Pam, we are sure JetPack has nice features and all but it allows you to add a blog / comment subscription module only. On the other hand services like MailChimp and Aweber are professional email service providers offering many powerful features which allow you to really benefit from the email list you are building. As far as simplicity is concerned, we are slightly more inclined towards MailChimp, they have a great user interface even for absolute beginners, they have excellent documentation, and lots of resources to learn how to use each feature available.
There are drawbacks, however, and they are threefold: first, the program seems to be falling behind on the social media front. Second, AWeber is a little on the pricey side, especially for businesses with very small lists (1000 and under). Once you hit the 2500-subscriber mark, costs are more in line with industry averages. The company has no send-based subscription plan, which means if you have a large list but send infrequent emails, there are probably better choices for you. Third, the company makes its free trial unnecessarily burdensome by requiring a credit card. This would be a minor issue if not for the fact that customers have reported complications with canceling the service.
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.
I suppose the secondary reason I haven’t made the switch is because I run multiple blogs and don’t want to get stuck paying multiple fees at this point. (I’m under the impression I’d have to pay separately for each email list, but please correct me if that’s not the case. That would change things.) I love the functionality and features of Aweber, but I can’t see paying 4-5 monthly services fees while so many of the blogs are in a start-up phase.
I love Aweber! Have been using them for about a year now. I still use Feedburner for subscribers but I use Aweber for my newsletter and five-part drip campaign. It’s worked well for me and my readers are highly engaged. In 2010 I did a short e-course and that worked well. The next step for me is to find ways to create more ever-green content and build it into the newsletter and think about another ebook for sale (as in the process you described) or another e-course.
Before ConvertKit came on my radar, I was considering making the switch to Ontraport or Infusionsoft. I was ready for a more robust solution that Aweber just didn’t offer. But after years of hearing people call it “Confusionsoft” and the prospect of shelling out big bucks (at least $200+/month plus hefty $1000+ start-up fee) to use 20% of its features, I wasn’t super excited about making the switch. Ontraport had some promising options, and one of my clients started using them and was happy (though she did hire an Ontraport consultant and strategist to come in and get it all up and running).
Upon signing up there’s a skippable introductory video. AWeber has a bit more of a setup procedure than most ESPs; to get started, you’ll need to fill out information including the business address you want to feature on the bottom of emails, as well as any customizations you want to make to AWeber’s standard opt-in confirmation message. Once you’ve finished those basic configurations, you’ll be free to explore the program.
ConvertKit has been very forthcoming with their business development, and they even publish monthly income and stats. You can see the latest here and their real-time numbers here. Nathan took the company from a struggling side hustle, to an ever-growing successful company in about nine months once he dedicated his attention to it and made it his focus (yes, this is why I always talk about the importance of focus!!).
Advanced: When people subscribe to my list, I can create a main course and then invite people to self-select into the various interest areas that are relevant to them. For example, if you are tired of spinning your wheels and don’t know what to do next in your business, and you click a link related to that, you’d then get tagged as “Nurture: focus and planning” and that would then automatically unsubscribe you from the main course, and put you into a new course designed to provide you with value that could help you figure out your next steps and get focused.
As you can see, these emails are scheduled to be sent to our subscribers after a certain amount of days of them being subscribed to us. We’ve more emails that are sent during this period too, and it means that once someone subscribes to our newsletter, they’ll receive consistent messages from us (but not excessively, or too little) from the very beginning.
Focus on design is what sets Campaign Monitor apart from other email marketing tools. With their tagline Your design is guaranteed to look amazing in every inbox on every device, their professionally-designed email templates will surely get your emails noticed and clicked by subscribers. Campaign Monitor also allows for conditional content in emails to customize the information for each of your contacts. Users love how it's a breeze to add contacts via bulk import, forms, and social networks through this email marketing software.
One of the best features of AWeber is the ability to create a series of emails that are automatically sent out to new subscribers.  This allows you to create an eCourse or some sort of introductory guide for your latest subscribers.  This is fantastic as you can market it as an incentive for people to subscribe (e.g. subscribe and get our free 7 day eCourse) and once setup, you can leave it to be sent out automatically.
Are you considering building an email list, but have some doubts about why it is needed? Many bloggers and business owners don’t realize the importance of building an email list when they’re first starting out. Most people usually change their mind when they see the impact email lists can have on someone else’s traffic and revenue. In this article, we will share the top reasons why building an email list is important (with real case studies). We will also show you how to start building your email list – step by step.
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.
Wow, I am so glad that I ran across your review. I recently received the same ban from Mailchimp after sending out several mailing lists and finally building. I only have 116 subscribers, but that is awesome for starting from nothing if you get my drift. Anyhow I send out mailing list for focus group opportunities. I dont sell a thing and sure enough Mail chimp banned me and our group from simple sharing. I am in the process of scrambling for a new mailing list company because my last mailing list was not sent out and now my subscribers are missing out on some really awesome opportunities. I will be sure to check out Aweber TODAY and send out my focus for cash mailer. Hopefully the integration and transition will run smoothly. I have to get my list asap. Have some time sensitive focus group opportunities that are paying really high here in CA right now. Thanks again for this.
Do you want to make money online? All this talk of disruption, global economy and being able to “work from anywhere” has finally got you thinking seriously about making a change. We live in a global economy and the tools are in place to make new things happen. Heck, Canada just legalized smoking weed across the entire country! The smell of change is in the air and you’re ready to spark up on these Internets.
Have, no doubts! This is the highest quality content that I have come across. I wast able to actually save time and get products out quicker and it will flat out help your bottom line. I went from barely doing 3 figures monthly, to 4 figures monthly all because of this system and products. I have bought over 10 products and have never been disappointed! - E. Mason

