It was pretty easy to transition over to Aweber. Basically you need to let Aweber know that you are switching from MailChimp, export your contacts to a CSV file and then cut and paste the contacts in. The only pain was recreating all of my forms and autoresponders…especially the popup. I would recommend just signing up for Aweber from the start and not having to deal with it later.
AWeber offers three email editors: a drag-and-drop WYSIWYG editor, a plain text editor, and an HTML editor for those who prefer to code their own emails. The WYSIWYG editor is pretty easy to use and allows for a fair degree of customization, though not quite as much as I would have liked. You can insert a simple “Click here” button, coupon, logo, or signature with the click of a button. Social share buttons are easy to generate once you link AWeber with your Facebook and Twitter account. Drafts are autosaved every two minutes, and you can see a list of previous versions (so that if you accidentally delete something, you can usually retrieve it).
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.
Upon signing up there’s a skippable introductory video. AWeber has a bit more of a setup procedure than most ESPs; to get started, you’ll need to fill out information including the business address you want to feature on the bottom of emails, as well as any customizations you want to make to AWeber’s standard opt-in confirmation message. Once you’ve finished those basic configurations, you’ll be free to explore the program.
I wasn’t sharing my affiliate link for ConvertKit (but I am now – I earn a commission if you buy with this link) as this move was happening because I wanted to take a couple of months to really test it out. After using it for more than three months now, however, I’m extremely happy with the results and am confident in my recommendation. Please note that I do receive a commission from the affiliate links to ConvertKit that are on this page. [Full Disclosure: I’m a compensated advisor and an affiliate for ConvertKit.]
My new email sequences are up and running, and everything is happening behind the scenes like it’s supposed to, and I can track it all while it’s happening. As my lists continue to grow and my audience becomes segmented, I’m preparing for a number of projects that will come out before the end of the year. This work with my email list will definitely support the upcoming needs, and already I’m getting a ton of great feedback from all of you who have gone through these new sequences on my list.
And the company itself? Well—it’s growing actively at a rate of nearly 45% month over month (check out their open earnings metrics and financial details here), which a fantastic sign. I’ve also recently come on board as an advisor for ConvertKit, and I’m excited to start this journey with them like I did at the start of LeadPages. It’s risky, yes, to move my list to a company like this, but I feel like I have a good knack for knowing what’s great out there.
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.
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Most of the editor’s shortcomings are image-related, even for basic functions like cropping. You can resize an image, but that’s it. In addition, getting at the HTML and CSS is a bit of a pain. It can be done, but you’ll need to save your message as a template, then edit it as a template, save your changes, then start a new message using that template. It works, but you’ll waste a lot of time clicking and scrolling.
Like I said, most ESP (email service providers) have the capability of creating automated email workflows. So, instead of getting an email subscriber and initially sending them one or two emails, before getting distracted and forgetting all about them, you can be sure that you have emails sent to them over the course of a few days, weeks, months etc. with email automation.
You see, the people on your email list are your best customers. They have visited your site and found it interesting enough to subscribe for more content. For that reason alone, they are much more likely to listen to any offers you may send them (affiliate promotions, product sales, discount coupons, etc.). So, having a large email list can actually be quite profitable, which is why bloggers and website owners hold them in such high regard.