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.
There are two great things about Mad Mimi. First: it's very cheap. Second, it's very easy to use. These two factors may convince users to purchase a plan. However, some users will find that there are some noticeable omissions when it come to more advanced functionality, particularly in the autoresponder and split testing department. - Chris Singleton
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.
AWeber offers three email editors: a drag-and-drop WYSIWYG editor, a plain text editor, and an HTML editor for those who prefer to code their own emails. The WYSIWYG editor is pretty easy to use and allows for a fair degree of customization, though not quite as much as I would have liked. You can insert a simple “Click here” button, coupon, logo, or signature with the click of a button. Social share buttons are easy to generate once you link AWeber with your Facebook and Twitter account. Drafts are autosaved every two minutes, and you can see a list of previous versions (so that if you accidentally delete something, you can usually retrieve it).
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.
After you have entered your "List Name" you will need to enter a "List Description." Here is where you will describe the kind of information you'll be sending from this list. There is a 400 character limit for the "List Description." Subscribers will see your "List Description" on the unsubscribe page if they ever go to unsubscribe from your list. Once you are done entering your "List Description" click the "Next Step" button.
As with most ESPs, you’ll need to certify that any list you upload is permission-based and conforms with the provider’s anti-spam policies. AWeber takes this a step farther than some. You will need to enter the source of the email list when you upload it, and AWeber requires confirmed opt-in for all addresses. This means your first email will have to be a request for your subscribers to confirm their subscriptions. Anyone who doesn’t confirm can’t be on your list. (AWeber does allow some exceptions to this rule if you have a list that has already gone through confirmed opt-in with another ESP.)
Video has to be included in your marketing mix. So review your content and think about how you can turn it into a video. This could be animated video, something you shoot with your digital phone, or even hiring a production crew for a customized shoot. The return on investment can more than pay for itself as a well planned video can provide benefits for years.
An email campaign is a powerful way of reaching your audience directly. Never miss a chance to collect email addresses and target your subscribers with content and offers that are relevant to them. Readers usually skim instead of reading the entire message. Keep your email clear, concise, and scannable. Include a call to action so your readers can understand what you want them to do. A/B test different headlines, images, copy, and subject lines to see what works best for your audience. And, always test your campaign before sending it.
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