AWeber is one of the first email marketing platforms. Founded in Pennsylvania in 1998 it has served a cool one million customers since then. And it is still going strong.
A lot of people love AWeber, will you be one of them?
This AWeber review covers its best features, pros and cons, pricing, and more. I signed up and put the platform to the test.
Here’s a brief summary of this AWeber review.
AWeber Review: Pros and Cons
What I like most about AWeber:
- The Free plan lets you build 1 landing page.
- More than 600 email templates. Or, you can build your own from your website URL with the Smart Designer.
- 24/7 live chat support even on the free plan and an international telephone help desk
- Super easy drag and drop editor lets you build emails and landing pages in minutes.
- More than 750 integrations with third-party services.
What could be improved:
- Automations are a little basic. I’d like to see a visual workflow editor and conditions.
- A dedicated section for segmentation would be useful.
AWeber’s Most Important Features
AWeber makes it easy to send beautiful emails. They focus on email marketing but have a large library of integrations to connect it to your marketing stack. Here are some of their smart features:
- Drag and drop editor: Click and drag content blocks to create flexible layouts.
- Email templates: Choose from 600+ designs to get started. All templates are customizable and optimized for desktop and mobile.
- Smart Designer: Automatically create your own branded templates by pasting in your website’s URL.
- Canva integration: Use Canva’s intuitive graphic designer for free. Create pro-looking graphics and drop them straight into your email template.
- Blog broadcasts: Turn your blog into a newsletter and send it automatically using RSS feeds.
- A/B Split testing: Test up to three versions of the same email to see which gets the best results.
- Landing page builder: Build unlimited landing pages for your sign-up forms. As a bonus, you can link your Stripe to take payments directly on your pages.
- Integrations: AWeber connects to more than 750 third-party apps.
- Customer Support: AWeber offers 24/7 live chat and email support. Also a phone helpdesk from 8 AM to 8 PM EST.
AWeber designed the templates, the Smart Designer and the Canva integration to make it super simple to create on-brand emails. All without leaving the software. Making it good for small businesses, creators, and agencies.
One of the first things I look for in any platform is how easy it is to use. How long it takes to feel comfortable using it.
AWeber really shines here. It’s easy to find your way around. Everything is clean, clear, and well laid out. Before you do anything, you are asked what your business goals are.
Step by step you can start filling in your email marketing strategy. These are just suggestions, you can skip them if you like.
Sending Emails and newsletters
AWeber’s main menu is on the left of the screen. All options for building and sending emails are found under ‘Messages’.
Email Templates in AWeber
Onto building emails. Like most email marketing platforms, AWeber has customizable templates for designing messages. For choice of templates, AWeber is hard to beat. There are more than 600 sorted into 17 different categories.
We all know the point of templates is to give a helping hand in creating pro-quality designs. So how good are AWeber’s templates? They’re ok, but not the best I’ve seen. Having 600 to choose from is great, many keep it pretty basic.
The coolest template building option in AWeber is the Smart Designer. This lets you create your own custom templates from an existing web page. The whole thing is automatic and takes seconds. It couldn’t be easier.
To use the Smart Designer, all you have to do is paste in the URL of a web page and click Create. You get a selection of templates to choose from. Once made, you can customise your template how you like.
The Smart Designer makes it easy to create email templates that fit your brand. It’s also a quick way to turn the content of a web page into a newsletter.
AWeber Email Editor
AWeber has three types of email editors. A drag-and-drop editor, a plain text editor, and an HTML editor.
The Plain Text editor is for creating very simple text-only emails.
The HTML Editor is actually two options in one. The main view is what we call a WYSIWYG editor. The other option lets you edit the HTML code.
It’s nice to have these options. But let’s be honest. If you’re signing up for a service like AWeber, you’ll use the Drag-and-Drop Editor most. This is where you customize templates and add your content the easy way. People choose a platform like AWeber to make emails without having to code.
AWeber’s editor works with preformatted content blocks called Elements. To add these to your template, you simply click and drag them into position. The way elements are grouped into rows makes editing layouts very easy and flexible. The editing experience is close to using advanced external email editors.
