Are you stuck deciding between Feedburner or Aweber for Email marketing? For nearly a year, I was stuck with the same dilemma you have before you now.
In this post, I will share my experiences with Feedburner and Aweber so that by the end of this article, you will be able to determine which program is best for you.
When I started blogging in 2008, I began using Feedburner to send email newsletters to people who subscribed to my email list. Feed burner also helped me to fine-tune WordPress’s default RSS to make it reader friendly.
Later on I discovered Aweber and Mailchimp, and I began to learn about the pros and cons of using paid Email marketing tools instead of Feedburner. After Reading various articles and tutorials, I understood the importance of using Aweber over Feedburner, but I was still not convinced to make the switch.
What stopped me from switching from Feedburner to Aweber?
When I became serious about blogging and online marketing, most of the professionals in the field suggested to me that I should start working on building an email list. I thought that I was already creating the email list using Feedburner, and that I did not need Aweber or any other paid email marketing tool, but I was wrong.
I did not want to switch away from Feedburner for the reasons listed below:
- Migrating the email list: My first hurdle would be in transferring my existing subscribers from Feedburner to Aweber. I was afraid that in doing so I would lose a large number of email subscribers.
- Moving to a paid option: I was comfortable with the free Feedburner as it was sending my latest blog posts to my email subscribers. Moreover, I did not have to pay to obtain email subscribers. With tools like Aweber or Mailchimp, I would need to pay as my email subscriber list increased.
- Learning something new: Learning something new seemed like a daunting task to me. Furthermore, I was afraid that I would not be able to use it as other professionals were. This was irrational thinking on my part, as I would not have been able to get the pros into anything new until I start using it, making mistakes, and learning myself.
My notion that Feedburner was the best email marketing tool for me was wrong because Feedburner comes with limited features, and the kind of control we need in an Email marketing tool is simply not available in Feedburner.
Still I was not convinced that I needed to use Aweber when I could send all blog updates to my subscribers using Feedburner. I was naive at the time, as I did not yet understand the power of personalization — the power of sending an exclusive email to email subscribers while maintaining control over emails that are going to out to them.
If you are someone who believes that an email service such as Feedburner or Aweber is only for sending your latest blog posts as an email newsletter, you are mistaken. Think of your email marketing tool as a point of contact between you and your readers. With the help of powerful personalization, your emails will have far more impact, netting far greater results.
Benefits of using Aweber over Feedburner:
Now, let’s look at the benefits I received after I started using Aweber for managing my ShoutMeLoud email newsletter.
Personalization: Makes email more friendly
Personalization is the most dominant feature of the ShoutMeLoud email newsletter. If you have subscribed to the ShoutMeLoud newsletter, you will notice that you always receive an email with a greeting that contains your name. This occurs because of the personalization feature of Aweber. Whenever you send an email using Aweber, your email can be personalized to contain the name of the recipient.
Subscribe and download eBook: Lead magnet
You may notice that most of the bloggers who are building their email lists offer free eBooks, case-studies or other free materials to increase their email subscriber base. With Aweber, it’s easy for you to send a gift such as an eBook, plugin or any other freebie to your new subscriber.
Follow-up emails: Put Email marketing on Auto-pilot
This is what I love about most Aweber. When you set up your first email list using Aweber, you can also create a follow-up message that will be sent out to your new subscribers. I have set around five such follow-up messages for my email list, and all of my new subscribers will receive them in their emails. I will cover more about creating a follow-up email on Aweber soon, but for now understand that it is a very simple process, and one that allows you to further automate your email marketing system.
Add or remove subscriber:
Unlike Feedburner where it is difficult to search and remove any existing email subscriber, on Aweber you have complete control. You can find any email subscriber and remove the subscriber from the list. You can also search for subscribers who have not opened your past couple of newsletters, and you can remove them from the list. This way you will keep your list highly targeted and optimally set for conversion.
You can also take advantage of Aweber’s mobile app called “Atom” to subscribe the user manually from your smartphone. You can learn more about the Atom smartphone app by Aweber here.
In addition to those mentioned here, there are many more powerful features in Aweber that will help you to manage your blog’s email marketing without much technical knowledge.
When should you keep using Feedburner over Aweber or paid alternatives?
In many scenarios it is acceptable to use the free Feedburner over using a paid option like Aweber. This condition is specific to certain individual blogs and bloggers. For example:
- If you are creating a niche site for AdSense only, you can continue using Feedburner. (Note: With a niche site, it’s easier to create a targeted list, but again it’s subjective to the niche you are working on). For example, I’m using Feedburner for my AdSense micro-niche site Cydiaguide.com
- If you are blogging on a multi-niche blog, you can also continue using Feedburner. The reason for this is that a multi-niche blog will see a higher unsubscribe rate, and your list will be highly un-targeted. (There are a few exceptions of people who are blogging in multi-niche situations but who have a defined persona for their blog audience).
- If you don’t have any money and you are creating a personal or hobby blog, it’s convenient and reasonable to use Feedburner. For a professional blog or any blog that is making money, you should consider moving to a paid email marketing tool.
- If you don’t need to see stats such as how many people are opening your emails or how many of them are clicking on the links, you can continue using Feedburner. For affiliate marketers, I would recommend not using Feedburner, as stats are an important feature for you.
How did I switch from Feedburner to Aweber?
If you are new to blogging and haven’t used any email marketing tools yet, I suggest that you click here and create your Aweber account for free trial. After that, follow this guide and start using Aweber for your blog.
If you are someone with existing email lists on Feedburner and you are considering a shift to Aweber, I will share the exact steps I took to switch from Feedburner to Aweber:
Do not delete your Feedburner, or migrate users:
When I made the switch, I considered migrating my Feedburner subscribers to Aweber. Later I decided against that idea as it would create a lot of issues in terms of double-opt-in, or many users receiving repeat emails. (Those who are already subscribed to Aweber or Feedburner.) My recommendation is to keep your Feedburner account as it is, as your subscribed users will continue to receive email newsletters via Feedburner. You can manage your Aweber list separately.
Replace all Feedburner subscriptions with Aweber:
Now create an email list on Aweber and use an email subscription powered by Aweber on your blog. Replace all your existing email subscriptions with the one powered by Aweber. Don’t worry — it’s not technical or difficult at all.
Make an announcement post:
Create an announcement post on your blog and let your readers know that you have decided to switch from Feedburner to Aweber. Also, ask your readers to subscribe to your email newsletter via the new Aweber widget. A good idea here is to create a page called “Subscribe”, and embed your email subscription form there. Example here.
Much has changed in the field of blogging in the past couple of years. Now most of the newbies like yourself have started blogging to earn money, and you are blogging in a targeted niche.
One important thing for you to know is this:
Only to your email subscribers can you reach out at any time. You can never be sure that you will be able to reach out to your social-media followers (Facebook fans, Twitter followers), whenever you want.
Feedburner is a simple plug and play option which is okay for hobby bloggers or bloggers who don’t dream of making money from their blog. If you are someone like me or others who dream of earning money from their blogs, then you should start building your email list, and Aweber is the best program that I can recommend. You can create a trial account on Aweber using the link below.
Here are few things which you should do after creating your trial account:
- Create your first email list and add a subscription option in your sidebar and following the post.
- Create an email follow-up (auto-responder) for the next three weeks, using at least one email every week.
- Create any PDF files from your existing top post, or write one from scratch and use it to get more subscribers.
If you really want to make it big as a blogger over time, you need to begin investing your effort and energy in creating a powerful email list. This is something that I started doing later in my blogging career, and now that I understand this powerful tool, I regret not doing it initially.