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.
Pop ups should be easy to close. Nothing is more annoying than having a pop up appear and you do not know how to close it. Sometimes your visitor may not be interested in what you have to offer and so will decline the offer by closing the pop up. If the ability to close the pop up is difficult, such as the exit link is not visible, you can lose visitors. Therefore make sure that your pop up can be easily closed to avoid losing readers.
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Here’s what you do. Optimize your profile, especially your headline and Summary. Then use your customer avatar to create a Prospect Profile. Start sending sending out connection requests to people who match your criteria. Since you’re reaching out to people who don’t know you, they will first glance at your profile before accepting, which is why you want to make sure your summary is compelling.
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We also had our account blocked last year but they never told us why. We don’t sell anything via our newsletter. We don’t even talk about how to make money (that’s not our field). We write about business news and part of our CRM initiative. We sent several email inquiries to them. All were ignored. We ended up setting up a new account and reimporting all of our lists.
Video marketing is probably the most powerful way to drive traffic to your site. People love to watch a video to learn something rather than reading text. And with the growth of mobile your video needs to be friendly for these viewers. You must get your point across a lot quicker and add elements of entertainment or gamification to keep peoples attention.
Don’t hit a send button without proofreading and testing your campaigns. Email with spelling and grammar slips will feel rushed and will make you look unprofessional. Sometimes when you work on something for too long, it’s easy to miss small mistakes. Make sure that all links work correctly. I recommend that you always send a test email to a colleague or a friend to read it first. Or, take a break and come back to check your email later with a fresh mind.
After you’ve set up your email automation workflow, you might want to start targeting your audience in more specific ways. For example, you may want to send those who have clicked through to read your “social media automation for dummies” blog post a follow-up email with more information on social media automation and how your product can offer a solution.
With that said, I’d like to offer up perhaps the most useful piece of advice that I think can really help you to create great content. It is simply this – be personable. You shouldn’t manufacture a personality (we can’t all be Johnny B. Truant or Ashley Ambirge), but don’t be afraid to let your true character shine through. Draw from personal experiences – use stories to bring your posts to life.
I’m so glad I stumbled upon this article, I’ve always used mail chimp because of it’s design flexibility, I sold my own products so I didn’t have any issues but now that I’m getting ready to launch a marketing blog, I’m sure going to make the switch to awebber. Thanks for writing such a good an honest article. I like your blog, let’s keep in touch.
On the one hand, I feel angry to be bulked in with all those sites trying to sell “stuff”. BUT, I think that it’s best to be pushy, otherwise people will not think to leave their email. Then they will forget about us when they most need us. I am not selling anything, i just want to increase online communication between suffers of a specific chronic illness. Whether i obtain sponsorship from medical device companies is not sure.
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 know everyone’s all about Facebook, but I have a little love for LinkedIn because I’ve gotten great business through it. When you don’t have a mailing list (or even if you do), it can really be a goldmine of contacts. It’s basically a huge database of C-level professionals who keep their profiles current, which means you don’t have to worry about the info being outdated or incorrect.
In ConvertKit, this is much easier. Unlike Aweber where you set up separate lists (I had 63 lists when I shut my account down), in ConvertKit, you don’t have lists at all. Instead, you use tags and automation rules to segment your audience. So I can have someone go through a nurture sequence (when they first join my list) while still sending my blog/podcast broadcasts to my main list. I simply create a rule:
Six tabs along the top of the screen direct you to Home, Messages, Subscribers, Sign Up Forms, Reports, and List Options. Some of these have drop-down options. Links to My Lists, My Apps, and Help, along with My Account, can be found in the upper right-hand corner. Your home page is an account overview which displays new subscribers, scheduled and recently sent messages and list stats.
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.
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?
Thanks for bringing that up. It’s about time I redid that book cover as it was the first ebook I ever wrote. But when it comes to email marketing, you shouldn’t have to look over your shoulder wondering if you are going to get banned or not. Some of my other blogging colleagues have noticed higher delivery rates with Aweber over Mailchimp which I didn’t include in the article either. Ultimately, if you are going to do any sort of affiliate marketing, Aweber is the way to go. It’s not worth taking the chance of getting banned.
Tip: We often suggest that you mention what you’re going to talk about in your subject line. However, Nathan Latka of Heyo once told us in a webinar that he usually goes for a really short subject line that provokes curiosity. (He claims he has even used knock-knock jokes.) In the right context, something like “Hey …” can be surprisingly effective. The casual and familiar tone coupled with the slight recognition of your email address may be enough to prompt an open.

