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.


Variations of “Hello {!firstname_fix}” have become the norm in email marketing, not the outlier. Because of that, it’s losing its effectiveness. You can still use name personalization, but you also want to think about going a step further. At AWeber, we recommend segmenting your audience and sending each segment tailored messages with unique subject lines.
Great article comparison and review! Man I wished I had read this before getting in bed with mailchimp.com – You are correct they have the WORST customer service there is… I have been waiting for more than 24 hours now for a resolution as to why they suspend my account – turns out I didnt answer some questions in a lengthy email they send out. I could not call them because they do not have a phone number.
Infusionsoft is a fully functional CRM and marketing solution created for small and medium-size businesses. Comparing it to Mailchimp or AWeber is like comparing a Lamborghini to a VW Golf. It provides highly advanced features for list segmentation, lead scoring, and marketing automation. On top of all that, you can integrate all of these features with your optin form using Infusionsoft Tags + OptinMonster.
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I spoke with an Infusionsoft Certified Partner I met at PartnerCON to discuss my wish to migrate my list. An ICP is someone who becomes Infusionsoft Certified after passing a rigorous test at the end of a four-day training course at Infusionsoft’s headquarters. An ICP understands Infusionsoft inside and out and is able to include Infusionsoft services in their client packages.

Sign up for free trials to see which email marketing tool you consider easy to use. Their prices vary. MailChimp and MoonMail are the great ones to start with if you don’t have a big mailing list. They offer a forever free trial if you have up to 2000 contacts. Some of the other popular brands are GetResponse, Active Campaign, AWeber, Constant Contact, and many more.


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.
Their Follow Up feature is the perfect way to send introductory emails to new subscribers (say you want to introduce them to your most popular posts or send in a 5-series email campaign covering your latest project) before they receive your usual newsletters. Many users prefer AWeber for its comprehensive phone support and ability to integrate seamlessly with other web apps.
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.
Aweber is one of the most popular email marketing solutions for bloggers. It lets you send emails, manage subscribers, and offer good tracking. Aside from that you can also send sequence of automatically delivered emails (autoresponder), automatically create emails from your newest blog posts, and target subscribers based on their action, location, etc with a single click. We use Aweber for some of our email lists. Also, you can easily Split Test optin forms template, headlines, headline color, text color, text of submit button, and much more.
Note: it needs to be said that Aweber has *just* rolled out a new beta upgrade called Campaigns which I would assume, aims to do some of these features. I received my invite just as I was making the switch to ConvertKit, so I haven’t tried it. It may do the trick. That said, some of the other features I dislike about Aweber are still relevant, so regardless of this new feature, I’m staying put with ConvertKit.
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!
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 →)
The Smart Passive Income Blog started in October 2008 simply as a place for me to report and talk about everything that was happening with my business at GreenExamAcademy.com. Starting an online business changed my life and saved my butt after getting laid off, and it was the least I could do to pay it forward and hopefully help others that had met struggles during the recession, too.

