than Mad Mimi.
This is a very brief look at the price of AWeber and its competition. It doesn’t take into account many important factors such as subscriber count tiers, pricing structure, and features, but it gives you a general idea of what to expect.
Now, to help you better understand AWeber’s pricing model – along with its strengths and weaknesses – we would like to compare it in more detail to Mailchimp and ConvertKit.
Mailchimp has one free plan and 3 paid plans priced as follows:
- Essentials: From $9.99 to $259 per month.
- Standard: From $14.99 to $499 per month.
- Premium: From $299.99 to $1,099 per month.
Like AWeber, Mailchimp has tiered pricing based on the number of subscribers. You are allowed to have the following number of email subscribers:
- 500 – 50,000 in Essentials.
- 500 – 100,000 in Standard.
- 10,000 – 200,000 in Premium.
Mailchimp also offers custom plans for business owners with more than 200k subscribers.
Immediately, we can notice that Mailchimp is intended for large businesses that have tens of thousands of users. After this, comparisons between AWeber and Mailchimp aren’t even necessary – the two have completely different target buyers.
But although AWeber isn’t the best for huge email lists, it has a few interesting advantages over Mailchimp:
- AWeber Pro allows you to have unlimited lists for each of your campaigns, whereas Mailchimp provides you with unlimited lists (called Audiences) only starting with the Premium plan.
- Behavior-based automation isn’t available in Mailchimp Essentials, whereas AWeber Pro has it.
- Essentials lacks many other features too, such as customer lifetime value calculation, purchase likelihood, and a lot of other things.
Mailchimp clearly pushes you toward the Standard plan, which isn’t a big issue. However, across its plans, Mailchimp offers drastically different features, meaning that some business users may be forced to buy a more expensive plan than they need.
All in all, we think that Mailchimp would be the best if your business’s caliber requires that you buy the Standard or Premium plans.
ConvertKit is very similar to AWeber in terms of features, so this comparison is a little more interesting to us.
ConvertKit is priced a lot like AWeber – it has one free and one paid subscription plan. The paid Complete plan is again tiered based on the number of subscribers. However, it goes much larger than AWeber Pro.
ConvertKit Complete starts at 1,000 and goes all the way up to 900,000 subscribers. The pricing for Complete goes from $29 to $3,999 per month if bought monthly. Annually, you would have to pay from $25 to $3,333 per month.
ConvertKit also offers custom plans for those who have more than 900,000 subscribers.
Two key takeaways here:
- ConvertKit is more expensive than AWeber since it starts at $29 ($25 if billed annually) per month. AWeber Pro started at $19 ($16.15), if you remember. AWeber also stays cheap when we compare pricing tier-for-tier.
- ConvertKit is designed for far larger audiences – even larger than what Mailchimp allows.
One thing to remember about AWeber’s pricing is that its every tier has a subscriber range. And at the lower bound of each range, ConvertKit Complete is actually cheaper.
For example, AWeber Pro for 10,000 – 25,000 subscribers costs $146.15/month if billed annually. ConvertKit Complete costs $99/month for 10,000 subscribers. So for 10,000 subscribers, ConvertKit would be better.
However, at 25,000 subscribers, AWeber Pro would be more cost-effective because ConvertKit Complete costs $166/month for 25,000 subscribers.
The same pattern can be observed for other AWeber Pro tiers.
What this means is that if your subscriber count is close to the low bound of each AWeber Pro tier, then ConvertKit would work better for you. If your subscriber count is closer to the high bound, then AWeber would be more cost-effective.
However, this is assuming that you don’t intend to grow your AWeber list. Because if you do, then AWeber Pro tiers do allow for some room for growth.
Key Features Of AWeber
Now, let’s have a look at the features offered by AWeber. Once you are done with this section, you should have a better idea of how well AWeber suits your needs.
Hosting a list/importing data into AWeber
AWeber allows you to create your own email lists to separate campaigns for each of your websites. Lists also let you segment your audience into separate groups.
As outlined earlier, AWeber Free only allows you to have one list, whereas Pro gives you access to unlimited lists.
If you are coming to AWeber from another email marketing platform, then you may migrate your email subscribers too. That way, you won’t have to build your email list from scratch.
