Small Business Email Marketing Solutions

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Best Choice Products Review – AWeber

 

Product Name: AWeber Email Marketing
Price: $19.00 per month, $49 per quarter, $149 per year – for up to 500 contacts
Owners: Tom Kulzer, CEO and Founder
Website: http://www.aweber.com

Introduction

To help the growth of your online business you should include small business email marketing solutions as one of your business tools. There are many email marketing tools out there that can be very useful. In this review I am concentrating on AWeber.

AWeber has been around since August 1998. AWeber was the first to develop email auto responders. As of January 2014, they had 120,000 customers. The company consists of about 100 people, but is steadily growing. They say they know their customers’ names, but that is very hard to believe with 120,000 customers!

Who benefits from the product?

AWeber is for any business owner who wants to grow their business by communicating better with their current and potential customers to gained increased profits for their business. By providing you with an email marketing service they can help you build better relationships with your customers that will result in better conversion rates for first-time customers and then turn them into loyal customers.

AWeber is a good program for all online business owners, beginners, intermediate or advanced. I would suggest though that beginners not jump into any email marketing programs until they have built their website and are getting traffic. Why pay monthly fees for months you are not in a position to benefit from all that the program offers.

Features

I recommend that whatever auto responder you choose, take the necessary time to learn how it works. A lot of people may tell you that it is easy to increase your revenue with an email list. However, it can be difficult to build an email list. There is a learning curve and it takes time to master it. Select an email auto responder that has a good reputation because that will give your business a more professional appearance.

The most important thing is to make your decision considering which auto responder will best meet your needs. Choose one that you can count on being there when you need it most. See for yourself if AWeber can meet those needs.

AWeber allows you to:

• Send a series of messages automatically to customers and potential customers.
• Able to send newsletters, coupons special offers and more via email to many customers at the same time (broadcasting).
• Provides a form tool that you can add to your website for visitors to sign up for AWeber
• Will send out emails to let your customers know about new articles you have posted.
• You have the option to talk with live email experts that can help you set up your email campaign to get the best results.

The Pros and Cons of AWeber

Pros:

• Cost of plans are low
• Vast reporting capabilities
• Excellent Help materials
• Unlimited emails
• Delivery emails to a list is consistent and timely
• Great customer service
• Easy to use templates
• Free inline training
• Drag and Drop email builders
• Removed the requirement of double opt-in for email lists to be imported
• Don’t have to join to have access to the training

Cons:

• Unable to import Gmail or other third party address books
• Same contact stored in two different lists counts as 2 contacts
• There are no free plans
• Importing requires a long time
• Beginners may find it a little over whelming at first.
• Difficult to send email to a list from mobile phone.
• No warning when you get close to hitting the contact number of your plan

If you are looking for email marketing without much commotion, then you will probably be satisfied using AWeber. It allows you stretch to be able to handle contacts and customize email templates and much more.

Training/Tools Overview

 

AWeber maintains a Knowledge Base that provides answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). They use video tutorials to train customers step-by-step how to use the auto responder system. They also provide free live webinars that teach the ins and outs of email marketing.

The live webinars are not only available to their customers, but also to anyone who would like to find out about AWeber. If you are not able to attend a webinar that you are really interested in, AWeber allows you to sign up and they will send you the link to the recorded webinar session.

These are some of the webinar training sessions they have scheduled.

I was also able to click on the training videos to watch them even before I joined. I went through several of the training videos. The categories of training are excellent topics and they cover a variety of information.

Initially, I felt that the videos were being rushed. Many of the training videos are less than 2 minutes. I viewed one that was actually only 27 seconds! I thought my goodness, how in the world can they teach anything in only 27 seconds? But, as I went through some of the video training sessions, I found that they were actually able to go through the training in only a couple of minutes. For me, I digest things a little slower so I usually had to review the training 2 or three times with some of them. But even so, it still only took less than ten minutes!

When I think about it, sometimes it only takes a few minutes to teach something. How many times have you sat through some training for 30, 45, or 60 minutes and after it was over you thought that whatever was said could have been said in half the time? I know I’ve been there.

These are the video training categories they provide training in.

AWeber has a good amount of training to help you learn to use the software. Every field that requires information has a link that opens to relevant “help” information. The training is well organized and easy to access.

