Despite all the advancements in digital marketing over the past several years, email marketing still reigns supreme as a reliably effective and scalable channel. The problem, however, is that many retail businesses don’t manage and market to their email lists effectively, and many times an email marketing service is necessary to take advantage of the opportunity.
One such leader in the email marketing software industry is AWeber Communications, and we were lucky enough to catch up with founder and CEO, Tom Kulzer.
Be sure to check out AWeber’s blog featured in our Top 16 Email Marketing Blogs.
Describe AWeber in 50 words or less.
Tom: AWeber provides email marketing and software that powers the email newsletters of more than 120,000 businesses, bloggers, and entrepreneurs around the world. Since 1998, we’ve been helping businesses grow by staying in touch with customers and prospects through email.
What’s an aspect of email marketing that you’ve seen most businesses consistently get wrong? What’s your recommended solution?
Tom: The most common mistake that businesses make is failing to set the right expectations for new subscribers. From day one, you have to give people a clear idea of the kind of content they’ll be receiving and how often they’ll be receiving it. A lot of times I’ll sign up for something and I might expect to receive emails weekly – but all the sudden I’m getting three or four a day. That can be a real turn-off for people.
Communicating even basics like frequency and content with your customers is one of the keys to keeping them happy.
In your opinion, what significant changes will come to ecommerce/digital advertising in the next 3-5 years?
Tom: The biggest thing driving change in email marketing and ecommerce right now is mobile. It seems like every other day there’s a new report out about how many people are shopping on their mobile devices and reading emails on mobile devices.
While a lot of business still gets done on desktop, mobile is clearly here to stay and will become increasingly important as a driver of both bottom-line results and innovation.
What’s AWeber’s unique selling proposition (USP)?
Tom: We pride ourselves on delivering remarkable experiences for our customers. We make that concept part of everything we do. When you call in, email, or chat online with our customer solutions team, you’re communicating with a real expert who’s going to do everything they can to help you succeed.
Every single person that signs up for our service receives a personal call from one of our team members welcoming them to our service and answering any questions they have to get started. It’s easy to think, “software is just zeroes and ones,” but the fact is that software companies, like any business, are supposed to better the lives of their customers. We remind ourselves of that every day, and it comes through in the experiences we deliver.
What are the benefits of AWeber to an ecommerce website?
Tom: Email marketing is a powerful way to increase sales, leads, and profits. Emails act as an important customer touchpoint. There are other ways to do all of these things, but few of them provide the kind of consistently high value and ROI that email does.
What kind of retailer/business is best suited for AWeber’s service?
Tom: A lot of small businesses like working with us because of our reputation for customer service and our easy-to-use tools (like our drag-and-drop message editor), but we believe our system is flexible enough to handle just about any sized business. Our pricing is based on the number of subscribers on an email list, not on the number of times you email them – you can send as many messages to each subscriber as you like. Our pricing starts at $19 per month (for lists of up to 500 subscribers) and scales economically as your subscribers and business grow.
What’s next for AWeber?
Tom: We don’t announce any feature or product releases ahead of time before they’re live, but we’re always looking for new ways to improve our service. Stay tuned to our website and social media channels for new announcements.
How can a business get started with AWeber?
Tom: It’s a pretty simple setup process. You can go to AWeber and click on the green tab in the top right corner that says “Order.” When you sign up, you’ll get your first month for just $1. Once you’re set up, our extensive Knowledge Base can help you get the most from your account. And of course when you have questions, we have friendly, smart team members here ready to get you the answers you need.
Tom Kulzer is the founder and Chief Executive Officer at AWeber the leading small business email marketing software, where he is actively involved in the company’s strategic direction, growth and evolution. Over the company’s 15-year history, Tom has nurtured it from a small start-up to a robust organization serving over 120,000+ customers, all without public or venture funding.
Tom laid the foundation for AWeber while working at a computer hardware firm in the mid-1990s, where he realized sales prospects were falling through the cracks due to lack of proper follow up. By automating the delivery of personalized follow up emails to prospects, company-wide sales skyrocketed, and sales associates had additional time to spend pursuing new prospects.