A product block makes it easy to add products to your emails. It is a predesigned element with an image, a header for the product name, some text for a description, and a button to take people to the product page.
If you have an Etsy store, it’s even easier. Once you set the integration up, you can just select which product you want to display and AWeber will pull in the image, the text, and links for you.
The coupon block is a text block design for adding discount coupons to your emails. By default, it has a dashed border to give a bit of the cut-out coupon feel and to differentiate it from the main content. But, you can change the border and the background in the settings.
There are lots of editing options for every type of element. Click on a block and they appear. One of the options is personalization. You can personalize any text block in your emails. This includes adding names, locations, dates, or any other field there is in your database.
Editing emails and images in Canva
AWeber has a free image stock library of more than 6,500 pictures. That’s great if you don’t have your own to upload. But the best thing about AWeber’s image options is their integration with Canva.
Canva is free to use graphic design software. There’s a button that takes you straight from the AWeber email editor into Canva.
You can upload your own images and change them with dozens of icons, illustrations, filters, and effects. You can move text and images drag-and-drop anywhere you like within your design.
It took me only a few minutes to get the hang of it. You can create your graphics and simply click ‘Save to AWeber’ to drop your creation straight into your email.
AWeber’s Blog Broadcast feature turns your blog into a newsletter. All you have to do is set a schedule and your blog posts get sent to subscribers automatically.
Blog Broadcast uses your site’s RSS feed. All you need is to find your RSS feed URL.
AWeber lets you A/B test up to three versions of the same email at a time. So perhaps it should be called A/B/C Testing!
Sending gives you a warning if any issues with spam filters are suspected. Results will show if certain subject lines are landing in the junk folder more. Or if one version of an email is being opened less. Knowing how your email will perform in advance is a big plus for deliverability.
Another clever bit of technology AWeber supports is AMP for email. AMP makes emails interactive, it is not for everyone but great to have the option.
Think about how you normally respond to an email. You click the Reply button, right? Or, you click a link that takes you to a web page. That’s when you do things like fill in forms or register for an event. AMP emails mean all that can happen in the body of an email. People have to do less to respond to your calls to action.
AWeber Autoresponder & Automation Features
AWeber pioneered email automation. It started out as a platform for sending automated messages. Or autoresponders, as they became known. Dozens of email marketing services have followed AWeber’s lead. And over the years, email automation features keep evolving.
Autoresponders send single messages one at a time in response to an action. So if someone signs up to your list, you can use an autoresponder to send a welcome message.
The latest marketing automation tools do a lot more. Instead of a single email, you can now automate chains of messages to send in a drip sequence. Instead of sending to one person at a time, you can automate complex processes that do more than sending emails. Instead of a single action, you can have lots of triggers.
Campaigns keep things flexible. You can create straightforward one message auto-responders. Or you can link together several emails into a longer series.
AWeber has 17 pre-made email workflow templates to get you started. Four are simple and already loaded up in your Aweber account. The Lead Magnet template has a single message on it, or a Mini-Course which is a series of lesson announcements set up to send a day apart.
Then there is a Campaign Marketplace. This is a set of 13 campaign templates, some inspired by partners like Shopify, Thinkific, and Justuno. They cover sales event promotions, cart abandonments, courses, personalized welcome series, and more.
AWeber’s automations are simple linear sequences aka drip campaigns. These campaigns create a string of autoresponders separated by time delays.
AWeber doesn’t do advanced automation. For instance you can’t add if/then conditions.
The only way to create conditions is by creating new workflows with different triggers based on the logic you want to set up. This can get messy after a couple of conditions. So if you want to build email automation with advanced conditional logic, AWeber is probably not for you.
Adding tags to contacts is one strong point of AWeber’s automation. Automated tagging helps manage and segment your subscriber lists, as I’ll talk about below. Tags also let you link together email marketing campaigns. A tag can be the trigger for a campaign. So adding a tag in one sequence can launch another.
