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
As I was growing more and more frustrated with Infusionsoft I reached back out to Nathan to see how ConvertKit was doing. I wasn’t surprised to hear that they were experiencing constant growth month after month. New features were being added on a regular basis, and after a couple of side conversations with other users, I was happy to hear extremely positive reviews.
Please do not think that I am advising anyone to move away from AWeber. Nor am I saying that they are not reliable and don’t deserve their respected reputation in the industry. After all, many top bloggers do use AWeber on their sites. Have done for many years and continue to do so. I would still encourage anyone who is more patient, and more technically inclined to give AWeber a try. I think their reliability and service will not disappoint.
Upon signing up there’s a skippable introductory video. AWeber has a bit more of a setup procedure than most ESPs; to get started, you’ll need to fill out information including the business address you want to feature on the bottom of emails, as well as any customizations you want to make to AWeber’s standard opt-in confirmation message. Once you’ve finished those basic configurations, you’ll be free to explore the program.
To start, you’ll have 700+ templates to choose from. There are some very nice layout customization options here, once you learn how to use them. AWeber uses both “sections” and “blocks” in its organization. Blocks are elements like text boxes, images, etc. Sections are the frameworks in which they exist. Most programs use similar organization, though they may use different terminology. The difference comes in your ability to edit or customize the sections themselves. In previous versions, the ability to customize elements like buttons was limited–you couldn’t change the text of buttons–but you now have the ability to easily customize those elements.
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.
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.
Slide in form – This is a less invasive form than a pop up, but still helps capture your visitors’ attention when they are scrolling through your content. As they make their way through your content, a slide-in form will appear about 3/4 down the page. This is the perfect time to get people who are engaging with your content to sign up for your list.
If you’ve been following along from the beginning, you have now learned how to grow your email list to epic proportions, you’ve segmented your list so that your emails are highly relevant to each individual subscriber, and you’ve learned how to send amazingly effective emails that have a high open-rate. Now you are ready to automate the process and turn your campaigns into money-making machines!
4. Affordable: I was willing to pay more money for better features, but wasn’t convinced I needed to be paying $200-$300/month for those. I know many, many, entrepreneurs who pay those fees and like I say above, use a fraction of its capabilities. I didn’t feel that was necessary for my business – at the point of consideration, I didn’t have a complex business with numerous products or sales funnels. For the past couple of years while my kids are home on crazy-small school schedules (right now I have 2.5 hours per day), I have been primarily working 1:1 with clients and offering My PRO Plan. This will change in Fall 2016 when both kids are in school full time (I can’t even imagine!?!) and I have more time to execute on my ideas, but for now, the big shot services weren’t needed.
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.
I love press releases as a tool to drive tons of traffic to my sites fast. In addition by including keywords you can get ranked for topics and answers that your audience finds of value. The key is to write in a newsworthy style and not like a sales letter or advertisement. You need to have something of value if you want to get non-paid organic media attention.
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.
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.
On the flip side, Aweber’s method of managing followup emails allows me to know exactly which subscriber has received which follow up emails and when. With MailChimp, I really have no clue who has or hasn’t received a particular email. Overall, I kind of prefer Aweber’s method of managing follow-ups but it is basically a wash depending on your preference.
Don’t hit a send button without proofreading and testing your campaigns. Email with spelling and grammar slips will feel rushed and will make you look unprofessional. Sometimes when you work on something for too long, it’s easy to miss small mistakes. Make sure that all links work correctly. I recommend that you always send a test email to a colleague or a friend to read it first. Or, take a break and come back to check your email later with a fresh mind.
Pop up form – Perhaps the most “in-your-face” option, these types of forms have a high likelihood of conversion. A pop up form appears over your web page and gives more attention to convey the value of your list. Many sign up form creation tools will allow you to customize the length of time at which a pop up form appears on your site (we recommend ~45 seconds, but testing is key).
Earlier this year, I made a big decision to move my email list of more than 135,000 subscribers to Infusionsoft from AWeber, which I’ve used for the past five-plus years. Three months later, my email list now lives on a relatively new and rapidly growing platform called ConvertKit. [Full Disclosure: I’m a compensated advisor and an affiliate for ConvertKit.]
And the company itself? Well—it’s growing actively at a rate of nearly 45% month over month (check out their open earnings metrics and financial details here), which a fantastic sign. I’ve also recently come on board as an advisor for ConvertKit, and I’m excited to start this journey with them like I did at the start of LeadPages. It’s risky, yes, to move my list to a company like this, but I feel like I have a good knack for knowing what’s great out there.
Please note that my one star review is for Awebber itself, not this tutorial manual. I own my own personal internet domain. This allows me to create one-off email addresses, such as firstname.lastname@example.org In several instances where such one-off email addresses became jammed up by spam messages it turned out that the businesses to which I had submitted those one-off email addresses were Awebber customers. On one occasion both email@example.com AND firstname.lastname@example.org became clogged up by spam messages, while on another occasion both email@example.com AND firstname.lastname@example.org became clogged by spam messages. I thus have what I believe to be clear proof that somebody at Awebber is selling the email addresses from Awebber customers' email lists to spammers. My personal advice is thus to be extremely careful about using Awebber for any kind of email list management services.
During my beta tests with Split Test Monkey, I found it simplifies things to make it easier to setup and fast without all the complex features. I ran a list building campaign with cold YouTube Video SEO traffic for 16 days. I expected conversions at 4-10% or much lower because people didn’t know me. I tested two… “19.43% List Conversions and $4985 in Revenue?”
In ConvertKit, this is much easier. Unlike Aweber where you set up separate lists (I had 63 lists when I shut my account down), in ConvertKit, you don’t have lists at all. Instead, you use tags and automation rules to segment your audience. So I can have someone go through a nurture sequence (when they first join my list) while still sending my blog/podcast broadcasts to my main list. I simply create a rule:
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!”
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.
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.