Thanks to the 1000s of hours of real world marketing experience, we have put together an archive of the most likely things you'll encounter and do wrong when starting out your business. This top secret archive of mistakes are the results of over 10 years of practical hands on marketing experience by experts how have been playing the game since the early 2000s!

Personally, product creation is something I've always enjoyed. Still, it can be hard at times to come up with ideas for new products that are unique, or have a unique twist to them. Even an experienced and creative individual can learn a lot from this video series. I know I did. I especially appreciated the lessons on product pricing, how to get testimonials, and creating multimedia packages. Not to forget the sources for ideas, which are priceless! Once again you've knocked it out of the ballpark with this one! Thanks! - Karen Denning


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.
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.

Great timing. My billing info on mailchimp needs updating so now is a good time to switch to aweber. When I had to decide between the two a few years ago I picked mailchimp because their template system is way cooler. Aweber’s stuff looks like teenagers’ homework assignments in the 90’s. In contrast to an all male engineering team mailchimp seems to have a few girls on board to spruce things up. But as you said the functionality behind the email is more important than the look so I’m jumping ship. Oh, I’ll also be saving $20 pm.
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.
That’s why, if you’ve been in the marketing world for any length of time, you’ll have heard the amazing value that email can provide businesses and marketers with when it comes to communicating with their customers. But, while email marketing is an amazing vessel for business’ marketing messages, it’s one of those tricky tools that not every knows how use.
One of the challenges I’ve had with email marketing is figuring out exactly what to offer and when. I’ve tried the pretty HTML newsletter, but it felt like overkill at times and a little dated (there are of course a few awesome ones out there, but it just never felt like me). I tried taking an ‘e-letter’ approach but felt overwhelmed with creating original content for the newsletter on top of the blog. And more recently, I’ve simply been sending out broadcasts when a new blog or podcast is published. And this is all fine.

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But that doesn’t mean everyone wants to hear about everything and the exact moment I want to share it. My clients and readers who are in major growth mode with their business don’t necessarily need to go through my comprehensive planning program, My PRO Plan (or the content I write around it). They’ve got a plan, and their focus is on growth strategies and developing their leadership skills.
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.
But the truth is more complicated. You only have one social media account, Facebook — because “everybody is on it”. And you don’t understand why anyone needs a whole YouTube channel. You’ve never uploaded a video to YouTube. And starting your “own blog” is crazy talk. Your read blogs — like this one, but why start your OWN blog? Sounds scary. Hell, you’re still on the bubble about whether you need a website.
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.

MailChimp always tempts me in terms of design and looks, and more over they keep adding new features, which will be helpful in your Email marketing campaign. The Best thing about MailChimp is, it’s free for first 2000 subscribers, and you will not be charged anything until you have crossed their free limit. This is useful for bloggers, who are worried about moving from Feedburner to another paid Email marketing services, as with free you have nothing to lose.


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.
As you can see in the flowchart above, when someone subscribes to this particular form, they go through a confirmation sequence. Once confirmed they get “tagged” as having signed up for my eBook, and then they are directed to a specific thank you page. If they are already confirmed on my list, they skip over that part and just go directly to the thank-you page.
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.
But honestly, we think you'll love the membership. There's simply too much valuable information inside (300+ videos plus updates) that it would cost you more to leave this deal behind. And we think you'll love the training so much that you'll want to remain a member. Secure your spot now for lifetime access and we'll look forward to seeing you inside the members area!
You can set up “rules” in AWeber to automatically segment your audience, but these rules simply subscribe or unsubscribe people from various lists. For example, when one person joins list B, they can be automatically unsubscribed from list A. This simple rule is particularly useful when you have a non-customer email list, and a customer email list.

Freedom to make decisions is something I allow and trust my team to do on several levels without ever needing my permission. It makes us move much faster. If they know certain decisions help support the main objectives and value of the brand, and it’s not something that could potentially damage the brand or cost more than $500 (this isn’t a hard number, it’s a rule of thumb), then they are free to take the reins and continue moving forward.
He is the co-founder of Neil Patel Digital. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies. Neil is a New York Times bestselling author and was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations.
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.
Hey Chris, great blog about Aweber. I hear Jay talk about Aweber on the Friday webinars within WA, and was always intrigued. Being a relative newbie to all this. I have been apprehensive to get too involved right now, I am still just trying to get down the basics of affiliate marketing, so doing the email thing is a bit scary for me, but after reading your review, I will check out Aweber. It can’t hurt to get some info on it, and to test drive it for free for a month. Thanks for the informative and honest article!
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.
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.
I’m so glad I stumbled upon this article, I’ve always used mail chimp because of it’s design flexibility, I sold my own products so I didn’t have any issues but now that I’m getting ready to launch a marketing blog, I’m sure going to make the switch to awebber. Thanks for writing such a good an honest article. I like your blog, let’s keep in touch.
In closing I signed up with verticalresponse.com and in 2 sec I had an email from the CEO with her photo and a phone number to call if I had any support related issues, and no joke, in literally 10 min I had built my mailer and sent it out to 8500 customers – they did not hold it for a while, or send just a few test mails; it was done and sent and reported on in less than 30 min! MailChimp.com take note: That is how you do it! (reports not bad either)
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.”
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.

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.

If you’d like to check out ConvertKit, my referral link is here [Full Disclosure: I’m a compensated advisor and an affiliate for ConvertKit], and if you have any questions about ConvertKit, both Nathan and I will be actively popping in and out of this post to reply, however we’re currently at the LeadPages conference in Minneapolis so we may be slow to reply at first.
I just wanted to say that for those of you who are searching for a reputable and reliable company, look no further, this is the one. I have gotten A+ products and customer service from them. When you buy their products, you will make money with them. How much? I can't say, it all depends on you. I am telling you though, these guys have awesome products. Look no further. - Jeff Osborne

Email #2, sent to subscribers a day later, pitched my eBook study guide. I had explained that it was everything they needed to know to pass the LEED exam, conveniently packaged into a printable PDF file and delivered immediately upon purchase. The link in the email sent people over to my sales page, which had a lot more information on the features and benefits of the product.


Before ConvertKit came on my radar, I was considering making the switch to Ontraport or Infusionsoft. I was ready for a more robust solution that Aweber just didn’t offer. But after years of hearing people call it “Confusionsoft” and the prospect of shelling out big bucks (at least $200+/month plus hefty $1000+ start-up fee) to use 20% of its features, I wasn’t super excited about making the switch. Ontraport had some promising options, and one of my clients started using them and was happy (though she did hire an Ontraport consultant and strategist to come in and get it all up and running).
Signup Forms: You can create a signup form for your website using one of hundreds of provided templates. There are many options for customization. Select from various form styles: inline, pop-over, pop-up, or lightbox. All utilize responsive design and will scale to mobile devices. You can also toggle Facebook sign-in, choose from several “Thank You” page options (including standard, audio, video, and no page), and select tracking options. AWeber provides both javascript and HTML code options, or if you just want to host your form with AWeber, they’ll do that too. You can also put a signup form on your Facebook business page.
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