AWeber: New Editor for Newsletters and Autoresponders


Finally this spring AWeber rolled out their WYSIWYG (which decodes as what-you-see-is-what-you-get) editor, also called click-and-edit editor, or drag-and-drop editor. Basically what it means in plain English is that now each little part of your newsletter is represented by its own editable area. In order to add content to an article, header, introduction, image – you click on a relevant area which opens a little editing box (with options very similar to MS Word) and create your awesome content. Then you can drag and drop content areas around the newsletter.

No messing around with HTML, no worrying about accidentally deleting some template code… Sounds great, right? Well, not quite.

We’ve done our extensive testing. As we were pretty excited about this development – it would have solved a lot of pain for our clients who are into Internet Marketing and for us, when we have to check and fix their newsletters before they go out. And we’ve uncovered there are still a few issues that will limit a lot of your Internet Marketing efforts with email marketing but overall if you use AWeber now it will probably be of some help.

Here’s how it works.

In order to use the editor login to your AWeber account as normal, select the list and go to Broadcast messages. You will see the options switched around now. So if you want to use the old editor and your old template – select the option below. Otherwise press the big button to experience the new feature.

Next you will see the new Message Editor. It’s got a couple of key features:

  • you can still paste your own HTML newsletter code or send a message as plain text;
  • you can select from a number of pre-designed templates that have been formatted to work with the new editing features;
  • you can filter templates based on colours or keywords;
  • and, you can create your own template (in a separate HTML editor), use the code in the Template Editor window, add new AWeber tags, then save and use in the list.

Once you’ve chosen and loaded your template into the editor you can start creating your newsletter. AWeber default templates will come with pre-defined areas for editing and some Lorem Ipsum content to show you how it will look eventually. You can then click on different regions on the newsletter in order to start editing.

The downside here: you can’t edit default templates. Either you like them and use them as is, or you create something else yourself. Although you can use various content widgets within the newsletter, they will have to fit into the default structure and settings. Image hosting still has to be done elsewhere – your own website, Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google etc.

You might say here: did we not have these options before? What’s changed? Well the main change is how the message editor works. Previously, if you worked in the Design tab and were adding or editing your newsletter content – you could actually format, add or remove HTML code in the background. That changed your newsletter layout and presentation. Now the code is protected – even if you copy content from Word, you won’t suddenly get lots of “funny styles” in the newsletter.

You can also add the following widgets to the newsletter now:

  • Headlines – big headers that will separate sections in the newsletter or act as the newsletter’s title;
  • Articles – text and image combination with an optional Read More link for your website;
  • Paragraph – text only option;
  • Image – large image to stretch as wide as your newsletter;
  • Button – image button with a call to action;
  • Follow Me – adds social media (Twitter and Facebook) icons and links if you have your accounts already linked with AWeber;
  • Products – slimline tall combination of image + title + description + price. Works best in sidebars.
  • Coupon – a little section where you can add your special offer. Usually bolder, without an image, centre aligned.
  • Logo – adds your logo image to the newsletter. You can resize it to be pretty wide and act as a newsletter header;
  • Signature – your photo, name and email address section.

You can still add attachments (at the bottom of the Message Editor), Save for later, Test & Preview. Autoresponder creation (Follow up message editor) works exactly the same.

Once you are done with editing your newsletter – click next to review and edit Sharing and Archiving options, then Next again to select which Lists to send to and Schedule.

Another major issue from our design perspective: very limited functionality for own template creation. Effectively you need to create a template that has a basic structure design without going into much detail per article/section. You will then need to add AWeber content tags which will give you 6 editable regions for your newsletter: Header, Footer, Content, Sidebar 1, Sidebar 2, Sidebar 3. Content tag is required (where you will be placing your widgets in the Message Editor), the rest are up to you if you need them. What this means is that you can’t define styles and formatting for Widgets reliably and when you load your template – you don’t get any Lorem Ipsum content there.

So a solution to this issue would be to load in your custom email template, add the tags, save, create a draft newsletter with all widgets set up and configured how you will use them in what places they need to be. Save this draft as your TEMPLATE DRAFT and don’t edit it with actual content or send. Then every time you need to create a newsletter – copy this draft and populate your widgets with content to send.

Hope that’s been helpful – feel free to comment below and ask any questions you have! For more information also refer to this blog by AWeber: new editor is here.

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