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.
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.
Engaging the audience with interesting content is very necessary. This gives a scope for blogging. Writing blogs on various topics that includes your product and other eye catching information as well, will work the most. The audience likes to read those things which are trending in the market. Talking about your product all the time, will simply make the user disinterested.
There are two great things about Mad Mimi. First: it's very cheap. Second, it's very easy to use. These two factors may convince users to purchase a plan. However, some users will find that there are some noticeable omissions when it come to more advanced functionality, particularly in the autoresponder and split testing department. - Chris Singleton

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.
People share their opinions about companies on Twitter each and every day. We monitor tweets about AWeber and apply a sentiment analysis algorithm that classifies these tweets as positive or negative. Every review is from a real person opinion. We use this information and output an approval rating score, which is based on real people, positive and negative, opinions about AWeber on Twitter

The whole idea of email marketing may seem intimidating to you – it certainly did to me. I’ve gone through several different methods of engaging with my email list, and have only recently settled on something that I’m really comfortable with (general ranting). If you’re looking for a simple approach to list building, check out this post: 5 Reasons Why Everything You Know About Email List Building is Wrong.
A low open rate means that people have started to either ignore your messages, or delete them as soon as they receive them. (Or, what I do, is mark them as “read” and just leave them there – probably never to be actually read!) If your open rates are low, you need to work on your email marketing game. Take a look at the previous emails you’ve sent them, or at your subject lines. Something about those emails has deterred your subscriber from opening them up, so tweak and test until you get higher open rates.

At your blog’s inception, you will want to establish a base of content. After all, if you only have a handful of articles, a reader isn’t likely to hang around for long. But once you have say 7-10 articles on your blog, your main focus should be on guest posting. This isn’t something you’ll hear most bloggers say, but I strongly recommend that you publish just one post per week on your own blog, and focus on producing 2-3 guest posts per week.
The only other thing I would have mentioned under design is to not underestimate the power of colour and textures – in my hunt for a theme that I actually want to work with, I’ve narrowed it down to finding a minimalist theme and just giving it a hint of colour to add some flair. Otherwise things can just detract from your content just like you said.
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.
I have used both, and I agree with your analysis. The great thing about MailChimp is that it lets you see the email in different clients. That is really the hardest thing about sending emails. However, you can use that service without doing everything else through MailChimp. Also, once you get the hang of it and develop templates, it no longer is much of an issue.

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.
After you have entered your "List Name" you will need to enter a "List Description." Here is where you will describe the kind of information you'll be sending from this list. There is a 400 character limit for the "List Description." Subscribers will see your "List Description" on the unsubscribe page if they ever go to unsubscribe from your list. Once you are done entering your "List Description" click the "Next Step" button.
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