Support

 

AWeber offers support from their email marketing experts 7 days a week. You will be able to get live customer support via the phone or text chat support only during regular business hours (Monday – Friday from 8AM to 8PM EST, Saturday and Sunday from 9AM to 5PM EST.) They also offer toll free phone support in the United States. That will help if you need lengthy technical support calls.

If you are one of those people who work at all hours like me, you will be out of luck if you run into a problem at 2 in the morning!

Pricing

 

AWeber offers five different plans:

AWeber Monthly Prices

Courtesy of AWeber Communications–http://www.aweber.com/pricing.htm)

 

There is an $8 discount if you pay for three months up front and a $34 discount if you pay for the entire year up front.

For contacts larger than 25,000, you must get a quote from AWeber to obtain specific requirements. You will be required to fill out a form with all of your pertinent information and tick the appropriate selection for the number of contacts you would have. It appears they also want you to select or identify the email resource tool you are currently using. They do provide a button that will allow you to speak with one of their expert consultants.

AWeber offers a free 30-day trial period (for 500 contacts or less), but you will be required to submit your credit card information to get it. If you decide you don’t want the service, they will offer a 30-day full refund.

I wouldn’t say there are any membership levels per se, but there are levels of payment subscriptions as mentioned above. There are different levels of contact volume.

Up-Sells

 

Right after you join, AWeber tries to up-sell a guide about ways to build your lists for $29. Also, without giving you any advanced notice, if you go over your plan’s limited contact number, AWeber will bill you for the next higher plan amount. For instance, if my plan is for 500 contacts and I have 550 contacts for that month, instead of being billed $19.00, I will be billed $29 for the month.

A Little Comparison

 

In my opinion there are several email auto responders that are pretty decent programs and I guess it really depends on your budget and what it is that is most important to you in a responder. There are some things I like better in AWeber and some things I like better in another auto responder such as MailChimp. Since there are way too many to compare them all I will use MailChimp as a comparison.

• AWeber used to have a better email tracking ability than that of MailChimp. In AWeber you are able to see who has opened your emails, the links the recipients clicked on and when they clicked on it. At one time, MailChimp couldn’t provide any of that information. Now, with the improvements that MailChimp has made, they are pretty much on a level playing field with AWeber in this category.

• AWeber offers live phone and live text chat support during business hours. MailChimp offers only email support, which means you will have at least a 24 hour turn around to get any response from them. For this reason people who run into problems and need immediate support tend to leave MailChimp.

• AWeber does a better job of tracking clicks within an email. When you use a link in an email that has tracking, AWeber shows the link using the exact URL from your domain. MailChimp uses some extremely long, difficult to understand link that they then redirect to your website. Customers don’t trust those kind of links and therefore, are timid to click on them. Using AWeber will result in more click throughs then MailChimp.

• In my opinion, AWeber has a much better email management system and tracking than MailChimp. Tracking is something that will have to be done on a regular basis and AWeber’s rate of email delivery is better as well.

Complaints

 

At the time of this writing, AWeber had an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). AWeber has been accredited with the BBB since 2008. In the last three years only 8 complaints have been made with the BBB. Notice that most of them have been about billing issues, not the actual services.

(Compliments of Better Business Bureau
http://www.bbb.org/washington-dc-eastern-pa/business-reviews/computers-hardware-software-and-services/a-weber-communications-in-chalfont-pa-80005835/)

 

There was only one complaint about service remaining on the BBB sight as 7 out of the 8 complaints were all resolved to the customer’s satisfaction. This one complaint was left because the customer rejected to accept the resolution provided by AWeber.

• A customer stopped using his account and complained that AWeber was continuing to deduct payments from his account that he did not authorize. The customer contended that since AWeber could see that he was not logging into his account and was not using the services, AWeber should have known that he no longer wished to continue his membership.

AWeber resolved the complaint by closing the customer’s account. However, AWeber denied refund because the customer never took any action to advise AWeber that he wanted the account cancelled until after the payment had been deducted from his account and he had agreed to recurring billing until he cancelled..

Although this was listed under the category of “products and services”, it is clearly about the billing issue. However, the problem came about because of user error by the customer failing to make request to AWeber to cancel his account. He complained after he was billed correctly.

Obviously, AWeber has a very good track record with the level of service that is provided to it’s customers.

Final Opinion/Verdict

 

The worse point I can see about AWeber is that the price is a little high for small businesses that have contacts of 2500 or less. It would be nice if you only had to pay for the functions that you initially needed and not the whole kitten caboodle!

