Opt-in rates have been on the decline for the last decade or so, and I’ve tried a lot of different solutions that have promised to turn that trend around. Of all the things I’ve tried including web based apps and various plugins, only Post Gopher actually delivered. I installed it on my bizweb2000.com blog and… “Post Gopher Has Performed Better Than All The Other List Building Solutions I Use Combined!”
We’ve changed email marketing from iContact to MailChimp and, just now, Aweber. We changed from iContact to MailChimp to cut costs. We then switched to Aweber because Mailchimp will not allow you to start an Autoresponder series on an imported list PLUS, as you mentioned, Aweber has much more robust measuring/management tools. However, people should be aware that Aweber requires imported subscribers to opt-in all over again.
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.
I find the best way to get your free content online and to build relationships directly with your audience is with your own blog. There are tons of reasons to have your own branded space on these Internets. Remember our goal is to make money online. Long term we build a property with huge traffic, engagement and conversion it is an asset we can sell.
Email #2, sent to subscribers a day later, pitched my eBook study guide. I had explained that it was everything they needed to know to pass the LEED exam, conveniently packaged into a printable PDF file and delivered immediately upon purchase. The link in the email sent people over to my sales page, which had a lot more information on the features and benefits of the product.