Wow, Gill! That’s a fantastic idea. No wonder you got such great engagement. At AWeber, we’ve found that specificity does lead to higher open rates. It shows you know your audience, and you’re sending them value. You’re talking to the individual — not the crowd. Highly relevant subject lines paired with segmentation is a winning duo. Keep up the awesome work.
I know that this is ancient, but I just made the switch to MailChimp due to a theme change (the theme uses shortcodes which WordPress eats for breakfast) I’d sent out one e-mail with MailChimp, and my second blog post got killed. I blog about re-selling crap I buy from garage sales, thrift stores, and flea markets on eBay. I actually have a blog post titled “work from home – not yet!” detailing why I’m not able to work from home. The hard part for me is that I don’t make enough money on the blog to justify using Awebr. If this is the way it’s going to go, I’m going to need to re-evaluate my blog, what I want to do with it, and whether I should make the switch to a much more expensive option. Not surprising that someone else has had a similar experience though.
My new email sequences are up and running, and everything is happening behind the scenes like it’s supposed to, and I can track it all while it’s happening. As my lists continue to grow and my audience becomes segmented, I’m preparing for a number of projects that will come out before the end of the year. This work with my email list will definitely support the upcoming needs, and already I’m getting a ton of great feedback from all of you who have gone through these new sequences on my list.
“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
I suppose the secondary reason I haven’t made the switch is because I run multiple blogs and don’t want to get stuck paying multiple fees at this point. (I’m under the impression I’d have to pay separately for each email list, but please correct me if that’s not the case. That would change things.) I love the functionality and features of Aweber, but I can’t see paying 4-5 monthly services fees while so many of the blogs are in a start-up phase.

With a newly redesigned email editor, which makes it easy to pick back up on draft messages right where you left off or turn them into drip messages, AWeber is an email marketing app that does it all. If you need a professional email tool that’ll help you grow your lists and offer live phone support if you get stuck, it's a great email app to try. - Matthew Guay


Alex GetResponse is a good service too. They have a smaller customer base than MailChimp or Aweber but they are definitely on the right track. You should consider your own options that will help you decide. For example, pricing, growth, support, reliability, deliverability, spam filters, etc. Make a list of these factors to compare on your own, you will also find such analysis around the web but those analysis could be biased towards one of the service. So you better do it on your own.
One of the final clinchers in the decision to move to Aweber was when I found out that you can completely integrate your Feedburner emails as well as have your new Aweber email subscribers count towards your Feedcount. For those of you out there who like to display the number of readers your blog has you can rest assured knowing that all your new subs will be included in that count.

Send new subscribers a “welcome” sequence. This is the message that you send to people right after they subscribe to your email list. It could contain a link to your lead magnet for an easy download, a thank you for subscribing, or maybe a call-to-action to check out your most popular blog posts. Every email list needs a welcome series: don’t miss this chance to “woo” your new subscribers and turn them into loyal fans!
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 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.

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.
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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