Aweber, Never Lose (Feed) Readers Ever Again (…But Also Pay For Each of Them)

Yesterday, I finally decided to subscribe to aWeber. After hearing a lot of positive reviews about them, and after seeing them in use by some of the most popular websites online, I thought they are worth a try, since even though they are not all that cheap, they offer a 30-days money back guarantee so I won’t lose anything by giving them a shot.  What I can say now already is that for the few dozens of dollars a month you can boost your readers count, and get the visitors to return to your website.  Now I see, it is no surprise that web moguls like Copyblogger, ProBlogger and JohnChow use some kind of email newsletters tool, other than the free Feedburner.

It took me about a day to figure how things work, but the generous amount of videos they provide users with were truly handy. What I did not take into account though, is that Feedburner readers would need to opt-in again before aWeber will send them any mails, and once they do, they will get blog broadcasts both from aWeber and Feedburner, which means I lose some of my readers because not everyone is going to re-opt-in (over the past 24 hours, only 1/4 confirmed their email address), and at the same time — I will bomb with same feed those poor souls who did opt in and will now receive updates both through Feedburner and aWeber (don’t worry, I am working on fixing that!). Anyway,  So here my brief overview so far:

Pro’s:

  • Very easy to use interface, very detailed statistics and very customizable.
  • Ability to customize your regular Feed updates (for those who subscribed to your FeedBurner by email), you can preview example of my last newsletter.
  • Reporting the subscribers to Feedburner, which makes your feedburner readers count on the cricklet grow nicely and rapidly (it already jumped to 1000+ readers over night and I expect this number to multiply itself soon.
  • Unlimited emails to send. Newsletters, feed updates, follow ups.
  • It’s very easy to “persuade” people into subscribing, especially if you offer something in return (such as our upcoming premium Freebies).
  • In-Built spam indicator that can alarm you if your email contains something that might get marked as spam by someone’s email client.
  • Excellent support. I already tried the live chat and email support out, 100% satisfaction, and I was asking questions that were milled over the in FAQ section yet they politely explained every detail instead of sending me to read the FAQ, like some support services do.

Con’s:

  • Expensive. Since aWeber allows users such a convenient and easy way to subscribe, the number of subscribers will grow tremendously and extremely fast, which will soon enough start draining your pocket.
  • Unsubscribed readers still count towards the number of readers you are paying for (unless you delete them manually and they do not count any longer). This is a con because, hypothetically speaking,  if you are on a vacation and a great deal of your readers unsubscribed, yet a lot of new readers subscribed, you could be jumping into a new pricing category and your credit card will be charged accordingly unless you pay attention in time and delete the unsubscribed readers from a database.
  • Readers need to opt-in, even if they already double opt-in in previous mailing program you used (mailChimp, Feedburner, etc). Needless to explain why is it bad because lazy online readers are not going to opt-in over and over, or simply forgetting to opt-in using the one and only email aWeber sends you can cost you in a reader.
  • Losing Traffic and Ad clicks. Just like with any email marketing, when users get the content directly to their email, with no ads, no extra time waiting for the page to load, the user has no real reason to visit the blog. Hence the bigger is your email readership, the smaller are the chances to have your Adsense clicked and traffic raise.
  • Comments go down. When user finishes to read and sees the comments form, he is more likely to comment as opposed to situation when he gets the article to his email box, reads and just continues to read another email. He won’t go to your site to read or leave a comment, unless the topic really touched him.
  • Unlike Feedburner, you must disclose your physical address when using aWeber (or any other email newsletters tool) and you don’t always want to tell each and everyone one online who clicked on your email subscription — where exactly do you live, as well as your home and cellphone number.

As you can see, at the moment I have picked more con’s than pro’s, but it cold be my beginner’s observation and hope I will be able to post more positive overviews of the service.

Lorelei

Lorelei is a co-founder of PSwish.com and Lorelei Web Design has over 15 years of experiences in Wordpress, web development, Photoshop & design. Fueled by coffee, chocolate, peanut butter and Irish cream.

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5 Responses

  1. Hi Lorelei,

    Thanks for the kind words about our service and support at AWeber!

    I noted a couple things in your post that I wanted to clarify:

    * Re: migrating from another service – depending on where you were managing your email list before, they don’t necessarily have to confirm again.

    If they’ve already signed up using a Confirmed Opt-In process, and that can be clearly seen within your previous email system, we can help you move them over without another confirmation. Just give us a call!