Email marketing is such a critical component of business for most companies (with the rare exception) because you able to communicate with your audience in the place they spend a good chunk of time (their inboxes). You also have the added benefit of building an asset (an email list) that no external platform (I’m talking to you Facebook) can mess with.
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.
Every time you publish a new post, let your subscribers know about it. Also keep them updated on new offers and specials. Create a private page on your website with a video filled with exclusive tips just for them. Engage with them and ask them questions to find out more about their needs. This way you’ll stay top of mind, plus you can use the feedback to shape future products.
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.
Do most people open your emails on desktop or mobile? Email messages opened on a mobile device have nearly doubled over the past 5 years, while emails opened on an internet browser have dropped 26% in that same timeframe, according to a study from Return Path. If you find your list trending toward mobile, too, then aim for short email subject lines (35 characters or less). (Not sure how your audience reads your emails? Services like Litmus and Email on Acid can track which devices your subscribers are reading their emails on.)
During my beta tests with Split Test Monkey, I found it simplifies things to make it easier to setup and fast without all the complex features.  I ran a list building campaign with cold YouTube Video SEO traffic for 16 days. I expected conversions at 4-10% or much lower because people didn’t know me. I tested two… “19.43% List Conversions and $4985 in Revenue?”
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.
And that was that. I didn’t really get any help afterwards, but I trusted that most of them were getting through because my broadcasts were being replied to, and I just hoped it was just some bug or internal error and not actually brakes being put on my emails. I was again, appreciative of the quick call to attention, but was still left hanging a little.
Now you have created your first email list using Mailchimp, and it’s time to grow your Email list. Obviously, we will be designing the Email signup form in the next step, but first it’s a good idea to import your existing subscriber list to MailChimp. MailChimp supports all major services like Feedburner, salesforce, Eventbrite, Zendesk and many more. Importing from Feedburner to Mailchimp is easy, and you can refer to this guide which will help you to get started. Do remember, your list is free for first 2000 subscribers only, so if you are exceeding the list, you need to start paying.
So you should review the product to see if it provides value for your subscribers. Does it work? Is it helpful? How is the support from the product creator? You are co-signing on all of this when you send that email to your list. As a newbie you still need to nurture and protect your list by emailing them frequently with more informative content. Just make sure this product meets your standards.
When someone opts-in to your ebook, or signs up for your newsletter or webinar, you create a sequence that basically deepens the relationship and extends the conversation around the topic. Generally toward the end of the sequence you’d include a call to action. You can combine this with a sales call if you added a phone number in your opt-in form. You can use standard email marketing providers to set this up. Mailchimp, Mad Mimi, Infusionsoft, Aweber are all good ones to try.
In this next section we’re going to get more detailed about setting up your blog. Whenever I ask an audience “how many of you have a blog?” I’m always amazed at how few people raise their hand and say yes. I’ve asked business owners of all types. Hair salons, HVAC, chiropractors, not-for-profits, freight forwarders, crypto and the majority are missing this tool.
I actually use both services today so I can keep this review up to date. Overall, I think Aweber has a better deliverability rate which is a huge reason to use them. Furthermore, i like the way they do autoresponders much better than MC. On the flip side, MC has a much easier to use API if you are into coding and manipulating your lists programmatically.
Automation is what’s going to help you turn leads into customers behind the scenes so you can focus on doing everything else you need to do to run your business. This is essentially the same as the email sequences I mentioned in phase one, only you’re using different tools and targeting subscribers and people who have opted in, so they’re warm leads rather than cold leads.
Every business needs a plan and every business need a sales funnel to reach to their apt audience. So creating your own sales funnel according to the requirement will help a lot in understand your business strategy. Now that you have created your digital marketing campaign, you have to plan your sales funnel as well. So here is a simple guide of how you can create your own sales funnel to drive the predicted results.

With your one person in mind, create an editorial calendar around those conversations and challenges they’re having. Try to work with one theme at a time, so that you can pull 3 or 4 of your posts into an ebook or slideshare later on. Writing in themes also helps brand your content because you can create a journey for your readers (almost like a free course).


