In this complete, unbiased Aweber review, I’ll explain why I think this widely-used tool is the best email marketing product for eCommerce businesses or anyone who makes money selling products online.
If you read my guide to the top 5 best email marketing tools of 2023, you may recall how I talked about the fact that there’s really no such thing as a single best tool, only the best tool to suit you and your individual needs.
If you’re new to email marketing and making money online, for example, then a beginner-friendly tool like Constant Contact might be the perfect option.
At the same time, content creators and anyone looking to grow a successful blog may prefer Convertkit.
If you’re launching an online store, however, my years of experience in creating successful content marketing campaigns have convinced me that there’s no better tool than Aweber.
Let me explain why:
What is Aweber?
Aweber is an industry-leading email marketing tool and top-rated landing page builder which began life in 1998 as a software solution to help businesses automate their lead generation and customer support processes.
Twenty-four years and over 100,00 small business customers later, sales and marketing automation remains at the heart of Aweber’s core offer, making it possible to put large parts of your eCommerce operation on autopilot.
It’s worth mentioning that the world of digital marketing and online revenue generation has continued to evolve over the past quarter of a century.
Aweber, too, has expanded its list of key features (more of which we will discuss later). They have been able to fine-tune the way they operate best to meet the needs of small businesses and their customers.
Who is Aweber For?
Ultimately, Aweber is for anybody who wants an easier way to grow their audience, build brand loyalty, and, perhaps most importantly, increase sales.
Their generous free plan and scalable paid plans make them a perfect choice for small businesses on a budget. It is worth noting that their all-in-one sales and marketing approach makes them equally appealing for entrepreneurs and also for those who hate the hassle and headaches that come with logging into multiple different platforms to carry out tasks such as landing page creation, email marketing and managing eCommerce sales.
If there’s one thing I love most about Aweber, it’s that you can create an entire eCommerce business from one platform, creating a fully automated sales machine by using the following features:
1. Sign-Up Forms
Email marketing lies at the heart of what Aweber offers, helping you grow an audience and drive traffic to your content or eCommerce products.
The sign-up form templates are some of the most visually impressive I’ve seen on any email marketing tool, although, in contrast, the editor you use to customize them is one of the least intuitive.
2. Automated Campaigns
On the plus side, you can do much more with your sign-up forms than simply capture email addresses.
You can also add tags to your forms which can trigger any number of automated campaigns.
For example, when a new user signs up, it can trigger pre-written lessons from an email course to land in their inbox once a week or deliver a lead magnet such as an eBook.
What I like here is that there are several common automated campaigns already set up for you to customize, though if none of them quite suit your needs, you can start from scratch and create a unique automated campaign.
3. Email Creator
Whether you’re creating an automated course or sending out a weekly newsletter, you’ll want each message to look the part.
Aweber does a great job at providing you with multiple customizable templates, all of which are designed to a remarkably high standard.
Each template can be fully fine-tuned to match your branding and key message, with the drag-and-drop editor also allowing you to add dynamic features such as coupon codes and eCommerce products.
Once you’ve got the content and design down, those emails can be tested to ensure they look great and function perfectly on all devices. Then either sent as an email blast or integrated into your automated campaign.
Aweber may be an all-in-one service, but it still can’t do everything without a little help from other third-party platforms.
Fortunately, it works incredibly well with a wide variety of tools.
You could, for example, integrate with PayPal or Stripe to collect payments or sync your email campaign to Facebook. This will help you to draw your existing social media followers into your subscriber list.
The platform plays nicely with eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce, Shopify, and Etsy to help you generate more sales if you already have an online store with one of those services.
Along with all of the above, some of the countless Aweber integrations include:
- GrooveApps Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Gravity Forms
- Contact Form 7
- MemberPress WordPress membership site creator
- Ninja Popups for WordPress
- Online Sales Pro.
5. Landing Page Creation
If you don’t already have your own website, you can use Aweber to create a stunning landing page for your product or newsletter. It’s here where all of Aweber’s features start to come together.
Using a drag-and-drop editor, you could create a landing page that combines a basic sign-up form with eCommerce integrations. This helps to charge money for a digital download or online course sent directly to your customers’ inboxes.
In other words, once all your content is created, you can launch a completely automated money-making machine that only requires you to keep working on traffic generation to keep creating revenue.
Other Key Aweber Features
Set up a form, add it to a landing page, create an automated campaign and integrate it with an eCommerce tool.
All that alone is a recipe for success, but it’s not all that Aweber has to offer.
Elsewhere, you’ll also be able to make use of the following helpful features:
- Web Push Notifications
- Analytics and Reporting
- A/B split testing (Pro plan only)
- Subscriber management
- Email list options.
