The TRIBE Breakfast Series will explore what drives mission-based challenger brands. We want to bring together a group of challenger brands and marketing and PR professionals at TRIBE HQ, to share ideas and hear from a number of inspiring voices, so we can learn how to discover and articulate our purpose and better connect with our tribes. All over a (free) delicious, healthy breakfast; granola yoghurt pots, pastries and TRIBE breakfast Shakes.
As a total beginner to all of this, there is a serious “learning curve” in just getting to this point. If all I want to do is create a mailing list – why do i have to have a third party mailing service if I use yahoo or gmail? Does this mean that I have to sign up with mailchimp or aweber? I find this all a bit confusing as to why i need to do this at all? and then what happens if in the future, i want to add this feature? right now i have no budget to pay additional fee-services, so it is just not an option. I find navigating all of this extremely confusing as a first time user of WP and setting up a site. Many of the plugins break my site and cause serious problems, so i am very leery on downloading additional plugins. most of them have 4-5 – star ratings but only have a few comments that created that rating. If you could consider taking one (or two) step(s) back and try to explain on a more basic level – i think that would really help beginners. I am finding all of this social media, feedburner, etc to be extremely time consuming and the blog comments i am getting are ALL advertisers, so I have marked them as spam and deleted them without displaying on my site.
Just in case you’re new to the whole email marketing landscape, Aweber (along with MailChimp, ConvertKit, InfusionSoft, Ontraport and countless others) are email marketing systems designed to allow you to capture subscriber emails and then send them direct messages straight to their inbox. Some are very basic doing only email marketing, and some are full service systems that also include commerce and CRM capabilities.
What I like about Mailchimp is that you can setup autoresponders such that only a subset of your email list will receive your follow-up emails based on when they signed up for your newsletter. For example, if I only want recent subscribers from the last month to receive one of my autoresponders, I can simply specify this using MailChimp’s autoresponder interface.
When you write great content for your industry you can share it on other related blogs that have high traffic and authority. Guest posting and blogging is a great way to build your personal brand. It makes an awesome marketing channel for your blog. You want to target posts on sites that are relevant for your niche, have an active audience and will include backlinks to your blog and your mini bio in your post.

Click through rates. Once your subscribers have opened your email, are they actually taking the action you need them to take? If you think that you have a low click-through rate, perhaps your body copy is not as effective as it needs to be. Consider the following: Is the copy of your email relevant to the subject line? Did you offer real value to your subscribers in the email? Is your call-to-action clear enough? Is the link easy to find?
Linking campaigns can also come in handy if you want to do things like nurture prospects into loyal customers. If you host a contest to raise awareness of your brand and supercharge your list growth, you’ll then need to tell them more about yourself. After your welcome series, try leading them into an educational series about your business and product offerings.
Creating separate lists allows you to segment your subscribers. So, for example, I would never send a message to subscribers on my IE Publishing the same messages I send to those on the Get a Mobile Career. Different group of folk. Those on the IE Publishing publishing list are interested in my fiction (mostly romance novellas); not in affiliate marketing. Here’s an explanation for each box on this page.
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.
Great guide, just what I was looking for but it is timing that is my question. I have just got my ecommerce website up and running selling “print on demand” (small run personalised printing) products. Have only a few items for sale so when should I try to create my email list.? Is 15 items in a shop too small so wait until I have say 50? Create a landing page that promises more in the future so sign up now? Not an easy one to find advise on. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
One time, a long time ago, I was having trouble trying to create a customized email Opt-In box for a client. He wanted some crazy thing created by someone on Fiverr to be in the box. The customer support when over and above what could possibly be expected of them to make it work. The guy I was talking to had to give the project over to one of their tech / coding experts to fix the problem and he did. I was truly impressed.
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.
When it comes to online marketing and selling, I believe you have found the right mentor in me. Most people like the lively and encouraging teaching style that I convey as well as how I get right to the point and walk you, step-by-step through proven, real-world, proven strategies. Here's a little background on my experiences, so you can get a sense of who will be teaching & mentoring you: A lifelong entrepreneur, I've been marketing online since 1999, and have owned over 30 websites, marketing across most platforms, including online, offline, TV, podcasts, webinars, webcasts, social media and radio. (You name it, I've done it!) I've been teaching business strategies via live seminars/webinars since 2000, and then through video training courses since 2001. For 11 years, I hosted my own TV show where I introduced millions across America to the benefits of selling online. My show was seen on CNBC, Fox Business, Discovery Channel, History Channel, Travel Channel and most other major cable networks. With over $140 million of my video training products sold via TV and Online, I am honored to be your mentor and guide and I'm looking forward to helping YOU reach your goals through the wonderful business of online marketing!
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.
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.
Migration can actually be a major pain in the ass. Although according to aWeber my list was “substantially clean” but I still needed to get all my readers to reconfirm their subscriptions. After a week I’m still waiting for 70% of them to reconfirm. NOT happy. If I stuck to mailchimp I wouldn’t have had these problems. (Their support guys are good though.)
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).

