Earlier this year, I made a big decision to move my email list of more than 135,000 subscribers to Infusionsoft from AWeber, which I’ve used for the past five-plus years. Three months later, my email list now lives on a relatively new and rapidly growing platform called ConvertKit. [Full Disclosure: I’m a compensated advisor and an affiliate for ConvertKit.]
Clarity is key here. Your sign up form should explain the benefits of signing up for your email list, information about the types of content you’ll be sending (newsletters, product promotions, etc.), the cadence of your emails (i.e. weekly, monthly). When you define these expectations up front, your subscribers won’t have any questions about what they signed up for.
To manage expectations, it’s a good idea to send your subscribers a quick follow-up email immediately after they’ve subscribed. This is an optimal opportunity for you to, not only thank them for subscribing, but to also to introduce yourself, send them material that you think they’ll be interested in as new subscribers and remind them how often to expect your messages. Almost all email service providers give you the option to create an autoresponder workflows (something we’ll talk about a little bit later), so use it!
When you write great content for your industry you can share it on other related blogs that have high traffic and authority. Guest posting and blogging is a great way to build your personal brand. It makes an awesome marketing channel for your blog. You want to target posts on sites that are relevant for your niche, have an active audience and will include backlinks to your blog and your mini bio in your post.
I have used Aweber for years, but wondered is I should try another service. One thing I do not like about Aweber is they don’t allow you to upload a list of contacts. I know that some of the other companies do. So, I appreciate your comparison. It makes Aweber a little more comfortable. If anyone is interested I do have a free booklet on “71 Ways to Get Free Traffic” that can be found here http://trafficmadeeasy.net/71-ways. Thanks for the article.
Kyjean Tomboc finished nursing school but found joy in plucking and stringing words to create value-driven content for brands in the health, life sciences, and lean startup niches. She loves everything strategic in creating content -- from CRO to SEO to SMM to UX (the Internet sure loves acronyms!). Her current obsessions include the human gut microbiome, A/B testing, and Benedict Cumberbatch. Kyjean is also a seasoned trekker.
ConvertKit has been very forthcoming with their business development, and they even publish monthly income and stats. You can see the latest here and their real-time numbers here. Nathan took the company from a struggling side hustle, to an ever-growing successful company in about nine months once he dedicated his attention to it and made it his focus (yes, this is why I always talk about the importance of focus!!).
Like I said, most ESP (email service providers) have the capability of creating automated email workflows. So, instead of getting an email subscriber and initially sending them one or two emails, before getting distracted and forgetting all about them, you can be sure that you have emails sent to them over the course of a few days, weeks, months etc. with email automation.
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org AND email@example.com became clogged up by spam messages, while on another occasion both firstname.lastname@example.org AND email@example.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.
Update: MailChimp refutes this claim about affiliate marketing saying that they only impose temporary bans when certain links in emails are blacklisted. What’s nice about AWeber is that they let you know BEFORE you send your email how likely your email will hit someone’s spam folder and whether you are accidentally using blacklisted links in your email.
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.
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In response to “bogus” email subscribers, I will tell you why it is done… because I do it myself. When I am forced to put in my email information just to get some free information, it irritates me. The reason it irritates me is because, I deal with many companies in my business, I can not afford the time to keep sifting through my inbox to delete 50 emails from a company that I just wanted a little information from. Email marketing optin is great, but keep in mind – not everyone wants the bombarding of emails after-the-fact.
Price: Several users feel that the price is too high for many small businesses, especially businesses that don’t need all the bells and whistles AWeber has to offer. This is compounded by the fact that there’s no “dormant” mode; so long as your lists are in AWeber, you’ll need to pay the monthly fee based on your number of subscribers, whether or not you are actually sending emails. Some would like to see a low-price or freemium option for very small businesses.
I totally agree about content. I have been a long advocate of this because if there is nothing on the website, then there is no reason to return. E-mail campaigns are only good to have people return to the website. Having people, come once is a waste and will probably get people to unsubscribe to your e-mails. And once they unsubscribe it is nearly impossible to get them to subscribe again to be on your list.
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:
I love press releases as a tool to drive tons of traffic to my sites fast. In addition by including keywords you can get ranked for topics and answers that your audience finds of value. The key is to write in a newsworthy style and not like a sales letter or advertisement. You need to have something of value if you want to get non-paid organic media attention.
Visit forums related to your niche, have a look around them and see what people are talking about. Remember to listen before you speak. Set up your profile. Add value by answering some questions. Engage and if you see a thread where you think you can add value post a reply to that thread. Be sure to observe the rules of the forum or you may get banned.
While in these days it’s much less common to get notifications for every email we receive, and instead social media that reigns supreme in that department, that doesn’t mean that email has become any less important. In fact, our email inboxes have become somewhat of a place for solitude for us. Unlike social media – where the content that pops up on your feeds can be sporadic and oftentimes, overwhelming – email is where we receive messages that we’ve carefully chosen to receive.
As with most ESPs, you’ll need to certify that any list you upload is permission-based and conforms with the provider’s anti-spam policies. AWeber takes this a step farther than some. You will need to enter the source of the email list when you upload it, and AWeber requires confirmed opt-in for all addresses. This means your first email will have to be a request for your subscribers to confirm their subscriptions. Anyone who doesn’t confirm can’t be on your list. (AWeber does allow some exceptions to this rule if you have a list that has already gone through confirmed opt-in with another ESP.)
Think about implementing referral links to incentivize your subscribers to spread awareness about your brand, too. Referral links allow your current customers to promote trackable links for your business. In exchange for sending new paying customers your way, you can give them incentives like discounts, coupons, vouchers, cash, prizes or redeemable points.