Note: it needs to be said that Aweber has *just* rolled out a new beta upgrade called Campaigns which I would assume, aims to do some of these features. I received my invite just as I was making the switch to ConvertKit, so I haven’t tried it. It may do the trick. That said, some of the other features I dislike about Aweber are still relevant, so regardless of this new feature, I’m staying put with ConvertKit.
Hi Steve, I think I might have been Asian in a past life. Lol:) Signed up with Mailchimp for the same cheapskate reasons as you. Finding it OK but always wonder what I’m missing as all the “pros” use Aweber. Can you tell me with Aweber are you able to manually look at people who signed up but haven’t confirmed and then send them a polite reminder? Mailchimp seems to be missing that and I always wonder how many people I’m missing because of that!
But in this guide you have a blueprint, practical tips and actual real world working tools that you can put in practice right now. So just get started where you can and take action. There is a term called “analysis paralysis” where some do so much analyzing they become overwhelmed and fail to get the real work done. It is easy to happen in this internet space where we are literally in the information business.
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.
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).
To manage expectations, it’s a good idea to send your subscribers a quick follow-up email immediately after they’ve subscribed. This is an optimal opportunity for you to, not only thank them for subscribing, but to also to introduce yourself, send them material that you think they’ll be interested in as new subscribers and remind them how often to expect your messages. Almost all email service providers give you the option to create an autoresponder workflows (something we’ll talk about a little bit later), so use it!
Follow-Up Series (Autoresponders): In addition to one-time email blasts (called Broadcasts), AWeber allows you to create chains of autoresponders (campaigns). An example would be a welcome email which is sent to each new subscriber who signs up, then a series of weekly “How To” emails explaining the various applications of your product. You can set the interval between these messages to anywhere between 0 and 999 days. You can also start subscribers at different points in the cycle if you wish (so for instance, if you had a separate signup form for advanced flying widget users, you could start them on #5 of your series (“New Applications of Flying Widgets”) instead of #1 (“What is a Flying Widget?”). You can set up separate follow-up series for each list, and you can copy them between lists. You can even set it to stop sending messages once the email has been opened.
The main weakness I see is the price-point where small companies are concerned. If you don’t need all of AWeber’s bells and whistles, there’s no reason to pay for them. You’ll also want to make certain that if you are trying to cancel your account, you’re not just accidentally suspending it. This is especially important where the free trial is concerned, as AWeber requires your credit card info.
MailChimp always tempts me in terms of design and looks, and more over they keep adding new features, which will be helpful in your Email marketing campaign. The Best thing about MailChimp is, it’s free for first 2000 subscribers, and you will not be charged anything until you have crossed their free limit. This is useful for bloggers, who are worried about moving from Feedburner to another paid Email marketing services, as with free you have nothing to lose.
Let me say right out of the gate, that I would still recommend Aweber to business owners. It’s a great solution and is well regarded in the industry, particularly for their rigour of asking for the double opt-in to minimize spammers and assure permission (this is where a subscriber has to confirm via email that they do in fact want to receive information). It’s reasonably priced, and has many of the basic features needed to do good email marketing. MailChimp is comparable too – however, despite my love for their awesome branding, it lacks features that even Aweber has down. It’s great for a basic business owner.
That’s it, and now you have successfully created your first Email list using MailChimp, and you are officially in the way of becoming an Email-marketer. The good thing about Mailchimp is; it’s design and every field is interactive, so even if you are new, you will never be lost. More over, you can always ping their support for any help, or search for tutorials like this to learn more. You can take advantage of any of these WordPress Email marketing plugins to quickly integrate MailChimp on your blog.
Using the Personalize dropdown, you can insert custom snippets like your subscribers first name, or sign up date, and AWeber will automatically insert that data specific to each subscriber if we have it. If you collect first name, for example, you can send an email that says Hello Tom, or Hello Mary, or Hello John, depending upon who you’re sending to.