I asked him several other questions and he took me deeper into the software to show me some cool automation tools and how tagging and segmentation worked. He also took me into the analytics and even some of the early integrations ConvertKit has with companies like Gumroad, which make it incredibly easy for me to new link customers of The Smart Podcast Player to a “course” in ConvertKit to send them a pre-written autoresponder series.

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.

Thanks to the 1000s of hours of real world marketing experience, we have put together an archive of the most likely things you'll encounter and do wrong when starting out your business. This top secret archive of mistakes are the results of over 10 years of practical hands on marketing experience by experts how have been playing the game since the early 2000s!

During my beta tests with Split Test Monkey, I found it simplifies things to make it easier to setup and fast without all the complex features.  I ran a list building campaign with cold YouTube Video SEO traffic for 16 days. I expected conversions at 4-10% or much lower because people didn’t know me. I tested two… “19.43% List Conversions and $4985 in Revenue?”

Check your ‘Form Type’ settings to alter the width of your signup box.  This is important as you need to make sure that it is the right size for your site.  Think about where you want the box to appear on your site – for the sidebar, you will want it reasonable small (perhaps 250-300px wide) whereas if it’s for after your post, maybe something much wider (e.g. 600px).


Thanks for this guide. It’s 100 times better than those rubbish clickbank ebooks selling for $47. I’ve recently checked out Woothemes and they’re quite beautiful and customizable (I took advantage of the test ground facility). I’m currently using Daily (premium theme from Theme Junkie) and I think it reflects the ideal blogging theme you described above.

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?


My new email sequences are up and running, and everything is happening behind the scenes like it’s supposed to, and I can track it all while it’s happening. As my lists continue to grow and my audience becomes segmented, I’m preparing for a number of projects that will come out before the end of the year. This work with my email list will definitely support the upcoming needs, and already I’m getting a ton of great feedback from all of you who have gone through these new sequences on my list.
But really, the conversation was just a series of questions about my needs, my experiences wants and desires as a blogger, podcaster, and digital marketer. Having just completed a software product of my own (The Smart Podcast Player), I appreciated the questions and fully understood what he wanted, and I was not afraid to hold back. He was my friend, and plus what if he created the perfect solution for me.
This is not the first time - nor will it be the last time that they have amazed us with the quality and content of product. Not only are their products detailed and easy to follow, but they go over the top in delivering how-to guides with step-by-step instructions that make my products stand out from the crowd. This will help solve your problem and improve yourself as a marketer. - Adam Davies
Automation is what’s going to help you turn leads into customers behind the scenes so you can focus on doing everything else you need to do to run your business. This is essentially the same as the email sequences I mentioned in phase one, only you’re using different tools and targeting subscribers and people who have opted in, so they’re warm leads rather than cold leads.
Freedom to make decisions is something I allow and trust my team to do on several levels without ever needing my permission. It makes us move much faster. If they know certain decisions help support the main objectives and value of the brand, and it’s not something that could potentially damage the brand or cost more than $500 (this isn’t a hard number, it’s a rule of thumb), then they are free to take the reins and continue moving forward.
Write great subject lines. David Ogilvy once said that 80 cents of your dollar should be spent on writing headlines. With emails, the subject line is just as important. If it doesn’t catch your attention, you won’t open it. So, spend the majority of your time writing and polishing your subject line. A great email subject line entices curiosity about the content of the email. It’s also personal, and highly relevant to the recipient. To learn more about how to write amazing subject lines, we have an entire blog post on the topic: 30 Successful Bloggers Share Their Best Converting Email Subject Line.
Don’t sell sand in the desert. Even if you use an award-winning design and have the best deals on the market, you won’t be successful if you don’t get the right offers to the right people. One-size-fits-all messages are not effective or profitable. Imagine that you provide a free trial of your software although your subscribers are already your clients. Or, that you want to sell sausages to vegans.
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?

Thank you for a detailed comparison of MailChimp and Aweber. I think it’s a nice idea to also have an in-house email software like this one http://easymail7.com in addition to the account with a remotely hosted email provider like MailChimp or Aweber. In case of a sudden account suspension by the ESP, you would not lose contacts, emails, autoresponders etc, and would be able to continue email marketing using the in-house email software.
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.
Every business needs a plan and every business need a sales funnel to reach to their apt audience. So creating your own sales funnel according to the requirement will help a lot in understand your business strategy. Now that you have created your digital marketing campaign, you have to plan your sales funnel as well. So here is a simple guide of how you can create your own sales funnel to drive the predicted results.
As you can see in the flowchart above, when someone subscribes to this particular form, they go through a confirmation sequence. Once confirmed they get “tagged” as having signed up for my eBook, and then they are directed to a specific thank you page. If they are already confirmed on my list, they skip over that part and just go directly to the thank-you page.

Hi Steve, I think I might have been Asian in a past life. Lol:) Signed up with Mailchimp for the same cheapskate reasons as you. Finding it OK but always wonder what I’m missing as all the “pros” use Aweber. Can you tell me with Aweber are you able to manually look at people who signed up but haven’t confirmed and then send them a polite reminder? Mailchimp seems to be missing that and I always wonder how many people I’m missing because of that!
I just wanted to send you an email and give you a big thank you. I am busting my butt trying to build an online business, and I carry a very strong interest in marketing (I'm a graphic designer, so I guess it could go hand in hand). I'm never sure who is who, I can't tell who I'm listening too or buying from or who created what, but I feel you create and offer some of the best quality products for prices that really do meet my budget. And a BIG THANKS for all of the effort and quality content you provide. - Slade Julius
Your material is easy to follow, easy to read, professional. Where do you get the creative juices to do all this stuff? I come back to your sites often and check out all the others as well. I don’t want to miss any new product that you put out there. Keep up the excellent work, keep on providing exceptional value for your customers’ buck, and may fortune smile upon you as you go about your life. - Danny Fortune
Perhaps I overshot and started using something that was way beyond what I needed, or maybe it was the way it’s built that didn’t jive with my workflow, but whatever the case may be, I knew I had to look for another solution—a simpler solution—and I needed to find one quickly. My team is close to the point of implementation on a brand new website design, very much inspired by the results of the survey we ran recently here on SPI.
Great article comparison and review! Man I wished I had read this before getting in bed with mailchimp.com – You are correct they have the WORST customer service there is… I have been waiting for more than 24 hours now for a resolution as to why they suspend my account – turns out I didnt answer some questions in a lengthy email they send out. I could not call them because they do not have a phone number.
I have been on your list for some time now and I always pay special attention to your updates! The earnings potential you have given me is unbelievable. And I have recommended your products to some of my family members and they are now starting to see profits on their websites. (we are a family business!) I recommend this to anyone who is beginning in internet marketing. It is very simple to do. Every thing you need to know is already done for you. - Dave Osmonson
Upon signing up there’s a skippable introductory video. AWeber has a bit more of a setup procedure than most ESPs; to get started, you’ll need to fill out information including the business address you want to feature on the bottom of emails, as well as any customizations you want to make to AWeber’s standard opt-in confirmation message. Once you’ve finished those basic configurations, you’ll be free to explore the program.
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