Do you ever feel overwhelmed by trying to keep up with the fast pace of internet marketing? Maybe you don't even know where to start. These days, it feels like there are a million marketing channels, advice coming from all directions, and no easy instructions on how to make marketing work for you.
Aweber is an email marketing software designed for people who don't understand email marketing. That is to say, the interface can help you design email campaigns and an automation system to engage your current subscribers - even if you don't understand what an email campaign is supposed to do.
The biggest selling point of the program is its ease of use. In addition to having intuitive interfaces and easy-to-follow manuals, there are multiple support features available to help consumers understand how to use the different tools.
It's affordably priced, making it a good choice for those who aren't sure whether their campaigns will be successful enough to warrant investment. Despite the moderate pricing, it also has the same basic features you'd expect to find in a more expensive model.
I've taken a look at the program and broken down how it works, what it features, and who it works best for.
- 1Emails can be customized using hundreds of templates and an intuitive drag-and-drop interface for your content.
- 2The program comes with over 6,000 free stock images, plus the ability to upload your own images.
- 3Emails can be targeted and personalized based on user data like who read your last email and who didn't.
- 4The data and analytics software gives you statistics regarding your customer engagement levels that are easy to interpret even if you don't have a marketing background.
- 5The email marketing process can be automated with specific autoresponder follow-ups based on consumer actions.
- 6You can split test emails to determine which have larger consumer engagement rates.
- 7The program can be integrated with third party analytics and marketing software.
- 8Customer support is available through live chat and email 24/7, and available by phone 12 hours a day on weekdays.
Aweber has among the largest selection of email templates on the market. Most competing automation programs have a few dozen, with some boasting more than a hundred. By comparison, Aweber has more than a whopping 700 designs available. That means that finding a style you can customize for your newsletter should be simple.
It's possible to code your own template as well. You can import your HTML and customize your content from there. Aweber's programming will still manage the mailing list and automation parts of your marketing.
Every email template is responsive, so it adjusts to display correctly on mobile and computer devices. The interface allows you to preview the ways that designs will display on phones and laptops alike. You can also send test emails so that you can double-check the display on different-sized phone and tablet screens.
Certain web fonts are also compatible with Aweber, which is a fairly unique feature. Most of the competing programs only allow standard fonts. The web fonts are made to display on screens instead of on printed paper, and they tend to be more aesthetically pleasing than traditional fonts.
Web fonts compatible with Aweber include:
If your website has an RSS feed, you can integrate it with the Aweber marketing program to send it to your subscribers as e-newsletters. Basically, this allows you to send unique blog content directly to your consumer inboxes, rather than waiting for them to view it on your website.
This works well for bloggers and businesses with supplemental blogs. It lets you send automatic information regarding your latest blog posts. If you frequently update your website with new content, you can populate your newsletters exclusively with that content and save yourself time creating newsletter information.
Rather than using typical template designs, RSS feed integrations are translated to newsletter form by using specialized templates. These can be customized, but it's sometimes a little difficult to do so because the interface isn't super user-friendly.
According to Aweber, the company pioneered autoresponder technology in 1998. This technology allows your business to send automated emails to subscribers based on their interactions with your content.
The strongest feature of the autoresponder is the ability to create follow-up emails based on time intervals. For example, a person might receive a welcome email upon signup, followed by a discount a week later. Doing this through Aweber's software is extremely easy if you're a beginner.
There are fewer trigger options for autoresponder software than you'll find with other email automation products, though. For example, you can't personalize the emails as extensively based on past user purchases or abandoned shopping carts.
Aweber does allow you to combine different automation rules to allow for some degree of personalization. But to get extremely complex personalization features, an email marketing solution more geared toward automation is a better bet.
AMP for Email
AMP for email is a technology not seen in most email marketing programs. The goal of the technology is to make email newsletters interactive, rather than sending static images and text.
With AMP tools, email recipients can apply simple actions inside the email itself. They can make appointments or RSVP to invitations without needing to click on links or exit their email program.
In addition, the technology lets you insert updating content into the email. You can give live statistics, updated sports scores, weather updates, and other information.
Since AMP emails can contain constantly-changing content, users have a reason to open them more than once. It also allows the emails to hold a person's attention and sit in their memory more effectively than a static design.
Choice of Opt-In
There are two main ways that you can add users to a subscriber list. One is by having them added to the mailing list as soon as they've completed the initial form. The other is to have them click a confirmation link in their email.
You can choose from either of these processes with Aweber. Each has different appeals. For example, a single form generates more leads, but a confirmation form ensures that your emails only reach active inboxes.
Split testing is a process by which you send slightly different versions of the same email to determine which gets the most user engagement. This helps you tailor your emails for higher conversion rates.
Aweber allows you to split test three variations at a time. Most competing services have three or fewer; Getresponse is the only mainstream market option that allows you to test up to five variants.
It's also easy to monitor the performance of your split tests, since the Aweber interface provides real-time updates on your data.
Aweber keeps track of a number of different reporting and analysis factors.
This is a moderately comprehensive list of features, especially for a program that's so easy to use. One potential drawback is that you do have to toggle between tabs to compare information. Getresponse, on the other hand, lets you view the performance of different newsletters side-by-side.
Pros and Cons
Overall, this is one of the top email automation systems I'd recommend for small business owners who are new to email marketing. It's affordable enough to offer good return-on-investment, and the support features mean that you can get the most of your experience even if you're not sure where to start.
The automation features do tend to be a bit simplistic. For this reason, this may not be the best tool for businesses with larger and more complex email marketing. If you're an e-commerce website that wants to target consumers based on their shopping carts or recent purchases, another option might be the best.
But for those who want access to data and analytics, split testing, easy-to-use automation, and customizable email templates that work, Aweber is a software that will let you build your email marketing solutions from the ground up.