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Aweber Versus FeedBurner For Bloggers With Email Newsletters

Why have I selected Aweber as my newsletter software over the free service from FeedBurner or FeedBlitz? I have thought a fair bit about this before taking the plunge, particularly because making a choice between fee and free is never easy for someone with a tight budget! Perhaps my thinking might help someone else who is considering email for their blog.

One of the decisions I had to make when considering setting up my new newsletter was should I use FeedBurner, look at using Feedblitz or find some other newsletter software.

FeedBurner has several advantages

  • I know it well
  • It could be nice to have a visible subscriber count chicklet
  • It’s free!
  • Less maintenance, just post to the blog
  • Easy to implement, copy and paste, job done
  • Subscribers trust it
  • Easy to subscribe to

The problem is those advantages were outweighed by the following 10 points against using FeedBurner and in favour of Aweber

  1. There is zero customisation available with FeedBurner – not even the email subject! [EDIT: It now allows email subject to change]
  2. You can not personalise, not even “Hi Chris”
  3. People using various email services have complained about FeedBurner delivered emails being buggy – their support staff were curteous but if your program can not render it there is no fix available
  4. I wanted both an email newsletter plus an article sequence. As well as news I will be sending out a series of educational posts
  5. Down the line I will want to segment the list further, not something I can do even in a limited fashion with FeedBurner
  6. Services like Aweber have unparralleled delivery rates, I don’t want to take any chances
  7. I have complete control over look and feel, even down to being able to write seperate HTML and plain versions
  8. Provision for “thank you” pages etc allows me to see where people struggle or drop out – I am a testing and stats geek :)
  9. Scheduling is under my control, with FeedBurner and competitors there is either no control or limited
  10. In future I will be able to import subscribers and add them manually, for example from business card drops at conferences etc

To top it all Aweber have introduced a service that can read your RSS and post it out to subscribers.

Sorry FeedBurner, for this goal only a full service list would do!

Which email list management software do you use? Let me know in the comments …

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Comments

  1. I have been wondering for this for some time now. Thanks for providing your insight with the 10 points. I especially like the idea of being able to use preset sequences. Will definitely check it out for my blog :-)

  2. I have been wondering for this for some time now. Thanks for providing your insight with the 10 points. I especially like the idea of being able to use preset sequences. Will definitely check it out for my blog :-)

  3. When I started blogging I didn’t know many services and options on the blogging world so my newsletter was in Google Groups.

    I wasn’t quite satisfied with the way the blog and the mailing list worked together, but it wasn’t easy to decide what to do either.

    Not so long ago, I decided to bring the list in-site. Currently I am using a wordpress plugin named subscribe2.

    In a way, I have the same fee Vs. free dilemma, because running it in-site may end up increasing server fees, but now I have full control and I’m very happy with it.

  4. When I started blogging I didn’t know many services and options on the blogging world so my newsletter was in Google Groups.

    I wasn’t quite satisfied with the way the blog and the mailing list worked together, but it wasn’t easy to decide what to do either.

    Not so long ago, I decided to bring the list in-site. Currently I am using a wordpress plugin named subscribe2.

    In a way, I have the same fee Vs. free dilemma, because running it in-site may end up increasing server fees, but now I have full control and I’m very happy with it.

  5. Hi Chris:

    Wondered if you’d seen FeedBlitz’s newly released “Newsletter Edition”? http://www.feedblitz.com/newsletter/features.asp and http://www.feedblitz.com/newsletter/

    Phil
    Founder
    FeedBlitz

  6. Hi Chris:

    Wondered if you’d seen FeedBlitz’s newly released “Newsletter Edition”? http://www.feedblitz.com/newsletter/features.asp and http://www.feedblitz.com/newsletter/

    Phil
    Founder
    FeedBlitz

  7. We went with Kobemail for 3 reasons: First the size of our list, we had a fairly large list before migrating to a blog, they have incredible deliverability and they allowed me the flexibility to offer a daily, weekly and monthly newsletter that is all done dynamically and without human intervention as well.

  8. We went with Kobemail for 3 reasons: First the size of our list, we had a fairly large list before migrating to a blog, they have incredible deliverability and they allowed me the flexibility to offer a daily, weekly and monthly newsletter that is all done dynamically and without human intervention as well.

