This blog post is the third installment of our new series, The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing. For eight weeks, we’re featuring a new article that covers a specific area of focus in email marketing! Last week, we wrote about planning your email marketing strategy. This week, it’s all about list growth! Want a sneak peek into the content? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing.
Great guide, just what I was looking for but it is timing that is my question. I have just got my ecommerce website up and running selling “print on demand” (small run personalised printing) products. Have only a few items for sale so when should I try to create my email list.? Is 15 items in a shop too small so wait until I have say 50? Create a landing page that promises more in the future so sign up now? Not an easy one to find advise on. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Under #2, be careful with popups or modals that cover other interactions, Google will now penalize this kind of activity on mobile. I suspect we’ll now see persistent banner style replacements on mobile (a strip across the top of the site that doesn’t scroll off the page or disappear until you close it or sufficient time has elapsed without interaction.)
Just wanted to thank you for doing what you do to share your experience with those of us who are new to the world of freelance writing and blogging for income. I’ve been blogging for about 5 years but my initial draw was to connect on a more personal level. So my heavily visited blog is all personal stories of the random life experiences I’ve had or rants I go on about (you can check it out if you like my name is linked). Recently I started blogging tips for self-publishing Writers of fiction as I self-published my second book last month. But secretly (okay, not so secretly) my main passion is writing about myself. Probably sounds nuts but my goal with my personal blog was to get it all out there then pick from the fifty or so stories that really told the reader who I am and compile them into a memoir of sorts. Hell, it worked for Jen Lancaster! Anyway, your blog has become my favorite morning and afternoon read as I research ways to make my writing talents work on a career level and I plan to keep reading! Thanks again! 🙂
Of course, you probably already know that Aweber has been around since 1998, that’s like a million years in internet time that is, lol.  They are located in Chalfont, PA which is fairly close to Philadelphia.  So you know when you are working with them you are literally working with the best in the industry.  Because really, how would they have survived this long if their product is crap?
As a total beginner to all of this, there is a serious “learning curve” in just getting to this point. If all I want to do is create a mailing list – why do i have to have a third party mailing service if I use yahoo or gmail? Does this mean that I have to sign up with mailchimp or aweber? I find this all a bit confusing as to why i need to do this at all? and then what happens if in the future, i want to add this feature? right now i have no budget to pay additional fee-services, so it is just not an option. I find navigating all of this extremely confusing as a first time user of WP and setting up a site. Many of the plugins break my site and cause serious problems, so i am very leery on downloading additional plugins. most of them have 4-5 – star ratings but only have a few comments that created that rating. If you could consider taking one (or two) step(s) back and try to explain on a more basic level – i think that would really help beginners. I am finding all of this social media, feedburner, etc to be extremely time consuming and the blog comments i am getting are ALL advertisers, so I have marked them as spam and deleted them without displaying on my site.
You can build a large following of targeted people who are also interested in your niche. Put you niche into the search bar on Twitter and check out the results. You will find out who is posting right now. What videos are out there. Who are some of the industry influencers. Questions that people are asking. And even who are some of the competitors.
As for email services, well actually there is a limit on how many emails you can send from a free gmail or yahoo account. Sending out mass emails is considered abuse of service by these free email service providers. Your emails will either end up in spam folder of your users, or they will not recieve them at all. It is also possible that your email service can suspend your account for violation of terms of use. This is why you need a third party email service.
One of the challenges I’ve had with email marketing is figuring out exactly what to offer and when. I’ve tried the pretty HTML newsletter, but it felt like overkill at times and a little dated (there are of course a few awesome ones out there, but it just never felt like me). I tried taking an ‘e-letter’ approach but felt overwhelmed with creating original content for the newsletter on top of the blog. And more recently, I’ve simply been sending out broadcasts when a new blog or podcast is published. And this is all fine.

