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.
With the rapid pace of change you don’t have to know everything there is to know in your niche to get started. If you’re only a few steps ahead of your audience then you’re the leader. As you apply your knowledge and follow your passion you learn even more. This becomes valuable information which you can package and pass to your audience. So how do you get paid?
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.

Email marketing is such a critical component of business for most companies (with the rare exception) because you able to communicate with your audience in the place they spend a good chunk of time (their inboxes). You also have the added benefit of building an asset (an email list) that no external platform (I’m talking to you Facebook) can mess with.
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.
Let your recipients know what you want them to do (sign up for a trial, claim a discount, etc.). An ideal call to action should draw attention, be clear and, of course, be clickable. Design a big button, so it’s easy to click on mobile devices. If your email is long, add another call to action, so your subscribers don’t have to scroll to find it. Make a CTA copy compelling.
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.
In closing I signed up with verticalresponse.com and in 2 sec I had an email from the CEO with her photo and a phone number to call if I had any support related issues, and no joke, in literally 10 min I had built my mailer and sent it out to 8500 customers – they did not hold it for a while, or send just a few test mails; it was done and sent and reported on in less than 30 min! MailChimp.com take note: That is how you do it! (reports not bad either)
Freedom to make decisions is something I allow and trust my team to do on several levels without ever needing my permission. It makes us move much faster. If they know certain decisions help support the main objectives and value of the brand, and it’s not something that could potentially damage the brand or cost more than $500 (this isn’t a hard number, it’s a rule of thumb), then they are free to take the reins and continue moving forward.
A very informative post. I really liked the offer of the free guide to e-mail marketing near the beginning of the article. I’ve already downloaded it and plan to study it at first opportunity. The overall review was concise and to the point. Great information about Aweber. By not giving them a 10/10 and pointing out the flaws, it makes me want give them a try when I’m ready for e-mail marketing.

4. Affordable: I was willing to pay more money for better features, but wasn’t convinced I needed to be paying $200-$300/month for those. I know many, many, entrepreneurs who pay those fees and like I say above, use a fraction of its capabilities. I didn’t feel that was necessary for my business – at the point of consideration, I didn’t have a complex business with numerous products or sales funnels. For the past couple of years while my kids are home on crazy-small school schedules (right now I have 2.5 hours per day), I have been primarily working 1:1 with clients and offering My PRO Plan. This will change in Fall 2016 when both kids are in school full time (I can’t even imagine!?!) and I have more time to execute on my ideas, but for now, the big shot services weren’t needed.
Their Follow Up feature is the perfect way to send introductory emails to new subscribers (say you want to introduce them to your most popular posts or send in a 5-series email campaign covering your latest project) before they receive your usual newsletters. Many users prefer AWeber for its comprehensive phone support and ability to integrate seamlessly with other web apps.
You can build a large following of targeted people who are also interested in your niche. Put you niche into the search bar on Twitter and check out the results. You will find out who is posting right now. What videos are out there. Who are some of the industry influencers. Questions that people are asking. And even who are some of the competitors.
AWeber has a strict and comprehensive anti-spam policy in order to keep its deliverability rates high. Upon signing up for an AWeber account, you must certify that your list is permission-based and meets the company’s anti-spam standards. In addition, before your first mailing, you will need to send a subscription confirmation to all your subscribers. Anyone who doesn’t confirm their subscription cannot be included on your list. (This is known as confirmed opt-in.) AWeber will sometimes make exceptions for lists which have already been through that process and have a proven history with another ESP.

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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