First Impressions

Before starting my blog, I played around with sending mass emails through self-hosted email marketing software. The experience of using this software was very different from the double opt-in, inbound marketing I’m running right now. Although the goal is the same: increasing sales, my mindset has changed.

At first, I read in digital marketing forums the following phrase often: “The money is on the list.” I also acquainted myself with some email service providers (ESPs) and some of the marketers’ problems with their daily business.

It wasn’t until I paid for a product that I understood the power of inbound email marketing. This course taught me how an email service like Aweber could be part of a funnel and key to an online business and blog.

My experiences with the product

After careful research, I decided to use Aweber for this online business, Eagle Blogging. Why did I do this? First, it had all the features I was looking for:

  • List creation
  • Sign up forms
  • Option to send HTML or Text-based emails
  • Email automation
  • Tagging subscribers
  • Dynamic content
  • Simple message analytics

That’s it. That’s all I need. If you check Aweber’s pricing page, you can read many other features. For setting up my blogging business, the list is all I need. Maybe in the future, or for different ventures, I’ll need other specs. In the meantime, I’m more than happy to have a working, and extensible, funnel at a great price.

When I began researching, few competitors offered what Aweber offered. There was a problem. I didn’t know how long it would take me to dedicate more time to my blogging pursuits. I thought paying a monthly subscription until I could afford more time was a waste. When Aweber switched from offering a one-month trial to a free tier, I made up my mind immediately because it seemed fair that until I began monetizing my business, I could start to pay for a Pro plan.

That’s not the whole story. Part of my motivation was to begin my blogging business. As I acted, I realized I could not only sell my eBook but also profit significantly from selling affiliate products. Unfortunately, the word is on the street that many email service provider vendors are unhappy with users adding affiliate links to their emails.

I believe everyone should be free to choose the best course of action they deem beneficial. Aweber is more than happy to accommodate their services to your business model. If you want to sell your products, you can do it; if you want to sell products from other companies, you’re also free to do so.

Pros and Cons

Pro:

  • You can set up landing pages inside the tool
  • Web Push notifications are a fantastic way to communicate with your audience
  • Build emails with the drag & drop tool
  • Lots of templates to choose from
  • Sign-up forms are critical to building your funnels
  • Sell products
  • Free Migration

Cons:

  • The free tier has a 500-subscriber limit
  • The free plan doesn’t allow saving and sending to custom segments
  • More modern and advanced capabilities may be missing
  • It’s not the cheapest option

Who is Aweber aimed at?

Aweber is a leader in the autoresponder market. This email marketing tool allows you to create an email list and populate it with information. It suits companies and individuals who want to develop and manage a law-compliant email list. Bloggers, entrepreneurs, businesses of all sizes, creators, and managers of content marketing campaigns benefit from Aweber’s offer.

According to Enlyft, a large portion of companies using Aweber is located in the USA, in the marketing and advertising industry, also in the health, fitness & wellness industries, professional training, coaching, internet, computer software, retail, financial services, education management, among other categories.

See also  Things You Should Know About Inbound Marketing

Quality

You can expect reliability. It’s hard to believe that Aweber has served the public since the late ’90s. You can find that they have had a long time to polish their offer. There is an evident truth regarding American software: it just works.

My experience has been positive. The admin section has worked every single time I logged in. When it comes to campaigns, my emails have been delivered without exception. With a bit of training, you will find most features are intuitive. Although vendors use different terminology, Aweber email software is easy to use. Even if you haven’t used another email software, you’ll find yourself comfortable with it.

User-friendliness

When it comes to user-friendliness, it’s all relative. If you’ve used another email newsletter software, you will quickly find your way through the interface. However, if you are new to the mighty world of email marketing, Aweber provides a series of welcome emails where you can get up to speed quickly.

The interface is where you will find yourself spending most of your time. With practice, you will click through menus as second nature. When you log in to Aweber, your dashboard provides an overview of your subscribers and sales.

You then can handle everything related to messages in the Messages subsection. Then everything about Subscribers. After subscribers, you will find the menu for Landing Pages. After landing pages, you’ll see the List Options. Next is Web Push, then reports. Finally, in the menu, you can see Integrations and Help.

If the welcome email series and the help menu aren’t enough, and if you use Google or YouTube, you can search for tutorials and up-to-date information about anything you want to do with your Aweber account. Chances are, someone else has had this problem, has solved it, and has documented it in text or video.

Potential pain points

Not everything is easy, especially at first. It may be challenging to wrap your mind around how to use email tools when you’re just beginning. Some guidance and experimentation may be necessary to get the most out of Aweber.

If you’re using the free tier, you won’t have access to every tool you would have if you had a Pro account, but the free tools may be just enough to get you started. The feature you’ll miss the most is Save and Send to Custom Segments.

Also, if your business is mature or you have an extensive list, you will find that Aweber is slowly but surely adding new essential features that you may find in the competition.

Alternatives

Before choosing Aweber, I made a list detailing the features of many tools created by competing companies when it comes to the competition. You’ll find a list of strong contenders next:

  • Mailchimp
  • Active Campaign
  • Kartra
  • Keap (formerly InfusionSoft)
  • ConverKit
  • GetResponse
  • Sendlane
  • Clickfunnels
  • Mailer Lite

Conclusion

If you’re just beginning your blogging adventure for yourself, your company, or a customer, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better option than Aweber. However, if you’re just like me and like to have your options open, including how you monetize your business. Then, a service provider in the email field should not only allow you but should encourage you to do what’s best for your business.

The free tier allows you to run your business with a tight budget and will enable you to migrate to a Pro tier once you’re monetizing your website or when it reaches a specific size. This flexibility can be a no-brainer if you’re planning to succeed by providing you with a budget-conscious tool and access to one of the best tools on the market.