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).
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).
One of the best features of AWeber is the ability to create a series of emails that are automatically sent out to new subscribers. This allows you to create an eCourse or some sort of introductory guide for your latest subscribers. This is fantastic as you can market it as an incentive for people to subscribe (e.g. subscribe and get our free 7 day eCourse) and once setup, you can leave it to be sent out automatically.
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.
Think about implementing referral links to incentivize your subscribers to spread awareness about your brand, too. Referral links allow your current customers to promote trackable links for your business. In exchange for sending new paying customers your way, you can give them incentives like discounts, coupons, vouchers, cash, prizes or redeemable points.