I know that this is ancient, but I just made the switch to MailChimp due to a theme change (the theme uses shortcodes which WordPress eats for breakfast) I’d sent out one e-mail with MailChimp, and my second blog post got killed. I blog about re-selling crap I buy from garage sales, thrift stores, and flea markets on eBay. I actually have a blog post titled “work from home – not yet!” detailing why I’m not able to work from home. The hard part for me is that I don’t make enough money on the blog to justify using Awebr. If this is the way it’s going to go, I’m going to need to re-evaluate my blog, what I want to do with it, and whether I should make the switch to a much more expensive option. Not surprising that someone else has had a similar experience though.
If I didn’t post for a while, and then sent something out, I’d get a handful of unsubscribes from people who basically forgot they were on my list. This method wasn’t ideal for building the know, like and trust factor. Yes, of course, I would say that I should be working on consistency (and I am — which is why I hired a Content Director!), but until I have that locked down, I wanted a different way to give people a solid, valuable user experience when they first join my list.
Now don't tell Aweber, but I signed up to every one of the lists I created in my account. I signed up with disposable email accounts. I signed up with Yahoo mail.  I signed up with Gmail. I signed up with abut half a dozen different accounts. Guess what?  Every email hit the inbox. Every. single. one.  When you are building your list, you HAVE to KNOW that the emails are going to stand every chance of being seen and opened by your subscribers.  Why else would you send emails right?
Another thing about your list. Don’t worry when people unsubscribe — because they will. There are a variety of reasons so don’t take it personal. Maybe they’re just reducing the size of their inbox. Or perhaps they were just interested in your freebie offer. Chance are they were not going to buy from you anyway. Just keep providing quality content and those who join will far exceed those who choose to unsubscribe.
Double opt-in, however, ensures the emails you receive are valid and are not being used by bots and the like (remember, sending too many emails to dead email addresses is a sign of a spammer, and you do not want to be mistaken for a spammer). However, you can use tools like BriteVerify which automatically screen out fake addresses or mistakes at the point where the individual is signing up.

• I don’t pay for duplicates. This was one of my pet peeves with Aweber. Because Aweber is based on lists (vs tags), I had many lists set up – from customer lists to opt-in lists and more. If you joined my main list and then opted-in to my new freebie, I paid for you twice. There are people on my list that have been there since 2008, and have opted-in to many of my lists — it’s possible that I might have been paying for people 5x or more. Plus – it totally skewed my numbers. If you were on five different lists, you were counted five times. This did not give me an accurate reflection of my current subscriber numbers.
With Constant Contact, you can build your email lists from your company website or even from your Facebook page. More than just an email tool, Constant Contact has plenty to offer apart from sending emails including managing blog content, event management, online survey tools, and coupon creation. It also offers a comprehensive set of real-time reports.

Great post! I am new to online marketing, my business is actually only a month old and I too am using Aweber. I have found it really simple to use and I love the reports section. I am an analyst by trade so this is so up my street! I came across your post as I was interested to find out how Aweber compare to other autoresponders and if I’d made the right decision. Your post has told me I have. I will look forward to reading more of your reviews and tips.

I am not a business selling anything yet but for MailChimp I have to give a business address that will be shown in the newsletters. I dont wanna give away my private address as well but how can I still legally (with the opt-in and everything) collect email address and be able to send newsletters? Would you still recommend MailChimp for strategic purposes or do you have any other ideas?

At your blog’s inception, you will want to establish a base of content. After all, if you only have a handful of articles, a reader isn’t likely to hang around for long. But once you have say 7-10 articles on your blog, your main focus should be on guest posting. This isn’t something you’ll hear most bloggers say, but I strongly recommend that you publish just one post per week on your own blog, and focus on producing 2-3 guest posts per week.
Now that the user is showing interest and has all the information about the product, he or she is ready to make a decision. At this point, the user is tying to make the decision to buy the product. Now the user is focusing more on the offerings and other benefits that he or she is going to get. As the company also knows that the user is going to get converted, they start instigating him or her with calls, webinars etc.

You need to add few details like, Name of your list, Sender name for the list, reply-to email, default subject and few more details. Most of the fields are self-explanatory, so you will not find yourself lost at any moment. There are few fields which are mandatory, for example, Address of your company (In the case of bloggers, you can add your home address). You can leave the default subject field empty, as this will be used when you are sending your first email campaign.
have you ever looked at convertkit.com. I read about it from Pat Flynn at smart passive income. He started on aweber and went to infusionsoft because thats what all the big guys use. It’s very expensive. Then he found convertkit and it sounds like it worked for him. I have tried both aweber and mailchimp in the past and I ended up not using either one because I found it pretty time consuming to get right. I guess my point is there are a lot more options than just mailchimp and aweber. Something to think about for an update to email marketing.
One of the challenges I’ve had with email marketing is figuring out exactly what to offer and when. I’ve tried the pretty HTML newsletter, but it felt like overkill at times and a little dated (there are of course a few awesome ones out there, but it just never felt like me). I tried taking an ‘e-letter’ approach but felt overwhelmed with creating original content for the newsletter on top of the blog. And more recently, I’ve simply been sending out broadcasts when a new blog or podcast is published. And this is all fine.
AWeber finds a healthy balance between ease of use and robust functionality. There are some nice features — particularly in the autoresponder realm — but navigation is intuitive enough that I was able to perform basic tasks without looking up tutorials. When I did find myself at a loss and turned to the online help resources, I was quite impressed with the range and scope of guidance available.
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