I have tried just about every membership platform out there. The are either buggy, cumbersome or WAY too expensive – especially if you are just getting started. ProductDyno fills a much needed void. It’s easy affordable and they have thought of everything. This thing has so many integrations and features you might think you are… “Finally The Perfect Solution Made Affordable”
The usability of most of the site is actually not bad; I even like the design look and feel. However, the signup process is where I had (and am still having) trouble with. Just simply getting a reply from them on anything takes hours and hours, but when you look search usability and mailchimp.com, they are all kinds of busy writing blogs about their mobile usability testing and how great they are. So they are so focused on their mobile they forgot that the #1 focus should be getting new users fast, and keeping them with good support… what a JOKE! Mailchimp.com is usability and customer support FAIL!
I am not signing up for an account so I don't know exactly how the API works, but if I were setting up an iPhone App to work with this, I would use the rails plugin. Rails gives you JSON communication for free (IE no extra work required) http://guides.rubyonrails.org/layouts_and_rendering.html see section 2.2.9. Then use on IOS app use something like: http://code.google.com/p/json-framework/ to interact with that.
The only other thing I would have mentioned under design is to not underestimate the power of colour and textures – in my hunt for a theme that I actually want to work with, I’ve narrowed it down to finding a minimalist theme and just giving it a hint of colour to add some flair. Otherwise things can just detract from your content just like you said.
I don’t know. I’ve been building it for 5 years and only ever added an address when a reader expressly asked me by email to add him (I kept the proof). Gave aWeber my login details and apparently that wasn’t good enough. They waffled that their spam rate is below 0.1% industry standard and mine is slightly above. All I can think is that a handful of readers have been too dumb, lazy or spiteful to just unsubscribe and instead just report me for spam. 🙁 All I know is that my conscience is clear.
As for email services, well actually there is a limit on how many emails you can send from a free gmail or yahoo account. Sending out mass emails is considered abuse of service by these free email service providers. Your emails will either end up in spam folder of your users, or they will not recieve them at all. It is also possible that your email service can suspend your account for violation of terms of use. This is why you need a third party email service.
AWeber is an easy-to-use email marketing tool that allows business owners and entrepreneurs to cultivate relationships with their customers. Since 1998, AWeber has been the email engine powering the growth of organizations around the world, including leading sites like Social Media Examiner and ProBlogger and industry influencers such as Peter Shankman and Ann Handley.
We’ve changed email marketing from iContact to MailChimp and, just now, Aweber. We changed from iContact to MailChimp to cut costs. We then switched to Aweber because Mailchimp will not allow you to start an Autoresponder series on an imported list PLUS, as you mentioned, Aweber has much more robust measuring/management tools. However, people should be aware that Aweber requires imported subscribers to opt-in all over again.
Finally, you can optionally include “automations” with your broadcast. Automations are a simple way to automatically add or remove tags when your subscribers do certain actions, like open the email or click on specific links. Adding and removing tags are important when creating segments, or subscriber groups, and triggering automated email campaigns.
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