Enter the autoresponder. The autoreposnder (or as ConvertKit calls it, a Course), is a series of messages that get sent in succession automatically. You write them once, determine the frequency, and then subscribers get these same messages no matter when they join your list. It’s a fabulous strategy because you build it once and then you can rest knowing that even if you can’t send something in real-time, they are still getting these carefully crafted emails.
Email marketing is such a critical component of business for most companies (with the rare exception) because you able to communicate with your audience in the place they spend a good chunk of time (their inboxes). You also have the added benefit of building an asset (an email list) that no external platform (I’m talking to you Facebook) can mess with.
AWeber is pretty close-lipped about their security measures; while there is a very short section on security in the company’s privacy policy inviting readers to contact the company for details, I did precisely that and was simply told they couldn’t discuss security measures for security reasons. (I find the argument unconvincing, given the basic security information freely available on competitors’ sites.)
Hi I have recently been looking into them both trying to decide which one to go for. Am I right in saying that Aweber offer more services than mailchimp or are they just openly advertising more? I am really confused about which one to go for. I like the look of aweber more however I am trying to figure out if it is worth the price difference. Thank you in advance. Found your comparison very helpful. 🙂
The fundamental idea is to give people something that aligns with the type of subscriber you seek. For example, if you wish to have a list of SciFi readers, a free SFF short story, book, or character dossier would be very appetizing to the sort of people you wish to attract. It can’t be something they can get from anywhere (like an Amazon gift card) but instead something genuine that you have created.
First of all you need to sign up for a free account at MailChimp. Here is the signup link (Aff. link). Once you have signed up, and logged into MailChimp dashboard, you will be seeing a screen similar to this, and click on create a list. The good thing about MailChimp dashboard is, it’s interactive, so you will not find any issues with getting started with it.
I love Aweber! Have been using them for about a year now. I still use Feedburner for subscribers but I use Aweber for my newsletter and five-part drip campaign. It’s worked well for me and my readers are highly engaged. In 2010 I did a short e-course and that worked well. The next step for me is to find ways to create more ever-green content and build it into the newsletter and think about another ebook for sale (as in the process you described) or another e-course.
When it comes to another significant feature, email deliverability, both AWeber and GetResponse perform the same way. Both of them claim and offer about 99% email deliverability rate. The email deliverability option finds out whether or not any spam elements are present in the mails that you send. When you use either of these email delivering services, their spam checkers check your emails automatically and assign a spam score to them so that you can find out whether your emails will be marked as Spam by different ISPs.
The tag is a bit of metadata added to a subscriber’s profile to track their activity or preferences. Tags can be used to keep track of purchases, what a subscriber is interested in (e.g. design vs. marketing), how engaged they are (clicked a link in a launch sequence) and where they were imported from. A subscriber can have an unlimited number of tags.
ConvertKit has been very forthcoming with their business development, and they even publish monthly income and stats. You can see the latest here and their real-time numbers here. Nathan took the company from a struggling side hustle, to an ever-growing successful company in about nine months once he dedicated his attention to it and made it his focus (yes, this is why I always talk about the importance of focus!!).

Thanks for all this wonderful information. I write both fiction and nonfiction. I’m wondering if I need to create two lists that people could sign up for. Or should I just have one? The audiences have some overlap but are mostly different. How do I handle this, short of having two websites (which I don’t want to do)–I currently have one author website. Thanks for any advice.
AWeber finds a healthy balance between ease of use and robust functionality. There are some nice features — particularly in the autoresponder realm — but navigation is intuitive enough that I was able to perform basic tasks without looking up tutorials. When I did find myself at a loss and turned to the online help resources, I was quite impressed with the range and scope of guidance available.
I basically had to download the javascript from their site, figure out how their code was written and then tailor it to how I wanted it. Otherwise, I would have been limited to their templates which I didn’t really like. In addition, the Aweber popup code didn’t work properly across all web browsers and I had to fix this manually. (Updated: This problem has been rectified)
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
And that was that. I didn’t really get any help afterwards, but I trusted that most of them were getting through because my broadcasts were being replied to, and I just hoped it was just some bug or internal error and not actually brakes being put on my emails. I was again, appreciative of the quick call to attention, but was still left hanging a little.
I use Ratepoint because they also offer a review (testimonial) widget I have posted on my site. Ratepoint has a promotion that offers free mailing list service forever if your list is 125 or less. Obviously most of us will want more than 125 folks reading our newsletters but it’s a good start. Good templates, tracking and definitely awesome support.