AWeber Landing Pages & Forms
AWeber lets you build standalone signup forms for new subscribers. Or you can create a landing page with a form embedded. Either way, it’s all about growing your subscriber list.
Landing Pages in AWeber
I’ll start with landing pages. AWeber gives you premade templates to work with. There are 46 to choose from.
I’m a fan of AWeber’s landing page templates. To my eyes, they’re a step up in quality from the email templates and form templates. Most are eye-catching, colourful, and use images well. They also cover most reasons you’d ever need anyone to sign-up for something, including:
- Subscriptions to newsletters, blogs, and podcasts
- Course subscriptions
- Payment plans
- Events and webinars
- Sales and special offers
- Crowdfunding and donations
- Consultations and coaching
AWeber uses the same drag and drop engine for landing pages as it does for building emails. Having that consistency is great, especially if you’re new to designing emails and web pages.
The only difference is the type of content elements you can add. One is forms. Every landing page template has an in-line form already included by default. You can delete this and add a pop-up form if you prefer.
Compared to the form editor, there are more layout options and it’s easier to move things around. You have more control for matching your form to the look and feel of the whole page.
This is a landing page created by AWeber customer Zumbalycia. She uses this landing page as a homepage for her business with all the important links for people that want to attend her classes. She also included options for visitors who aren’t ready for classes yet. The CTA to join her Facebook group and the email sign-up form are great options for them.
You can use AWeber’s landing pages to sell, too. Add an order form that connects to the Stripe payment platform. That means people can buy products or paid-for subscriptions directly on your page. They don’t have to click through to anywhere else.
I really like the ‘Smart Content’ element. This pulls in content from external web pages. All you need to do is paste a URL. It can be used for things like:
- Facebook posts
- Google Map locations
- Shopify product listings
- Blog RSS feeds
Sign Up Forms
Onto sign-up forms. And guess what? Templates again! I counted 159 in total. Categories are a mix of industry and function-specific.
Many of the templates are quite basic. But you can do plenty to customize them. A lot of email marketing services I’ve used don’t give you many editing options at all for forms. AWeber stands out from the crowd.
The best part about it is that you can set every template to be either an embedded ‘in-line’ form or a pop-up. In-line forms sit in the main body of a page. Pop-up forms appear after a visitor spend some time on the page.
AWeber calls these ‘Pop-Over’ forms. You can also create a ‘Lightbox’ form, which is the same as ‘Pop-Over’ but it darkens the rest of the page when it appears. It does give a ‘Pop-Up’ option, a form that opens in a new window. You can set up exit-intent popups with it. But it even tells you that these types are blocked in most browsers.
The fact that all these options are available for every template is really impressive. Most services have different templates for embedded and pop-up forms.
I like how much you can customize forms in AWeber. But I found the Form Editor itself a little clunky to use. For example, all the template thumbnails display horizontally. On the bigger categories, they disappear off the right-hand side of the page. Although this didn’t cause major issues.
AWeber List Management
Importing contacts into AWeber is straightforward. Look for the ‘Add Subscribers’ options under the Subscribers tab.
You can type in subscriber details one by one. Or, much quicker, you can upload a spreadsheet. AWeber also offers a free migration service.
However you add subscribers, you have the option to confirm opt-in. AWeber highlighting this is a good thing. You want your email marketing provider to be on top of data protection.
Under ‘Personalize Your List’, you can add company details, logo, and an email signature to appear on every email. This is also where you connect your social accounts. You can automatically post your newsletters to Facebook and Twitter. Similarly, you can save all your broadcasts to an online archive called ‘Newsletter Hub’. This is a space where subscribers can find all your messages at any time.
To segment your contacts, you have to head to the Subscribers page. There, use the Search Option. Choose the criteria you want to filter by and save the results as a new segment.
When sending a broadcast, you get asked ‘Who should receive this message?’ This is where you choose your segment.
AWeber’s segmentation features are good for beginners but advanced email marketers will miss some options. Like OR logic, creating segments over lists, and sending to multiple segments.