Basic: Each week I send out an email about my latest podcast episode. Now, I create a rule that says that if they click on the link inside my email (sending them to my show notes page), they get tagged as Interest: Podcast. That means, should I ever want to send an email to those that I know are interested in my podcast, I can just select this tag. Easy.
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.
As with most ESPs, you’ll need to certify that any list you upload is permission-based and conforms with the provider’s anti-spam policies. AWeber takes this a step farther than some. You will need to enter the source of the email list when you upload it, and AWeber requires confirmed opt-in for all addresses. This means your first email will have to be a request for your subscribers to confirm their subscriptions. Anyone who doesn’t confirm can’t be on your list. (AWeber does allow some exceptions to this rule if you have a list that has already gone through confirmed opt-in with another ESP.)
The first fifteen minutes of our in-person conversation was purely catching up and discussing upcoming family vacations, but then we dove right into the conversation about email marketing. It was not a pitch to join his platform at all. In fact, there was none of that except for a small but expected, “Hey, if Infusionsoft doesn’t work out for you, let me know, and we can see how you might be able to use ConvertKit.”
Thanks again for another fine quality product. I have been a member of quite a few of your email lists and have purchased a lot of your products also. One thing I can say is they all are very thorough, informative and you over deliver. I have dealt with a lot of online marketers but there are very few like you who deliver such value and so quick to respond to e-mails. You are someone I know I can trust and that is very important in this business. Thanks again and hope to be able to meet you someday. - Rick Sorrels
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.
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.
And I was sold. I couldn’t have people not receiving their intended emails. And I thought, if the features and reliability were good enough for big bloggers, I’ll probably find everything I need there as well. Now I have over 1200 subscribers and everything was done reliably in 2 years, so I’m staying (except I find strong reasons to change services).
“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.”
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.

If you want to integrate with PayPal and Amazon – AWeber wins. I prefer AWeber to MailChimp, but that’s only because it lets me integrate with Google Analytics. Also, if you have affiliate marketing links on your site, MailChimp will cancel your account without notice! Nobody knows why, and MailChimp says they will assess it, but it still happens with no warning!
Just what I needed to learn how to promote my own products! The products, sales letter, auto responder sequences, available help, are all super important for a newbie like myself. Hey, I can even use the products for my own education. The graphics are unbelievable. This program is worth its weight in gold. Everything is clearly explained! - Joseph Daniels

Hi Harsh sir, you have described all aspects very nicely. I am working with an email marketing company and we use the shared servers to send mails in bulk. But the methods of ESP’s like you have mentioned here can make good revenue i guess. I am planning to start affiliate marketing by my own. But lacking with some knowledge as i am beginner, so please guide me with the best articles or some sort of reading materials. Thank you

MailChimp also has great customer support but when you’re using their free service, you probably won’t get instant response from their customer team. As you know, premium services always offer faster customer support whereas free services provide less customer satisfaction. As MailChimp only has email support whereas AWeber has email, phone and live chat customer support options.

