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.
In response to “bogus” email subscribers, I will tell you why it is done… because I do it myself. When I am forced to put in my email information just to get some free information, it irritates me. The reason it irritates me is because, I deal with many companies in my business, I can not afford the time to keep sifting through my inbox to delete 50 emails from a company that I just wanted a little information from. Email marketing optin is great, but keep in mind – not everyone wants the bombarding of emails after-the-fact.
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“Mailchimp was great when I just had a blog. Now that I have my book, I’m starting to have products, it’s more of a business. I didn’t think that Mailchimp could handle me. I needed something a little more versatile that could target the people that I sent things to depending on what list they were on or what they clicked. It needed to be a little more sophisticated for me. That’s why I needed to switch over.”
AWeber offers three email editors: a drag-and-drop WYSIWYG editor, a plain text editor, and an HTML editor for those who prefer to code their own emails. The WYSIWYG editor is pretty easy to use and allows for a fair degree of customization, though not quite as much as I would have liked. You can insert a simple “Click here” button, coupon, logo, or signature with the click of a button. Social share buttons are easy to generate once you link AWeber with your Facebook and Twitter account. Drafts are autosaved every two minutes, and you can see a list of previous versions (so that if you accidentally delete something, you can usually retrieve it).
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The newsletter is something you can offer in addition to the normal follow ups. You can write a number of very short posts on news in the industry, summarise and provide links to the best articles over the past month, year and then add short mentions of products eg use your aweber and Bluehost affiliate links under a products I use section at the bottom.
The problem is that your list is so big (both long and we were working with a lot of columns and a few equations) that Excel on my computer couldn’t handle it. I have a ton of memory on my computer, but it wasn’t sufficient. For example, when I tried a simple task like sorting the list, it would take several minutes to process the operation. I would literally click ‘Sort’ and then go and work on another task for a while.

Hi BlogTyrant. My question is related to an older post whose comments option was closed (just read that it is one of the visitor-bringing tricks:)). So, a while ago you said that got 11,908 visitors in just 3 weeks. Did you get that performance with blogtyrant from scratch? (I mean without using your other blogs or social media connections, etc?). It is hard for me to understand that a beginner will get such a huge traffic in about 20 days, when actually that is maybe the time necessary to make the blog a little known, probably just indexed by google and slightly ranked.
Migration can actually be a major pain in the ass. Although according to aWeber my list was “substantially clean” but I still needed to get all my readers to reconfirm their subscriptions. After a week I’m still waiting for 70% of them to reconfirm. NOT happy. If I stuck to mailchimp I wouldn’t have had these problems. (Their support guys are good though.)
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Yes, I believe you can save the subscriber list onto your computer with both services. While moving subscribers from Mailchimp to Aweber was relatively straightforward, it did take me quite awhile to move all of my autoresponders and port my entire setup to Aweber. So if you can afford it, I would simply start out with Aweber and stay with them instead of having to move later.
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.
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Unsubscribe rate. Unsubscribes are always going to happen no matter what, and that’s usually OK because those people probably would never have bought from you anyway. However, a high unsubscribe rate can indicate that you are losing potential customers. Check the following: Why did people subscribe to your list in the first place, and are you delivering on that promise? Is the content of your autoresponder highly relevant to the segment it is being sent to? Are you sending too many sales emails with too little value emails? (Recommended reading: 5 Reasons Why People Unsubscribe from Your Email List.)
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On the flip side, Aweber’s method of managing followup emails allows me to know exactly which subscriber has received which follow up emails and when. With MailChimp, I really have no clue who has or hasn’t received a particular email. Overall, I kind of prefer Aweber’s method of managing follow-ups but it is basically a wash depending on your preference.
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.
Opt-in rates have been on the decline for the last decade or so, and I’ve tried a lot of different solutions that have promised to turn that trend around. Of all the things I’ve tried including web based apps and various plugins, only Post Gopher actually delivered. I installed it on my bizweb2000.com blog and… “Post Gopher Has Performed Better Than All The Other List Building Solutions I Use Combined!”
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In my opinion, Aweber is The Best email autoresponder on the market today. As someone who is a HUGE FAN of Aweber, I find it sad that you left them without calling customers support OR MYSELF, JUPITER JIM, (on skype, of course) to help walk you through things. It is so easy, breezy when they just walk you through everything step-by-step over the phone.
And the company itself? Well—it’s growing actively at a rate of nearly 45% month over month (check out their open earnings metrics and financial details here), which a fantastic sign. I’ve also recently come on board as an advisor for ConvertKit, and I’m excited to start this journey with them like I did at the start of LeadPages. It’s risky, yes, to move my list to a company like this, but I feel like I have a good knack for knowing what’s great out there.
Aweber sounds like it will do exacty what I am looking for however at the moment, due to the relatively small size of my list mailchimp offer a free service for up to 2000 users and 12000 emails. Yes I know this sounds a lot and in reality it isn’t when a business starts to grow, but my logic is that like most tools it takes time to learn how to maximise it’s effect and I think I would rather do this for free.
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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.
If you are a beginner and want to try any rocking email marketing software, MailChimp is for you. You don’t have to even use your credit card to use MailChimp  as you can get it for free (upto first 2000 subscribers). But the pricing becomes much more than AWeber once you start getting more than 2000 subscribers. So it again depends on your website email marketing needs.
As I was growing more and more frustrated with Infusionsoft I reached back out to Nathan to see how ConvertKit was doing. I wasn’t surprised to hear that they were experiencing constant growth month after month. New features were being added on a regular basis, and after a couple of side conversations with other users, I was happy to hear extremely positive reviews.
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.
One thing I like most about MailChimp is it has a free pricing option whereas AWeber has $1 option as a starting point. That means you can create a free account on MailChimp without giving your credit card details whereas you need to pay $1 for first month to start using AWeber. You can try AWeber by just paying $1 for first month. After that, you need to pay $19 each month.

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.


Glad to know that this review was helpful. Aweber and 1Shoppingcart are completely different services. Aweber is for email marketing only and 1Shopping is an ecommerce solution that offers email marketing. In terms of deliverability, tracking and flexibility, I would tend to think that Aweber does a better job though I’ve never evaluated 1Shoppingcart for it’s email marketing alone.

After you’ve set up your email automation workflow, you might want to start targeting your audience in more specific ways. For example, you may want to send those who have clicked through to read your “social media automation for dummies” blog post a follow-up email with more information on social media automation and how your product can offer a solution.
One thing that one must not forget is also integration with your existing website. If your running on Joomla, WordPress, Drupal or such likes, better you find how the user integration will go with your CMS and one of those email services. You don’t want the client to have to register for your autoresponder on one form and then have to register a second time for your website! You may find that plug-ins to do such things might restrict your choice, check it out first or consult with your webmaster!
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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