“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
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.]
Visit forums related to your niche, have a look around them and see what people are talking about. Remember to listen before you speak. Set up your profile. Add value by answering some questions. Engage and if you see a thread where you think you can add value post a reply to that thread. Be sure to observe the rules of the forum or you may get banned.
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.
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
Six tabs along the top of the screen direct you to Home, Messages, Subscribers, Sign Up Forms, Reports, and List Options. Some of these have drop-down options. Links to My Lists, My Apps, and Help, along with My Account, can be found in the upper right-hand corner. Your home page is an account overview which displays new subscribers, scheduled and recently sent messages and list stats.
Use it as a lead magnet/free mini-course. You can also use an autoresponder as a lead magnet to attract new subscribers to your email list. This is commonly done in the form of a free “mini-course”, or a free “challenge”, which promises to deliver a series of emails containing lessons (or other valuable information) over the course of several days or weeks. There is a high perceived value with a mini-course or a challenge like this, which makes it a very effective lead magnet.
Video marketing is probably the most powerful way to drive traffic to your site. People love to watch a video to learn something rather than reading text. And with the growth of mobile your video needs to be friendly for these viewers. You must get your point across a lot quicker and add elements of entertainment or gamification to keep peoples attention.
Pam, we are sure JetPack has nice features and all but it allows you to add a blog / comment subscription module only. On the other hand services like MailChimp and Aweber are professional email service providers offering many powerful features which allow you to really benefit from the email list you are building. As far as simplicity is concerned, we are slightly more inclined towards MailChimp, they have a great user interface even for absolute beginners, they have excellent documentation, and lots of resources to learn how to use each feature available.
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! 🙂
I think this is just giving you a very cautious report. Infusionsoft is quite protective of their lists and how they send but it looks like you had 114,528 on your list and sent to 101,929 with 0 Skipped and 0 Errors. So the variance is due to several things such as the contacts didn’t have email addresses or there are some duplicates and/or 13,000 had opted out. You only had 12 Complaints, which is quite low, but maybe the bulk of them came during one segment that was sent, which created the warning. I have one of the senior support guys looking into this, but I think you are fine.”
4. Affordable: I was willing to pay more money for better features, but wasn’t convinced I needed to be paying $200-$300/month for those. I know many, many, entrepreneurs who pay those fees and like I say above, use a fraction of its capabilities. I didn’t feel that was necessary for my business – at the point of consideration, I didn’t have a complex business with numerous products or sales funnels. For the past couple of years while my kids are home on crazy-small school schedules (right now I have 2.5 hours per day), I have been primarily working 1:1 with clients and offering My PRO Plan. This will change in Fall 2016 when both kids are in school full time (I can’t even imagine!?!) and I have more time to execute on my ideas, but for now, the big shot services weren’t needed.
To start, you’ll have 700+ templates to choose from. There are some very nice layout customization options here, once you learn how to use them. AWeber uses both “sections” and “blocks” in its organization. Blocks are elements like text boxes, images, etc. Sections are the frameworks in which they exist. Most programs use similar organization, though they may use different terminology. The difference comes in your ability to edit or customize the sections themselves. In previous versions, the ability to customize elements like buttons was limited–you couldn’t change the text of buttons–but you now have the ability to easily customize those elements.

I think this is just giving you a very cautious report. Infusionsoft is quite protective of their lists and how they send but it looks like you had 114,528 on your list and sent to 101,929 with 0 Skipped and 0 Errors. So the variance is due to several things such as the contacts didn’t have email addresses or there are some duplicates and/or 13,000 had opted out. You only had 12 Complaints, which is quite low, but maybe the bulk of them came during one segment that was sent, which created the warning. I have one of the senior support guys looking into this, but I think you are fine.”
Update: MailChimp refutes this claim about affiliate marketing saying that they only impose temporary bans when certain links in emails are blacklisted. What’s nice about AWeber is that they let you know BEFORE you send your email how likely your email will hit someone’s spam folder and whether you are accidentally using blacklisted links in your email.
Thanks again for another fine quality product. I have been a member of quite a few of your email lists and have purchased a lot of your products also. One thing I can say is they all are very thorough, informative and you over deliver. I have dealt with a lot of online marketers but there are very few like you who deliver such value and so quick to respond to e-mails. You are someone I know I can trust and that is very important in this business. Thanks again and hope to be able to meet you someday. - Rick Sorrels
Alex GetResponse is a good service too. They have a smaller customer base than MailChimp or Aweber but they are definitely on the right track. You should consider your own options that will help you decide. For example, pricing, growth, support, reliability, deliverability, spam filters, etc. Make a list of these factors to compare on your own, you will also find such analysis around the web but those analysis could be biased towards one of the service. So you better do it on your own.