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Focus on design is what sets Campaign Monitor apart from other email marketing tools. With their tagline Your design is guaranteed to look amazing in every inbox on every device, their professionally-designed email templates will surely get your emails noticed and clicked by subscribers. Campaign Monitor also allows for conditional content in emails to customize the information for each of your contacts. Users love how it's a breeze to add contacts via bulk import, forms, and social networks through this email marketing software.
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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.
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You can find numerous options when you login to your AWeber account. You can choose whatever you would like to do without having to going through each and every option. You can also find a progress bar in your AWeber account that lets you know about your progress as well as about the remaining steps. AWeber also presents guides and videos that will make your work much easier.

The disadvantage with using free services like Mailchimp is they’ll usually suspend your account without warning, it’s kind of like setting up a blog with wordpress.com or blogger.com. Since it’s a free service it’s kind of like they have this “one and your done” attitude which I guess is understandable since you’re getting the service for free, but sometimes I wonder. Now on to Aweber.
With the rapid pace of change you don’t have to know everything there is to know in your niche to get started. If you’re only a few steps ahead of your audience then you’re the leader. As you apply your knowledge and follow your passion you learn even more. This becomes valuable information which you can package and pass to your audience. So how do you get paid?
does mail chimp charge the same as Aweber? The only problem is at the moment I feel like I am not using Aweber to it’s full advantages to pay monthly for the service when I believe Mail chimp is free for a certain amount of subscribers? As i only have a hobby blog and want to obviously develop it i feel like maybe i shouldn’t be paying for something that doesn’t provide me with income yet or isn’t a very ‘big’ blog or even a business…. Not sure whether to just stick with it until my website develops or switch to a free option on Mail chimp/.
I’m so glad I stumbled upon this article, I’ve always used mail chimp because of it’s design flexibility, I sold my own products so I didn’t have any issues but now that I’m getting ready to launch a marketing blog, I’m sure going to make the switch to awebber. Thanks for writing such a good an honest article. I like your blog, let’s keep in touch.
“No, because a lot of others have told us those are the features within some of these all-in-one business solutions that make them extremely cumbersome and overwhelming. Our target customers are bloggers, podcasters and other people who are building audiences who want to be able to have an easy-to-use, but powerful email marketing system, with automation and all of the features that you want, without all of the things that you don’t need right now.”
You can set up “rules” in AWeber to automatically segment your audience, but these rules simply subscribe or unsubscribe people from various lists. For example, when one person joins list B, they can be automatically unsubscribed from list A. This simple rule is particularly useful when you have a non-customer email list, and a customer email list.
Wow, Gill! That’s a fantastic idea. No wonder you got such great engagement. At AWeber, we’ve found that specificity does lead to higher open rates. It shows you know your audience, and you’re sending them value. You’re talking to the individual — not the crowd. Highly relevant subject lines paired with segmentation is a winning duo. Keep up the awesome work.
Open rate shows a percentage of total recipients that viewed your email. You can track it in HTML emails that include a transparent image (a tracking pixel). When it’s loaded, an email is tracked as open. This metric isn’t 100% accurate. As mentioned earlier, some email providers block images, and a user needs to enable them to see the visual elements.
Great timing. My billing info on mailchimp needs updating so now is a good time to switch to aweber. When I had to decide between the two a few years ago I picked mailchimp because their template system is way cooler. Aweber’s stuff looks like teenagers’ homework assignments in the 90’s. In contrast to an all male engineering team mailchimp seems to have a few girls on board to spruce things up. But as you said the functionality behind the email is more important than the look so I’m jumping ship. Oh, I’ll also be saving $20 pm.
Focus on design is what sets Campaign Monitor apart from other email marketing tools. With their tagline Your design is guaranteed to look amazing in every inbox on every device, their professionally-designed email templates will surely get your emails noticed and clicked by subscribers. Campaign Monitor also allows for conditional content in emails to customize the information for each of your contacts. Users love how it's a breeze to add contacts via bulk import, forms, and social networks through this email marketing software.
I actually use both services today so I can keep this review up to date. Overall, I think Aweber has a better deliverability rate which is a huge reason to use them. Furthermore, i like the way they do autoresponders much better than MC. On the flip side, MC has a much easier to use API if you are into coding and manipulating your lists programmatically.
This isn’t an issue of the legitimacy of your business and we certainly don’t have anything personal against your content, however we do have to protect the deliverability of all our customers and the risk associated with these terms is too great for us to take on at this time. Here is a page with more information http://www.mailchimp.com/support/compliance/about-terms-of-use-violation?lptkt=LTK143038471765X
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.

