After paying a professional $1000 to split test our first product launch, we knew the practice was a solid investment as our sales increased dramatically. But for our recent Keyword Supremacy launch, we decided to test out Split Test monkey to see if we could somehow pull off split testing our live traffic ourselves and… “All We Have to Say Now is WOW!”
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
For example, if someone is on your list and they choose to unsubscribe later, they still count as an email in the system which is included in your total subscriber count. You must fully delete that record from your account in order to not have to pay for it, and so I found myself going into each of my individual lists and deleting unsubscribes from my account about once a week.
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.
Migration can actually be a major pain in the ass. Although according to aWeber my list was “substantially clean” but I still needed to get all my readers to reconfirm their subscriptions. After a week I’m still waiting for 70% of them to reconfirm. NOT happy. If I stuck to mailchimp I wouldn’t have had these problems. (Their support guys are good though.)
Whenever I would see cool looking forms on other websites around the web, I would always think to myself, “those forms are so cool. How do you make one like that?” This, at a time when I barely understood even the most basic of concepts I share in these tutorials. Things like how to create a custom header graphic or even the basic reference of “pixels” as it relates to size when creating your forms. So what did I do? I went on YouTube and searched for AWeber form tutorials.
We understand how overwhelming and confusing this could be for a new user. But you will soon find out how useful it would be for you in the future. We would recommend you not to cover every thing quickly. Focus on building your site, bringing visitors, posting content. When you are stuck at something, focus on that specific problem and try to solve it using tutorials on our site or else where.
To manage expectations, it’s a good idea to send your subscribers a quick follow-up email immediately after they’ve subscribed. This is an optimal opportunity for you to, not only thank them for subscribing, but to also to introduce yourself, send them material that you think they’ll be interested in as new subscribers and remind them how often to expect your messages. Almost all email service providers give you the option to create an autoresponder workflows (something we’ll talk about a little bit later), so use it!
Both mailchimp and aweber have too many features for someone that wants to keep it simple. I’ve tried both and went to JetPack. I’m sure a few simple features could be added to JetPack….keep it simple and charge a smaller fee, than aweber. I had and know others as well that got sold on aweber and never used it, paying a heafty monthly fee for nothing. That’s the way of the world now….get them to sign up, put it on their credit card and they forget about it and never learn how to use it. Helps pay for all the other people that spend endless hours on the helpline gobbling up the service reps time trying to figure it all out.
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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.
I’m sure you have heard it many times but providing the value to your readers should be a priority. Don’t send them an email full of ads. Any advertisement should be relevant to the content. Remember that content comes first, ads come second. Talk about the benefits, not features. If you have a product you want to promote, think what value it can bring and add relevant info.
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.
One of the challenges I’ve had with email marketing is figuring out exactly what to offer and when. I’ve tried the pretty HTML newsletter, but it felt like overkill at times and a little dated (there are of course a few awesome ones out there, but it just never felt like me). I tried taking an ‘e-letter’ approach but felt overwhelmed with creating original content for the newsletter on top of the blog. And more recently, I’ve simply been sending out broadcasts when a new blog or podcast is published. And this is all fine.
What I like about Mailchimp is that you can setup autoresponders such that only a subset of your email list will receive your follow-up emails based on when they signed up for your newsletter. For example, if I only want recent subscribers from the last month to receive one of my autoresponders, I can simply specify this using MailChimp’s autoresponder interface.
There are drawbacks, however, and they are threefold: first, the program seems to be falling behind on the social media front. Second, AWeber is a little on the pricey side, especially for businesses with very small lists (1000 and under). Once you hit the 2500-subscriber mark, costs are more in line with industry averages. The company has no send-based subscription plan, which means if you have a large list but send infrequent emails, there are probably better choices for you. Third, the company makes its free trial unnecessarily burdensome by requiring a credit card. This would be a minor issue if not for the fact that customers have reported complications with canceling the service.