The primary thing to keep in mind, the supermagic key, is that HTML is used for meaning and CSS is used for presentation. HTML is nothing more than fancy structured content and the visual formatting of that content will come later when we tackle CSS. You might find different approaches elsewhere on the web but HTML Dog focuses on best practice from the outset and getting into the frame of mind of doing things the right way from the start will lead to much better results in the end.
You can turn off confirmed opt-ins in AWeber, but it’s not recommended, which your story verifies. One of the reasons that AWeber has a high deliverability rate is the lack of spam going out via the service. So when importing a list it does suck to have to send out a bunch of emails, but it keep their service up and going, and our emails being delivered.
The usability of most of the site is actually not bad; I even like the design look and feel. However, the signup process is where I had (and am still having) trouble with. Just simply getting a reply from them on anything takes hours and hours, but when you look search usability and mailchimp.com, they are all kinds of busy writing blogs about their mobile usability testing and how great they are. So they are so focused on their mobile they forgot that the #1 focus should be getting new users fast, and keeping them with good support… what a JOKE! Mailchimp.com is usability and customer support FAIL!
Instead of simply sending out a broadcast sporadically, why not choose to create a newsletter.  That way, you can send one out each week/month that includes said promotions, offers, site updates, etc. in one place.  That way, subscribers won’t get annoyed of you sending out too much content to them, as they can expect to get everything in your regular newsletter.
Wow, Gill! That’s a fantastic idea. No wonder you got such great engagement. At AWeber, we’ve found that specificity does lead to higher open rates. It shows you know your audience, and you’re sending them value. You’re talking to the individual — not the crowd. Highly relevant subject lines paired with segmentation is a winning duo. Keep up the awesome work.
Overall, our impression and experiences show that Aweber is easy to use, they have a great reputation, and they’ve been around for a long time. We have quite a few subscribers with Aweber since this is one of the first autoresponders we started using. Since we’ve been with them for a long time, we’ve also noticed their delivery can be iffy at times.
The Autoresponder 2.0 is probably the most advanced feature that GetResponse launched a couple of months ago. With their new autoresponder feature we can now create message cycles that are timely and relevant — all adjusted precisely to subscriber needs and expectations and send them automatically. As a result the open and click are higher and hence lead to more conversions. - Ram Shengale
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.
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.
As I was growing more and more frustrated with Infusionsoft I reached back out to Nathan to see how ConvertKit was doing. I wasn’t surprised to hear that they were experiencing constant growth month after month. New features were being added on a regular basis, and after a couple of side conversations with other users, I was happy to hear extremely positive reviews.
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!
Great article comparison and review! Man I wished I had read this before getting in bed with mailchimp.com – You are correct they have the WORST customer service there is… I have been waiting for more than 24 hours now for a resolution as to why they suspend my account – turns out I didnt answer some questions in a lengthy email they send out. I could not call them because they do not have a phone number.
The second thing you can do to is create an app in facebook for your webform. This allows you the ability to capture emails and promote your capture page using facebook ads. This is truly an autopilot strategy that the gurus talk about and teach to newbie and advanced marketers alike. Personally I have never done it like, I just know it’s easy to do because a lot of small and local businesses have it set up this way with a basic form.
Even my team members, who are much smarter than I am, couldn’t get a grasp of it as quickly as I wanted them to. Although the help I hired was amazing, that company wasn’t a part of Team Flynn like my other teammates. They would never think to change things here and there on their own for the benefit of the brand and what it stands for, because that’s not what they’re paid to do.
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.
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.
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Perhaps I overshot and started using something that was way beyond what I needed, or maybe it was the way it’s built that didn’t jive with my workflow, but whatever the case may be, I knew I had to look for another solution—a simpler solution—and I needed to find one quickly. My team is close to the point of implementation on a brand new website design, very much inspired by the results of the survey we ran recently here on SPI.
I have used both, and I agree with your analysis. The great thing about MailChimp is that it lets you see the email in different clients. That is really the hardest thing about sending emails. However, you can use that service without doing everything else through MailChimp. Also, once you get the hang of it and develop templates, it no longer is much of an issue.
Update: MailChimp refutes this claim about affiliate marketing saying that they only impose temporary bans when certain links in emails are blacklisted. What’s nice about AWeber is that they let you know BEFORE you send your email how likely your email will hit someone’s spam folder and whether you are accidentally using blacklisted links in your email.
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Great guide, just what I was looking for but it is timing that is my question. I have just got my ecommerce website up and running selling “print on demand” (small run personalised printing) products. Have only a few items for sale so when should I try to create my email list.? Is 15 items in a shop too small so wait until I have say 50? Create a landing page that promises more in the future so sign up now? Not an easy one to find advise on. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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!

Pricing for InfusionSoft is also fairly different than AWeber. The interesting thing I discovered is that a lot of people—at least people who I spoke with—are hesitant to share how much they are billed. No one would tell me upfront, which led me to believe that Infusionsoft pricing depends on who you spoke with and what kind of deal you could get, and I was right.
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.

You see, the people on your email list are your best customers.  They have visited your site and found it interesting enough to subscribe for more content.  For that reason alone, they are much more likely to listen to any offers you may send them (affiliate promotions, product sales, discount coupons, etc.).  So, having a large email list can actually be quite profitable, which is why bloggers and website owners hold them in such high regard.
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