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.
One of the challenges I’ve had with email marketing is figuring out exactly what to offer and when. I’ve tried the pretty HTML newsletter, but it felt like overkill at times and a little dated (there are of course a few awesome ones out there, but it just never felt like me). I tried taking an ‘e-letter’ approach but felt overwhelmed with creating original content for the newsletter on top of the blog. And more recently, I’ve simply been sending out broadcasts when a new blog or podcast is published. And this is all fine.
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.
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.
Variations of “Hello {!firstname_fix}” have become the norm in email marketing, not the outlier. Because of that, it’s losing its effectiveness. You can still use name personalization, but you also want to think about going a step further. At AWeber, we recommend segmenting your audience and sending each segment tailored messages with unique subject lines.

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
With Aweber, it is very easy to sort through your list to find out who hasn’t confirmed. But as far as I can tell, there’s no way to send out an automatic reminder. However, you can do this manually since you have their email address. Plus I believe you can tell if they’ve even looked at the confirmation email so you can sort out who you want to remind vs someone who is truly not interested anymore.
I have recently just created my website and I still do not understand much about email marketing although I have friends and came across this topic umpteen times when I am doing my research online. It sounds like if I want to create a successful website, email marketing is pretty important. Aweber definitely sound like an extremely useful tool to get things started, will definitely consider using it!
Yes, I believe you can save the subscriber list onto your computer with both services. While moving subscribers from Mailchimp to Aweber was relatively straightforward, it did take me quite awhile to move all of my autoresponders and port my entire setup to Aweber. So if you can afford it, I would simply start out with Aweber and stay with them instead of having to move later.
Creating separate lists allows you to segment your subscribers. So, for example, I would never send a message to subscribers on my IE Publishing the same messages I send to those on the Get a Mobile Career. Different group of folk. Those on the IE Publishing publishing list are interested in my fiction (mostly romance novellas); not in affiliate marketing. Here’s an explanation for each box on this page.
• I don’t pay for duplicates. This was one of my pet peeves with Aweber. Because Aweber is based on lists (vs tags), I had many lists set up – from customer lists to opt-in lists and more. If you joined my main list and then opted-in to my new freebie, I paid for you twice. There are people on my list that have been there since 2008, and have opted-in to many of my lists — it’s possible that I might have been paying for people 5x or more. Plus – it totally skewed my numbers. If you were on five different lists, you were counted five times. This did not give me an accurate reflection of my current subscriber numbers.

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
Don’t hit a send button without proofreading and testing your campaigns. Email with spelling and grammar slips will feel rushed and will make you look unprofessional. Sometimes when you work on something for too long, it’s easy to miss small mistakes. Make sure that all links work correctly. I recommend that you always send a test email to a colleague or a friend to read it first. Or, take a break and come back to check your email later with a fresh mind.
I wasn’t sharing my affiliate link for ConvertKit (but I am now – I earn a commission if you buy with this link) as this move was happening because I wanted to take a couple of months to really test it out.  After using it for more than three months now, however, I’m extremely happy with the results and am confident in my recommendation. Please note that I do receive a commission from the affiliate links to ConvertKit that are on this page. [Full Disclosure: I’m a compensated advisor and an affiliate for ConvertKit.]
Check your ‘Form Type’ settings to alter the width of your signup box.  This is important as you need to make sure that it is the right size for your site.  Think about where you want the box to appear on your site – for the sidebar, you will want it reasonable small (perhaps 250-300px wide) whereas if it’s for after your post, maybe something much wider (e.g. 600px).
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