  9. Hey CG,
    Just a side note if you want your title to display use feedblitz (im sure you know this) But yeah Feedburner doesnt do that.
    I think the plus point with user aweber, is that you can send html newletters, they just look freeking cool.
    Michael campbell sends his newsletters out in PDF !!
    Another freeking great idea!!!
    LOL have a freeking great weekend :-P

  10. Hey CG,
    Just a side note if you want your title to display use feedblitz (im sure you know this) But yeah Feedburner doesnt do that.
    I think the plus point with user aweber, is that you can send html newletters, they just look freeking cool.
    Michael campbell sends his newsletters out in PDF !!
    Another freeking great idea!!!
    LOL have a freeking great weekend :-P

  11. AWeber will now pull from RSS?! THAT’S a SERIOUS selling point that would make me consider switching. I have some homework to do! :)

  12. AWeber will now pull from RSS?! THAT’S a SERIOUS selling point that would make me consider switching. I have some homework to do! :)

  13. Francis says:

    Hey Chris,

    Love your website & newsletter. I’ve started helping some friends promote their small businesses, and one of the components of promotion is building a newsletter. I’ve been using automatesales.com (a combined shopping cart, mailing list manage),

    I’ll have to check out aweber.

    regards,

  14. Francis says:

    Hey Chris,

    Love your website & newsletter. I’ve started helping some friends promote their small businesses, and one of the components of promotion is building a newsletter. I’ve been using automatesales.com (a combined shopping cart, mailing list manage),

    I’ll have to check out aweber.

    regards,

  15. I’ve used a newsletter for years, and am a johnny-come-lately to blogging, and I’ve been very happy with Aweber. And, I especially love how they keep adding new features- the RSS bit is something I haven’t taken advantage of yet, but it looks great.

    I’m wondering, Chris- are you going to have different content in the newsletter than you have on the blog?

  16. I’ve used a newsletter for years, and am a johnny-come-lately to blogging, and I’ve been very happy with Aweber. And, I especially love how they keep adding new features- the RSS bit is something I haven’t taken advantage of yet, but it looks great.

    I’m wondering, Chris- are you going to have different content in the newsletter than you have on the blog?

  17. Great blog, and great article! I stumbled over from Darren’s blog. My name is Terra, and I author betterforbusiness.com – your content is wonderful!

  18. Great blog, and great article! I stumbled over from Darren’s blog. My name is Terra, and I author betterforbusiness.com – your content is wonderful!

  19. I usually use Outlook, as it offers some possibilities of personalization, if you import lists from a database or Excel spreadsheet. However, I just joined the affiliate program from AWeber and I’m starting to strongly consider subscribing to their services.

  20. I usually use Outlook, as it offers some possibilities of personalization, if you import lists from a database or Excel spreadsheet. However, I just joined the affiliate program from AWeber and I’m starting to strongly consider subscribing to their services.

  21. This is an era of ‘free’ services. Every company, be it blue chip or a starter, has started to work and concentrate on ‘ad’ based business model. I see no compelling reason for AWeber to charge for a service that is available for free elsewhere.

    Having said that, I also appreciate their innovative features. Its not long before Google makes these changes available to Feedburner.

    Thanks.

  22. This is an era of ‘free’ services. Every company, be it blue chip or a starter, has started to work and concentrate on ‘ad’ based business model. I see no compelling reason for AWeber to charge for a service that is available for free elsewhere.

    Having said that, I also appreciate their innovative features. Its not long before Google makes these changes available to Feedburner.

    Thanks.

  23. Ramanathan- I’m sure Chris will have a good answer, too, but I have to disagree. I use aweber for a number of reasons- great customer service is among them. I also pay for my conference call service for the same reason- my clients pay a respectable fee to participate- and what I pay the conference call service is made up when something (not the service’s fault) happens and the line went down- and they had the people to personally call and contact the folks who were on my call and connect them.

    Aweber has similar levels of customer service. I pay for services that my business depends on. Free services are great, if they fit the bill, but when my business is depending on something, I’m willing to pay to make sure it actually works, and that there are people behind the website who know me and can help me out.

  24. Ramanathan- I’m sure Chris will have a good answer, too, but I have to disagree. I use aweber for a number of reasons- great customer service is among them. I also pay for my conference call service for the same reason- my clients pay a respectable fee to participate- and what I pay the conference call service is made up when something (not the service’s fault) happens and the line went down- and they had the people to personally call and contact the folks who were on my call and connect them.

    Aweber has similar levels of customer service. I pay for services that my business depends on. Free services are great, if they fit the bill, but when my business is depending on something, I’m willing to pay to make sure it actually works, and that there are people behind the website who know me and can help me out.

  25. @Henri – I think sequential messages mixed in with timely messages is very powerful. Someone ought to create a sequential system for blog RSS :)

    @Guilherme – A friend recommended I go the open source or plugin route but I want to have a company that I can rely on rather than maintain the technology. It’s a time versus money issue, I feel I get more value this way.

    @Phil – I hadn’t but I will check them out now :)

    @Bryan – Looks interesting. Aweber was just the most famous one I had heard of with great reviews. I’m happy with my choice but I am sure I could have done more research and found a great many just as good services.

