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.
As for reporting options, AWeber presents the standard raw numbers and percentages (clicks, opens, unsubscribes, and the like). It also includes more advanced data such as opens, clicks, and revenue over time; subscriber growth; and stats by location, area code, or designated market area. In addition, you can compare results across your past 20 emails. You can track subscribers based on their signup method, and the list segmentation options provide plenty of ways to optimize your email marketing. Reports are well laid out and easy to understand; much of the data is presented in both chart and table format.
The Autoresponder 2.0 is probably the most advanced feature that GetResponse launched a couple of months ago. With their new autoresponder feature we can now create message cycles that are timely and relevant — all adjusted precisely to subscriber needs and expectations and send them automatically. As a result the open and click are higher and hence lead to more conversions. - Ram Shengale
Back to my using AWeber to build a loyal following…in December I was asked by the New York Times to contribute a mini op-ed. I think I almost doubled my subscribers because I already had the system in place to capture those subscribers when they visited my website from the NYT page. Not that I have a huge number of subscribers yet, but I am getting there in part because of using a professional system.
Do most people open your emails on desktop or mobile? Email messages opened on a mobile device have nearly doubled over the past 5 years, while emails opened on an internet browser have dropped 26% in that same timeframe, according to a study from Return Path. If you find your list trending toward mobile, too, then aim for short email subject lines (35 characters or less). (Not sure how your audience reads your emails? Services like Litmus and Email on Acid can track which devices your subscribers are reading their emails on.)
Pop up form – Perhaps the most “in-your-face” option, these types of forms have a high likelihood of conversion. A pop up form appears over your web page and gives more attention to convey the value of your list. Many sign up form creation tools will allow you to customize the length of time at which a pop up form appears on your site (we recommend ~45 seconds, but testing is key).
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It’s one of the most effective marketing approaches because a person who decides to share their information with you shows that they are interested in your blog or business and what it is offering. With this in mind, it is clear that the person is also willing to buy your products or services, explaining why email marketing has high conversion rates.

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.
Check your ‘Form Type’ settings to alter the width of your signup box.  This is important as you need to make sure that it is the right size for your site.  Think about where you want the box to appear on your site – for the sidebar, you will want it reasonable small (perhaps 250-300px wide) whereas if it’s for after your post, maybe something much wider (e.g. 600px).
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!
I love press releases as a tool to drive tons of traffic to my sites fast. In addition by including keywords you can get ranked for topics and answers that your audience finds of value. The key is to write in a newsworthy style and not like a sales letter or advertisement. You need to have something of value if you want to get non-paid organic media attention.
Global Text Snippets can help cut down on this. It answers the “How did I get on this list?” question that pops into their head when they receive an “unfamiliar” email – even if it’s a list they subscribed to. So when you compose an email to send out to your subscribers about an offer that may be spread across several sites, you can say something like:

Using the Personalize dropdown, you can insert custom snippets like your subscribers first name, or sign up date, and AWeber will automatically insert that data specific to each subscriber if we have it. If you collect first name, for example, you can send an email that says Hello Tom, or Hello Mary, or Hello John, depending upon who you’re sending to.
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