But that doesn’t mean everyone wants to hear about everything and the exact moment I want to share it. My clients and readers who are in major growth mode with their business don’t necessarily need to go through my comprehensive planning program, My PRO Plan (or the content I write around it). They’ve got a plan, and their focus is on growth strategies and developing their leadership skills.
However, if you are willing to invest some money in your learning, I would heartily recommend that you stop reading immediately and grab yourself a copy of Start a Blog that Matters. This is an online course developed by the aforementioned Corbett Barr, and I cannot recommend it enough. I have been running through the course material over the last couple of months, and it has revolutionized my approach to blogging (which some of you may well have observed with interest).
Make sales on autopilot. Creating a sales funnel out of an email autoresponder sequence is a widely adopted strategy used by information marketers, but it can also be used by software companies, eCommerce businesses, and service providers. For example, it could consist of a series of educational videos, a sales video, and follow-ups to sell your information products. Or, you could create a sequence of free educational emails, and then invite leads to a live or recorded webinar where you make an offer. For eCommerce businesses, your sales sequence could include promo offers for products your subscriber has just viewed on your website.
AWeber has a strict and comprehensive anti-spam policy in order to keep its deliverability rates high. Upon signing up for an AWeber account, you must certify that your list is permission-based and meets the company’s anti-spam standards. In addition, before your first mailing, you will need to send a subscription confirmation to all your subscribers. Anyone who doesn’t confirm their subscription cannot be included on your list. (This is known as confirmed opt-in.) AWeber will sometimes make exceptions for lists which have already been through that process and have a proven history with another ESP.
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.
Yes, I believe you can save the subscriber list onto your computer with both services. While moving subscribers from Mailchimp to Aweber was relatively straightforward, it did take me quite awhile to move all of my autoresponders and port my entire setup to Aweber. So if you can afford it, I would simply start out with Aweber and stay with them instead of having to move later.
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.]
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!
In this next section we’re going to get more detailed about setting up your blog. Whenever I ask an audience “how many of you have a blog?” I’m always amazed at how few people raise their hand and say yes. I’ve asked business owners of all types. Hair salons, HVAC, chiropractors, not-for-profits, freight forwarders, crypto and the majority are missing this tool.
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!!).
As its name implies, Drip is an email automation tool that is specifically designed for drip emails. If you’re pressed for time to create your own email content, you can use Drip’s Blueprints, or premade sets of drip campaigns with filler text that you can easily tweak to your own liking. Additionally, this tool allows you to collect email addresses for your drip campaigns via a simple widget that you can add to your website
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:
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.
First of all you need to sign up for a free account at MailChimp. Here is the signup link (Aff. link). Once you have signed up, and logged into MailChimp dashboard, you will be seeing a screen similar to this, and click on create a list. The good thing about MailChimp dashboard is, it’s interactive, so you will not find any issues with getting started with it.
I have a few criteria that I am picky about when it comes to a membership platform. Obviously protecting your content is priority, but the membership setup must be simple, and the members page has to look professional. I have tried several membership plugins, scripts, and cloud platforms over the years and I have finally… “Good Things Come To Those That Wait!”
Just wanted to thank you for doing what you do to share your experience with those of us who are new to the world of freelance writing and blogging for income. I’ve been blogging for about 5 years but my initial draw was to connect on a more personal level. So my heavily visited blog is all personal stories of the random life experiences I’ve had or rants I go on about (you can check it out if you like my name is linked). Recently I started blogging tips for self-publishing Writers of fiction as I self-published my second book last month. But secretly (okay, not so secretly) my main passion is writing about myself. Probably sounds nuts but my goal with my personal blog was to get it all out there then pick from the fifty or so stories that really told the reader who I am and compile them into a memoir of sorts. Hell, it worked for Jen Lancaster! Anyway, your blog has become my favorite morning and afternoon read as I research ways to make my writing talents work on a career level and I plan to keep reading! Thanks again! 🙂
Great timing. My billing info on mailchimp needs updating so now is a good time to switch to aweber. When I had to decide between the two a few years ago I picked mailchimp because their template system is way cooler. Aweber’s stuff looks like teenagers’ homework assignments in the 90’s. In contrast to an all male engineering team mailchimp seems to have a few girls on board to spruce things up. But as you said the functionality behind the email is more important than the look so I’m jumping ship. Oh, I’ll also be saving $20 pm.
Thanks to the 1000s of hours of real world marketing experience, we have put together an archive of the most likely things you'll encounter and do wrong when starting out your business. This top secret archive of mistakes are the results of over 10 years of practical hands on marketing experience by experts how have been playing the game since the early 2000s!
When someone opts-in to your ebook, or signs up for your newsletter or webinar, you create a sequence that basically deepens the relationship and extends the conversation around the topic. Generally toward the end of the sequence you’d include a call to action. You can combine this with a sales call if you added a phone number in your opt-in form. You can use standard email marketing providers to set this up. Mailchimp, Mad Mimi, Infusionsoft, Aweber are all good ones to try.
Your products have always impress me, especially how you took a product, completely redesign and repackage to make it look unique and professional. Your products have helped me build a huge mailing list, generate sales and even set up membership sites to conduct e-courses. Please continue to keep up your good work and quality of your products. Take care! - Eric Tan
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com AND firstname.lastname@example.org became clogged up by spam messages, while on another occasion both email@example.com AND firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
As for reporting options, AWeber presents the standard raw numbers and percentages (clicks, opens, unsubscribes, and the like). It also includes more advanced data such as opens, clicks, and revenue over time; subscriber growth; and stats by location, area code, or designated market area. In addition, you can compare results across your past 20 emails. You can track subscribers based on their signup method, and the list segmentation options provide plenty of ways to optimize your email marketing. Reports are well laid out and easy to understand; much of the data is presented in both chart and table format.