AWeber is a great service, and for the most part I'm very happy with it. But it does have a few irritating problems. Here's my list of the worst. Have any pet peeves that aren't listed? Share them in the comments.
Just Plain Wrong
There's one feature where my complaint isn't just a matter of opinion -- AWeber is just plain wrong. When a user clicks the link at the bottom of an email to unsubscribe or change their subscription settings (their email address, etc.), AWeber displays a radio button that they can use to unsubscribe.
The problem is that when they click the radio button, they're unsubscribed immediately without having to click a submit button. This is not how radio buttons are supposed to work. What if someone goes to that page to update their email address and idly clicks the unsubscribe radio button, intending to switch it back? They get unsubscribed.
The CAN-SPAM act requires that subscribers can unsubscribe with a single click (that may be a new rule added within the last week or so). So adjusting the radio button's behavior isn't the answer -- AWeber should replace the radio button with a regular button.
Very Important Feature
Aweber isn't wrong not to have the following features, but these features are so important that it's a little ridiculous that they don't.
Search and Replace
I can search my mailing list and update each subscriber's information one at a time, but I can't do a global search and replace.
Say for example I want to insert a new follow up message in the middle of my autoresponder sequence. For each subscriber, AWeber tracks the number of the last message that was sent to them. When I insert a message, for anyone who's already received the message after the new one, they get the most recent message they receive again. I need to be able to search for everyone who's received, for example, message 5 or higher, and increase their "last message sent" number by one.
Another example would be if I had a custom field and I changed the options for what data appeared in it. I'd want to search for and replace any obsolete options with new values. Doing this manually, one subscriber at a time on anything but a very tiny list is out of the question.
Insert Message in Sequence
Another way to partially solve the previous problem would be to allow users to specify where in their autoresponder sequence new messages should be inserted, and increment the last message sent number for anyone who'd already received the message after that one.
Another good option to add there would be the ability to decide whether broadcast that message to everyone who wouldn't receive it because of where it was being inserted in the sequence. Sure, it could be sent as a broadcast to those people without too much trouble, but it would be even easier if it could all be done in one step.
Control the UI for editing user-editable data
AWeber's form editor enables users to create popup lists, check boxes, etc. That's great--very useful. The problem is that when they click the link at the bottom of an email to edit their subscription options, all of that data is displayed in fields into which the user can enter whatever they want.
The user needs to be able to control how the data is presented there as much as they do in the signup forms.
Restrict Subscription Methods
There are three ways to get on an AWeber mailing list: submitting a subscription form, sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and the list owner submitting your information. We need to able to restrict which of those methods can be used with our mailing lists.
Let's say I have a buyer's mailing list for one of my products and the list's name is "foo". No one should be able to get on it by sending an email to email@example.com! I'm not sure whether it's possible to subscribe my making your own form unless you know the ID number of a form that the list owner has created (which would be impractical to try to figure out by brute force, because the numbers are pretty high), but especially if it is possible without knowing a valid form number, that method should be restrictable too.
It is possible to avoid sending broadcast emails to anyone who subscribed using an inappropriate method (you can segment your list by subscription method, and send only to those who used a legitimate method), but that's not possible with follow up messages. If products are attached to follow up emails, or if they contain proprietary information, those things can easily be stolen if one knows the name of the mailing list -- a big problem for people using AWeber for lists whose membership they want restricted.
It would sure be nice...
This feature isn't so critical as those listed above, but it'd really enhance AWeber's service.
More options than "user editable"
When an AWeber user creates a custom field, they can decide whether subscribers are allowed to edit the data. That's important, because that data might indicate, for example, whether the subscriber is a paying customer (and entitled to extra benefits) or not. Subscriber's shouldn't be able to edit that.
But we need more options. For example, if a field isn't user editable, it can't be set using a hidden field in the subscription form. There need to be two options -- the user can set it initially but not edit it, and the user can edit it any time. Non-editable items could either not be displayed in the form where a subscriber edits their options (probably the best way to do it), or whether to display each non-editable option could be another option.