This blog post is the third installment of our new series, The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing. For eight weeks, we’re featuring a new article that covers a specific area of focus in email marketing! Last week, we wrote about planning your email marketing strategy. This week, it’s all about list growth! Want a sneak peek into the content? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing.
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
For example, if a particular subscriber’s message number is 4, that means that that subscriber has already received follow-up emails 1,2 and 3. So if I have a 7 part follow up message sequence and I write a brand new followup email (message 8 in the sequence), there is no real way for me to prevent this subscriber from receiving message 8 unless I make his or her message number higher than 8. But if I do this, then that subscriber will never receive messages 4,5,6 or 7.
On the flip side, Aweber’s method of managing followup emails allows me to know exactly which subscriber has received which follow up emails and when. With MailChimp, I really have no clue who has or hasn’t received a particular email. Overall, I kind of prefer Aweber’s method of managing follow-ups but it is basically a wash depending on your preference.

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!!).


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!!).


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!

With its user-friendly templates, anyone who's dipping their toes into email marketing waters would love Vertical Response. Each campaign that you published with this software may be hosted for free online, allowing you to share links of previous campaigns even to non-subscribers. If you want to design your own emails, you can quickly make your own through the in-app image editor with filters and special text options.
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.)
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.
Looking for a place to start promoting your list? Look no further than the followings you already have established! If you’re actively creating and sharing content on a platform like Facebook or Twitter, try reaching out to your audience and encouraging them to sign up to your list. After all, they’re already finding value in the content you’re sharing. Now it’s time to take your relationship to the next level.
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.
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.
MailChimp does not allow content that references the terms “make money at home”, ‘get rich quick’, or other similar terms. These keywords overlap keywords used by ISPs and SpamCop organizations to block content associated with spammers from those industries. This generates too much risk for us to encounter automated spam filter blocks for all of our customers.

“As my list has grown, I’ve just remained focused on the next metric right ahead of me. First it was just to hit 200 subscribers, then 300 subscribers, then 400 subscribes. Eventually the goal was 1,000 subscribers, then 2,000 etc. etc.  As I’ve gone past 10,000 and 20,000 and beyond I’ve actually started to focus more not on the sheer number but on engagement.” – John Corcoran, Smart Business Revolution
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.

Promote up-sells/cross-sells. You can even set up an autoresponder sequence for someone after they purchase and get repeat customers. Depending on the products you sell, you could offer an upsell, or cross-sell related products. For example, if someone buys a digital camera, you can offer to add a lens, a tripod, and other accessories to their order before it ships. Or, if you sell products that people buy frequently (like food or disposable items, like diapers), you can automatically send them offers for new items when you know they’re about due for another order.
Aweber is the perfect email solution for your business and organization. With Aweber you can build and control all of your emails and email lists. It will organize your contacts into specific email groups, so you can be sure that you send the email to the right email list. Aweber allows people to subscribe or unsubscribe to your email list easily. It is the perfect tool for your email marketing needs.
Tip: We often suggest that you mention what you’re going to talk about in your subject line. However, Nathan Latka of Heyo once told us in a webinar that he usually goes for a really short subject line that provokes curiosity. (He claims he has even used knock-knock jokes.) In the right context, something like “Hey …” can be surprisingly effective. The casual and familiar tone coupled with the slight recognition of your email address may be enough to prompt an open.
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.
As a software developer protecting your hard work is an important aspect of selling digital products. You want a licensing system that does what you need, is flexible and not get in your way. ProductDyno does that and more. Other licensing systems make you jump through hoops integrating their services, not so with ProductDyno, it… “Protecting Your Hard Work Is Important”
This is usually an invitation sent out to the whole mailing list. If your company is holding some event, such as a physical reveal of a product, or a webinar, this is the starting point that will significantly increase awareness. This is a mixture of a newsletter and offers email, as people are asked to participate in the event that they can either only watch, or make a purchase as well.

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.


I use Ratepoint because they also offer a review (testimonial) widget I have posted on my site. Ratepoint has a promotion that offers free mailing list service forever if your list is 125 or less. Obviously most of us will want more than 125 folks reading our newsletters but it’s a good start. Good templates, tracking and definitely awesome support.

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)
Thanks for bringing that subject up! Having you used both of these services in the past 2 years, I prefer Aweber over Mailchimp. For me it comes down to usability and efficiency, which Aweber just does better than Mailchimp. Having said that, I do like the value Mailchimp brings to the table for new startups with their free service. Also I do admit that giving away 2,000 subscribers to everyone – that’s just huge, yet clever at the same time.
This is where you can see the list of subscribers. For those who are moving from Aweber, GetResponse, or any other email service provider, you can import your existing subscribers. When you are importing, ensure that you add tags to segment your list. For example, in my case, I imported my list from Gumroad & tagged them as Gumroad buyers.  (You can refer to this help guide to learn more about importing email subscribers to ConvertKit.)
With Aweber however, this is not that easy to do. With Aweber, each and every one of your subscribers is tagged with a message number which indicates which followup emails they have received already. To prevent a subscriber from receiving a specific followup email, you must set the subscriber’s message number to be higher than the email sequence number.
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.
Another thing about your list. Don’t worry when people unsubscribe — because they will. There are a variety of reasons so don’t take it personal. Maybe they’re just reducing the size of their inbox. Or perhaps they were just interested in your freebie offer. Chance are they were not going to buy from you anyway. Just keep providing quality content and those who join will far exceed those who choose to unsubscribe.
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.
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!”
“Mailchimp was great when I just had a blog. Now that I have my book, I’m starting to have products, it’s more of a business. I didn’t think that Mailchimp could handle me. I needed something a little more versatile that could target the people that I sent things to depending on what list they were on or what they clicked. It needed to be a little more sophisticated for me. That’s why I needed to switch over.”
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