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ConvertKit has been very forthcoming with their business development, and they even publish monthly income and stats. You can see the latest here and their real-time numbers here. Nathan took the company from a struggling side hustle, to an ever-growing successful company in about nine months once he dedicated his attention to it and made it his focus (yes, this is why I always talk about the importance of focus!!).
So you should review the product to see if it provides value for your subscribers. Does it work? Is it helpful? How is the support from the product creator? You are co-signing on all of this when you send that email to your list. As a newbie you still need to nurture and protect your list by emailing them frequently with more informative content. Just make sure this product meets your standards.
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
Wow, I am so glad that I ran across your review. I recently received the same ban from Mailchimp after sending out several mailing lists and finally building. I only have 116 subscribers, but that is awesome for starting from nothing if you get my drift. Anyhow I send out mailing list for focus group opportunities. I dont sell a thing and sure enough Mail chimp banned me and our group from simple sharing. I am in the process of scrambling for a new mailing list company because my last mailing list was not sent out and now my subscribers are missing out on some really awesome opportunities. I will be sure to check out Aweber TODAY and send out my focus for cash mailer. Hopefully the integration and transition will run smoothly. I have to get my list asap. Have some time sensitive focus group opportunities that are paying really high here in CA right now. Thanks again for this.
Wherever your one person is, that’s where you want to be. Focus your time and energy on developing a following on just one or two sites. Otherwise you’ll spread yourself too thin. Share other people’s content along with your original content while you’re building up your blog. Determine the best posting frequency for each site and then automate scheduling and posting. Feedly, IFTT and Buffer are great for scheduling other people’s content and Hootsuite and Meet Edgar are great for scheduling original content.
I spoke with an Infusionsoft Certified Partner I met at PartnerCON to discuss my wish to migrate my list. An ICP is someone who becomes Infusionsoft Certified after passing a rigorous test at the end of a four-day training course at Infusionsoft’s headquarters. An ICP understands Infusionsoft inside and out and is able to include Infusionsoft services in their client packages.
An affiliate product is created by someone else but you can promote it to your list and earn a commission on every sale you make. When promoting an affiliate product to your list you don’t want to just promote any kind of product just to make a quick dollar. Remember the effort you out into building a list of raving fans that know, like and trust you.
Title. Creating a title is the single most important thing you should focus on. Over time, you should get as creative as possible and test various types of email titles. It is the first thing a user sees, and it should be created to engage the reader and make them open the email. The more engaging your email subject is, the higher the open rates are going to be.
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.
does mail chimp charge the same as Aweber? The only problem is at the moment I feel like I am not using Aweber to it’s full advantages to pay monthly for the service when I believe Mail chimp is free for a certain amount of subscribers? As i only have a hobby blog and want to obviously develop it i feel like maybe i shouldn’t be paying for something that doesn’t provide me with income yet or isn’t a very ‘big’ blog or even a business…. Not sure whether to just stick with it until my website develops or switch to a free option on Mail chimp/.
A lead magnet (a.k.a. an optin bribe) is something amazing that you give away for free in exchange for an email address. This doesn’t have to cost you anything to create; most lead magnets are digital materials like PDFs, MP3 audio files, or videos that you can create yourself at minimal or no cost. It can be absolutely anything you want, so long as it provides value to your visitors for free.
The disadvantage with using free services like Mailchimp is they’ll usually suspend your account without warning, it’s kind of like setting up a blog with wordpress.com or blogger.com. Since it’s a free service it’s kind of like they have this “one and your done” attitude which I guess is understandable since you’re getting the service for free, but sometimes I wonder. Now on to Aweber.
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.

Just wanted to thank you for doing what you do to share your experience with those of us who are new to the world of freelance writing and blogging for income. I’ve been blogging for about 5 years but my initial draw was to connect on a more personal level. So my heavily visited blog is all personal stories of the random life experiences I’ve had or rants I go on about (you can check it out if you like my name is linked). Recently I started blogging tips for self-publishing Writers of fiction as I self-published my second book last month. But secretly (okay, not so secretly) my main passion is writing about myself. Probably sounds nuts but my goal with my personal blog was to get it all out there then pick from the fifty or so stories that really told the reader who I am and compile them into a memoir of sorts. Hell, it worked for Jen Lancaster! Anyway, your blog has become my favorite morning and afternoon read as I research ways to make my writing talents work on a career level and I plan to keep reading! Thanks again! 🙂
It was pretty easy to transition over to Aweber. Basically you need to let Aweber know that you are switching from MailChimp, export your contacts to a CSV file and then cut and paste the contacts in. The only pain was recreating all of my forms and autoresponders…especially the popup. I would recommend just signing up for Aweber from the start and not having to deal with it later.

The key is when visitors hit your blog it needs to look like something. This will lure visitors to want to sign up for your mailing list in exchange for something of value that you offer. This could be a special report, an ebook or some other free gift. Marketers call these “lead magnets” because you’re attracting leads that you can eventually convert as you sell them products and services.

Using the Personalize dropdown, you can insert custom snippets like your subscribers first name, or sign up date, and AWeber will automatically insert that data specific to each subscriber if we have it. If you collect first name, for example, you can send an email that says Hello Tom, or Hello Mary, or Hello John, depending upon who you’re sending to.
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