What I was trying to get across (and perhaps I didn’t make myself clear here, my fault), is that there are also other equally excellent services. I mentioned MailChimp as someone mentioned they’d like a mail list manager but couldn’t afford AW. MC is free for the first 1000 subscribers, and I think for a large proportion of entrepreneurs, that is enough to get started (more than enough, probably).
With its user-friendly templates, anyone who's dipping their toes into email marketing waters would love Vertical Response. Each campaign that you published with this software may be hosted for free online, allowing you to share links of previous campaigns even to non-subscribers. If you want to design your own emails, you can quickly make your own through the in-app image editor with filters and special text options.
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.
Here at ShoutMeLoud, I use a combination of Aweber + Feedburner to maintain my Emailing list. Aweber is paid, and Feedburner one the other hand is free. Though, I prefer a paid auto-responder service, as it gives me more control and more features. There are many other popular Email autoresponder services for bloggers out there, for example, GetResponse, MailChimp. I landed with Aweber because it’s one of the highly recommended services, and after using it for almost a year, I still in love with it.
Thanks for bringing that subject up! Having you used both of these services in the past 2 years, I prefer Aweber over Mailchimp. For me it comes down to usability and efficiency, which Aweber just does better than Mailchimp. Having said that, I do like the value Mailchimp brings to the table for new startups with their free service. Also I do admit that giving away 2,000 subscribers to everyone – that’s just huge, yet clever at the same time.
Don’t hit a send button without proofreading and testing your campaigns. Email with spelling and grammar slips will feel rushed and will make you look unprofessional. Sometimes when you work on something for too long, it’s easy to miss small mistakes. Make sure that all links work correctly. I recommend that you always send a test email to a colleague or a friend to read it first. Or, take a break and come back to check your email later with a fresh mind.
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.