There are hundreds of millions of users on social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google, LinkedIn just to name a few. Many of these people are looking for exactly what you offer. And unlike traditional marketing where you must pay huge monies upfront for advertising in print, radio, television and outdoor the digital marketing world has changed the game. You can get started online advertising with daily budgets as low as $1. Then optimize and scale up based on research. You can even boost your free content to increase views and conversions.
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
Your products have always impress me, especially how you took a product, completely redesign and repackage to make it look unique and professional. Your products have helped me build a huge mailing list, generate sales and even set up membership sites to conduct e-courses. Please continue to keep up your good work and quality of your products. Take care! - Eric Tan
i know the benchmark, you can have 3 lists, all sent from 3 different companies, and if someone opts out, they get the choice if they are listed on other lists, to tick all the lists they are on, or just some. Does aweber and mailchimp do this? I have emailed mailchimp several times with the question but no answer yet, i am pretty sure they do not, so if someone opts out it is just an opt out from that list.
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!
On the other hand, you have pointed out a problem that Aweber should address and that is their training and instruction materials. They should definitely have better video and written tutorials on how to use everything. And while I found the ‘get started’ webinar extremely helpful, years ago, you shouldn’t have to get on a webinar to learn about the product. At the very least, they should record one of those webinars so you can just click and watch any time you want!
I didn’t really find anything wrong with AWeber’s tutorials and videos, as such. They do have a lot but no newbie wants to trawl through endless info in the beginning. A NEWBIE wants to learn the basics AS FAST AS POSSIBLE AND GET THE JOB DONE. So my point here is, the Knowledgebase, FAQ, and online help are not exactly geared towards making the life of a newbie easy.
Write great subject lines. David Ogilvy once said that 80 cents of your dollar should be spent on writing headlines. With emails, the subject line is just as important. If it doesn’t catch your attention, you won’t open it. So, spend the majority of your time writing and polishing your subject line. A great email subject line entices curiosity about the content of the email. It’s also personal, and highly relevant to the recipient. To learn more about how to write amazing subject lines, we have an entire blog post on the topic: 30 Successful Bloggers Share Their Best Converting Email Subject Line.
I have a few criteria that I am picky about when it comes to a membership platform. Obviously protecting your content is priority, but the membership setup must be simple, and the members page has to look professional. I have tried several membership plugins, scripts, and cloud platforms over the years and I have finally… “Good Things Come To Those That Wait!”

Opt-in rates have been on the decline for the last decade or so, and I’ve tried a lot of different solutions that have promised to turn that trend around. Of all the things I’ve tried including web based apps and various plugins, only Post Gopher actually delivered. I installed it on my bizweb2000.com blog and… “Post Gopher Has Performed Better Than All The Other List Building Solutions I Use Combined!”
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.
In this video, I’ll explain why email lists are essential components of your business, and share some personal stories about my experience with email. I will also teach you how to setup your email service provider and show you the basics on adding a signup form to your website. Lastly, I share a demo and setup instructions for ConvertKit, my chosen email service provider, but the lessons I teach you will apply to any platform. [Full Disclosure: I'm a compensated advisor and an affiliate for ConvertKit.]

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.
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!
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.

The Blog Broadcast is Aweber’s term for the automatic emails that get sent out every time you publish a blog post. They are separate from the other automatic follow ups that you send out. The great thing about Aweber is that you can choose to send a hundred follow ups or none, automatic blog broadcasts or manual blog broadcasts, etc. It is all up to you. For example, here on Blog Tyrant I send out all my updates automatically to my subscribers as well as the occasional email newsletter with a few tips and specials.
To be really frank and honest some of the email submit forms I see out there look dreadful. The fonts are all different to the blog itself and the box is out of line with the formatting. It is vital that you appear trustworthy at this stage because you are asking for your readers’ personal email address. Any hesitation because of a funked design could cost you the subscriber.

I asked him several other questions and he took me deeper into the software to show me some cool automation tools and how tagging and segmentation worked. He also took me into the analytics and even some of the early integrations ConvertKit has with companies like Gumroad, which make it incredibly easy for me to new link customers of The Smart Podcast Player to a “course” in ConvertKit to send them a pre-written autoresponder series.
An affiliate product is created by someone else but you can promote it to your list and earn a commission on every sale you make. When promoting an affiliate product to your list you don’t want to just promote any kind of product just to make a quick dollar. Remember the effort you out into building a list of raving fans that know, like and trust you.
Even if you've imported an existing list of contacts, you'll still want an easy way for new fans to join your email list. AWeber's sign up forms provide the perfect solution. Create a simple sign up form for your website, and if you don't have a site, we'll host it for you. Grab the link to your AWeber form and share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or wherever your audience is.
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