Here are the pricing plans of a couple of other top rated email auto responders to compare AWeber’s price plan with.

MailChimp pricing is considerably lower. This pricing chart shows that the first 2,000 contacts and up to 12,000 emails per month is free for the start-up plan and the growth plan.

MailChimp PRICES

Courtesy of MailChimp–http://mailchimp.com/pricing/

 

GetResponse pricing is a little higher, but the allowed number of contacts is much larger than A Weber.

GetResponse PRICING

(Courtesy of GetResponse–https://secure.getresponse.com/pricing/details/en/

 

GetResponse only charges $15 per month for up to 1000 contacts and $25 for up to 2500 contacts.

There is also a small annoyance that could occur when you attempt to cancel your subscription. You have to make sure you are not only suspending your subscription instead of actually cancelling it.

 

Overall, I would highly recommend A Weber because your business will be able to expand with them. You start out with the easier functions and then can move on to more complex areas of use as your business expands.

 

Summary Overview:

Name: AWeber Communications (Email Auto Responder)

My Overall Ranking:  4.5 out of 5 Stars

Read Real Testimonies:Read Reviews

(Courtesy of AWeber Communications)

Verdict: [X] TOTALLY LEGITIMATE   [ ] SCAM

Recommendation: [X] Highly Recommended [ ] Recommended [ ] NOT Recommended

 

I would love to hear about your personal experience or brief assessment of AWeber Email Auto Responder.   If you still have any questions, please feel free to leave them below.

Please feel free to contact me if you need help with anything. Just make a comment below or you can always get in touch with me through wealthyaffiliate.com (here is a link to my profile).

 

Verna
Founder of Mom’s Trusted Affiliate

 

momstrustedaffiliate.com
email: verna@momstrustedaffiliate.com

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6 Comments

  1. Franklin

    Wow i really love your website! To be honest i am a beginner in the world of affiliate marketing but you gave me a idea. Once my website is mature and getting traffic i will definitely use Aweber email marketing.
    However, why did you prefer Aweber? Is there a much more better email marketing system? …i would like to know.
    Anyway, cheers and thanks for such a nice post.

    Reply
    1. Verna Mason (Post author)

      Hi Franklin,

      Thanks for the compliment on my website. I am in the process of making some changes though.

      MailChimp is another email service provider that runs neck and neck to AWeber. MailChimp has a free version that would be good for new online business owners, but unfortunately they prohibit affiliate marketers from using their email services. Here is my review of MailChimp

      Even though MailChimp has a great free version I wouldn’t risk using them just to get banned and have your email campaigns go ca-put on you. That is basically my only reason for not using MailChimp. It really unfortunate that they consider affiliate marketing in the same category as pornography! Affiliate marketing is a valid business. They should ask the advertisers that have the affiliate networks!

      AWeber is my next choice even though you have to pay for the service. It’s been a proven email service provider for quite some time and they are dependable. As you are new, I recommend that you wait until you get some decent traffic before getting a paid email service provider.

      You mentioned that I gave you some ideas. What were they?

      Thanks for taking the time to drop by. Let me know if you have any other questions I can help you with.

      Verna

      Reply
  2. Mark Grundy

    Excellent site here. Concise, to the point and offers a LOT of relevant information. The wording and layout is spot on too, not too hard to read etc.

    I would believe any mother searching to make money from home, would genuinely be interested in eWeber after reading your post.

    Cheers,

    Mark

    Reply
    1. Verna Mason (Post author)

      Thank you Mark. My site is aimed at providing information to really anyone who is interested in affiliate marketing as an online business, but my target audience is stay at home moms. So, I always try to provide enough information that they could use my site as a resource.

      I’m glad you were able to find that the information was valid and useful.

      Thanks for dropping by. Please stop by again anytime. Let me know if you have any questions that I can help you with.

      Verna

      Reply
  3. Roger Humbke

    Great information. Once I get traffic to my site I will be joining AWeber. Are you an AWeber affiliate and, if so, how do I join AWeber so that you get credit?

    Reply
    1. Verna Mason (Post author)

      Hi Roger,

      I’m glad you found the review useful. I will let you know about the other very soon.

      Check out some of my other articles to see if they can be of any help to you. I always try to write articles that will be helpful to new affiliate marketers to hopefully help them along the way.

      Thanks for dropping by. Hope to see you back again soon. Let me know if I can help you with anything.

      Cheers,

      Verna

      Reply

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