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Aweber Email Marketing Review: Is it right for your blog?
As a blogger, there are all kinds of marketing trends you can get lost in. One of the most effective and time-tested methods is growing an email list.
Naturally, you have dozens of different email marketing tools to choose from. In this post, we take a look at one of the most popular email tools, AWeber.
Below you’ll learn about the ins and outs of AWeber, so you can decide if it’s the right email marketing provider for your blog.
AWeber has been in business since 1998. Founded by Tom Kulzer, it now has more than 120,000 users. In terms of popularity, it’s one of the most commonly used email marketing providers.
The core functionality of AWeber is based upon its autoresponder setup. Whenever someone subscribes to your blog you can automatically send them what’s called a “welcome” series of initial emails.
How Easy Is It to Use?
It’s quite easy to get started with AWeber. Once you create your account you’ll be greeted with a welcome video that will walk you through the basics of getting your account set up, creating your first email list, and creating your first confirmation email your subscribers will receive once they join your list.
The home dashboard is pretty easy to navigate and is quite intuitive. On the home dashboard, you’ll have access to several different tabs, which will allow you to manage your subscribers, create messages, create signup forms, and view subscriber and email reports.
The Core Features
As a blogger, the core features you’ll want in an email autoresponder are the ability to send emails to your list and create automated messages to new subscribers. There are other handy features, but when you’re first getting started these will be of the utmost importance.
AWeber offers a slew of other features such as list segmentation, automation rules, split testing, and advanced integration options as well. But, to keep this concise we’ll focus on the must-use features that benefit new site owners.
Email Message Types
AWeber offers a few different methods for creating email marketing messages. You can create a legacy follow-up series, broadcasts, blog broadcasts, and campaigns.
Below you’ll learn what each of these message types entails and when you’ll want to use them.
1. Legacy Follow-Up
The legacy follow-up series is an autoresponder. This is a fundamental part of building a relationship with your list. With this message type, you’ll create a series of emails your subscriber receives once they join your list. (Research by Experian and many other firms, shows that a “welcome series” –as these campaigns are commonly called — typically receives substantially higher open and click-through than other email campaign types.)
Broadcasts are one-off messages you send to your list. These are useful when you want to alert your list that a new blog post is live, you’re running a webinar, or you just want to reach out and ask a question.
3. Blog Broadcasts
Blog broadcasts are a little outdated, but some bloggers might find this feature useful. This message type uses your RSS feed to deliver new blog posts to your reader’s email inboxes. RSS is on the way out, but some people still might find this feature valuable.
Campaigns is a new messaging feature. This allows you to create an manage multiple different autoresponder series going out to your list. This is geared towards more advanced level users who are running a variety of email series (e.g., an email course, sales campaigns, etc.)
Creating Email Messages
Once you’ve decided which type of message you want to send it’s time to compose your message. You’ll have three different ways of creating your message, which we will dig into below.
1. Using Templates
AWeber currently boasts one of the largest sets of email newsletter templates out there, with over 700 different templates to choose from. Some of the design choices look dated, but with the vast selection, you’ll be able to find something that works for you. The templates are drag-and-drop, so you’ll be able to easily add or remove templates elements to your liking.
One thing you may also find limiting is the amount of styling you can do with your fonts. AWeber limits the use of web fonts, so you’ll be stuck using traditional fonts throughout your emails. Some users might not mind this, but if you’re trying to use consistent fonts across your emails and website, then you may have difficulty doing that.
2. Plain Text
If you can’t decide which template to use, then you can always go with the plain-text option. Plain text often converts higher than template heavy emails, and they’re much easier to create. Plain text messages don’t allow you to embed links or other media, but you can include the full URL in your message.
3. Custom Design
The final option is using the WYSIWYG editor to create your message. This is similar to using your WordPress post editor to create a post. You’ll have the ability to add links, format your text, and even embed photos into your email. If you’re HTML savvy, then you’ll be able to do extensive customization by clicking on the HTML tab.
Sign Up Forms
This tool offers hundreds of different signup form templates. Plus, they’re all responsive and will look good across all mobile devices. Just select the form that matches the design of your site, customize it to your liking, and add it to your site.
If you’re using WordPress, then you can install the AWeber Web Form Plugin, which will simplify the process.
If you don’t want to use the plugin above, then you can copy and paste the form’s HTML code wherever you want your form to appear.
Managing Your List
AWeber lets you manage your email subscribers in the form of lists. You can create as many email lists as you like, and your readers can subscribe to multiple email lists on the same account.
You can also segment your lists based upon subscriber activity like emails opened, links clicked, and more. Plus, you can use traditional segmentation options as well, like gender, age, birthdays, and more. For large blogs covering a variety of topics, it may make sense to let subscribers sign up for updates based on the topic(s) they’re most interested in.
Creating segments isn’t as intuitive as the rest of the tool, but it is possible and is a feature that beginners bloggers might not need to use very often. As you advance in your digital marketing knowledge, segmentation will be something you’ll want to explore as it allows you to better market to individuals based on their behavior, intent, and interests.
What Type of Blogger Should Use AWeber?
AWeber is geared towards intermediate-level bloggers and website owners. The tool is simple enough for beginners, but the price point and access to high-level features bump the tool up a notch.
With this tool, you can easily manage your list and keep in touch, while using advanced features like list segmentation. You can run multiple automation campaigns to maximize the value from your list. The tiered pricing tiers also enable your business and list to scale without any stops in service.
Who Should Stay Away From AWeber?
If you’re a solo blogger, with a small list, then you might find Aweber a little high-priced. Most bloggers who are just starting out don’t need a ton of the complex features offered here.
The simplicity of the tool might be attractive to those just starting out, but the price point might be a little steep. There are cheaper options out there on the market that allow you to collect emails, create autoresponder messages, and send emails to your list.
Overall, it’s no surprise that AWeber remains one of the most popular email marketing tools on the market. It’s intuitive and packed with features to help you easily manage your email list and get in touch with your subscribers.
For beginners bloggers, the tool might be little expensive. But, intermediate-level bloggers and website owners who will utilize the advanced-level features are a solid fit for this tool. Finally, Aweber shines in its ability to grow with your business. It’s pricing tiers and advanced features will easily support you as your business and email list grows.
Plus, if you don’t want to put money on the line just yet, you can take advantage of their 30-day free trial to see if it’s the right fit for your business.