Why use AWeber instead of installing email software?

From time to time, potential users ask us:

I can buy software to run my email campaigns from my own server. Why should I use your service and pay you a recurring subscription?

Good question. We're sure some people don't bother to ask the same question before investing several hundred or thousand dollars in server-installed solutions or desktop applications.

What's the Difference Between Software and AWeber?

AWeber is a web-based email marketing service. What that means is:

  • Your messages are sent out from our servers rather than from your computer or server.
  • Your subscribers are stored in an online database, backed up multiple times per day. You can download a copy of them at any time.
  • You can access and manage your messages and subscribers from anywhere.
  • You don't need to install any software on your server or computer.

Server-installed and desktop software work a bit differently:

  • Your messages are sent out through your own server or from your computer, from your own IP address/es.
  • Your subscribers are stored on your computer, or your server. You're responsible for backing up your data regularly.
  • Depending on the software you choose, you may only be able to access and manage your campaigns from one computer.
  • You'll need to install software on your computer and/or server.

OK, AWeber is Simpler... So Why Would Anyone Use Software?

These are the most common reasons that we hear:

  • They prefer to pay a one-time fee to buy software as opposed to paying for service on a recurring basis.
  • They're opposed to Confirmed Opt-In, or to other policies that a service such as AWeber may have.
  • They don't trust a third party to provide reliable service and feel they're better off going it alone. This is usually due to a bad experience at another service and a desire to keep from repeating it.
  • They also may not like that unsubscribe links are at the aweber.com domain instead of their own.

All of these points are understandable, even if we feel that the arguments for using AWeber are more compelling.

And ultimately, if after hearing us out you still prefer to use software, then we wish you the best. Honestly.

But please, make an informed decision.

There are a lot of things to consider when running server-installed or desktop email software and most people aren't aware of them.


What Should I Know About Running Email Software?

Managing your email campaigns with a server-installed or desktop software requires you to do much more than simply create and send messages.

Here are a few of the unique challenges that arise when you use software instead of AWeber's web-based solution:

Installation and Maintenance

Just like any other program, you'll need to install your email management software.

This can be easy or difficult, depending on whether the software goes on your computer or on your server and how technically skilled you are. Your web host may or may not be willing/able to help you install it.

And if any problems arise with the software, you'll need to resolve them. The company that sold you the software may be able to help you, but remember, they've already got your one-time payment. Ask yourself: how willing will they be to help you a year down the road?


When you're running any software, the ability of that software to work depends on your server or computer working properly (and being turned on!).

If there's a problem with your website, that may affect the ability of your email software to deliver your campaigns. If you use software installed on a computer, that computer has to be on for the software to run.


This is one that you don't always hear about, but it's one of the top reasons that people come to AWeber.  

Sending an email and delivering it are two totally different things.

Just because you send an email doesn't mean that AOL, Yahoo, Hotmail, Comcast, Earthlink and other ISPs have to accept and deliver that message to your subscribers on their networks.

At AWeber we have a team of people dedicated to not only helping you manage and email your opt-in subscribers, but get your messages delivered to them. After all, there's no point in sending an email if it doesn't get to the recipient.

When you use server-installed or desktop software, the work that goes into establishing and nurturing key relationships at AOL, Yahoo, Hotmail and other ISPs is on you.

How much time is that going to cost you? How much is your time worth?


It's one thing to use server-installed or desktop software to send campaigns to a few dozen subscribers. Chances are, you can do this without much difficulty.

But as your list grows, the game changes significantly.

Not only does it get harder to get mail delivered to your subscribers' ISPs (see above), but now you have to concern yourself with your own ISP.

Consider two things:

Is your ISP going to permit you to send large volumes of email?
If you get spam complaints, are they going to allow you to keep sending email and host your website with them? Or are they going to terminate their relationship with you?

At AWeber we manage email for businesses of all sizes, including those with upwards of 1,000,000 subscribers.

Our system scales extremely well, and since your messages are sent through our servers, you don't have to worry about your ISP cutting back your email sending capabilities due to high volume.


Do you do all of your work from one computer, in one place? Or do you travel?

Depending on your software, you may or may not be able to access it remotely.


Paying one time for software instead of paying AWeber on a recurring basis might seem to you like a better deal.

But as noted above, when you make a one-time payment for software, well... they've got your money now.

Are they going to provide you with support, at a cost to them? If so, for how long?

At AWeber, we realize that your continued patronage depends in large part on us providing you with unlimited top-notch customer support.

Anytime you have a question about your campaigns, opt-in forms or anything else in your account, just get in touch with our customer solutions team. We'll provide the same prompt, courteous service no matter whether you have 500 subscribers, or 500,000.

In Closing: Is Software Right For Anyone?

Sure. If it wasn't right for anyone, there wouldn't be any server-installed or desktop email software for sale.

Typically, someone who software may be right for fits the following profile:

  • They have the time and resources (usually a dedicated IT department) to install and maintain software, and to address/correct any bugs and reliability issues.
  • They have a large infrastructure (servers, colocation instead of shared hosting) to be able to handle high volumes of mail without frequent issues.
  • They have a team of people dedicated to resolving deliverability issues.

In short, they have a lot of money and human capital to dedicate to email management, and they prefer to have their email campaigns run in-house (perhaps so that their own employees are 100% responsible for any issues that arise).

If that's you, and you feel that, in spite of the challenges that come with using an email management software, it's the right path for you, then by all means, use a server-installed solution.

We understand that AWeber isn't going to be the right solution for every business. We just want to help you make the best choice for your email marketing needs.

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