It's a Good Starter Service, but There Are Problems Long Term
April 16, 2014

It's a Good Starter Service, but There Are Problems Long Term

Ron Davis | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Modules Used

  • Broadcast Email
  • Autoresponders
  • API

Overall Satisfaction

I've used AWeber both to manage email lists for my own websites and implemented custom software for client websites. For my own sites, I installed web sign-up forms, created autoresponder series, and sent broadcast messages. As a consultant I have written custom code to move addresses between email lists and to synchronize AWeber email lists and other email providers via the AWeber API.
  • Getting started is easy. You can have an email list created and on your website in minutes.
  • Auto-responder series are easy and intuitive to set up.
  • They provide excellent support via their forums for their API.
  • AWeber's delivery rate is at the top of the industry.
  • Aweber has very specific rules for how you can add addresses to their email lists. This improves deliverability but can interfere with normal business practices.
  • You can do things via the API you can't via the web interface, like move a subscriber from one list to another.
  • AWeber has not way to "hibernate" your list. Pricing is strictly on how many people are on your lists, even if you aren't sending any emails. Therefore it is easy to get into a situation where you are paying for a higher tier of service than you are using because your total list size is big, but you only send to part of it.
  • Sadly I've spent hundreds of dollars on two dormant lists because I didn't want to lose the addresses but didn't have a call to send to them.
  • Clients have paid me hundreds of dollars to create solutions that use the API to get around limitations in the web interface. Specifically I've written scripts that run on another server as chron jobs which daily look at members of a list, see if they've reached a certain point in an autoresponder and then moved them to a different list.
  • AWeber was hacked in 2010 and my list was one of those stolen and used. This still causes my domain to be looked at badly by spam filters.
  • MailChimp,Infusionsoft
MailChimp is cheaper for small lists and for dormant lists you can pay per email sent to lower your costs, but it's auto-responders are harder to set up and understand.

InfusionSoft is the big daddy of the field and has extensive and powerful automation features, but you pay for that ability. It is an order a magnitude more expensive than AWeber. It also includes things you might not think are part of email list management, like shopping carts and extensive CRM tools.
In the last few days I've moved my own lists off AWeber to MailChimp and will cancel my account as soon as I'm sure things are working correctly on MailChimp. This is primarily because I've got two lists that together have over 2000 subscribers. That number moves me into the $50/mon price range, but I'm not sending any emails except autoresponder series to new subscribers. MailChimp is much cheaper for me there.

I'll still be doing API development for clients on AWeber and InfusionSoft, but won't be paying for AWeber myself any more.
When you are new and have no list, or a small list, it is great. It's the starter service. It works well for larger lists to, but the costs go up, so you'd better be generating income from those bigger lists. If you need to send emails based on what a user does in another email, there isn't any support for that.