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.
Thanks Aaron, Your products are always top notch! The helpful videos really supply many ideas on product creation and then ways to promote them. Pricing products has always been a problem, but not anymore, from learning how to discern a price to one-time-offers to making more profits, the videos are really a teaching tool! Everyone need these training! - JB Nova
In this next section we’re going to get more detailed about setting up your blog. Whenever I ask an audience “how many of you have a blog?” I’m always amazed at how few people raise their hand and say yes. I’ve asked business owners of all types. Hair salons, HVAC, chiropractors, not-for-profits, freight forwarders, crypto and the majority are missing this tool.
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.
I just wanted to send you an email and give you a big thank you. I am busting my butt trying to build an online business, and I carry a very strong interest in marketing (I'm a graphic designer, so I guess it could go hand in hand). I'm never sure who is who, I can't tell who I'm listening too or buying from or who created what, but I feel you create and offer some of the best quality products for prices that really do meet my budget. And a BIG THANKS for all of the effort and quality content you provide. - Slade Julius
“As my list has grown, I’ve just remained focused on the next metric right ahead of me. First it was just to hit 200 subscribers, then 300 subscribers, then 400 subscribes. Eventually the goal was 1,000 subscribers, then 2,000 etc. etc.  As I’ve gone past 10,000 and 20,000 and beyond I’ve actually started to focus more not on the sheer number but on engagement.” – John Corcoran, Smart Business Revolution
Use it as a lead magnet/free mini-course. You can also use an autoresponder as a lead magnet to attract new subscribers to your email list. This is commonly done in the form of a free “mini-course”, or a free “challenge”, which promises to deliver a series of emails containing lessons (or other valuable information) over the course of several days or weeks. There is a high perceived value with a mini-course or a challenge like this, which makes it a very effective lead magnet.
“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 
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.
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.

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.


This blog post is the third installment of our new series, The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing. For eight weeks, we’re featuring a new article that covers a specific area of focus in email marketing! Last week, we wrote about planning your email marketing strategy. This week, it’s all about list growth! Want a sneak peek into the content? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing.
Use personalization. Personalizing the content of your emails (depending on your segment from Chapter 3) will make it so much more relevant and valuable to them. Personalization goes beyond sticking your subscriber’s first name into the email. You need to tailor the actual content of the email to address their needs. For instance, an online retailer will find it much more valuable to read an email with the subject line, “How to build backlinks to your eCommerce store” than just a generic subject line, “How to build backlinks.”

Aaron Danker is an established internet marketer with over 10 years of online experience. He provides high level turn-key solutions and website installation services for beginners and has recently turned to coaching to share his knowledge and expertise with dedicated students. Newbie Lessons is the result of years of training and common problems beginners face all condensed into one powerful and easy-to-use learning platform.

What I was trying to get across (and perhaps I didn’t make myself clear here, my fault), is that there are also other equally excellent services. I mentioned MailChimp as someone mentioned they’d like a mail list manager but couldn’t afford AW. MC is free for the first 1000 subscribers, and I think for a large proportion of entrepreneurs, that is enough to get started (more than enough, probably).
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.
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!
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.
A very informative post. I really liked the offer of the free guide to e-mail marketing near the beginning of the article. I’ve already downloaded it and plan to study it at first opportunity. The overall review was concise and to the point. Great information about Aweber. By not giving them a 10/10 and pointing out the flaws, it makes me want give them a try when I’m ready for e-mail marketing.

I have been using PLR products for some time now as an internet marketer to build my list and to sell. Some products are not easy to sell. And I now have a Ebook Store too that I am stocking with the latest products thanks to your course. This is the best training I have seen in quite some time. And they have over delivered! Better get yours now if you are serious about starting an online business. - Vince Atkinson
AWeber is a fantastic tool to have in your arsenal.  As well as all the features that we have listed above, you will be able to view detailed reports to see how your; opt-in, click-through rate, new subscribers, etc. are performing, setup slit testing to see which of your opt-in boxes works most effectively, manage all your subscribers and much more!
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