Branding of your Email list is very crucial from day one, as this will help subscribers to quickly recognise your Email. Specially, if you are one of those marketers, who are sending super valuable Emails via these auto-responder services, branding will ensure you will get better CTR. Your default name, reply to addresses, and welcome Email are key points for the first stage of Email branding.
This blog post is the third installment of our new series, The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing. For eight weeks, we’re featuring a new article that covers a specific area of focus in email marketing! Last week, we wrote about planning your email marketing strategy. This week, it’s all about list growth! Want a sneak peek into the content? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing.
Thank you for a detailed comparison of MailChimp and Aweber. I think it’s a nice idea to also have an in-house email software like this one http://easymail7.com in addition to the account with a remotely hosted email provider like MailChimp or Aweber. In case of a sudden account suspension by the ESP, you would not lose contacts, emails, autoresponders etc, and would be able to continue email marketing using the in-house email software.
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.
Great timing. My billing info on mailchimp needs updating so now is a good time to switch to aweber. When I had to decide between the two a few years ago I picked mailchimp because their template system is way cooler. Aweber’s stuff looks like teenagers’ homework assignments in the 90’s. In contrast to an all male engineering team mailchimp seems to have a few girls on board to spruce things up. But as you said the functionality behind the email is more important than the look so I’m jumping ship. Oh, I’ll also be saving $20 pm.
I actually use both services today so I can keep this review up to date. Overall, I think Aweber has a better deliverability rate which is a huge reason to use them. Furthermore, i like the way they do autoresponders much better than MC. On the flip side, MC has a much easier to use API if you are into coding and manipulating your lists programmatically.
First of all you need to sign up for a free account at MailChimp. Here is the signup link (Aff. link). Once you have signed up, and logged into MailChimp dashboard, you will be seeing a screen similar to this, and click on create a list. The good thing about MailChimp dashboard is, it’s interactive, so you will not find any issues with getting started with it.
You see, the people on your email list are your best customers.  They have visited your site and found it interesting enough to subscribe for more content.  For that reason alone, they are much more likely to listen to any offers you may send them (affiliate promotions, product sales, discount coupons, etc.).  So, having a large email list can actually be quite profitable, which is why bloggers and website owners hold them in such high regard.

Tagging subscribers allows you to segment your email list based on certain actions your subscribers take, such as signing up from a specific form, downloading or purchasing a certain product, clicking a specific link, etc. Then, you can send emails or run campaigns for specific tags, and on top of all that there are a ton of automation and sequencing logic you can set up to trigger certain events.   
Enter the autoresponder. The autoreposnder (or as ConvertKit calls it, a Course), is a series of messages that get sent in succession automatically. You write them once, determine the frequency, and then subscribers get these same messages no matter when they join your list. It’s a fabulous strategy because you build it once and then you can rest knowing that even if you can’t send something in real-time, they are still getting these carefully crafted emails.
Follow-Up Series (Autoresponders): In addition to one-time email blasts (called Broadcasts), AWeber allows you to create chains of autoresponders (campaigns). An example would be a welcome email which is sent to each new subscriber who signs up, then a series of weekly “How To” emails explaining the various applications of your product. You can set the interval between these messages to anywhere between 0 and 999 days. You can also start subscribers at different points in the cycle if you wish (so for instance, if you had a separate signup form for advanced flying widget users, you could start them on #5 of your series (“New Applications of Flying Widgets”) instead of #1 (“What is a Flying Widget?”). You can set up separate follow-up series for each list, and you can copy them between lists. You can even set it to stop sending messages once the email has been opened.

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 image above is a screenshot from my account showing that I have three follow up messages set at the moment. The first one is the eBook, the second one arrives a few days later and is a thank you message, and the third one is a tactic that I use on my blogs that I only share with my email subscribers. The follow up email function allows me to create a deeper sense of value with everyone who is subscribed.
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.
does mail chimp charge the same as Aweber? The only problem is at the moment I feel like I am not using Aweber to it’s full advantages to pay monthly for the service when I believe Mail chimp is free for a certain amount of subscribers? As i only have a hobby blog and want to obviously develop it i feel like maybe i shouldn’t be paying for something that doesn’t provide me with income yet or isn’t a very ‘big’ blog or even a business…. Not sure whether to just stick with it until my website develops or switch to a free option on Mail chimp/.

