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.
The usability of most of the site is actually not bad; I even like the design look and feel. However, the signup process is where I had (and am still having) trouble with. Just simply getting a reply from them on anything takes hours and hours, but when you look search usability and mailchimp.com, they are all kinds of busy writing blogs about their mobile usability testing and how great they are. So they are so focused on their mobile they forgot that the #1 focus should be getting new users fast, and keeping them with good support… what a JOKE! Mailchimp.com is usability and customer support FAIL!
Pop up form – Perhaps the most “in-your-face” option, these types of forms have a high likelihood of conversion. A pop up form appears over your web page and gives more attention to convey the value of your list. Many sign up form creation tools will allow you to customize the length of time at which a pop up form appears on your site (we recommend ~45 seconds, but testing is key).
The next stage is of interest. Those who are still associated with the product are interested in it. So those become the active prospects. They try to search about the product on Google. So that is when being a company you get a chance to showcase the engaging content to the interested audience. In this way, the interested user, starts following the brand on social media and tries to gather information.
The main weakness I see is the price-point where small companies are concerned. If you don’t need all of AWeber’s bells and whistles, there’s no reason to pay for them. You’ll also want to make certain that if you are trying to cancel your account, you’re not just accidentally suspending it. This is especially important where the free trial is concerned, as AWeber requires your credit card info.
• I don’t pay for duplicates. This was one of my pet peeves with Aweber. Because Aweber is based on lists (vs tags), I had many lists set up – from customer lists to opt-in lists and more. If you joined my main list and then opted-in to my new freebie, I paid for you twice. There are people on my list that have been there since 2008, and have opted-in to many of my lists — it’s possible that I might have been paying for people 5x or more. Plus – it totally skewed my numbers. If you were on five different lists, you were counted five times. This did not give me an accurate reflection of my current subscriber numbers.
Today, I'm going to bite the bullet and sign up for AWeber, a communications company that offers Auto responder and Email Marketing services.  I am going to launch a newsletter on my music Web site, www.Musiciantip.com. AWeber Is Recommended Web-Wide Rosalind Gardner, Michael Brown, Allan Gardyne, and countless other successful affiliate marketers all recommend AWeber  (… Read more →)
Open rate shows a percentage of total recipients that viewed your email. You can track it in HTML emails that include a transparent image (a tracking pixel). When it’s loaded, an email is tracked as open. This metric isn’t 100% accurate. As mentioned earlier, some email providers block images, and a user needs to enable them to see the visual elements.
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.
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.
“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

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.
I am not a business selling anything yet but for MailChimp I have to give a business address that will be shown in the newsletters. I dont wanna give away my private address as well but how can I still legally (with the opt-in and everything) collect email address and be able to send newsletters? Would you still recommend MailChimp for strategic purposes or do you have any other ideas?
I have very deliberately included two blogs above that have absolutely nothing to do with making money or online business in any way shape or form. That market is arguably the hardest to make money in, because it is so saturated. Thanks to Chris Guthrie for making the very sensible suggestion that I should include non-MMO blogs in my examples above.

Your material is easy to follow, easy to read, professional. Where do you get the creative juices to do all this stuff? I come back to your sites often and check out all the others as well. I don’t want to miss any new product that you put out there. Keep up the excellent work, keep on providing exceptional value for your customers’ buck, and may fortune smile upon you as you go about your life. - Danny Fortune

There were a lot of other options on the table for higher-level email marketing too, such as Ontarport (formerly known as Office Autopilot), but I remembered an Infusionsoft “sister” conference where I gave the keynote presentation in 2014 called PartnerCON and I met a lot of the staff over at Infusionsoft, which left me with a great impression of the company, so I decided to roll with it.

Check your ‘Form Type’ settings to alter the width of your signup box.  This is important as you need to make sure that it is the right size for your site.  Think about where you want the box to appear on your site – for the sidebar, you will want it reasonable small (perhaps 250-300px wide) whereas if it’s for after your post, maybe something much wider (e.g. 600px).
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