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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.
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!
I have used both, and I agree with your analysis. The great thing about MailChimp is that it lets you see the email in different clients. That is really the hardest thing about sending emails. However, you can use that service without doing everything else through MailChimp. Also, once you get the hang of it and develop templates, it no longer is much of an issue.

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 problem is that your list is so big (both long and we were working with a lot of columns and a few equations) that Excel on my computer couldn’t handle it. I have a ton of memory on my computer, but it wasn’t sufficient. For example, when I tried a simple task like sorting the list, it would take several minutes to process the operation. I would literally click ‘Sort’ and then go and work on another task for a while.
First of all you need to sign up for a free account at MailChimp. Here is the signup link (Aff. link). Once you have signed up, and logged into MailChimp dashboard, you will be seeing a screen similar to this, and click on create a list. The good thing about MailChimp dashboard is, it’s interactive, so you will not find any issues with getting started with it.
Thank you for a detailed comparison of MailChimp and Aweber. I think it’s a nice idea to also have an in-house email software like this one http://easymail7.com in addition to the account with a remotely hosted email provider like MailChimp or Aweber. In case of a sudden account suspension by the ESP, you would not lose contacts, emails, autoresponders etc, and would be able to continue email marketing using the in-house email software.

Think about implementing referral links to incentivize your subscribers to spread awareness about your brand, too. Referral links allow your current customers to promote trackable links for your business. In exchange for sending new paying customers your way, you can give them incentives like discounts, coupons, vouchers, cash, prizes or redeemable points.
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