Smart from Scratch is a course I created to walk you through the process of choosing and testing a business idea, as well as getting your first customers. If you already have a business, this course isn’t for you, but if you’re just getting started—or you don’t know where to start—this course is for you. [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through the Genius link to the right.]
You need to add few details like, Name of your list, Sender name for the list, reply-to email, default subject and few more details. Most of the fields are self-explanatory, so you will not find yourself lost at any moment. There are few fields which are mandatory, for example, Address of your company (In the case of bloggers, you can add your home address). You can leave the default subject field empty, as this will be used when you are sending your first email campaign.
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.
The Smart Passive Income Blog started in October 2008 simply as a place for me to report and talk about everything that was happening with my business at GreenExamAcademy.com. Starting an online business changed my life and saved my butt after getting laid off, and it was the least I could do to pay it forward and hopefully help others that had met struggles during the recession, too.

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
“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

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).
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.
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.
Aweber I had used it too. You know the double opt in asking the already subscribed subscribers to confirm again was a great put off for me. In real cases, you could lose about 30% of your subscribers just due to this double opt in required. Trust me if i had subscribed earlier and again a subscription request comes, its a real put off for me as a reader.

So glad you stopped by and Congratulations on your new business! This truly is the time to be successful online. I agree Aweber has the best reports, there are so many ways to slice, dice and dissect the data to help your burgeoning business grow. I think people who have large lists would benefit even more from all the ways the data can be analyzed and how you can segment and streamline your lists. And compared to others, it’s inexpensive which means you can focus that cash outlay somewhere else if needed. That really is a huge help to those of us just starting out. I mean, who doesn’t like saving money? Let me know how I can help you get your business going, I’d love to help!
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!
does mail chimp charge the same as Aweber? The only problem is at the moment I feel like I am not using Aweber to it’s full advantages to pay monthly for the service when I believe Mail chimp is free for a certain amount of subscribers? As i only have a hobby blog and want to obviously develop it i feel like maybe i shouldn’t be paying for something that doesn’t provide me with income yet or isn’t a very ‘big’ blog or even a business…. Not sure whether to just stick with it until my website develops or switch to a free option on Mail chimp/.
Tip: We often suggest that you mention what you’re going to talk about in your subject line. However, Nathan Latka of Heyo once told us in a webinar that he usually goes for a really short subject line that provokes curiosity. (He claims he has even used knock-knock jokes.) In the right context, something like “Hey …” can be surprisingly effective. The casual and familiar tone coupled with the slight recognition of your email address may be enough to prompt an open.
The usability of most of the site is actually not bad; I even like the design look and feel. However, the signup process is where I had (and am still having) trouble with. Just simply getting a reply from them on anything takes hours and hours, but when you look search usability and mailchimp.com, they are all kinds of busy writing blogs about their mobile usability testing and how great they are. So they are so focused on their mobile they forgot that the #1 focus should be getting new users fast, and keeping them with good support… what a JOKE! Mailchimp.com is usability and customer support FAIL!

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.

When it comes to another significant feature, email deliverability, both AWeber and GetResponse perform the same way. Both of them claim and offer about 99% email deliverability rate. The email deliverability option finds out whether or not any spam elements are present in the mails that you send. When you use either of these email delivering services, their spam checkers check your emails automatically and assign a spam score to them so that you can find out whether your emails will be marked as Spam by different ISPs.
AWeber has a strict and comprehensive anti-spam policy in order to keep its deliverability rates high. Upon signing up for an AWeber account, you must certify that your list is permission-based and meets the company’s anti-spam standards. In addition, before your first mailing, you will need to send a subscription confirmation to all your subscribers. Anyone who doesn’t confirm their subscription cannot be included on your list. (This is known as confirmed opt-in.) AWeber will sometimes make exceptions for lists which have already been through that process and have a proven history 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.”
I totally agree about content. I have been a long advocate of this because if there is nothing on the website, then there is no reason to return. E-mail campaigns are only good to have people return to the website. Having people, come once is a waste and will probably get people to unsubscribe to your e-mails. And once they unsubscribe it is nearly impossible to get them to subscribe again to be on your list.
Promote up-sells/cross-sells. You can even set up an autoresponder sequence for someone after they purchase and get repeat customers. Depending on the products you sell, you could offer an upsell, or cross-sell related products. For example, if someone buys a digital camera, you can offer to add a lens, a tripod, and other accessories to their order before it ships. Or, if you sell products that people buy frequently (like food or disposable items, like diapers), you can automatically send them offers for new items when you know they’re about due for another order.
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:
Smart from Scratch is a course I created to walk you through the process of choosing and testing a business idea, as well as getting your first customers. If you already have a business, this course isn’t for you, but if you’re just getting started—or you don’t know where to start—this course is for you. [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through the Genius link to the right.]
“Mailchimp was great when I just had a blog. Now that I have my book, I’m starting to have products, it’s more of a business. I didn’t think that Mailchimp could handle me. I needed something a little more versatile that could target the people that I sent things to depending on what list they were on or what they clicked. It needed to be a little more sophisticated for me. That’s why I needed to switch over.”
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