AWeber finds a healthy balance between ease of use and robust functionality. There are some nice features — particularly in the autoresponder realm — but navigation is intuitive enough that I was able to perform basic tasks without looking up tutorials. When I did find myself at a loss and turned to the online help resources, I was quite impressed with the range and scope of guidance available.
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.
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Here at ShoutMeLoud, I use a combination of Aweber + Feedburner to maintain my Emailing list. Aweber is paid, and Feedburner one the other hand is free. Though, I prefer a paid auto-responder service, as it gives me more control and more features. There are many other popular Email autoresponder services for bloggers out there, for example, GetResponse, MailChimp. I landed with Aweber because it’s one of the highly recommended services, and after using it for almost a year, I still in love with it.
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.
For example, if a particular subscriber’s message number is 4, that means that that subscriber has already received follow-up emails 1,2 and 3. So if I have a 7 part follow up message sequence and I write a brand new followup email (message 8 in the sequence), there is no real way for me to prevent this subscriber from receiving message 8 unless I make his or her message number higher than 8. But if I do this, then that subscriber will never receive messages 4,5,6 or 7.
Businesses that choose to make email offers, usually belong to the e-commerce industry. The benefit for those who are on the mailing list is specific offers that they can get from your company. This kind of approach provides value for both parties. The business can increase the number of sold items, whereas the customer is in a special position as a result of being subscribed to your business.
Before you can send AWesome emails with AWeber, you'll need someone to send it to. The easiest way to begin building your list is to import contacts that have opted-in to your email list, or gave you permission to send them emails. These could be subscribers you've emailed from another provider, or a list of contacts that you've built through your business.