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).
We also had our account blocked last year but they never told us why. We don’t sell anything via our newsletter. We don’t even talk about how to make money (that’s not our field). We write about business news and part of our CRM initiative. We sent several email inquiries to them. All were ignored. We ended up setting up a new account and reimporting all of our lists.
I have used both, and I agree with your analysis. The great thing about MailChimp is that it lets you see the email in different clients. That is really the hardest thing about sending emails. However, you can use that service without doing everything else through MailChimp. Also, once you get the hang of it and develop templates, it no longer is much of an issue.
Click through rates. Once your subscribers have opened your email, are they actually taking the action you need them to take? If you think that you have a low click-through rate, perhaps your body copy is not as effective as it needs to be. Consider the following: Is the copy of your email relevant to the subject line? Did you offer real value to your subscribers in the email? Is your call-to-action clear enough? Is the link easy to find?
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.