As a total beginner to all of this, there is a serious “learning curve” in just getting to this point. If all I want to do is create a mailing list – why do i have to have a third party mailing service if I use yahoo or gmail? Does this mean that I have to sign up with mailchimp or aweber? I find this all a bit confusing as to why i need to do this at all? and then what happens if in the future, i want to add this feature? right now i have no budget to pay additional fee-services, so it is just not an option. I find navigating all of this extremely confusing as a first time user of WP and setting up a site. Many of the plugins break my site and cause serious problems, so i am very leery on downloading additional plugins. most of them have 4-5 – star ratings but only have a few comments that created that rating. If you could consider taking one (or two) step(s) back and try to explain on a more basic level – i think that would really help beginners. I am finding all of this social media, feedburner, etc to be extremely time consuming and the blog comments i am getting are ALL advertisers, so I have marked them as spam and deleted them without displaying on my site.
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.

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Don’t sell sand in the desert. Even if you use an award-winning design and have the best deals on the market, you won’t be successful if you don’t get the right offers to the right people. One-size-fits-all messages are not effective or profitable. Imagine that you provide a free trial of your software although your subscribers are already your clients. Or, that you want to sell sausages to vegans.
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 am not signing up for an account so I don't know exactly how the API works, but if I were setting up an iPhone App to work with this, I would use the rails plugin. Rails gives you JSON communication for free (IE no extra work required) http://guides.rubyonrails.org/layouts_and_rendering.html see section 2.2.9. Then use on IOS app use something like: http://code.google.com/p/json-framework/ to interact with that.
This is usually an invitation sent out to the whole mailing list. If your company is holding some event, such as a physical reveal of a product, or a webinar, this is the starting point that will significantly increase awareness. This is a mixture of a newsletter and offers email, as people are asked to participate in the event that they can either only watch, or make a purchase as well.
Businesses that choose to make email offers, usually belong to the e-commerce industry. The benefit for those who are on the mailing list is specific offers that they can get from your company. This kind of approach provides value for both parties. The business can increase the number of sold items, whereas the customer is in a special position as a result of being subscribed to your business.
Thanks for all this wonderful information. I write both fiction and nonfiction. I’m wondering if I need to create two lists that people could sign up for. Or should I just have one? The audiences have some overlap but are mostly different. How do I handle this, short of having two websites (which I don’t want to do)–I currently have one author website. Thanks for any advice.

Wow, I am so glad that I ran across your review. I recently received the same ban from Mailchimp after sending out several mailing lists and finally building. I only have 116 subscribers, but that is awesome for starting from nothing if you get my drift. Anyhow I send out mailing list for focus group opportunities. I dont sell a thing and sure enough Mail chimp banned me and our group from simple sharing. I am in the process of scrambling for a new mailing list company because my last mailing list was not sent out and now my subscribers are missing out on some really awesome opportunities. I will be sure to check out Aweber TODAY and send out my focus for cash mailer. Hopefully the integration and transition will run smoothly. I have to get my list asap. Have some time sensitive focus group opportunities that are paying really high here in CA right now. Thanks again for this.

One time, a long time ago, I was having trouble trying to create a customized email Opt-In box for a client. He wanted some crazy thing created by someone on Fiverr to be in the box. The customer support when over and above what could possibly be expected of them to make it work. The guy I was talking to had to give the project over to one of their tech / coding experts to fix the problem and he did. I was truly impressed.


Great article comparison and review! Man I wished I had read this before getting in bed with mailchimp.com – You are correct they have the WORST customer service there is… I have been waiting for more than 24 hours now for a resolution as to why they suspend my account – turns out I didnt answer some questions in a lengthy email they send out. I could not call them because they do not have a phone number.
Let’s say you run a blog about dog training. You give away a free eBook called Teach Your Dog to Sit to anyone who signs on to your list. You then head into your Aweber dashboard and set up a few follow ups. The first follow up is another free dog training lesson, perhaps about how to get your dog to stay. Make sure it is packed full of value. Then a few days later send out another free lesson. A day later send out another email with another dog training guide, this time priced at $49. It could be your complete guide or another must have product.
As you can see, these emails are scheduled to be sent to our subscribers after a certain amount of days of them being subscribed to us. We’ve more emails that are sent during this period too, and it means that once someone subscribes to our newsletter, they’ll receive consistent messages from us (but not excessively, or too little) from the very beginning.
Open rate shows a percentage of total recipients that viewed your email. You can track it in HTML emails that include a transparent image (a tracking pixel). When it’s loaded, an email is tracked as open. This metric isn’t 100% accurate. As mentioned earlier, some email providers block images, and a user needs to enable them to see the visual elements.
I have so many people reach out and tell me that they feel discouraged with their small email lists. But, since we’ve already established that these are actual human beings, I like to take a much more visual approach. When you think about the 50 or 100 people on your list, think about having that many people in a single room to hear you speak. They’ve all shown up to hear whatever it is you have to say.

Use it as a lead magnet/free mini-course. You can also use an autoresponder as a lead magnet to attract new subscribers to your email list. This is commonly done in the form of a free “mini-course”, or a free “challenge”, which promises to deliver a series of emails containing lessons (or other valuable information) over the course of several days or weeks. There is a high perceived value with a mini-course or a challenge like this, which makes it a very effective lead magnet.


There are hundreds of millions of users on social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google, LinkedIn just to name a few. Many of these people are looking for exactly what you offer. And unlike traditional marketing where you must pay huge monies upfront for advertising in print, radio, television and outdoor the digital marketing world has changed the game. You can get started online advertising with daily budgets as low as $1. Then optimize and scale up based on research. You can even boost your free content to increase views and conversions.
So with these factors in mind, I had been staying put with Aweber because they met a number of these criteria. But I knew that I really wanted to up level my email marketing and put more customized sequences and automation into place so that the user experience could be much better, and I would have a clearer picture of my audience and what they want from me.

In the end, they told me that I had violated their terms of service because they classified my website as a get rich quick scheme. Long time readers of MyWifeQuitHerJob.com know that this blog is certainly not about getting rich quick. