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.]

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Promise me one thing: when you hit a question or a problem, you won’t let it stop you. Questions will come up. A great place to ask those questions is in the Smart Passive Income Community Facebook group. This closed Facebook group is made up of both new and established online entrepreneurs from the SPI audience. It’s welcoming and supportive—the perfect place to find help to keep you moving.
This isn’t an issue of the legitimacy of your business and we certainly don’t have anything personal against your content, however we do have to protect the deliverability of all our customers and the risk associated with these terms is too great for us to take on at this time. Here is a page with more information http://www.mailchimp.com/support/compliance/about-terms-of-use-violation?lptkt=LTK143038471765X
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.
For example, if a particular subscriber’s message number is 4, that means that that subscriber has already received follow-up emails 1,2 and 3. So if I have a 7 part follow up message sequence and I write a brand new followup email (message 8 in the sequence), there is no real way for me to prevent this subscriber from receiving message 8 unless I make his or her message number higher than 8. But if I do this, then that subscriber will never receive messages 4,5,6 or 7.
The TRIBE Breakfast Series will explore what drives mission-based challenger brands. We want to bring together a group of challenger brands and marketing and PR professionals at TRIBE HQ, to share ideas and hear from a number of inspiring voices, so we can learn how to discover and articulate our purpose and better connect with our tribes. All over a (free) delicious, healthy breakfast; granola yoghurt pots, pastries and TRIBE breakfast Shakes.
I do agree that you should not build your business on free entirely. However, I also agree that if you are a small blogger or a non-profit organisation it is nice to save some money as you do not earn much. I’ve actually been using Mailerlite forever free plan until I’ve learned to comunicate with my audience and grown my business a bit to finally pay some money for newsletter service. You can check their quick comparison to MailChimp here: https://www.mailerlite.com/mailchimp-alternative That’s my personal alternative to MailChimp. Cheers!

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.
Promise me one thing: when you hit a question or a problem, you won’t let it stop you. Questions will come up. A great place to ask those questions is in the Smart Passive Income Community Facebook group. This closed Facebook group is made up of both new and established online entrepreneurs from the SPI audience. It’s welcoming and supportive—the perfect place to find help to keep you moving.
You get my drift? The numbers are a bit rough (you might convert less) but it is the idea behind it that works. You don’t even have to have your own product. As long as you are providing your readers with high quality products that you use yourself then you are going to be adding value to their lives. And that is a vital element of making a sale. Aweber allows you to do all this without touching a thing.
Very interesting indeed. I am currently using MailChimp and reading through this article, I am wondering when it was written as features have changed in MC, the tracking has more than is mentioned here, there is now a visual drag and drop editor to create custom campaigns, etc. I am not familiar with aweber but maybe some things have also changed on their side. Maybe we’d need an updated version of this article, along with a DATE of when the comparison was made.
Thank you for a detailed comparison of MailChimp and Aweber. I think it’s a nice idea to also have an in-house email software like this one http://easymail7.com in addition to the account with a remotely hosted email provider like MailChimp or Aweber. In case of a sudden account suspension by the ESP, you would not lose contacts, emails, autoresponders etc, and would be able to continue email marketing using the in-house email software.
As for email services, well actually there is a limit on how many emails you can send from a free gmail or yahoo account. Sending out mass emails is considered abuse of service by these free email service providers. Your emails will either end up in spam folder of your users, or they will not recieve them at all. It is also possible that your email service can suspend your account for violation of terms of use. This is why you need a third party email service.
Pop ups should be easy to close. Nothing is more annoying than having a pop up appear and you do not know how to close it. Sometimes your visitor may not be interested in what you have to offer and so will decline the offer by closing the pop up. If the ability to close the pop up is difficult, such as the exit link is not visible, you can lose visitors. Therefore make sure that your pop up can be easily closed to avoid losing readers.
Aaron simply goes beyond all my expectations overdelivering all the time, taking internet marketing to the next level. Time and time again his content amazes me and blows me away. And I instantly get so many ideas on what to do with their unique materials. If you are interested in increasing your web presence, building a better internet business, etc. do yourself a favor and find what you´re looking for immediately. I definitely encourage every serious online business entrepreneur to check out what they can do for them. Keep up the good work. - Bill Carter
We also had our account blocked last year but they never told us why. We don’t sell anything via our newsletter. We don’t even talk about how to make money (that’s not our field). We write about business news and part of our CRM initiative. We sent several email inquiries to them. All were ignored. We ended up setting up a new account and reimporting all of our lists.
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.

As with most ESPs, you’ll need to certify that any list you upload is permission-based and conforms with the provider’s anti-spam policies. AWeber takes this a step farther than some. You will need to enter the source of the email list when you upload it, and AWeber requires confirmed opt-in for all addresses. This means your first email will have to be a request for your subscribers to confirm their subscriptions. Anyone who doesn’t confirm can’t be on your list. (AWeber does allow some exceptions to this rule if you have a list that has already gone through confirmed opt-in with another ESP.)
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.
Slide in form – This is a less invasive form than a pop up, but still helps capture your visitors’ attention when they are scrolling through your content. As they make their way through your content, a slide-in form will appear about 3/4 down the page. This is the perfect time to get people who are engaging with your content to sign up for your list.