chantal.. yes we love his posts! I compared aweber with benchmail.. both are great, i liked the added polls, and survey ability on benchmail. sign up for both, play around as they both feel different and both have a lot more added features than mail chimp, unless you are just one company, and not doing a lot then mailchimp will be ok. For me no mater how small the intention is always to grow. Good luck
It’s one of the most effective marketing approaches because a person who decides to share their information with you shows that they are interested in your blog or business and what it is offering. With this in mind, it is clear that the person is also willing to buy your products or services, explaining why email marketing has high conversion rates.
Advanced: When people subscribe to my list, I can create a main course and then invite people to self-select into the various interest areas that are relevant to them. For example, if you are tired of spinning your wheels and don’t know what to do next in your business, and you click a link related to that, you’d then get tagged as “Nurture: focus and planning” and that would then automatically unsubscribe you from the main course, and put you into a new course designed to provide you with value that could help you figure out your next steps and get focused.

Clarity is key here. Your sign up form should explain the benefits of signing up for your email list, information about the types of content you’ll be sending (newsletters, product promotions, etc.), the cadence of your emails (i.e. weekly, monthly). When you define these expectations up front, your subscribers won’t have any questions about what they signed up for.
For example, if someone is on your list and they choose to unsubscribe later, they still count as an email in the system which is included in your total subscriber count. You must fully delete that record from your account in order to not have to pay for it, and so I found myself going into each of my individual lists and deleting unsubscribes from my account about once a week.
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:

For creating and delivering surveys, I’m a fan of both Survey Monkey and Typeform. They both allow you to create in-depth surveys to ask questions of your audience. When you’re ready to create surveys, be sure to read the book I mentioned in Video #2, Ask by Ryan Levesque. [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through the Survey Monkey or Typeform links to the right.]
I asked him several other questions and he took me deeper into the software to show me some cool automation tools and how tagging and segmentation worked. He also took me into the analytics and even some of the early integrations ConvertKit has with companies like Gumroad, which make it incredibly easy for me to new link customers of The Smart Podcast Player to a “course” in ConvertKit to send them a pre-written autoresponder series.
A low open rate means that people have started to either ignore your messages, or delete them as soon as they receive them. (Or, what I do, is mark them as “read” and just leave them there – probably never to be actually read!) If your open rates are low, you need to work on your email marketing game. Take a look at the previous emails you’ve sent them, or at your subject lines. Something about those emails has deterred your subscriber from opening them up, so tweak and test until you get higher open rates.
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).
The fundamental idea is to give people something that aligns with the type of subscriber you seek. For example, if you wish to have a list of SciFi readers, a free SFF short story, book, or character dossier would be very appetizing to the sort of people you wish to attract. It can’t be something they can get from anywhere (like an Amazon gift card) but instead something genuine that you have created.
Tip: We often suggest that you mention what you’re going to talk about in your subject line. However, Nathan Latka of Heyo once told us in a webinar that he usually goes for a really short subject line that provokes curiosity. (He claims he has even used knock-knock jokes.) In the right context, something like “Hey …” can be surprisingly effective. The casual and familiar tone coupled with the slight recognition of your email address may be enough to prompt an open.

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Like I said, most ESP (email service providers) have the capability of creating automated email workflows. So, instead of getting an email subscriber and initially sending them one or two emails, before getting distracted and forgetting all about them, you can be sure that you have emails sent to them over the course of a few days, weeks, months etc. with email automation.
Use personalization. Personalizing the content of your emails (depending on your segment from Chapter 3) will make it so much more relevant and valuable to them. Personalization goes beyond sticking your subscriber’s first name into the email. You need to tailor the actual content of the email to address their needs. For instance, an online retailer will find it much more valuable to read an email with the subject line, “How to build backlinks to your eCommerce store” than just a generic subject line, “How to build backlinks.”
Both mailchimp and aweber have too many features for someone that wants to keep it simple. I’ve tried both and went to JetPack. I’m sure a few simple features could be added to JetPack….keep it simple and charge a smaller fee, than aweber. I had and know others as well that got sold on aweber and never used it, paying a heafty monthly fee for nothing. That’s the way of the world now….get them to sign up, put it on their credit card and they forget about it and never learn how to use it. Helps pay for all the other people that spend endless hours on the helpline gobbling up the service reps time trying to figure it all out.
I don’t know. I’ve been building it for 5 years and only ever added an address when a reader expressly asked me by email to add him (I kept the proof). Gave aWeber my login details and apparently that wasn’t good enough. They waffled that their spam rate is below 0.1% industry standard and mine is slightly above. All I can think is that a handful of readers have been too dumb, lazy or spiteful to just unsubscribe and instead just report me for spam. 🙁 All I know is that my conscience is clear.
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.
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.
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