Never send an email without making sure it’s working properly. What looks good in your inbox can look broken or mangled in someone else’s. Use tools that can help you with testing your SPAM score, deliverability and the rendering of your email. There are plenty of free or freemium solutions that provide screenshots of your email in dozens of different email platforms.
Double opt-in, however, ensures the emails you receive are valid and are not being used by bots and the like (remember, sending too many emails to dead email addresses is a sign of a spammer, and you do not want to be mistaken for a spammer). However, you can use tools like BriteVerify which automatically screen out fake addresses or mistakes at the point where the individual is signing up.
“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
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.
Write great subject lines. David Ogilvy once said that 80 cents of your dollar should be spent on writing headlines. With emails, the subject line is just as important. If it doesn’t catch your attention, you won’t open it. So, spend the majority of your time writing and polishing your subject line. A great email subject line entices curiosity about the content of the email. It’s also personal, and highly relevant to the recipient. To learn more about how to write amazing subject lines, we have an entire blog post on the topic: 30 Successful Bloggers Share Their Best Converting Email Subject Line.
Now don't tell Aweber, but I signed up to every one of the lists I created in my account. I signed up with disposable email accounts. I signed up with Yahoo mail. I signed up with Gmail. I signed up with abut half a dozen different accounts. Guess what? Every email hit the inbox. Every. single. one. When you are building your list, you HAVE to KNOW that the emails are going to stand every chance of being seen and opened by your subscribers. Why else would you send emails right?
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!
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!
Thanks for bringing that up. It’s about time I redid that book cover as it was the first ebook I ever wrote. But when it comes to email marketing, you shouldn’t have to look over your shoulder wondering if you are going to get banned or not. Some of my other blogging colleagues have noticed higher delivery rates with Aweber over Mailchimp which I didn’t include in the article either. Ultimately, if you are going to do any sort of affiliate marketing, Aweber is the way to go. It’s not worth taking the chance of getting banned.
Just in case you’re new to the whole email marketing landscape, Aweber (along with MailChimp, ConvertKit, InfusionSoft, Ontraport and countless others) are email marketing systems designed to allow you to capture subscriber emails and then send them direct messages straight to their inbox. Some are very basic doing only email marketing, and some are full service systems that also include commerce and CRM capabilities.
Tagging subscribers allows you to segment your email list based on certain actions your subscribers take, such as signing up from a specific form, downloading or purchasing a certain product, clicking a specific link, etc. Then, you can send emails or run campaigns for specific tags, and on top of all that there are a ton of automation and sequencing logic you can set up to trigger certain events.
Send new subscribers a “welcome” sequence. This is the message that you send to people right after they subscribe to your email list. It could contain a link to your lead magnet for an easy download, a thank you for subscribing, or maybe a call-to-action to check out your most popular blog posts. Every email list needs a welcome series: don’t miss this chance to “woo” your new subscribers and turn them into loyal fans!
If you’d like to check out ConvertKit, my referral link is here [Full Disclosure: I’m a compensated advisor and an affiliate for ConvertKit], and if you have any questions about ConvertKit, both Nathan and I will be actively popping in and out of this post to reply, however we’re currently at the LeadPages conference in Minneapolis so we may be slow to reply at first.
Pricing for InfusionSoft is also fairly different than AWeber. The interesting thing I discovered is that a lot of people—at least people who I spoke with—are hesitant to share how much they are billed. No one would tell me upfront, which led me to believe that Infusionsoft pricing depends on who you spoke with and what kind of deal you could get, and I was right.
You will benefit from a range of tools when you use the email marketing service from Benchmark, with features such as the ability to add links, social media, and other interactive features to your marketing materials. You can also create surveys and send them out with the Benchmark Email marketing system, and this is part of the package which is not always the case with some competitors. - Joseph Raspolich
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Email marketing tools offer a wide selection of ready-to-use templates. They can save lots of your time, and you won’t need to worry about how your email will display across different devices. You can also use a drag-and-drop editor in your email system to design your template. Add blocks like images, social media buttons or text blocks, customize styles and other elements.
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.
Hi Tom, i just landed on your sight today. This is the simplest information on blogging that I have come across. I am just starting out in freelance writing and I had no idea where to start until I read your blog. i have been on it the whole afternoon and i cannot thank you enough. I am ready to start and I will try and start a blog tomorrow. Is it okay to contact you through e-mail if I get stack? I am almost overwhelmed with information but I am determined to make a living through writing.
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.
Both mailchimp and aweber have too many features for someone that wants to keep it simple. I’ve tried both and went to JetPack. I’m sure a few simple features could be added to JetPack….keep it simple and charge a smaller fee, than aweber. I had and know others as well that got sold on aweber and never used it, paying a heafty monthly fee for nothing. That’s the way of the world now….get them to sign up, put it on their credit card and they forget about it and never learn how to use it. Helps pay for all the other people that spend endless hours on the helpline gobbling up the service reps time trying to figure it all out.
Have you ever wondered if it’s possible for an email automation tool to integrate with other applications such as Salesforce or Shopify? Emma Mail does it for you! This platform also offers subject line split testing using Google analytics and real-time metrics reports. In addition, you also get to personalize emails, say when a contact just made purchase, or hasn’t opened past emails you’ve sent.
Litmus recommends around 50 characters. Yes Lifecycle Marketing says emails with subject line up to 20 characters have ethe highest average open rate, unique click rate, and click-to-open rate. An analysis from Retention Science found that subject lines with 6 to 10 words results in the highest open rates. And Return Path advises using 61 to 70 characters.
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.]
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.
Under #2, be careful with popups or modals that cover other interactions, Google will now penalize this kind of activity on mobile. I suspect we’ll now see persistent banner style replacements on mobile (a strip across the top of the site that doesn’t scroll off the page or disappear until you close it or sufficient time has elapsed without interaction.)
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!”
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.
You publish the one post on your blog per week to continue building your base of content and to demonstrate that you are not a fly-by-night blogger. You get the guest posts published on other blogs as a means of building an audience. Before long, your name will be on the lips on many of your prospective readers. Once you have an established audience, you can write more on your own blog, and less on others’, if you feel it will be beneficial to your continued growth.
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.
Finally, you can optionally include “automations” with your broadcast. Automations are a simple way to automatically add or remove tags when your subscribers do certain actions, like open the email or click on specific links. Adding and removing tags are important when creating segments, or subscriber groups, and triggering automated email campaigns.