There isn’t an option to automate segmentation. But adding tags automatically does most of the work for you. You just have to go the extra step of creating a segment by a chosen tag.
In AWeber, you can also segment based on email opens and clicks are available. In comparison, other email marketing software has more options.
Reporting and Analytics
Reporting tells you how your broadcasts and campaigns are performing. That way, you can see what works well and what things you need to improve on.
AWeber has three main analytics options:
- Reports by list
- ‘QuickStats’ for individual broadcasts and campaigns
- On-page tracking.
The main Reports tab shows reports by list. This is interesting, a lot of email marketing software focuses on analytics by campaign first. But the stats shown are standard: opens rates, click rates and subscriber numbers.
‘All Lists’ reports give figures for all lists across all broadcasts and campaigns. ‘Current Lists’ reports break down the figures into individual lists. Broadcast totals and follow-up totals mean total opens and total clicks.
Location totals break opens and clicks down by where your subscribers are. You can look at figures by country, region, or city.
You can see much of the same information for individual broadcasts and campaigns. Each one has its own Quickstats page. These reports include stats for how many messages ‘bounce’ and how many people unsubscribe.
Tracking measures how much traffic you are getting across your website from emails. This is a powerful email marketing tool. To use it, you can install AWeber’s tracking analytics on your site.
You can use this tool to track sales, too. If you add the tracking code to a product page, you can track when that product is bought. AWeber can see every sale that started with one of your emails. This is another way it can tell you how much money your emails are making.
I’ve already dropped in some of the third-party services AWeber integrates with. Post signup forms and newsletters on Facebook, for example. Taking payments through Paypal or Stripe. Adding your Etsy or Shopify product listings to your emails.
But this barely scratches the surface. AWeber offers more integrations than almost any email marketing solution I’ve come across. More than 750 of them.
What’s the big deal about integrations? There are two big advantages.
First, they mean you can link apps you already use for marketing. This opens all sorts of doors. Adding and managing contacts from your CRM. Connecting eCommerce platforms to AWeber. Putting forms on your WordPress or Squarespace site without having to code.
Second, integrations mean you can do more with AWeber. AWeber’s email and form builders are fine. But maybe you want more. AWeber connects with dozens of purpose-built form and survey apps. Same with drag and drop email and landing page builders.
Other options include:
If the 750 integrations aren’t enough for you, connect AWeber to Zapier. This will open doors for 4000+ apps.
AWeber Customer Support
AWeber’s support is excellent. It’s not common for email marketing providers to offer both live web chat and telephone support. But that’s what AWeber does.
There are four support options in total. As well as live chat and telephone support, there is an online knowledgebase and email support.
The Live Chat feature is available 24/7. The Help Desk is open for calls for 12 hours a day, 8am to 8pm US Eastern Time. I like that AWeber publishes an international number to call.
The knowledge base is well stocked with hundreds of how-to articles and guides. They are sorted into 18 categories for quick browsing and there is a search tool.
It doesn’t get much better than that. Especially on their free plan. You have options to resolve issues your way. Some people hate having to call a helpline much prefer using a knowledge base. But if you need an issue resolved quickly, live chat and phone support gives you peace of mind.
If you’re moving from another email marketing tool to AWeber, they offer a free migration service.
AWeber Pricing and Plans
AWeber has four pricing plans. On paid plans, you get unlimited emails, and AWeber prices depend on how many subscribers you have.
The Free version is perfect to get started and test the platform. There’s a 500 contact limit and you can send up to 3,000 emails a month. You also get live chat and email support.
The Lite plan starts at as little as $14.99/month for up to 500 contacts. You can get it at a reduced price of $12.50 if you pay for a year upfront. You get access to unlimited email sends, landing pages, email automation, and AWeber ecommerce tools.
The Plus plan removes AWeber branding and includes unlimited email lists, landing pages and email automations. You also get free migration, advanced reporting and analytics at a price of $20 monthly (billed annually) for 500 subscribers.