How Much Does Aweber Cost?
Aweber is an exciting company in terms of pricing. Their free plan is one of the best in the game, yet their pro plans are among some of the most expensive.
Aweber Free Plan
If you’re just getting started and have neither the need nor the desire to pay for a marketing platform like this one, you’ll love the free plan as it includes all the following at no cost:
- Up to 500 subscribers
- 3,000 email sends per month
- 1 x email list
- 1% transaction fees on eCommerce sales
- Collect and send messages to up to 50,000 Web Push Notification (WPN) subscribers monthly.
It also offers all the basic functionality described in the features section above, such as:
- Landing page creation with professionally-designed templates
- Buy and connect custom domains
- eCommerce features
- Sign-up forms
- Audience segmentation
- Basic subscriber and message analytics
- All standard eCommerce features
- Multiple integrations.
The only downside to this is that if you do use the free plan, everything you create will come with Aweber’s branding stamped on it.
OK, so that may not be the worst thing in the world, but if you’re serious about growing your online business, then isn’t it better to have your own branding attached to your emails, landing pages, and eCommerce store than another company’s?
I certainly think so, and if you do, too, you’ll want to upgrade to the following Pro plan.
AWeber Pro – Starts at $16.95 per month.
Despite the somewhat higher-than-average pricing, the one thing I do like about Aweber Pro is that you can buy it on a sliding scale depending on the number of subscribers you have (or intend to have).
$16.95 allows you to send messages to up to 500 subscribers per month, just as in the free plan. Once you surpass 500 subscribers, higher-priced plans start at $26.15 per month for 501 – 2,500 subscribers and go all the way up to $146.15 per month for between 10,001 – 25,000 subscribers.
Along with this increased subscriber limit, Aweber Pro also gives you access to all of the following advanced features:
- No Aweber branding
- Unlimited email sends
- Unlimited email lists
- Split testing
- Behavioral Automation
- Branded click-tracking links
- Facebook Pixel tracking
- Advanced analytics and reporting
- 0.6% per transaction fee on eCommerce sales
- Unlimited WPN subscribers and messages
- Priority support.
How Difficult is Aweber to Use?
Since I started this website, I’ve always taken pride in writing 100% honest and unbiased reviews. So, while I’ll make no secret of the fact that I love Aweber and think it’s a great email marketing tool for making money with, I’ll also be the first to admit that it’s not the most user-friendly tool in the world.
Compared to other platforms like Constant Contact and ConvertKit, the dashboard and menus leave much to be desired.
So, finding the exact feature you want can sometimes be a little cumbersome and time-consuming. Meanwhile, using those features can be a more complicated process than it needs to be.
That’s not to say that this is the kind of high-level tool that only advanced marketing professionals should approach. It’s simply that the learning curve is a little steeper than with other tools.
With that in mind, let me take you through a quick tutorial to show you how everything works.
How to Get Started Making Money With Aweber?
Here is how you can get started with making money with Aweber.
1. Create an Aweber Account
Head to Aweber.com and type your name and email address into the handy sign-up form on the homepage, then click ‘Start Growing Today.’
With that done, head to your inbox and click the ‘Get Started‘ button in the welcome email to activate your account.
After creating a password, you’ll be able to decide whether to upgrade to the Pro plan or start small and stick with the free option.
2. Complete the Onboarding Process
With your account successfully created, you’ll be asked a series of questions about your business and how you plan to use Aweber.
Although it takes a minute or two to complete, this setup is certainly worth carrying out as it helps Aweber tailor its service to best suit your needs and level of expertise.
As part of this process, you’ll also be asked if you already have some existing email subscribers.
If you do, you’ll be able to import them. If you don’t, that’s not a problem. After all, the whole reason you’re using this service in the first place is to grow your audience, right?
3. Setup a Payment Method
One of the few frustrating things about Aweber is that it only offers limited payment integrations for collecting the revenue you make, with PayPal and Stripe being the two options on offer.
For the sake of this tutorial, we’re going to choose PayPal.
After you’ve completed the onboarding process, you’ll be presented with a menu of the next steps to take.
From this menu, click ‘Connect’ next to the ‘Connect PayPal with Aweber’ option, then select ‘Connect Integration’ next screen. This will allow you to log in to your PayPal account and run through a quick integration wizard to connect the two accounts.
Once that’s done, you’ll receive a confirmation notice. From this page, select the ‘Quick Menu’ option from the left-hand menu (or simply press CTRL + K on your keyboard) to move on to the next step.
4. Create a Welcome Message for Your New Subscribers
You may not have any subscribers yet, but it’s useful to have a welcome message ready for them once they do start flooding in.
To create this message, find the option on your Quick Menu and select the ‘Activate’ button.