If you’d like to check out ConvertKit, my referral link is here [Full Disclosure: I’m a compensated advisor and an affiliate for ConvertKit], and if you have any questions about ConvertKit, both Nathan and I will be actively popping in and out of this post to reply, however we’re currently at the LeadPages conference in Minneapolis so we may be slow to reply at first.
In ConvertKit, this is much easier. Unlike Aweber where you set up separate lists (I had 63 lists when I shut my account down), in ConvertKit, you don’t have lists at all. Instead, you use tags and automation rules to segment your audience. So I can have someone go through a nurture sequence (when they first join my list) while still sending my blog/podcast broadcasts to my main list. I simply create a rule:
Please note that my one star review is for Awebber itself, not this tutorial manual. I own my own personal internet domain. This allows me to create one-off email addresses, such as yourbusiness@mydomain.com In several instances where such one-off email addresses became jammed up by spam messages it turned out that the businesses to which I had submitted those one-off email addresses were Awebber customers. On one occasion both yourbusiness@mydomain.com AND yourbusiness.com@mydomain.com became clogged up by spam messages, while on another occasion both businessname@mydomain.com AND otherbusinessname@mydomain.com became clogged by spam messages. I thus have what I believe to be clear proof that somebody at Awebber is selling the email addresses from Awebber customers' email lists to spammers. My personal advice is thus to be extremely careful about using Awebber for any kind of email list management services.
I have very deliberately included two blogs above that have absolutely nothing to do with making money or online business in any way shape or form. That market is arguably the hardest to make money in, because it is so saturated. Thanks to Chris Guthrie for making the very sensible suggestion that I should include non-MMO blogs in my examples above.
When it comes to another significant feature, email deliverability, both AWeber and GetResponse perform the same way. Both of them claim and offer about 99% email deliverability rate. The email deliverability option finds out whether or not any spam elements are present in the mails that you send. When you use either of these email delivering services, their spam checkers check your emails automatically and assign a spam score to them so that you can find out whether your emails will be marked as Spam by different ISPs.
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The funnel works from top to bottom. So, considering the first stage of awareness, here basically, the brand is trying to inform people about the product. The company is making the people aware about their presence and their brand. So when the first stage is cleared as people now are knowing who you are, the funnel gets a little narrow. This is when few users get cut down as according to them, they don’t need that particular product or service.
Unsubscribe rate. Unsubscribes are always going to happen no matter what, and that’s usually OK because those people probably would never have bought from you anyway. However, a high unsubscribe rate can indicate that you are losing potential customers. Check the following: Why did people subscribe to your list in the first place, and are you delivering on that promise? Is the content of your autoresponder highly relevant to the segment it is being sent to? Are you sending too many sales emails with too little value emails? (Recommended reading: 5 Reasons Why People Unsubscribe from Your Email List.)
Wow, I am so glad that I ran across your review. I recently received the same ban from Mailchimp after sending out several mailing lists and finally building. I only have 116 subscribers, but that is awesome for starting from nothing if you get my drift. Anyhow I send out mailing list for focus group opportunities. I dont sell a thing and sure enough Mail chimp banned me and our group from simple sharing. I am in the process of scrambling for a new mailing list company because my last mailing list was not sent out and now my subscribers are missing out on some really awesome opportunities. I will be sure to check out Aweber TODAY and send out my focus for cash mailer. Hopefully the integration and transition will run smoothly. I have to get my list asap. Have some time sensitive focus group opportunities that are paying really high here in CA right now. Thanks again for this.

Now you have created your first email list using Mailchimp, and it’s time to grow your Email list. Obviously, we will be designing the Email signup form in the next step, but first it’s a good idea to import your existing subscriber list to MailChimp. MailChimp supports all major services like Feedburner, salesforce, Eventbrite, Zendesk and many more. Importing from Feedburner to Mailchimp is easy, and you can refer to this guide which will help you to get started. Do remember, your list is free for first 2000 subscribers only, so if you are exceeding the list, you need to start paying.

Slide in form – This is a less invasive form than a pop up, but still helps capture your visitors’ attention when they are scrolling through your content. As they make their way through your content, a slide-in form will appear about 3/4 down the page. This is the perfect time to get people who are engaging with your content to sign up for your list.


The fundamental idea is to give people something that aligns with the type of subscriber you seek. For example, if you wish to have a list of SciFi readers, a free SFF short story, book, or character dossier would be very appetizing to the sort of people you wish to attract. It can’t be something they can get from anywhere (like an Amazon gift card) but instead something genuine that you have created.
So, when a new person signs up to your site (via your newly created signup box), they will (after confirming their subscription) start to receive the set of emails that you have setup.  You can create as many as you want and schedule them to be sent out at different intervals (i.e. 1 a day, 1 a week, 1 a day and then another one in a month’s time, etc.).
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