Update 4/10/2010 – Added information on Aweber reports and autoresponders
Update: You can use an Aweber Single Opt-in List
Aweber Email Marketing Review
Aweber is an email list marketing company that helps you capture leads and email addresses for contacts in lists that you can then send messages and newsletters to. It’s permission eMarketing at it’s best. People tell you they want information from you by signing up then you send it to them. They can opt-out of your list at any time. The following is my Aweber review.
I previously blogged about the differences between single opt-in and double opt-in and concluded that double opt-in list marketing has many advantages over single opt-in list marketing. Aweber is the leading list marketing company that requires all users to double opt-in. This means that they provide their information to sign-up for your newsletter. They then receive an automatic email asking them to click a link to confirm their subscription. This does two things. First it insures that you have people on your list that want to be on your list and second it prevents spam subscriptions.
Aweber Double Opt-In
I previously had a single opt-in list that had low open rates (10%-15%), many email addresses bouncing (not getting delivered) and I would consistently be marked as spam. Once I switched to Aweber and had my double opt-in list, my open rates increased to 45%-55%, I have very few emails bouncing, and I am rarely marked as spam. This increases my effectiveness in marketing to my list, which increases my profit. A little known fact is that Aweber can be used as a single opt-in list by changing a setting in the list settings menu. I would recommend a double opt-in list but you could always use single opt-in if you feel strongly about it.
Aweber Templates & Wizards
I know many of you may be thinking that this is all a little overwhelming and that leads me into a great feature of Aweber, easy setup. Aweber has a wizard when you first sign-up that guides you through setting up your first list. There is the list name and description setup, confirmation email customization, then your welcome email. Aweber includes many templates to use for this welcome email or you can easily setup a custom design. You are then taken to the web form wizard to create a web form sign-up to go on your website.
Web Form Wizard
Blog Broadcast RSS
While there are great reports and other features that help my business, the best feature is called Blog Broadcast RSS. Your newsletter can be configured so that each time you blog or post something on your website, it can easily be sent out to your list using your newsletter template. This automation via RSS from your blog is an absolute time saver for small businesses.
I had to add this in as I am working with a client who has iContact. All I needed to do was to get a list of subscribers who didn’t open the last email. It took me 45 minutes of research and another 10 minutes of exporting contacts, adding a custom field, importing back in, creating a new segment, then exporting everything back out. Convoluted! Aweber has the best reporting features, segmentation based on multiple fields and statistics for users including searches and exporting by multiple fields and statistics. Exporting a list of users that didn’t open my last email would take me 2 minutes. This statistical analysis and ease of use with Aweber is invaluable.
Autoresponder services are very valuable. Basically an autoresponder is sent out automatically when someone signs up for your list. You can make it as easy as sending out a quick follow-up welcome email when someone subscribes to your list to a full blown marketing campaign that sends emails out at predetermined intervals. This is a great marketing tool so you can make sure that all new subscribers to your list get the same emails with the same base knowledge.
While there are many options out there, I highly recommend Aweber for your small business list marketing. You may be tempted by slightly lower prices but nothing beats Awebers deliverability, open rates, form wizard, and ease of use. Try Aweber’s email marketing.