AWeber was my favorite autoresponder for years but as my blog grew, it was not able to provide solutions that I needed and so I had to look for AWeber alternatives.
Major AWeber Issues That I had
Spammers subscribing were not able to become part of my active subscribers in AWeber which may sound good but AWeber pricing is such that you pay the price for people who are subscribers as well as unsubscribers.
If you have too many spammers in your unsubscribe list, your monthly bill can go up significantly.
List shabbir and shabbook in the screenshot above were my old list for my shabbir.in blog in AWeber and I had no users subscribing to those list as I had no way of people to subscribe to those list but I saw few spammers join those list as unsubscribed user all the time.
I would have fine with it if I had not to pay for them but that was not the case. So every month before the payment was being triggered, I had to set a reminder to clean up my unsubscribes so I am not paying more than I should be.
Apart from unsubscribed spammers, I also saw few spammers were creeping becoming active subscribers but it was a small portion but was very significant on IMTips list. I tried everything that the support staff suggested from changing list name, banning spammers IP but it all did not help completely.
2. More RSS Sending Options
AWeber does not allow to send feed emails on a particular day when numbers of items reach certain numbers. You can select either to be sent when a number of items are X or on a particular day.
The way I achieved this was to schedule my last post at the time when I need the email to be sent which was ok kind of solution but not ideal.
3. Merge List
We create lists over time for blog subscribers. For shabbir.in I had blog subscribers and then my eBook was planned which is then, I had subscribers who are willing to buy my ebook.
Slowly I had few lists but those weren’t any different over time apart from the name of the list. Ideally, I would like to merge them but AWeber does not allow merging list I am not sure why but it is just like that.
I was unnecessarily managing more lists and then those old lists were getting spammers. So had to clean the unsubscribes from all those lists. More waste of time.
4. Already Subscribe to Other List
AWeber automation is in very infancy stage for years now and only allows people to subscribe or unsubscribe to other lists when they subscribe or unsubscribe to a given list.
As an example, the automation works if my prospective customers are on the first list and when they actually become my customers, I subscribe them to the second list and can automatically unsubscribe them from the first list of prospective customers.
Works perfectly fine but imagine you email your customers to visit your blog and again they find a subscribe option on your blog to become your prospective customer again. Not all customers will remember they have already subscribed and many would subscribe again to the prospective customer list creating confusion.
Ideally, every autoresponder should have an option for subscribers to be denied of subscribing to a list if they are already subscribed to other lists.
So I started to look for AWeber alternatives and here are 3 alternatives that I have used and worked really well for me.
The first alternative to AWeber is GetResponse.
Zero issues with spam and the best part is pay for the active subscribers only and not for those who have unsubscribed.
It helped me save a lot of time that I was wasting trying to delete the unsubscribers every month in AWeber.
Even if you have spam, there are options to block spam email domains like I blocked mail.ru.
As I started using them, found that they had some really cool features that AWeber lags even today.
You can trigger autoresponder mail based on users reaction to previously sent emails. So you can send an autoresponder email to subscribers who has clicked a particular link in previous emails sent or has opened an earlier email and many such options.
Apart from those, you have options to create surveys, design beautiful landing pages for optins, schedule webinars and send automatic reminders to those who opted for webinars.
Mailchimp offers Google reCaptch to confirm genuine users and has advanced scheduling of RSS to emails which AWeber lags.
Mailchimp has my time zone to schedule email which is a simple feature but in AWeber, I had to manually calculate time from Eastern Time.
One thing I don’t like in Mailchimp is they don’t add the referrer page of the subscriber when added. I have done it in a round about way of adding a custom user field and insert URL of the page when the form loads on each page.
I like knowing the page where a user subscribed because it helps me understand what kind of content users look for and I can add more such content to my blog.
Sendy is not a traditional autoresponder service provider but is a self-hosted email sending solution that uses Amazon SES to send your emails.
Sendy has autoresponder feature but lags RSS to email feature. Though Sendy lacks the feature, it provides all the code and so could create my own way of converting an RSS feed into a Sendy email template.
The best part of sendy is I can create custom functionality that I need and was easily able to create functionality where if a user is a customer, he is given a message of already a member when trying to be a prospective customer again.
Sendy does not cost as much as AWeber or GetResponse or Mailchimp to send emails and emails has almost same deliverability and response from readers.