I am not signing up for an account so I don't know exactly how the API works, but if I were setting up an iPhone App to work with this, I would use the rails plugin. Rails gives you JSON communication for free (IE no extra work required) http://guides.rubyonrails.org/layouts_and_rendering.html see section 2.2.9. Then use on IOS app use something like: http://code.google.com/p/json-framework/ to interact with that.
On the other hand, you have pointed out a problem that Aweber should address and that is their training and instruction materials. They should definitely have better video and written tutorials on how to use everything. And while I found the ‘get started’ webinar extremely helpful, years ago, you shouldn’t have to get on a webinar to learn about the product. At the very least, they should record one of those webinars so you can just click and watch any time you want!
One thing I like most about MailChimp is it has a free pricing option whereas AWeber has $1 option as a starting point. That means you can create a free account on MailChimp without giving your credit card details whereas you need to pay $1 for first month to start using AWeber. You can try AWeber by just paying $1 for first month. After that, you need to pay $19 each month.
With a newly redesigned email editor, which makes it easy to pick back up on draft messages right where you left off or turn them into drip messages, AWeber is an email marketing app that does it all. If you need a professional email tool that’ll help you grow your lists and offer live phone support if you get stuck, it's a great email app to try. - Matthew Guay
Great content and excellent value. When it comes to making money online, you certainly know how to do it AND know how to ‘Teach it’ With so much rubbish out there in the online space, its refreshing to see people like you who have huge amounts of integrity making huge strides and allowing people like me to take advantage. Cheers and best of luck. - John Faul
The Blog Broadcast is Aweber’s term for the automatic emails that get sent out every time you publish a blog post. They are separate from the other automatic follow ups that you send out. The great thing about Aweber is that you can choose to send a hundred follow ups or none, automatic blog broadcasts or manual blog broadcasts, etc. It is all up to you. For example, here on Blog Tyrant I send out all my updates automatically to my subscribers as well as the occasional email newsletter with a few tips and specials.
With Aweber however, this is not that easy to do. With Aweber, each and every one of your subscribers is tagged with a message number which indicates which followup emails they have received already. To prevent a subscriber from receiving a specific followup email, you must set the subscriber’s message number to be higher than the email sequence number.
The main weakness I see is the price-point where small companies are concerned. If you don’t need all of AWeber’s bells and whistles, there’s no reason to pay for them. You’ll also want to make certain that if you are trying to cancel your account, you’re not just accidentally suspending it. This is especially important where the free trial is concerned, as AWeber requires your credit card info.
Migration can actually be a major pain in the ass. Although according to aWeber my list was “substantially clean” but I still needed to get all my readers to reconfirm their subscriptions. After a week I’m still waiting for 70% of them to reconfirm. NOT happy. If I stuck to mailchimp I wouldn’t have had these problems. (Their support guys are good though.)
To manage expectations, it’s a good idea to send your subscribers a quick follow-up email immediately after they’ve subscribed. This is an optimal opportunity for you to, not only thank them for subscribing, but to also to introduce yourself, send them material that you think they’ll be interested in as new subscribers and remind them how often to expect your messages. Almost all email service providers give you the option to create an autoresponder workflows (something we’ll talk about a little bit later), so use it!
As for reporting options, AWeber presents the standard raw numbers and percentages (clicks, opens, unsubscribes, and the like). It also includes more advanced data such as opens, clicks, and revenue over time; subscriber growth; and stats by location, area code, or designated market area. In addition, you can compare results across your past 20 emails. You can track subscribers based on their signup method, and the list segmentation options provide plenty of ways to optimize your email marketing. Reports are well laid out and easy to understand; much of the data is presented in both chart and table format.
One of the best feature of Aweber eMail form creator is, you can have extra field apart from Name and eMail. For example, if you need to get the Address or Phone number from your subscribe, you can do that by adding a new field. (The step is easy to do and even with zero design and coding skills you can do that). What I suggest is, simply select any template from the page and you are good to add Aweber sign-up form on your blog.
Using the Personalize dropdown, you can insert custom snippets like your subscribers first name, or sign up date, and AWeber will automatically insert that data specific to each subscriber if we have it. If you collect first name, for example, you can send an email that says Hello Tom, or Hello Mary, or Hello John, depending upon who you’re sending to.