In my recent First Impression review of Aweber (a newsletter service with some nice features for bloggers) a number of readers mentioned that the thing that was stopping them from using Aweber was that those who subscribe to them using Aweber’s Blog Broadcast option would not be counted in the Feedburner RSS subscriber counter that so many bloggers use.
Aweber have heard this feedback and in the last couple of days have started reporting their numbers to Feedburner. As a result we’ll start seeing bloggers who use the ‘blog broadcast’ service with higher subscriber numbers reported.
This makes the Blog Broadcast option a fairly attractive package now and one that I’m considering moving over to for a number of reasons (note: to this point I only use Aweber for weekly newsletters, and have not use the ‘blog broadcast’ feature).
What I like about it most is that it allows bloggers to have lots of control over how the blog broadcast emails look and are timed.
Most bloggers who offer the ability for readers to subscribe to their RSS feed via email tend to use Feedburner’s own service – a reliable service that I’ve been using for quite some time.
However Aweber adds some great functionality including:
Scheduling – Aweber’s service allows you to not only choose the time of the day that you want to send blog broadcasts to readers but allows you to send them out at certain times of the week or month. So you could choose to send them every morning at 6am so readers have something to read when they get up – or you could make it a once a week service on Fridays as a wrap up of the week) or you could do it at the end of the month. In comparison to Feedburner’s ability to schedule based upon the time of day Aweber’s features win hands down.
Design – Feedburner does give some limited design options with their service. You can add a logo, choose font color, style and size of headings and the body of your emails – but that’s about it. To be honest I quite like the design of their emails – however if you want more control Aweber again offers some great options. They offer 50 premade templates to publishers to choose from (html and text based). These enable you to brand your broadcasts to a much higher degree than just a logo.
Aweber also introduced today the ability to automatically track what links readers are clicking on in Blog Broadcast emails. This was already available but had to be manually activated. You can now set it for every email you send and get the nice reports that Aweber produces after each email to let you know what your readers are clicking on in your posts.
Keep in mind that Aweber charges for their services while Feedburner’s are free. As a result most bloggers will probably stick with Feedburner which offers a reliable service – however I can see Aweber as becoming a more attractive option for many bloggers who are blogging on a more serious level and who want to customize their RSS to email service to a higher degree.