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).
AWeber finds a healthy balance between ease of use and robust functionality. There are some nice features — particularly in the autoresponder realm — but navigation is intuitive enough that I was able to perform basic tasks without looking up tutorials. When I did find myself at a loss and turned to the online help resources, I was quite impressed with the range and scope of guidance available.
When you create an email list, you’re allowing a group of fellow human beings to come together in one place where they expect to hear from you. You have a huge opportunity—responsibility, even—to provide value to them. When someone essentially says, “Hey, I like you enough to give you my email address,” you owe it to them to offer up everything you can to ensure that they make progress, stay informed, or are entertained.
Very interesting indeed. I am currently using MailChimp and reading through this article, I am wondering when it was written as features have changed in MC, the tracking has more than is mentioned here, there is now a visual drag and drop editor to create custom campaigns, etc. I am not familiar with aweber but maybe some things have also changed on their side. Maybe we’d need an updated version of this article, along with a DATE of when the comparison was made.
I’ve been using Aweber for about 2 years on 2 blogs now and I’m really happy with it. One uses a follow-up broadcast (i.e. every 2 weeks a new “how-to” is sent) and has just over 1,000 subscribers (from about 50 when I started a couple of years ago) while the other blog uses a blog broadcast (it sends out an email with the week’s news) and has about 250 subscribers.
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.
I’m so glad I stumbled upon this article, I’ve always used mail chimp because of it’s design flexibility, I sold my own products so I didn’t have any issues but now that I’m getting ready to launch a marketing blog, I’m sure going to make the switch to awebber. Thanks for writing such a good an honest article. I like your blog, let’s keep in touch.
In ConvertKit, this is much easier. Unlike Aweber where you set up separate lists (I had 63 lists when I shut my account down), in ConvertKit, you don’t have lists at all. Instead, you use tags and automation rules to segment your audience. So I can have someone go through a nurture sequence (when they first join my list) while still sending my blog/podcast broadcasts to my main list. I simply create a rule:
As for reporting options, AWeber presents the standard raw numbers and percentages (clicks, opens, unsubscribes, and the like). It also includes more advanced data such as opens, clicks, and revenue over time; subscriber growth; and stats by location, area code, or designated market area. In addition, you can compare results across your past 20 emails. You can track subscribers based on their signup method, and the list segmentation options provide plenty of ways to optimize your email marketing. Reports are well laid out and easy to understand; much of the data is presented in both chart and table format.
Perhaps I overshot and started using something that was way beyond what I needed, or maybe it was the way it’s built that didn’t jive with my workflow, but whatever the case may be, I knew I had to look for another solution—a simpler solution—and I needed to find one quickly. My team is close to the point of implementation on a brand new website design, very much inspired by the results of the survey we ran recently here on SPI.
My book, Will It Fly?, will help you choose and test your next business idea. If you’ve already got a business and are struggling to keep up with the workload, I highly recommend my friend Chris Ducker’s book, Virtual Freedom. Chris teaches you how to work with virtual staff to free up your time to focus on the important tasks in your life. [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase Virtual Freedom through the link to the right.]
Even if you've imported an existing list of contacts, you'll still want an easy way for new fans to join your email list. AWeber's sign up forms provide the perfect solution. Create a simple sign up form for your website, and if you don't have a site, we'll host it for you. Grab the link to your AWeber form and share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or wherever your audience is.