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.
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.
With so many new things to contend with and trying to grasp the bigger picture, it is easy to forget that ..er, the newsletter (of some kind) has to be set up. So my “complaint” was that there was no reminder nor alert that I might want to set up a newsletter. A very useful and needful reminder/alert for a newbie! But one does not turn to Customer Support for that!
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.
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.
Like a lot of bloggers I give away a free eBook as a way of capturing email subscribers. This is a very clumsy process using Feedburner as you cannot set up an automatic response to send the eBook as soon as someone subscribers. Rather, you have to add a download link to your feed and then hope the new subscriber understands that they don’t get an email until you write a new post.
I don’t know. I’ve been building it for 5 years and only ever added an address when a reader expressly asked me by email to add him (I kept the proof). Gave aWeber my login details and apparently that wasn’t good enough. They waffled that their spam rate is below 0.1% industry standard and mine is slightly above. All I can think is that a handful of readers have been too dumb, lazy or spiteful to just unsubscribe and instead just report me for spam. 🙁 All I know is that my conscience is clear.
Since finding your great IM teachings and fantastic products I can honestly say my business has been taken to the next level. My lists are growing faster than I ever imagined possible! I now feel - no - I now know - I have a real online business – thanks to you I have access to fantastic products. Every week you seem to release a new product – which is great for me I will never be short of products to promote. I would like to thank you for this Golden opportunity - I totally believe if I can’t make money online now there is something seriously wrong with me! - David Knight
“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.”
Promote up-sells/cross-sells. You can even set up an autoresponder sequence for someone after they purchase and get repeat customers. Depending on the products you sell, you could offer an upsell, or cross-sell related products. For example, if someone buys a digital camera, you can offer to add a lens, a tripod, and other accessories to their order before it ships. Or, if you sell products that people buy frequently (like food or disposable items, like diapers), you can automatically send them offers for new items when you know they’re about due for another order.
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.
Don’t hit a send button without proofreading and testing your campaigns. Email with spelling and grammar slips will feel rushed and will make you look unprofessional. Sometimes when you work on something for too long, it’s easy to miss small mistakes. Make sure that all links work correctly. I recommend that you always send a test email to a colleague or a friend to read it first. Or, take a break and come back to check your email later with a fresh mind.
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
Please do not think that I am advising anyone to move away from AWeber. Nor am I saying that they are not reliable and don’t deserve their respected reputation in the industry. After all, many top bloggers do use AWeber on their sites. Have done for many years and continue to do so. I would still encourage anyone who is more patient, and more technically inclined to give AWeber a try. I think their reliability and service will not disappoint.
We’ve changed email marketing from iContact to MailChimp and, just now, Aweber. We changed from iContact to MailChimp to cut costs. We then switched to Aweber because Mailchimp will not allow you to start an Autoresponder series on an imported list PLUS, as you mentioned, Aweber has much more robust measuring/management tools. However, people should be aware that Aweber requires imported subscribers to opt-in all over again.
To manage expectations, it’s a good idea to send your subscribers a quick follow-up email immediately after they’ve subscribed. This is an optimal opportunity for you to, not only thank them for subscribing, but to also to introduce yourself, send them material that you think they’ll be interested in as new subscribers and remind them how often to expect your messages. Almost all email service providers give you the option to create an autoresponder workflows (something we’ll talk about a little bit later), so use it!
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.
Remember that this AWeber Review is from the perspective of a newbie. And also of someone who does not want to have to spend hours and hours researching, reading up, and learning how to use a system effectively. I just want to be able to have a gentle learning curve, not have so many technical aspects thrown at me all at once, and to get on with my job – which is to write my blogs and run my site. And have a life!