Enter the autoresponder. The autoreposnder (or as ConvertKit calls it, a Course), is a series of messages that get sent in succession automatically. You write them once, determine the frequency, and then subscribers get these same messages no matter when they join your list. It’s a fabulous strategy because you build it once and then you can rest knowing that even if you can’t send something in real-time, they are still getting these carefully crafted emails.
Clarity is key here. Your sign up form should explain the benefits of signing up for your email list, information about the types of content you’ll be sending (newsletters, product promotions, etc.), the cadence of your emails (i.e. weekly, monthly). When you define these expectations up front, your subscribers won’t have any questions about what they signed up for.
It’s one of the most effective marketing approaches because a person who decides to share their information with you shows that they are interested in your blog or business and what it is offering. With this in mind, it is clear that the person is also willing to buy your products or services, explaining why email marketing has high conversion rates.
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.
Great post! I am new to online marketing, my business is actually only a month old and I too am using Aweber. I have found it really simple to use and I love the reports section. I am an analyst by trade so this is so up my street! I came across your post as I was interested to find out how Aweber compare to other autoresponders and if I’d made the right decision. Your post has told me I have. I will look forward to reading more of your reviews and tips.
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.
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.
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).
An affiliate product is created by someone else but you can promote it to your list and earn a commission on every sale you make. When promoting an affiliate product to your list you don’t want to just promote any kind of product just to make a quick dollar. Remember the effort you out into building a list of raving fans that know, like and trust you.
I think this is just giving you a very cautious report. Infusionsoft is quite protective of their lists and how they send but it looks like you had 114,528 on your list and sent to 101,929 with 0 Skipped and 0 Errors. So the variance is due to several things such as the contacts didn’t have email addresses or there are some duplicates and/or 13,000 had opted out. You only had 12 Complaints, which is quite low, but maybe the bulk of them came during one segment that was sent, which created the warning. I have one of the senior support guys looking into this, but I think you are fine.”
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.
AWeber has a lot to offer, especially to companies that frequently utilize autoresponders. The autoresponder series set up was among the most intuitive and simplest I’ve ever seen…and of course, once your series is set up, you can allow it to run in the background with no further actions on your part. The WYSIWYG editor has some nice features and recent updates have improved the email design experience significantly. The analytics and reporting capabilities are a step above par, as is AWeber’s number of integrations.
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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.
As a total beginner to all of this, there is a serious “learning curve” in just getting to this point. If all I want to do is create a mailing list – why do i have to have a third party mailing service if I use yahoo or gmail? Does this mean that I have to sign up with mailchimp or aweber? I find this all a bit confusing as to why i need to do this at all? and then what happens if in the future, i want to add this feature? right now i have no budget to pay additional fee-services, so it is just not an option. I find navigating all of this extremely confusing as a first time user of WP and setting up a site. Many of the plugins break my site and cause serious problems, so i am very leery on downloading additional plugins. most of them have 4-5 – star ratings but only have a few comments that created that rating. If you could consider taking one (or two) step(s) back and try to explain on a more basic level – i think that would really help beginners. I am finding all of this social media, feedburner, etc to be extremely time consuming and the blog comments i am getting are ALL advertisers, so I have marked them as spam and deleted them without displaying on my site.
Sign up for free trials to see which email marketing tool you consider easy to use. Their prices vary. MailChimp and MoonMail are the great ones to start with if you don’t have a big mailing list. They offer a forever free trial if you have up to 2000 contacts. Some of the other popular brands are GetResponse, Active Campaign, AWeber, Constant Contact, and many more.
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!!).
Slide in form – This is a less invasive form than a pop up, but still helps capture your visitors’ attention when they are scrolling through your content. As they make their way through your content, a slide-in form will appear about 3/4 down the page. This is the perfect time to get people who are engaging with your content to sign up for your list.
Even my team members, who are much smarter than I am, couldn’t get a grasp of it as quickly as I wanted them to. Although the help I hired was amazing, that company wasn’t a part of Team Flynn like my other teammates. They would never think to change things here and there on their own for the benefit of the brand and what it stands for, because that’s not what they’re paid to do.
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.
This was all possible with Aweber, with some drawbacks (and one of the reasons I switched to ConvertKit). While you could set up an autoresponder sequence in Aweber, it was not easy or convenient to segment out those users who were in the sequence from getting your main newsletter or blog broadcasts. So, it was possible that people were getting multiple emails from me a week.
If you want to integrate with PayPal and Amazon – AWeber wins. I prefer AWeber to MailChimp, but that’s only because it lets me integrate with Google Analytics. Also, if you have affiliate marketing links on your site, MailChimp will cancel your account without notice! Nobody knows why, and MailChimp says they will assess it, but it still happens with no warning!
“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
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.