    @shaners – Yes, I haven’t even touched on what is possible with it :)

    @Wendy – I am going to be putting it to the test real soon :)

    @Francis – All in one sounds good but I am not *quite* ready for the shopping cart yet

    @Mark – Yes, unique content but I might cross-post as and when it warrants and the audiences diverge.

    @Terra – Thanks :)

    @Simonne – The aff program is an advantage but on the other hand it made me wary when researching if people were recommending it just for the commissions. I worked out there were some trustworthy names saying good things so figured it was at least worth a try.

    @Ramanathan – I agree to a point but I also agree with Mark ;) Advertising is not a great model for every single service or customer.

    @Mark Silver – Agree on all points. I wouldn’t want to build a core of the business on “free”. There are free services I rely on, but I pay for hosting my blog when I could have it on free, I pay for my newsletter when I could use open source, I pay for programming now even though I am a programmer … We all have to make these cost-benefit decisions.

  26. @Henri – I think sequential messages mixed in with timely messages is very powerful. Someone ought to create a sequential system for blog RSS :)

    @Guilherme – A friend recommended I go the open source or plugin route but I want to have a company that I can rely on rather than maintain the technology. It’s a time versus money issue, I feel I get more value this way.

    @Phil – I hadn’t but I will check them out now :)

    @Bryan – Looks interesting. Aweber was just the most famous one I had heard of with great reviews. I’m happy with my choice but I am sure I could have done more research and found a great many just as good services.

    @shaners – Yes, I haven’t even touched on what is possible with it :)

    @Wendy – I am going to be putting it to the test real soon :)

    @Francis – All in one sounds good but I am not *quite* ready for the shopping cart yet

    @Mark – Yes, unique content but I might cross-post as and when it warrants and the audiences diverge.

    @Terra – Thanks :)

    @Simonne – The aff program is an advantage but on the other hand it made me wary when researching if people were recommending it just for the commissions. I worked out there were some trustworthy names saying good things so figured it was at least worth a try.

    @Ramanathan – I agree to a point but I also agree with Mark ;) Advertising is not a great model for every single service or customer.

    @Mark Silver – Agree on all points. I wouldn’t want to build a core of the business on “free”. There are free services I rely on, but I pay for hosting my blog when I could have it on free, I pay for my newsletter when I could use open source, I pay for programming now even though I am a programmer … We all have to make these cost-benefit decisions.

  27. We have been using Aweber for some time now for this exact reason. The customization is MUCH better than anyone else.

    I have been telling anyone who sends me one of these Feedburner post notification emails to try Aweber, but now I can just send them a link to this post b/c you have explained perfectly why they should switch!

  28. We have been using Aweber for some time now for this exact reason. The customization is MUCH better than anyone else.

    I have been telling anyone who sends me one of these Feedburner post notification emails to try Aweber, but now I can just send them a link to this post b/c you have explained perfectly why they should switch!

  29. Please do :)

  30. Please do :)

  31. I have used a variety of top e-list manager/newsletter services over the past 5 years, including Topica, Constant Contact, AWeber and others and found Aweber to have the best delivery-rate of all. In fact, from what I know, most hardcore internet marketers use them because of this.

    Plus, for anyone looking to develop significant offline revenue through regional service-delivery, like speaking or local events, being able to segment the list, at least by zip-code, is mission-critical.

    Also, being able to market to your list, independent of your blog content, provdes a powerful additional opportunity.

    One reservation with Aweber over Constant Contact (I use both now, for different businesses) is that, to protect against spam, as far as I know, you cannot manually add contacts in AWeber, at least, if you set up your lists as double-opt-in (DOI). That may have been changed since last time I looked, if so, that would be a nice improvement, or just avoid the DOI option.

    My concern with that, though, is that your delivery-rates might drop and you may find your list blocked if the list is not DOI.

    Much peace,

    Jonathan

  32. I have used a variety of top e-list manager/newsletter services over the past 5 years, including Topica, Constant Contact, AWeber and others and found Aweber to have the best delivery-rate of all. In fact, from what I know, most hardcore internet marketers use them because of this.

    Plus, for anyone looking to develop significant offline revenue through regional service-delivery, like speaking or local events, being able to segment the list, at least by zip-code, is mission-critical.

    Also, being able to market to your list, independent of your blog content, provdes a powerful additional opportunity.

    One reservation with Aweber over Constant Contact (I use both now, for different businesses) is that, to protect against spam, as far as I know, you cannot manually add contacts in AWeber, at least, if you set up your lists as double-opt-in (DOI). That may have been changed since last time I looked, if so, that would be a nice improvement, or just avoid the DOI option.

    My concern with that, though, is that your delivery-rates might drop and you may find your list blocked if the list is not DOI.

    Much peace,

    Jonathan