ashley.. try benchmark as well. the differences i can see, for me anyway are we have 3 products, so want a different company name to show for each, and if they opt out i wanted the option of which list they want to opt out of, even if i send them letter A from list A, but maybe they are also in B and C, they might still want letters from b and c just not A, benchmark and i believe aweber does this. benchmark also allows you to set up a whole load of detailed surveys as well which is cool. mail chimp, if someone opts out of one list the lists are not linked in anyway so then you have to manually check them out of the other lists, and have to assume they want out of all with out giving them the option to chose in and out of what lists.
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).
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.

ashley.. try benchmark as well. the differences i can see, for me anyway are we have 3 products, so want a different company name to show for each, and if they opt out i wanted the option of which list they want to opt out of, even if i send them letter A from list A, but maybe they are also in B and C, they might still want letters from b and c just not A, benchmark and i believe aweber does this. benchmark also allows you to set up a whole load of detailed surveys as well which is cool. mail chimp, if someone opts out of one list the lists are not linked in anyway so then you have to manually check them out of the other lists, and have to assume they want out of all with out giving them the option to chose in and out of what lists.
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.

The tag is a bit of metadata added to a subscriber’s profile to track their activity or preferences. Tags can be used to keep track of purchases, what a subscriber is interested in (e.g. design vs. marketing), how engaged they are (clicked a link in a launch sequence) and where they were imported from. A subscriber can have an unlimited number of tags.

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.


The Autoresponder 2.0 is probably the most advanced feature that GetResponse launched a couple of months ago. With their new autoresponder feature we can now create message cycles that are timely and relevant — all adjusted precisely to subscriber needs and expectations and send them automatically. As a result the open and click are higher and hence lead to more conversions. - Ram Shengale
One of the challenges I’ve had with email marketing is figuring out exactly what to offer and when. I’ve tried the pretty HTML newsletter, but it felt like overkill at times and a little dated (there are of course a few awesome ones out there, but it just never felt like me). I tried taking an ‘e-letter’ approach but felt overwhelmed with creating original content for the newsletter on top of the blog. And more recently, I’ve simply been sending out broadcasts when a new blog or podcast is published. And this is all fine.
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.
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.
AWeber is a fantastic tool to have in your arsenal.  As well as all the features that we have listed above, you will be able to view detailed reports to see how your; opt-in, click-through rate, new subscribers, etc. are performing, setup slit testing to see which of your opt-in boxes works most effectively, manage all your subscribers and much more!
Personally, product creation is something I've always enjoyed. Still, it can be hard at times to come up with ideas for new products that are unique, or have a unique twist to them. Even an experienced and creative individual can learn a lot from this video series. I know I did. I especially appreciated the lessons on product pricing, how to get testimonials, and creating multimedia packages. Not to forget the sources for ideas, which are priceless! Once again you've knocked it out of the ballpark with this one! Thanks! - Karen Denning

I know I am putting you in a pickle asking you to speak of hosting companies you are not currently endorsing. I seem to have read somewhere in your writings where you used to use another hosting company and how they are still good but that Westhost is better for you at this time. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE TOM, STEER ME I TRULY NEED SOME DIRECTION. Thank you I am frozen not knowing with whom my next move needs to be. I have your program and still read over and over and over it.
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To manage expectations, it’s a good idea to send your subscribers a quick follow-up email immediately after they’ve subscribed. This is an optimal opportunity for you to, not only thank them for subscribing, but to also to introduce yourself, send them material that you think they’ll be interested in as new subscribers and remind them how often to expect your messages. Almost all email service providers give you the option to create an autoresponder workflows (something we’ll talk about a little bit later), so use it!

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.]


“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

Thanks for all this wonderful information. I write both fiction and nonfiction. I’m wondering if I need to create two lists that people could sign up for. Or should I just have one? The audiences have some overlap but are mostly different. How do I handle this, short of having two websites (which I don’t want to do)–I currently have one author website. Thanks for any advice.
So glad you stopped by and Congratulations on your new business! This truly is the time to be successful online. I agree Aweber has the best reports, there are so many ways to slice, dice and dissect the data to help your burgeoning business grow. I think people who have large lists would benefit even more from all the ways the data can be analyzed and how you can segment and streamline your lists. And compared to others, it’s inexpensive which means you can focus that cash outlay somewhere else if needed. That really is a huge help to those of us just starting out. I mean, who doesn’t like saving money? Let me know how I can help you get your business going, I’d love to help!
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
Basic: Each week I send out an email about my latest podcast episode. Now, I create a rule that says that if they click on the link inside my email (sending them to my show notes page), they get tagged as Interest: Podcast. That means, should I ever want to send an email to those that I know are interested in my podcast, I can just select this tag. Easy.
I know that this is ancient, but I just made the switch to MailChimp due to a theme change (the theme uses shortcodes which WordPress eats for breakfast) I’d sent out one e-mail with MailChimp, and my second blog post got killed. I blog about re-selling crap I buy from garage sales, thrift stores, and flea markets on eBay. I actually have a blog post titled “work from home – not yet!” detailing why I’m not able to work from home. The hard part for me is that I don’t make enough money on the blog to justify using Awebr. If this is the way it’s going to go, I’m going to need to re-evaluate my blog, what I want to do with it, and whether I should make the switch to a much more expensive option. Not surprising that someone else has had a similar experience though.
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.]
You can set up “rules” in AWeber to automatically segment your audience, but these rules simply subscribe or unsubscribe people from various lists. For example, when one person joins list B, they can be automatically unsubscribed from list A. This simple rule is particularly useful when you have a non-customer email list, and a customer email list.
Aweber is another favorite tool that is aimed at small and mid-sized businesses. It also packs an enormous amount of features, making it an outstanding email management software tool. Automation, tracking and template building are all easy to perform with this tool, earning it a place on this shortlist. It can also be easily integrated into all types of websites.
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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