Smart from Scratch is a course I created to walk you through the process of choosing and testing a business idea, as well as getting your first customers. If you already have a business, this course isn’t for you, but if you’re just getting started—or you don’t know where to start—this course is for you. [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through the Genius link to the right.]

4. Affordable: I was willing to pay more money for better features, but wasn’t convinced I needed to be paying $200-$300/month for those. I know many, many, entrepreneurs who pay those fees and like I say above, use a fraction of its capabilities. I didn’t feel that was necessary for my business – at the point of consideration, I didn’t have a complex business with numerous products or sales funnels. For the past couple of years while my kids are home on crazy-small school schedules (right now I have 2.5 hours per day), I have been primarily working 1:1 with clients and offering My PRO Plan. This will change in Fall 2016 when both kids are in school full time (I can’t even imagine!?!) and I have more time to execute on my ideas, but for now, the big shot services weren’t needed.


Sign up for free trials to see which email marketing tool you consider easy to use. Their prices vary. MailChimp and MoonMail are the great ones to start with if you don’t have a big mailing list. They offer a forever free trial if you have up to 2000 contacts. Some of the other popular brands are GetResponse, Active Campaign, AWeber, Constant Contact, and many more.

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


The key is when visitors hit your blog it needs to look like something. This will lure visitors to want to sign up for your mailing list in exchange for something of value that you offer. This could be a special report, an ebook or some other free gift. Marketers call these “lead magnets” because you’re attracting leads that you can eventually convert as you sell them products and services.
Unsubscribe rate. Unsubscribes are always going to happen no matter what, and that’s usually OK because those people probably would never have bought from you anyway. However, a high unsubscribe rate can indicate that you are losing potential customers. Check the following: Why did people subscribe to your list in the first place, and are you delivering on that promise? Is the content of your autoresponder highly relevant to the segment it is being sent to? Are you sending too many sales emails with too little value emails? (Recommended reading: 5 Reasons Why People Unsubscribe from Your Email List.)
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.]
I have been on your list for some time now and I always pay special attention to your updates! The earnings potential you have given me is unbelievable. And I have recommended your products to some of my family members and they are now starting to see profits on their websites. (we are a family business!) I recommend this to anyone who is beginning in internet marketing. It is very simple to do. Every thing you need to know is already done for you. - Dave Osmonson
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“Email automation is the lifeblood to our businesses. Whether we are using a ‘Welcome Series’ for new subscribers, an invitation series for people requesting access to our products, an ascension series for transitioning a lead to a buyer… we are constantly using automation to create more touchpoints with the prospect/customer.” – Justin Rondeau, DigitalMarketer 

This was all possible with Aweber, with some drawbacks (and one of the reasons I switched to ConvertKit). While you could set up an autoresponder sequence in Aweber, it was not easy or convenient to segment out those users who were in the sequence from getting your main newsletter or blog broadcasts. So, it was possible that people were getting multiple emails from me a week.


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.
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.
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.

For creating and delivering surveys, I’m a fan of both Survey Monkey and Typeform. They both allow you to create in-depth surveys to ask questions of your audience. When you’re ready to create surveys, be sure to read the book I mentioned in Video #2, Ask by Ryan Levesque. [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through the Survey Monkey or Typeform links to the right.]
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
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.
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.

One question I have that you might be able to answer is: I send out a broadcast once a week when a new post comes up. I set this up manually, though I’ve seen that there is an option (I believe) to automatically send out your blog post to your e-mail subscribers. I guess I’m a little nervous about doing an automatic thing (though that is what happens with people who are subscribing via my feed). Does this make sense to you? I only post once a week so it is not that difficult to manually send out a broadcast. Just wanted to know if you could explain the mechanism behind the automatic blog post option.
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.
Our 21st most-read story in 2018: America’s food safety system has a gaping hole: Growers aren’t required to test their irrigation water for pathogens such as E. coli. Congress ordered a fix in 2011. But Trump’s FDA shelved the rules. https://www.revealnews.org/article/5-people-died-from-eating-lettuce-but-trumps-fda-still-wont-make-farms-test-water-for-bacteria/?utm_source=Reveal&utm_medium=social_media&utm_campaign=twitter …

So glad you stopped by and Congratulations on your new business! This truly is the time to be successful online. I agree Aweber has the best reports, there are so many ways to slice, dice and dissect the data to help your burgeoning business grow. I think people who have large lists would benefit even more from all the ways the data can be analyzed and how you can segment and streamline your lists. And compared to others, it’s inexpensive which means you can focus that cash outlay somewhere else if needed. That really is a huge help to those of us just starting out. I mean, who doesn’t like saving money? Let me know how I can help you get your business going, I’d love to help!
Have, no doubts! This is the highest quality content that I have come across. I wast able to actually save time and get products out quicker and it will flat out help your bottom line. I went from barely doing 3 figures monthly, to 4 figures monthly all because of this system and products. I have bought over 10 products and have never been disappointed! - E. Mason
You need to add few details like, Name of your list, Sender name for the list, reply-to email, default subject and few more details. Most of the fields are self-explanatory, so you will not find yourself lost at any moment. There are few fields which are mandatory, for example, Address of your company (In the case of bloggers, you can add your home address). You can leave the default subject field empty, as this will be used when you are sending your first email campaign.
Email marketing tools offer a wide selection of ready-to-use templates. They can save lots of your time, and you won’t need to worry about how your email will display across different devices. You can also use a drag-and-drop editor in your email system to design your template. Add blocks like images, social media buttons or text blocks, customize styles and other elements.
Another thing about your list. Don’t worry when people unsubscribe — because they will. There are a variety of reasons so don’t take it personal. Maybe they’re just reducing the size of their inbox. Or perhaps they were just interested in your freebie offer. Chance are they were not going to buy from you anyway. Just keep providing quality content and those who join will far exceed those who choose to unsubscribe.
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.
I think this is just giving you a very cautious report. Infusionsoft is quite protective of their lists and how they send but it looks like you had 114,528 on your list and sent to 101,929 with 0 Skipped and 0 Errors. So the variance is due to several things such as the contacts didn’t have email addresses or there are some duplicates and/or 13,000 had opted out. You only had 12 Complaints, which is quite low, but maybe the bulk of them came during one segment that was sent, which created the warning. I have one of the senior support guys looking into this, but I think you are fine.”

Split testing is one of those tasks that I’ve always hated because of how complicated and time consuming it is. I knew it was important but man, was it difficult to get right…that is, until now. Like all of Promote Labs software Split Test Monkey takes a really complex task and makes it “point and… “Split Test Monkey takes a really complex task and makes it “point and click” easy.”


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.
Alex GetResponse is a good service too. They have a smaller customer base than MailChimp or Aweber but they are definitely on the right track. You should consider your own options that will help you decide. For example, pricing, growth, support, reliability, deliverability, spam filters, etc. Make a list of these factors to compare on your own, you will also find such analysis around the web but those analysis could be biased towards one of the service. So you better do it on your own.

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.


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.
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.
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