10 Dec 09 4:06 pm
Aweber Vs. Hosted Solutions (e.g. ARP)
I have an old Aweber account that goes up to 10,000 contacts without being too costly, unlike their recent pricing policy.
I am wondering if anyone has ever done tests on email deliverability from Aweber vs. one's own server-installed solution like Autoresponse Plus (ARP)?
The reason I ask is because, given the relatively high cost these days of Aweber, it is arguably becoming prohibitively costly compared with a hosted solution. Here's what I mean...
(1) When you host multiple lists with the same email addresses on them at Aweber, those get counted as DIFFERENT contacts. If I subscribe to 10 of your product lists with the same email address, Aweber treats that as 10 separate contacts. Autoresponse Plus does not. After all, it's the same person and the same email address! This means that you do not approach a price threshold with ARP where the maintenance cost per contact rises as your list grows AND as they subscribe to your sub-lists time over and over again with the same email address.
(2) Even if Aweber's deliverability is higher than a hosted solution, surely one has to also factor in the cost of retaining that lead/contact? With a single payment solution like ARP, you can have as many contacts as you like and it costs you nothing more. Not so with Aweber where the costs rise (now quite steeply with their new payment scheme) with the number of contacts, even if there are multiple instances of the same, as discussed above.
In other words, for point of argument, let's imagine that Aweber's deliverability was two times higher than that of ARP, but the cost of maintaining that lead on Aweber is ten times the cost of maintaining it on ARP. There is surely an equation here - incorporating the deliverability AND the cost of maintaining the contact on the system itself - in order to determine the cost effectiveness of one against the other.
In the example above, if the deliverability was indeed at Aweber twice that of ARP, then you effectively have a list that is twice as large on Aweber as it would be on ARP since twice as many actually get delivered. However, if it costs you ten times as much to maintain that double size list, you might argue that you are better off with half the list at just one tenth the price!
Do you understand my argument? This is particularly true if the list is NOT all composed of customers, but rather of prospects many of whom have signed up multiple times with the same email address to your various squeeze page promotions.
Actually, when I began this example, I thought that "ten times" the price was kind of absurd. However, as I think about it, it actually might be much higher. Let's remember that ARP is a ONE-TIME payment of a couple of hundred dollars. Aweber is an ongoing subscription forever that actually RISES with the number of contacts.
Hence, in truth, the real number might be way higher than ten times the cost of ARP. For how much increased deliverability? Twice? Three times? In fact, the real question is, how much higher DOES their deliverability have to be to make them far more cost effective than a one-time system payment like ARP? You might get twice the sales from twice the effective list size, in this example above, but does it really offset ten times the price or more? That is the question!
Anyway, I would value your thoughts and feedback on this. Thank you.