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.

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).
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?”
It is vital to publish whatever content you have should get published on social media. For that, you need to have a pretty good online presence. Publishing various updates on Facebook, Instagram will drive the audience towards your page. It is important to have an online presence, because people like to see what the brand actually offers. So building a fair presence on social media will boost a step towards creating the sales funnel.
Tagging subscribers allows you to segment your email list based on certain actions your subscribers take, such as signing up from a specific form, downloading or purchasing a certain product, clicking a specific link, etc. Then, you can send emails or run campaigns for specific tags, and on top of all that there are a ton of automation and sequencing logic you can set up to trigger certain events.   
Let your recipients know what you want them to do (sign up for a trial, claim a discount, etc.). An ideal call to action should draw attention, be clear and, of course, be clickable. Design a big button, so it’s easy to click on mobile devices. If your email is long, add another call to action, so your subscribers don’t have to scroll to find it. Make a CTA copy compelling.
So you should review the product to see if it provides value for your subscribers. Does it work? Is it helpful? How is the support from the product creator? You are co-signing on all of this when you send that email to your list. As a newbie you still need to nurture and protect your list by emailing them frequently with more informative content. Just make sure this product meets your standards.

We’ve changed email marketing from iContact to MailChimp and, just now, Aweber. We changed from iContact to MailChimp to cut costs. We then switched to Aweber because Mailchimp will not allow you to start an Autoresponder series on an imported list PLUS, as you mentioned, Aweber has much more robust measuring/management tools. However, people should be aware that Aweber requires imported subscribers to opt-in all over again.
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.
I basically had to download the javascript from their site, figure out how their code was written and then tailor it to how I wanted it. Otherwise, I would have been limited to their templates which I didn’t really like. In addition, the Aweber popup code didn’t work properly across all web browsers and I had to fix this manually. (Updated: This problem has been rectified)
Now, you can automatically send highly relevant emails encouraging them to buy the product or service they were considering. Customers who received multiple abandoned shopping cart emails are 2.4 times more likely to complete the purchase than those who receive only one followup email, according to Experian. Try sending the first message one day after, a second message 48 hours after, and possibly a third message within three or four days of abandonment.
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