    * Re: losing traffic, ad clicks, comments – some people prefer to put excerpts of their posts, rather than the full posts, and provide a “read more” link that goes to the full article. Really, this is no different than RSS subscriptions in that you could offer full or partial posts by RSS. You just need to decide what works best for your blog & readership.

    * Re: providing a postal address in emails – if Feedburner isn’t doing that then they, and by extension, you, are potentially breaking U.S. law (the CAN-SPAM Act). At several thousand dollars per infraction, that’s hardly worth it.

    (For the record, it doesn’t have to be your home address. A P.O. box is just fine, and you can change the address at any time in your account.) And you certainly don’t have to include a phone number.

    * Re: expensive – are more readers bad? Hopefully not. The price goes up as your readership grows, but in theory, so should your revenues 🙂

    Thanks again for telling people about AWeber! If there’s anything I can help you with, please let me know! I’m on Twitter (@justinpremick) and of course you have my email address.

  2. Tiffany says:

    Perhaps many of the people that recommended Aweber are grandfathered in at the OLD price that changed in late 2008. I have Aweber and love it but my price is $19 until I reach 10,000 subs (almost there!) and then it goes up to $29 so the old prices were MUCH better.

    Also, you can put ads in your RSS broadcasts and make sure it is a summary only. I have a customized broadcast template and I have affiliate banners on mine and it works out wonderfully.

  3. admin says:

    Justin, Thank you so much for your comment and for clearing some things out!

    The thing with migration, is: I had over 200 email subscribers at Feedburner but I didn’t know how to move them to aWeber so I created a list and started to add them one by one. At some point I got an error (after adding about 60 emails manually) so I looked for a way to migrate the whole batch at once and found it (yay, silly me, took about an hour LOL). So I exported the emails from Feedburner and imported them to Aweber.. the list was pending staff’s approval and was approved within few hours but now I am waiting for them to opt-in again so at the moment I can only send emails to about 50 approved subscribers (who confirmed) and 3/4 of my list is unavailable for newsletters.. I contacted the live chat and, explained what I did with my feedburner list and told them that I messed things up a bit (or so it seemed to me) — but the guy I spoke with told me that what I did was okay because aWeber will not send any emails to anyone unless they confirm and agree to receive those emails, and this applies to email addressed migrated from other mailing system. Maybe he didn’t understand me fully (or I did not make myself clear) but those 150+ remaining subscribers are still “just” in the database and will most likely be subject to deletion after 30 days. Since you have some sort of partnership with Feedburner, maybe as you said — it would be possible to just activate them without forcing them to opt in anew?

    partial feed: I read a lot of negative feedback about offering partial feed, many people say they will never subscribe to a partial feed, which I find rather silly because no one really reads each and every post from a certain blog, unless it’s one of those alpha blogs on the net, so there is nothing wrong with just getting a small summery to your email box — if you are interested, you’d “read more”. However, sometimes people subscribe if one’s blog is interesting yet riddled with ads, so reader may chose to simply receive a cleaner version of the same content (and we all know that monetizing a feed is utopia). But I think the trick is in making the post (subtly) rich in links to other posts in my blog so there will be a good chance of them wanting to “read more” while still being satisfied with a full feed.

    postal address: Sorry, my mistake, phone is indeed not required, but maybe I was mot required to provide my mailing address at Feedburner because I am not US resident and as you said, this is a US law. Anyway, feedburner is a free service with millions of users, half of which would probably just give a fake address, so at the bottom of each email they add:

    “If you prefer to unsubscribe via postal mail, write to: TopTut.com – Top Tutorials, c/o Google, 20 W Kinzie, Chicago IL USA 60610”

    which I guess makes it okay from legal view point. Thanks again for stopping by and commenting!

    Tiffany,

    thank you for your comment! I didn’t know aWeber had different pricing last year, maybe that is why they have so many clients LOL. I should think any gently-blended-in affiliate link in the newsletters will work good but as for adding ads to the feed — I doubt it will work at that well. What I did like about aWeber though, is that I can customize the blog broadcast before it is emails out, so I can add content to emails that won’t be on the blog. I just started so I have very little subscribers and experience with newsletters, but I am sure when my list will grow I will be able to make miracles with it 😀

  4. Ivan says:

    Hi Lorelei,
    We are using Aweber service too as one of our internet marketing. They have a really great support and we never find any hard time using it 🙂
    Have a nice day…

  5. Yes, Google puts their own mailing address there for you so you don’t have to use your own. Surprisingly that Aweber people aren’t aware of this.

    And there’s no excuse for them counting unsubscribed readers against you…that’s just lazy/dishonest.