A low open rate means that people have started to either ignore your messages, or delete them as soon as they receive them. (Or, what I do, is mark them as “read” and just leave them there – probably never to be actually read!) If your open rates are low, you need to work on your email marketing game. Take a look at the previous emails you’ve sent them, or at your subject lines. Something about those emails has deterred your subscriber from opening them up, so tweak and test until you get higher open rates.
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I have used both, and I agree with your analysis. The great thing about MailChimp is that it lets you see the email in different clients. That is really the hardest thing about sending emails. However, you can use that service without doing everything else through MailChimp. Also, once you get the hang of it and develop templates, it no longer is much of an issue.
Businesses that choose to make email offers, usually belong to the e-commerce industry. The benefit for those who are on the mailing list is specific offers that they can get from your company. This kind of approach provides value for both parties. The business can increase the number of sold items, whereas the customer is in a special position as a result of being subscribed to your business.
Before you can send AWesome emails with AWeber, you'll need someone to send it to. The easiest way to begin building your list is to import contacts that have opted-in to your email list, or gave you permission to send them emails. These could be subscribers you've emailed from another provider, or a list of contacts that you've built through your business.