What I like about Mailchimp is that you can setup autoresponders such that only a subset of your email list will receive your follow-up emails based on when they signed up for your newsletter. For example, if I only want recent subscribers from the last month to receive one of my autoresponders, I can simply specify this using MailChimp’s autoresponder interface.
When I first started blogging several years ago, I jumped onto the aweber band wagon. I built a subscriber list of over 400 people. I was posting regular articles and then a monthly newsletter with more in-depth articles for free. I was spending so much time writing, I never created a product and the onsite ad’s were not bringing in enough money to cover the cost.
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.
Remember that this AWeber Review is from the perspective of a newbie. And also of someone who does not want to have to spend hours and hours researching, reading up, and learning how to use a system effectively. I just want to be able to have a gentle learning curve, not have so many technical aspects thrown at me all at once, and to get on with my job – which is to write my blogs and run my site. And have a life!
Don’t sell sand in the desert. Even if you use an award-winning design and have the best deals on the market, you won’t be successful if you don’t get the right offers to the right people. One-size-fits-all messages are not effective or profitable. Imagine that you provide a free trial of your software although your subscribers are already your clients. Or, that you want to sell sausages to vegans.
Earlier this year, I made a big decision to move my email list of more than 135,000 subscribers to Infusionsoft from AWeber, which I’ve used for the past five-plus years. Three months later, my email list now lives on a relatively new and rapidly growing platform called ConvertKit. [Full Disclosure: I’m a compensated advisor and an affiliate for ConvertKit.]
But really, the conversation was just a series of questions about my needs, my experiences wants and desires as a blogger, podcaster, and digital marketer. Having just completed a software product of my own (The Smart Podcast Player), I appreciated the questions and fully understood what he wanted, and I was not afraid to hold back. He was my friend, and plus what if he created the perfect solution for me.
Just what I needed to learn how to promote my own products! The products, sales letter, auto responder sequences, available help, are all super important for a newbie like myself. Hey, I can even use the products for my own education. The graphics are unbelievable. This program is worth its weight in gold. Everything is clearly explained! - Joseph Daniels
If I didn’t post for a while, and then sent something out, I’d get a handful of unsubscribes from people who basically forgot they were on my list. This method wasn’t ideal for building the know, like and trust factor. Yes, of course, I would say that I should be working on consistency (and I am — which is why I hired a Content Director!), but until I have that locked down, I wanted a different way to give people a solid, valuable user experience when they first join my list.
When you create an email list, you’re allowing a group of fellow human beings to come together in one place where they expect to hear from you. You have a huge opportunity—responsibility, even—to provide value to them. When someone essentially says, “Hey, I like you enough to give you my email address,” you owe it to them to offer up everything you can to ensure that they make progress, stay informed, or are entertained.
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
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Migration can actually be a major pain in the ass. Although according to aWeber my list was “substantially clean” but I still needed to get all my readers to reconfirm their subscriptions. After a week I’m still waiting for 70% of them to reconfirm. NOT happy. If I stuck to mailchimp I wouldn’t have had these problems. (Their support guys are good though.)
It was pretty easy to transition over to Aweber. Basically you need to let Aweber know that you are switching from MailChimp, export your contacts to a CSV file and then cut and paste the contacts in. The only pain was recreating all of my forms and autoresponders…especially the popup. I would recommend just signing up for Aweber from the start and not having to deal with it later.
Never send an email without making sure it’s working properly. What looks good in your inbox can look broken or mangled in someone else’s. Use tools that can help you with testing your SPAM score, deliverability and the rendering of your email. There are plenty of free or freemium solutions that provide screenshots of your email in dozens of different email platforms.
FYI, this will show up at the of every email you send out to your subscribers. This is important because when you input your address in the Account Information section, you may have used the address associated with your credit card. This is usually a home address. So I’d advise renting a PO Box so you can use that address here. It keeps your home address private.
Click through rates. Once your subscribers have opened your email, are they actually taking the action you need them to take? If you think that you have a low click-through rate, perhaps your body copy is not as effective as it needs to be. Consider the following: Is the copy of your email relevant to the subject line? Did you offer real value to your subscribers in the email? Is your call-to-action clear enough? Is the link easy to find?
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.
3. Email converts better. People who buy products marketed through email spend 138% more than those who do not receive email offers. In fact, email marketing has an ROI of 3800%. That’s huge! And if you are wondering if social media converts even better, think again: the average order value of an email is at least three times higher than that of social media.
Like a lot of bloggers I give away a free eBook as a way of capturing email subscribers. This is a very clumsy process using Feedburner as you cannot set up an automatic response to send the eBook as soon as someone subscribers. Rather, you have to add a download link to your feed and then hope the new subscriber understands that they don’t get an email until you write a new post.
But that doesn’t mean everyone wants to hear about everything and the exact moment I want to share it. My clients and readers who are in major growth mode with their business don’t necessarily need to go through my comprehensive planning program, My PRO Plan (or the content I write around it). They’ve got a plan, and their focus is on growth strategies and developing their leadership skills.
Digital marketing is a sophisticated approach that businesses have to take into consideration to succeed online. Due to the development of different technologies, customers have shifted their attention to other devices, and to other forms of communication. It has forced businesses to rely on social media marketing, content creation, PPC campaigns, and email marketing.
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).
AWeber offers three email editors: a drag-and-drop WYSIWYG editor, a plain text editor, and an HTML editor for those who prefer to code their own emails. The WYSIWYG editor is pretty easy to use and allows for a fair degree of customization, though not quite as much as I would have liked. You can insert a simple “Click here” button, coupon, logo, or signature with the click of a button. Social share buttons are easy to generate once you link AWeber with your Facebook and Twitter account. Drafts are autosaved every two minutes, and you can see a list of previous versions (so that if you accidentally delete something, you can usually retrieve it).