The Unlimited Plan is great for companies with larger contact lists. It costs $899/month for unlimited subscribers, email sends, lists, landing pages, automation, users, and segments. The plan offers you personalized account management, advanced landing page features, access to the full template library, sales tracking and low transaction fees.It’s worth signing up for a whole year or quarter after the free plan isn’t enough for you anymore. Get 19% off your yearly plan if you sign up here.
AWeber Review Wrap-Up: Is it the Right Newsletter Service For You?
Thank you for reading this far! Hopefully, this in-depth AWeber review has given you all the information you need to make your decision.
Just to recap my thoughts. AWeber is a solid email marketing platform for solopreneurs and small businesses. Most of their customers are:
- Personal Development Trainers
- Professional/Business Consultants
- Spiritual, Wellness, and Lifestyle Coaches
- Artists & Creators (Photography, Crafts, Musicians, Authors, Podcasters, etc.)
- Fitness Instructors
- Affiliate Marketers
- Marketing Agencies
It’s easy to use, affordable and has some great features for creating high-quality emails. Here’s how I score it:
Ease of Use: 4.25 / 5
Value for Money: 4.5 / 5
Editor and templates: 3.5 / 5
Functionalities: 4 / 5
Email Autoresponders: 3.5 / 5
Customer service: 4.5 / 5
Total score: 4 / 5
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
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Who should use AWeber?
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Does AWeber cost money?
How do you create a landing page in AWeber?
How do you make money with AWeber?
Where is AWeber based?
How many customers does AWeber have?
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GetResponse has a reputation for offering powerful email marketing tools. But there’s not a lot to choose between its cheapest plans and AWeber. The GetResponse Email Marketing plan costs higher than the AWeber Lite plan with similar features.
Both platforms offer a free tier and again the tools you get are very alike. On both platforms, their free plan allows you to build one landing page. AWeber’s Free plan also includes eCommerce tools and low transaction fees. You have to pay for GetResponse’s Professional plan to get this.
Whether you choose AWeber or GetResponse probably depends on how many advanced features you want. GetResponse has some of the best marketing automation tools around. But you have to pay more for them. Same for contact scoring, sales funnels and advanced segmentation. All of these only become available on the Marketing Automation plan, which is almost double the price of AWeber’s Plus plan.
MailerLite is a budget-friendly AWeber alternative. Its paid-for plans start at almost half the cost of AWeber’s Lite plan, and you get more contacts. Its Free plan is also very generous. You can have up to 1,000 contacts compared to AWeber’s 500. And you can send up to 12,000 emails a month, compared to 3,000 in AWeber.
But MailerLite doesn’t give you any email templates on its Free plan. AWeber gives you access to its basic templates. This makes creating email campaigns much easier, especially if you are a beginner.
Like AWeber, Brevo has a very generous Free plan. How do they compare? Brevo’s Free tier is tough to beat. You can have as many contacts as you like. The segmentation tools are excellent. The automation options are better than those on AWeber’s paid plan, including a user-friendly workflow editor.
But unlike AWeber, Brevo doesn’t let you build landing pages on its free plan. In fact, you have to pay over $50 a month to create landing pages in Brevo. Even then you only get five. Aweber allows you to build one landing page on its free plan. AWeber is the cheaper service overall. Its Lite plan is almost half the price of Brevo’s Starter plan.
AWeber vs ConvertKit is a difficult call to make. They both fall into the category of “no-frills” email marketing. Which is to say, they focus on doing the basics well, and at an affordable price. They both have free plans that lets you send broadcasts to a limited number of contacts and both support ecommerce. The cheapest paid tiers are similar in price. But ConvertKit scales up with a more expensive, more advanced tier.
Each service has one obvious strength compared to the other. ConvertKit is much better for automation. Its visual workflow editor is much better than AWeber’s campaign builder. It’s easy to use and gives you a lot more flexibility. You can automate entire sales funnels in it.
But ConvertKit isn’t great for building emails – the bread and butter of email marketing. There are only eight templates compared to AWeber’s 600-plus and the customization options are limited.