Alex GetResponse is a good service too. They have a smaller customer base than MailChimp or Aweber but they are definitely on the right track. You should consider your own options that will help you decide. For example, pricing, growth, support, reliability, deliverability, spam filters, etc. Make a list of these factors to compare on your own, you will also find such analysis around the web but those analysis could be biased towards one of the service. So you better do it on your own.
Opt-in rates have been on the decline for the last decade or so, and I’ve tried a lot of different solutions that have promised to turn that trend around. Of all the things I’ve tried including web based apps and various plugins, only Post Gopher actually delivered. I installed it on my bizweb2000.com blog and… “Post Gopher Has Performed Better Than All The Other List Building Solutions I Use Combined!”
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.
Note: it needs to be said that Aweber has *just* rolled out a new beta upgrade called Campaigns which I would assume, aims to do some of these features. I received my invite just as I was making the switch to ConvertKit, so I haven’t tried it. It may do the trick. That said, some of the other features I dislike about Aweber are still relevant, so regardless of this new feature, I’m staying put with ConvertKit.
Use it as a lead magnet/free mini-course. You can also use an autoresponder as a lead magnet to attract new subscribers to your email list. This is commonly done in the form of a free “mini-course”, or a free “challenge”, which promises to deliver a series of emails containing lessons (or other valuable information) over the course of several days or weeks. There is a high perceived value with a mini-course or a challenge like this, which makes it a very effective lead magnet.
There are drawbacks, however, and they are threefold: first, the program seems to be falling behind on the social media front. Second, AWeber is a little on the pricey side, especially for businesses with very small lists (1000 and under). Once you hit the 2500-subscriber mark, costs are more in line with industry averages. The company has no send-based subscription plan, which means if you have a large list but send infrequent emails, there are probably better choices for you. Third, the company makes its free trial unnecessarily burdensome by requiring a credit card. This would be a minor issue if not for the fact that customers have reported complications with canceling the service.
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.
Even if you've imported an existing list of contacts, you'll still want an easy way for new fans to join your email list. AWeber's sign up forms provide the perfect solution. Create a simple sign up form for your website, and if you don't have a site, we'll host it for you. Grab the link to your AWeber form and share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or wherever your audience is.