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.
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.

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?”
I’ve worked with Promote Labs now for over 11 years. Year after year Jeremy and Simon have landed at the top of my leaderboards for Internet Marketing products with a strong emphasis on Video Marketing. These are VERY competitive leaderboards with sales hitting both six and seven figures. The additional effort that they put into… “Solid Killer Promotions Year After Year”
CFTC RULE 4.41 – HYPOTHETICAL OR SIMULATED PERFORMANCE RESULTS HAVE CERTAIN LIMITATIONS. UNLIKE AN ACTUAL PERFORMANCE RECORD, SIMULATED RESULTS DO NOT REPRESENT ACTUAL TRADING. ALSO, SINCE THE TRADES HAVE NOT BEEN EXECUTED, THE RESULTS MAY HAVE UNDER-OR-OVER COMPENSATED FOR THE IMPACT, IF ANY, OF CERTAIN MARKET FACTORS, SUCH AS LACK OF LIQUIDITY. SIMULATED TRADING PROGRAMS IN GENERAL ARE ALSO SUBJECT TO THE FACT THAT THEY ARE DESIGNED WITH THE BENEFIT OF HINDSIGHT. NO REPRESENTATION IS BEING MADE THAT ANY ACCOUNT WILL OR IS LIKELY TO ACHIEVE PROFIT OR LOSSES SIMILAR TO THOSE SHOWN.

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.

Very nice comparison of Mailchimp and Aweber. It looks like both Aweber and Mailchimp will suspend you without notice for seemingly trivial reasons. I think it is always good to have a backup system of your own. I use autoresponderplus and 12all scripts and have backups of my campaigns. Aweber is a great service you just never no when you might offend them. It seems like Mailchimp is even touchier. I think the best solution is not to rely completely on any one service. Nice post!


As its name implies, Drip is an email automation tool that is specifically designed for drip emails. If you’re pressed for time to create your own email content, you can use Drip’s Blueprints, or premade sets of drip campaigns with filler text that you can easily tweak to your own liking. Additionally, this tool allows you to collect email addresses for your drip campaigns via a simple widget that you can add to your website
With that said, I’d like to offer up perhaps the most useful piece of advice that I think can really help you to create great content. It is simply this – be personable. You shouldn’t manufacture a personality (we can’t all be Johnny B. Truant or Ashley Ambirge), but don’t be afraid to let your true character shine through. Draw from personal experiences – use stories to bring your posts to life.
However, if you are willing to invest some money in your learning, I would heartily recommend that you stop reading immediately and grab yourself a copy of Start a Blog that Matters. This is an online course developed by the aforementioned Corbett Barr, and I cannot recommend it enough. I have been running through the course material over the last couple of months, and it has revolutionized my approach to blogging (which some of you may well have observed with interest).
There are drawbacks, however, and they are threefold: first, the program seems to be falling behind on the social media front. Second, AWeber is a little on the pricey side, especially for businesses with very small lists (1000 and under). Once you hit the 2500-subscriber mark, costs are more in line with industry averages. The company has no send-based subscription plan, which means if you have a large list but send infrequent emails, there are probably better choices for you. Third, the company makes its free trial unnecessarily burdensome by requiring a credit card. This would be a minor issue if not for the fact that customers have reported complications with canceling the service.
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