If you’re not building a list, using Aweber, or another email marketing platform, then you really are leaving bags full of cash on the table. I’m sure you’ve heard that over and over again, but it’s true, I know from experience. A mailing list is not just an important marketing tool, if you do it right, build and maintain a responsive mailing list, you have the security of a reliable, residual source of income, no matter what happens to the ability of your website to attract new visitors.
I started email marketing back years back, I can’t even quite remember when but it was something like 14 or 15 years ago. I can’t remember the name of the first email marketing tool I used, It was one that I used for managing my affiliates too, as I had an affiliate program at the time for promoting an ebook I’d created. I remember it was a bit of a pain to use, it was limited, but it was quite a while ago to be fair.
Then, I heard about this relatively new (at the time) email marketing platform called Aweber. The affiliate marketers at the time were starting to rave about it, so I signed up to Aweber, and I’ve used it ever since, both for my own website and for clients.
I’ve used Aweber for a long time, so I think I’m well qualified to review it. I am an affiliate of course, I’ve been an affiliate of Aweber for years, but this doesn’t make me biased, this is a completely honest review.
I’ve decided to give them marks out of 10 for various elements, so you can decide whether Aweber is for you based on what are the most important elements for you.
Aweber is packed full of really good, useful features, and they’re bot gimmicks, they’re things which make our lives easier as web marketers.
- Autoresponders (really easy to use).
- Individual broadcasts (a monkey could do this, really easy)
- HTML Email Templates (loads of them, about 400)
- Sign up forms (with lots of templates to choose from, and simple to code your own)
- Drag and Drop Editor (although it can be slightly fiddly)
- Subscriber Management (fairly easy to use)
- Subsciber Segmenting (again this is easy to use)
- Analytics (I really like this, very easy to see how well, or not, my emails are doing)
- Manual upload (as long as you’re uploading genuine lists that you have built yourself, and you’re not trying to import a spammy or old list full of email addresses at domains which no longer exist, then uploading subscribers is easy.
They would get 10/10 from me if they just made their drag and drop email builder a little bit less fiddly. I’m used to it, but I occasionally get calls and emails from clients telling me they’re struggling to use the drag and drop when it comes to adding and adjust emails, and I know what they mean, it’s a bit fiddly, not the best from the user experience perspective. I prefer Mailchimp’s email creator.
Transparency of costs: 5/10
There is one thing I don’t like about Aweber, one thing that I think is really bad actually, and that is that they’re actually quite dishonest, in my opinion, in their advertising of their charges.
They have always advertised that they charge you based on the number of subscribers.
According to that, it’s based on how many subscribers I have, right? Wrong…
One thing that many people rant about, and understandably so, is that despite Aweber always having advertised that you pay based on the number of subscribers, Aweber actually charge you based on the number of contacts you have, which includes subscribers, and contacts who were subscribers, but unsubscribed.
It’s not that I disagree with the fact that this is the way they charge, they have their reasons for this, to do with the fact that users may not want unsubscribers to be automatically deleted as they then won’t feature in reporting.
I do disagree with the fact that they don’t make this completely obvious, so that users understand that they need to be deleting unsubs as they occur or they’ll be paying for them.
They do make it very easy to delete unsubscribers, they just don’t make it obvious that not doing so might keep me in a higher price bracket.
Sign up forms: 10/10
The signup forms on Aweber are brilliant, there are lots of really good looking forms to choose from, they’re really easy to use.
Customer support: 9/10
I’ve not had to use customer support all that often, but whenever I have I’ve always had the problem resolved quickly and professionally.
I can only mark Aweber on price based on other options, and they’re quite competitive in the market.
Their pricing is based on the size of your list, and not on how many emails you send.
$19 per month, for up to 500 subscribers.
$29 per month, from 501 to 2,500.
$49 per month, from 2,501 to 5,000.
$69 per month, from 5,001 to 10,000.
$149 per month, from 10,001 to 25,000.
This pricing is similar to the alternatives. For me, the main alternative to Aweber is Mailchimp (I use mailchimp too) and they’re priced almost the same. There are cheaper alternatives including Getresponse which is slightly cheaper, Campaigner which is also slightly cheaper, and Mad Mimi which is a lot cheaper, and there are more pricey options including Campaign Monitor, iContact & Drip.
It’s really easy to use the reports, and I can easily see how effective my email marketing is.
Folks, if you’re not segmenting your lists, you’re missing out. Segmenting is possibly the best discovery ever in email marketing, and if you use it you’re likely to see better results from your email marketing. Aweber make segmenting easy. There are many ways you can segment your lists, but one great way is to go straight to the report for your broadcast, and segment it based on those who opened, and send them a follow up.
You can also select to view all the subscribers who clicked a link in the email, and if you have multiple links in the email it will show you who clicked on each link, and allow you to very easily segment and email the people who clicked each link. This is hugely powerful!
Lets say you have links in the email to three different products or services, or to pages which would qualify the person who clicked on that link as being potentially interested in a particular product or service? You can then create a segment, really easily, for your subscribers who are interested in that particular subject, and watch your open rates and conversion rates soar!
Ease of sign up: 10/10
It’s really easy to sign up to Aweber, and quick. I know that because I’ve signed many of my clients up over the years, and there’s little to it. Time is precious, and you’re not going to have to waste much of it signing up. They currently have a FREE TRIAL too, so you can try it out without even paying the $1 that they used to ask for.
Not yet using email marketing?
I can honestly tell you, from my own experience, and the experience of some of my clients, that if you’re not using email marketing now, and you start doing so, you could see a real increase in your business as a result.
Here’s the thing. Straight conversion from web site visit to new customer, is shockingly low on average. Depending on the niche and the business model etc., the conversion rate could be as low as 0.1%, meaning that you’d need around a thousand people landing on your website to land one new customer!
OK this is on the low side, searchengineland report an average conversion rate of 1.84% for ecommerce sites, 2.23 for business to business websites, 2.07% for legal related websites, 5.01% for finance, and an average overall of 2.35%.
So if you’re achieving just above the average, at 2.5% that means that of every 100 visits to your page, 75 of them don’t convert. How do you know if those 75 potential customers will ever come back? Basically most websites that don’t use email marketing and re-marketing, are potentially losing huge amounts of business by just allowing potential customers to wander off without establishing some form of relationship.
Average mailing list sign ups are far, far higher than average sales conversion rates, so you stand a much better chance of getting a visitor to convert to a subscriber than you do of hoping to get them to convert into a sale. Once you’ve signed them up to your list, you have the chance to convert them into customers over time, as it’s just human nature that most people need time and repetition before making a decision.
Think about when you take the plunge and buy a product or a service. Do you do it on the first website you land on, or do you start off thinking about it and doing a bit of research, and then make the decision after going back to it several times?
Most of us go through a process from the first idea of purchasing a product or service, before we make the transaction, and this process can involve days or weeks, and lots of web browsing. If we allow people who aren’t at the buying stage when they land on our website to just click off, we’re only ever going to do business with those on our website that happen to be ready to buy.
If, however, we use email marketing to capture the details of the potential customer, we can then put them into an autoresponder series to ensure that they’re thinking of our website as they’re moving along from tyre kicker to buyer, and we can also use segmenting to watch for buying signals and move them into appropriate segments when it looks like they’re ready to convert.
So in my opinion, all websites should take advantage of the power of email marketing, and if they’re not, there is a lot of business being left on the table for your competitors.
Click here for the Aweber free trial.
Thanks for reading,