With Constant Contact, you can build your email lists from your company website or even from your Facebook page. More than just an email tool, Constant Contact has plenty to offer apart from sending emails including managing blog content, event management, online survey tools, and coupon creation. It also offers a comprehensive set of real-time reports.
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.
This blog post is the third installment of our new series, The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing. For eight weeks, we’re featuring a new article that covers a specific area of focus in email marketing! Last week, we wrote about planning your email marketing strategy. This week, it’s all about list growth! Want a sneak peek into the content? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing.
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.
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.
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.
Unsubscribe rate. Unsubscribes are always going to happen no matter what, and that’s usually OK because those people probably would never have bought from you anyway. However, a high unsubscribe rate can indicate that you are losing potential customers. Check the following: Why did people subscribe to your list in the first place, and are you delivering on that promise? Is the content of your autoresponder highly relevant to the segment it is being sent to? Are you sending too many sales emails with too little value emails? (Recommended reading: 5 Reasons Why People Unsubscribe from Your Email List.)
Thanks for bringing that subject up! Having you used both of these services in the past 2 years, I prefer Aweber over Mailchimp. For me it comes down to usability and efficiency, which Aweber just does better than Mailchimp. Having said that, I do like the value Mailchimp brings to the table for new startups with their free service. Also I do admit that giving away 2,000 subscribers to everyone – that’s just huge, yet clever at the same time.
chantal.. yes we love his posts! I compared aweber with benchmail.. both are great, i liked the added polls, and survey ability on benchmail. sign up for both, play around as they both feel different and both have a lot more added features than mail chimp, unless you are just one company, and not doing a lot then mailchimp will be ok. For me no mater how small the intention is always to grow. Good luck
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.)
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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 response to “bogus” email subscribers, I will tell you why it is done… because I do it myself. When I am forced to put in my email information just to get some free information, it irritates me. The reason it irritates me is because, I deal with many companies in my business, I can not afford the time to keep sifting through my inbox to delete 50 emails from a company that I just wanted a little information from. Email marketing optin is great, but keep in mind – not everyone wants the bombarding of emails after-the-fact.
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.
I’m not sure but as far as I can remember (or at least about 2 years ago) I found a function to activate the subscribers without their needing to opt-in (even though a warning from Aweber would pop up). I lost about 70% of my subscribers in my very small list back then when I changed, but I’ve been able to grow it ten-fold since. And I used opt-in, because I didn’t want anyone to complain to me later.
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.
I have recently just created my website and I still do not understand much about email marketing although I have friends and came across this topic umpteen times when I am doing my research online. It sounds like if I want to create a successful website, email marketing is pretty important. Aweber definitely sound like an extremely useful tool to get things started, will definitely consider using it!
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.
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!
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.
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?
“The biggest reason that it was so bad was because of the size of your list. The Infusionsoft coach that we had highly recommended not using the AWeber to Infusionsoft import tool, and so we exported the lists from AWeber and then uploaded them into Infusionsoft. In theory, that wouldn’t have been bad—in fact, I had initially been looking forward to it. I like working in Excel.
I have been operating my website since 2004, I’ve seen trends come and go. One thing I refuse to do is annoy my customers with ads on my site or annoying newsletter subscriptions. Does anyone agree or is the whole world trying to push their business down our throats for the sake of making as much money as possible. Does anybody care about user experience? If you’re good at what you do then you will be found
I have applied much of my knowledge of digital and online marketing. But I also continue to stay busy learning new ways to make money online. Even as I’m writing this I’m also testing and tweaking three additional tactics. So the process is never finished and we grind on a daily basis. Each challenge is an opportunity to learn and improve for the next round.
In my opinion, Aweber is The Best email autoresponder on the market today. As someone who is a HUGE FAN of Aweber, I find it sad that you left them without calling customers support OR MYSELF, JUPITER JIM, (on skype, of course) to help walk you through things. It is so easy, breezy when they just walk you through everything step-by-step over the phone.
One question I have that you might be able to answer is: I send out a broadcast once a week when a new post comes up. I set this up manually, though I’ve seen that there is an option (I believe) to automatically send out your blog post to your e-mail subscribers. I guess I’m a little nervous about doing an automatic thing (though that is what happens with people who are subscribing via my feed). Does this make sense to you? I only post once a week so it is not that difficult to manually send out a broadcast. Just wanted to know if you could explain the mechanism behind the automatic blog post option.
I have so many people reach out and tell me that they feel discouraged with their small email lists. But, since we’ve already established that these are actual human beings, I like to take a much more visual approach. When you think about the 50 or 100 people on your list, think about having that many people in a single room to hear you speak. They’ve all shown up to hear whatever it is you have to say.
I love Aweber! Have been using them for about a year now. I still use Feedburner for subscribers but I use Aweber for my newsletter and five-part drip campaign. It’s worked well for me and my readers are highly engaged. In 2010 I did a short e-course and that worked well. The next step for me is to find ways to create more ever-green content and build it into the newsletter and think about another ebook for sale (as in the process you described) or another e-course.
We created Newbie Classes as the 'go to' place for all your internet marketing training needs. We know what it's like to be a struggling beginner without help or answers. This why we created an entire membership dedicated to bringing you all the knowledge and help you need so you can watch the videos in your own time, learn at your own pace and achieve great results!
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 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
So, when a new person signs up to your site (via your newly created signup box), they will (after confirming their subscription) start to receive the set of emails that you have setup. You can create as many as you want and schedule them to be sent out at different intervals (i.e. 1 a day, 1 a week, 1 a day and then another one in a month’s time, etc.).