I just wanted to send you an email and give you a big thank you. I am busting my butt trying to build an online business, and I carry a very strong interest in marketing (I'm a graphic designer, so I guess it could go hand in hand). I'm never sure who is who, I can't tell who I'm listening too or buying from or who created what, but I feel you create and offer some of the best quality products for prices that really do meet my budget. And a BIG THANKS for all of the effort and quality content you provide. - Slade Julius


And I was sold. I couldn’t have people not receiving their intended emails. And I thought, if the features and reliability were good enough for big bloggers, I’ll probably find everything I need there as well. Now I have over 1200 subscribers and everything was done reliably in 2 years, so I’m staying (except I find strong reasons to change services).
Linking campaigns can also come in handy if you want to do things like nurture prospects into loyal customers. If you host a contest to raise awareness of your brand and supercharge your list growth, you’ll then need to tell them more about yourself. After your welcome series, try leading them into an educational series about your business and product offerings.
You will benefit from a range of tools when you use the email marketing service from Benchmark, with features such as the ability to add links, social media, and other interactive features to your marketing materials. You can also create surveys and send them out with the Benchmark Email marketing system, and this is part of the package which is not always the case with some competitors. - Joseph Raspolich
One question I have that you might be able to answer is: I send out a broadcast once a week when a new post comes up. I set this up manually, though I’ve seen that there is an option (I believe) to automatically send out your blog post to your e-mail subscribers. I guess I’m a little nervous about doing an automatic thing (though that is what happens with people who are subscribing via my feed). Does this make sense to you? I only post once a week so it is not that difficult to manually send out a broadcast. Just wanted to know if you could explain the mechanism behind the automatic blog post option.
I have applied much of my knowledge of digital and online marketing. But I also continue to stay busy learning new ways to make money online. Even as I’m writing this I’m also testing and tweaking three additional tactics. So the process is never finished and we grind on a daily basis. Each challenge is an opportunity to learn and improve for the next round.
Great article comparison and review! Man I wished I had read this before getting in bed with mailchimp.com – You are correct they have the WORST customer service there is… I have been waiting for more than 24 hours now for a resolution as to why they suspend my account – turns out I didnt answer some questions in a lengthy email they send out. I could not call them because they do not have a phone number.
Linking campaigns can also come in handy if you want to do things like nurture prospects into loyal customers. If you host a contest to raise awareness of your brand and supercharge your list growth, you’ll then need to tell them more about yourself. After your welcome series, try leading them into an educational series about your business and product offerings.
A cool way to tease your email content is to syndicate your content on a platform like Medium or LinkedIn Pulse. Or, team up with an influencer in your space to help spread the word about the awesome content you’re sending through email. The more you promote yourself to relevant communities and groups, the more likely you are to keep your email list growing and growing.
So far, we have created the list, imported existing contacts to our list, and now it’s time to increase our email list. That will be done by putting up the sign-up form at the blog, landing page or company page, where you wish to add Email-sign up form. Click on the Lists at the top of your Mail Chimp dashboard, click on the design sign-ups form, and you can start designing your form. For first-timer, it will take few minutes to get used to features of form creation here, but once you play with it, it will be dead easy.  You can create different forms for your mailing list. For example, Subscription confirms message, unsubscribe form, and so on.  You can also click on Auto-design, which picks up the logo from your Website, and matches with your Website colors.
As its name implies, Drip is an email automation tool that is specifically designed for drip emails. If you’re pressed for time to create your own email content, you can use Drip’s Blueprints, or premade sets of drip campaigns with filler text that you can easily tweak to your own liking. Additionally, this tool allows you to collect email addresses for your drip campaigns via a simple widget that you can add to your website
Video has to be included in your marketing mix. So review your content and think about how you can turn it into a video. This could be animated video, something you shoot with your digital phone, or even hiring a production crew for a customized shoot. The return on investment can more than pay for itself as a well planned video can provide benefits for years.
This is where you can see the list of subscribers. For those who are moving from Aweber, GetResponse, or any other email service provider, you can import your existing subscribers. When you are importing, ensure that you add tags to segment your list. For example, in my case, I imported my list from Gumroad & tagged them as Gumroad buyers.  (You can refer to this help guide to learn more about importing email subscribers to ConvertKit.)
Smart from Scratch is a course I created to walk you through the process of choosing and testing a business idea, as well as getting your first customers. If you already have a business, this course isn’t for you, but if you’re just getting started—or you don’t know where to start—this course is for you. [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through the Genius link to the right.]
Since finding your great IM teachings and fantastic products I can honestly say my business has been taken to the next level. My lists are growing faster than I ever imagined possible! I now feel - no - I now know - I have a real online business – thanks to you I have access to fantastic products. Every week you seem to release a new product – which is great for me I will never be short of products to promote. I would like to thank you for this Golden opportunity - I totally believe if I can’t make money online now there is something seriously wrong with me! - David Knight

You see, the people on your email list are your best customers.  They have visited your site and found it interesting enough to subscribe for more content.  For that reason alone, they are much more likely to listen to any offers you may send them (affiliate promotions, product sales, discount coupons, etc.).  So, having a large email list can actually be quite profitable, which is why bloggers and website owners hold them in such high regard.

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