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.
“No, because a lot of others have told us those are the features within some of these all-in-one business solutions that make them extremely cumbersome and overwhelming. Our target customers are bloggers, podcasters and other people who are building audiences who want to be able to have an easy-to-use, but powerful email marketing system, with automation and all of the features that you want, without all of the things that you don’t need right now.”
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.
Clarity is key here. Your sign up form should explain the benefits of signing up for your email list, information about the types of content you’ll be sending (newsletters, product promotions, etc.), the cadence of your emails (i.e. weekly, monthly). When you define these expectations up front, your subscribers won’t have any questions about what they signed up for.
I totally agree about content. I have been a long advocate of this because if there is nothing on the website, then there is no reason to return. E-mail campaigns are only good to have people return to the website. Having people, come once is a waste and will probably get people to unsubscribe to your e-mails. And once they unsubscribe it is nearly impossible to get them to subscribe again to be on your list.
I suppose the secondary reason I haven’t made the switch is because I run multiple blogs and don’t want to get stuck paying multiple fees at this point. (I’m under the impression I’d have to pay separately for each email list, but please correct me if that’s not the case. That would change things.) I love the functionality and features of Aweber, but I can’t see paying 4-5 monthly services fees while so many of the blogs are in a start-up phase.
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.
Let your recipients know what you want them to do (sign up for a trial, claim a discount, etc.). An ideal call to action should draw attention, be clear and, of course, be clickable. Design a big button, so it’s easy to click on mobile devices. If your email is long, add another call to action, so your subscribers don’t have to scroll to find it. Make a CTA copy compelling.
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.
It can be frightening to think about, right? But that is exactly how I think email lists should be treated. When you think about it this way, you can begin treating your email list more like people in a room who are there waiting to hear what you have to say and, ultimately, continually deciding if you and the information you provide is still worth being in the room for. This approach will help you craft effective emails, build trust, and remember to treat your list with respect.
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.