Video marketing is probably the most powerful way to drive traffic to your site. People love to watch a video to learn something rather than reading text. And with the growth of mobile your video needs to be friendly for these viewers. You must get your point across a lot quicker and add elements of entertainment or gamification to keep peoples attention.
Advanced: When people subscribe to my list, I can create a main course and then invite people to self-select into the various interest areas that are relevant to them. For example, if you are tired of spinning your wheels and don’t know what to do next in your business, and you click a link related to that, you’d then get tagged as “Nurture: focus and planning” and that would then automatically unsubscribe you from the main course, and put you into a new course designed to provide you with value that could help you figure out your next steps and get focused.
The newsletter is something you can offer in addition to the normal follow ups. You can write a number of very short posts on news in the industry, summarise and provide links to the best articles over the past month, year and then add short mentions of products eg use your aweber and Bluehost affiliate links under a products I use section at the bottom.

Pam, we are sure JetPack has nice features and all but it allows you to add a blog / comment subscription module only. On the other hand services like MailChimp and Aweber are professional email service providers offering many powerful features which allow you to really benefit from the email list you are building. As far as simplicity is concerned, we are slightly more inclined towards MailChimp, they have a great user interface even for absolute beginners, they have excellent documentation, and lots of resources to learn how to use each feature available.
I have tried just about every membership platform out there. The are either buggy, cumbersome or WAY too expensive – especially if you are just getting started. ProductDyno fills a much needed void. It’s easy affordable and they have thought of everything. This thing has so many integrations and features you might think you are… “Finally The Perfect Solution Made Affordable”
I didn’t really find anything wrong with AWeber’s tutorials and videos, as such. They do have a lot but no newbie wants to trawl through endless info in the beginning. A NEWBIE wants to learn the basics AS FAST AS POSSIBLE AND GET THE JOB DONE. So my point here is, the Knowledgebase, FAQ, and online help are not exactly geared towards making the life of a newbie easy.
We make every effort to ensure that we accurately represent these products and services and their potential for income. Earning and Income statements made by our company and its customers are estimates of what we think you can possibly earn. There is no guarantee that you will make these levels of income and you accept the risk that the earnings and income statements differ by individual. As with any business, your results may vary and will be based on your individual capacity, business experience, expertise, and level of desire. There are no guarantees concerning the level of success you may experience. The testimonials and examples used are exceptional results, which do not apply to the average purchaser and are not intended to represent or guarantee that anyone will achieve the same or similar results. Each individual’s success depends on his or her background, dedication, desire and motivation. There is no assurance that examples of past earnings can be duplicated in the future. We cannot guarantee your future results and/or success. There are some unknown risks in business and on the internet that we cannot foresee which can reduce results. We are not responsible for your actions. The use of our information, products, and services should be based on your own due diligence and you agree that our company is not liable for any success or failure of your business that is directly or indirectly related to the purchase and use of our information, products and services. 
ashley.. try benchmark as well. the differences i can see, for me anyway are we have 3 products, so want a different company name to show for each, and if they opt out i wanted the option of which list they want to opt out of, even if i send them letter A from list A, but maybe they are also in B and C, they might still want letters from b and c just not A, benchmark and i believe aweber does this. benchmark also allows you to set up a whole load of detailed surveys as well which is cool. mail chimp, if someone opts out of one list the lists are not linked in anyway so then you have to manually check them out of the other lists, and have to assume they want out of all with out giving them the option to chose in and out of what lists.

Visit forums related to your niche, have a look around them and see what people are talking about. Remember to listen before you speak. Set up your profile. Add value by answering some questions. Engage and if you see a thread where you think you can add value post a reply to that thread. Be sure to observe the rules of the forum or you may get banned.


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!”

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.
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.
With Aweber however, this is not that easy to do. With Aweber, each and every one of your subscribers is tagged with a message number which indicates which followup emails they have received already. To prevent a subscriber from receiving a specific followup email, you must set the subscriber’s message number to be higher than the email sequence number.
The image above is a screenshot from my account showing that I have three follow up messages set at the moment. The first one is the eBook, the second one arrives a few days later and is a thank you message, and the third one is a tactic that I use on my blogs that I only share with my email subscribers. The follow up email function allows me to create a deeper sense of value with everyone who is subscribed.

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.
Their Follow Up feature is the perfect way to send introductory emails to new subscribers (say you want to introduce them to your most popular posts or send in a 5-series email campaign covering your latest project) before they receive your usual newsletters. Many users prefer AWeber for its comprehensive phone support and ability to integrate seamlessly with other web apps.
“The biggest reason that it was so bad was because of the size of your list. The Infusionsoft coach that we had highly recommended not using the AWeber to Infusionsoft import tool, and so we exported the lists from AWeber and then uploaded them into Infusionsoft. In theory, that wouldn’t have been bad—in fact, I had initially been looking forward to it. I like working in Excel.
So with these factors in mind, I had been staying put with Aweber because they met a number of these criteria. But I knew that I really wanted to up level my email marketing and put more customized sequences and automation into place so that the user experience could be much better, and I would have a clearer picture of my audience and what they want from me.

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.

There are drawbacks, however, and they are threefold: first, the program seems to be falling behind on the social media front. Second, AWeber is a little on the pricey side, especially for businesses with very small lists (1000 and under). Once you hit the 2500-subscriber mark, costs are more in line with industry averages. The company has no send-based subscription plan, which means if you have a large list but send infrequent emails, there are probably better choices for you. Third, the company makes its free trial unnecessarily burdensome by requiring a credit card. This would be a minor issue if not for the fact that customers have reported complications with canceling the service.
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