AWeber supports file uploads in XLS, XLSX, TSV, CSV, TXT, so it should work with most formats that other platforms export lists in.
AWeber has two ways for email composition – manually via the drag-and-drop editor and via the ready-made templates.
AWeber’s email library contains more than 700 hundred templates. Along with the 700 templates, AWeber provides access to over 600 free stock images, which is pretty nice. To be fair, some AWeber templates feel outdated, but you should be able to find plenty of templates that will work for your needs.
Notably, AWeber also works with AMP for Email to create engaging emails. Basically, AMP for Email allows you to send emails in which recipients can take simple actions – like making an appointment.
AWeber can also turn your RSS feed into an e-newsletter, which is a very neat feature. However, the default templates look like they are straight from the 90s, and their editor isn’t as intuitive as the default drag-and-drop template builder.
AWeber also allows you to order custom email templates:
- For $29, AWeber will modify existing email templates.
- For $229, AWeber will create a completely custom template for you from scratch.
Having created one of the first email autoresponders – if not the very first one – AWeber offers solid autoresponder functionality.
First up, AWeber allows you to set up follow-up emails based on time. For example, you may have AWeber send an introductory email immediately once someone signs up and send a promo code 3 days later. With AWeber, setting up time-based emails is very easy.
The next important feature of AWeber is Campaigns which allows you to determine what and when to send to users based on the actions they perform. You may also separate subscribers into different groups by using tags.
When creating a campaign, AWeber provides you with two kinds of triggers – On Subscribe and Tag Applied. On Subscribe engages when someone is added to your list, while Tag Applied triggers when you add a tag to a subscriber.
This system is very simple but allows you to be pretty flexible with your automation campaigns. With that said, AWeber is less versatile than some other platforms in terms of triggers. For example, GetResponse allows you to track purchases, specific page visits, sales pipeline stages, and more.
In practice, you could probably implement these triggers via tags in AWeber, but it’s going to be more difficult. With that, AWeber is fine for people who don’t have sophisticated email automation needs.
AWeber Pro has split testing – a must-have feature in email automation software. Essentially, split testing allows you to send variants of emails to a portion of your mailing list. You then monitor the performance of each and choose the best variant.
The split testing functionality of AWeber allows you to test up to 3 variants of emails. Most other email marketing platforms out there (including Mailchimp and GetResponse) also allow for up to 3 groups, so AWeber is solid here.
AWeber Pro provides you with a rather solid reporting functionality. Among the things that you can track with AWeber reports are:
- Total open and click counts over time.
- List open and click counts over time.
- Revenue over time.
- Daily, weekly, and monthly new subscribers.
- Subscriber methods.
In terms of data, AWeber’s reporting functionality is strong, and there’s really nothing to complain about. You are getting all the essentials to make your email marketing better.
However, the interface of AWeber report-wise is quite clumsy. Unlike tools such as GetResponse and Mailchimp, the stats in AWeber are split between several tabs – Broadcasts and Reports. These tabs all provide their own unique data, so you have to go back and forth between them to get a full picture of your email marketing performance.
This is quite unintuitive, although AWeber is developing a new unified user interface for reports. It’s accessible as a beta, so you may check it out too.
Segmenting data in AWeber
Segmenting in AWeber is pretty good, but it has a few downsides as well.
AWeber allows you to create segments with multiple search criteria within a list. For basic segmenting needs, this should be more than enough. However, when compared to Mailchimp and some other platforms, the segmenting functionality of AWeber is quite lacking:
- AWeber doesn’t allow you to implement OR logic in search criteria – only AND.
- Once segments are created, AWeber doesn’t allow you to send newsletters to multiple segments simultaneously. If you want to send the same newsletter to two segments, you would have to send them separately.
All in all, segmentation in AWeber is fine for simple needs, but its flexibility isn’t too good for complex segments.
Landing page builder
AWeber has also recently introduced a landing page builder to its toolset.
The purpose of landing pages is simple – capture new subscribers for your email list. With AWeber, you can fairly easily create landing pages with sign-up forms to help you increase your subscriber count.