To be honest, this next step is where Aweber starts to lose points in the user-friendliness category, so let me guide you through it.
On the screen which appears after clicking the ‘Activate’ button, click the title labeled ‘Template Welcome Campaign.’
On the following screen, select the third option (‘send message’), then double-click on the ‘Thanks for Signing Up!’ title that appears under ‘selected message’ on the right.
With that done, you’ll be able to customize your welcome message using a drag-and-drop editor similar to the popular WordPress page builder, Elementor.
When you’re happy with your email, you can preview and test it, then save and exit when you’re ready.
When a new user subscribes to your email list, this welcome message will automatically be sent out to them.
5. Create a Landing Page
OK, so your new subscriber email is ready to go, but before you can send it to anyone, you’re going to need some subscribers.
The best way to do that is to start by creating a landing page.
To begin, choose this option from the Quick Menu, then browse through the selection of pre-made, customizable templates.
Choose the one you like, and you’ll once again be presented with a visual editor that you can use to customize every element of your new page.
Although this one is a little easier to use than the email campaign option, it’s certainly not the best-laid-out page editor I’ve ever seen. Hence, you may need to take a few moments to familiarize yourself with all the options.
On the right, you’ll find all the options you need to tweak several overall page settings, such as the fonts, color schemes, and background images.
On the left, you’ll be able to add new elements such as text blocks, multimedia, and sign-up forms, as well as customize the existing on-page elements.
You can use this landing page to do anything from building a simple email newsletter to selling a course, digital download, or other product by using the on-page elements in conjunction with the PayPal integration you set up earlier and other integrations such as Shopify or Etsy.
You can preview the page at any time, and when you’re happy with it, simply click ‘Save and Exit.’
From there, all that’s left to do is hover your cursor over your new landing page to bring up the edit, preview, and publish options.
Select ‘publish’ (the icon looks like a small rectangle with an arrow pointing out of it), and your new landing page will be live to the world.
That’s really all there is to it. With your landing page and email automation configured, you’re ready to start promoting your page to drive traffic, build an audience and generate revenue.
What is Aweber Customer Service Like?
Throughout this guide, I’ve mentioned multiple times throughout this guide that Aweber isn’t the most beginner-friendly tool on the market, so I’m relieved to find that their customer service is second to none and always on hand to help out if you get stuck.
There are three things I really like about Aweber customer support.
1. They offer telephone support to all users, including those on their free plans. With many SaaS (Software as Service) solutions restricting phone service to their top-paying members (or simply not offering it at all), this is a nice touch.
2. You’ll always speak to a human being. While there’s certainly a place for chatbots and artificial intelligence in the world of digital marketing and content creation, being able to talk to an actual person rather than a robot is certainly preferable.
3. The human beings you do speak to really know their stuff. They explain everything clearly and in Plain English, which is a huge relief when dealing with a platform that can sometimes cause headaches when you’re first getting used to it.
What Do Other People Say About Aweber?
So far, you’ve read my honest take on what’s good and what’s not so good about Aweber, but choosing an email marketing platform is a decision that’s not to be taken lightly, so it always pays to consider other people’s opinions too.
Over on the trusted consumer review site, TrustPilot, Aweber is classed as a ‘Great’ service with 4.2 stars.
Many of the positive comments mirror my own in that they focus on the tremendous customer support and the professional quality of both the landing pages and email campaigns.
On the flip side, they do get some flack for their pricing, which again, mirrors my own view of this excellent but highly-cost service.
Aweber Pros and Cons:
Frequently Asked Questions About Aweber
Is Aweber reliable?
Absolutely. In all my time using the service, I’ve never had a problem with the way they manage important issues like data privacy, while my bounce rates and open rates are comparable to other services.
Is Aweber really free?
Yes. Aweber offers a great free plan with no credit card details needed. However, you’ll need to upgrade to remove the company’s branding from your emails and landing pages, as well as to access some advanced features.
How many subscribers can I have on Aweber?
Aweber’s free users can have up to 500 subscribers, while paid users can add up to 25,000 subscribers to their list. If you have more than 25,000 people signed up, the company also offers customized, enterprise-level plans tailored to your needs.
Is Aweber Right for You? My Final Verdict
So, there you have it; everything you need to know about Aweber’s excellent email marketing and sales automation tools.
If you’ve read this guide from beginning to end, you’ll no doubt know just how much I like this service despite its pricing and usability issues.
Still, just because it’s a great tool for me, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for you.
If you’re an absolute novice to email marketing, you may find the learning curve a little too steep.
However, if you don’t mind taking the extra time to figure out how everything works may be a sacrifice you’re willing to make in order to take advantage of a free plan which is still one of the best in the entire email marketing industry.