The landing page builder of AWeber provides you with access to a number of editable templates. The UI of the landing page editor is straightforward and responsive, and it allows you to easily change font settings, styles, remove and add elements, and more.
You may also hook your landing pages to Google Analytics or Facebook. However, note that as of this review’s writing, AWeber didn’t provide easy ways for GDPR compliance.
Another downside with the landing page builder is that it does not have split testing. So you won’t be able to easily test multiple versions of your landing page and determine which one is the best.
With that said, these features will most likely be added in the future – the AWeber landing page builder is still very new.
AWeber has a truly enormous library of integrations. No matter what your needs are, you should be able to find the right third-party integrations to enhance your subscriber engagement with.
Among the native integrations of AWeber are:
- Content management: WordPress, Elementor, Drupal, Weblium, Wix, Squarespace.
- CRM: Salesforce, ChatMatic, ContactUs, Affinity, Bitrix24 CRM.
- E-commerce: WooCommerce, Shopify, PayPal, Patreon, Clickbank, SAMcart, Etsy, ThriveCart.
- Landing page builders: LeadPages, Unbounce, Convertri, Instapage, Landingi.
- Lead generation platforms: ClickFunnels, Thrive Leads, Optin Cat, Gleam, WPForms.
- Membership management: WishList Member, MemberSonic, MemberPress, Invanto.
- Productivity: Zapier, Microsoft Power Platform, Excel, Automate.io, Google Calendar, GoToMeeting.
- Social media: Facebook, LinkedIn, Cyfe, Lander.
- Survey tools: Survey Funnel, Bucket.io, Enalyzer, Customer Thermometer.
- Video: Wistia, Viewbix, ClickMeeting.
- Webinar tools: GoToWebinar, Demio, Crowdcast, Zoom.
Now, when it comes to the easiness of setup, AWeber can sometimes be a little sloppier than other autoresponders. However, all in all, you shouldn’t have to struggle much to make AWeber work with the platform of your choice.
AWeber offers support over the following channels:
- Live chat.
These support channels compare favorably to the competition. For example, Mailchimp offers phone support only in the $299 Premium plan, while platforms like GetResponse have no phone support at all.
Getting in touch with AWeber support is very easy – you may find all the key contact information on the company’s contact page. If necessary, you may call AWeber straight away without having to first convince a customer care specialist that your issue is serious enough for a phone call.
The phone support team of AWeber is available from 8 AM – 8 PM ET from Monday to Friday, while live chat and email support are available 24/7.
Notably, AWeber has also received 4 consecutive Silver Stevie awards for excellent customer service from 2016 to 2019.
Pros & Cons Of AWeber
As a recap, let’s have a look at the pros and cons of AWeber.
- Reasonable value for the money.
- Free plan is available with the most essential features.
- You are getting the same features with the Pro plan no matter how many subscribers you have.
- Setting up autoresponders is very easy.
- 700 email templates – many more than with competitors.
- Supports AMP for Email for added interactivity in emails.
- Excellent customer support. AWeber also has phone support, unlike many of its competitors.
- Has a lot of third-party integrations for pretty much any need.
- The marketing automation functionality isn’t the most versatile at the price point.
- The landing page builder doesn’t have A/B testing. Additionally, it’s not easy to make GDPR-compliant.
- Poor-looking RSS templates, with no easy way to edit them.
- You can’t send emails to multiple segments.
Alternatives To AWeber
If AWeber doesn’t look convincing enough to you, then there are some alternatives.
- GetResponse. In addition to email marketing automation, GetResponse has some e-commerce and webinar hosting features.
- Mailchimp. Mailchimp is ideal for businesses with large email lists, though its value for the money is debatable.
- ConvertKit. ConvertKit offers more or less the same feature set as AWeber, but it allows you to have much larger lists.
- Mad Mimi. This is a rather cheap email autoresponder with basic features.
All in all, we think that AWeber is among the most balanced email marketing platforms on the market. It’s not too expensive, has solid functionality, and it also provides all paid members with the same feature set regardless of their list size.
However, AWeber isn’t very flexible in the email automation department, and its max list sizes are much smaller than with competitors.
If you have not too large lists, then strongly consider AWeber. However, have a look at competing solutions too – they may have plenty of other interesting things to offer.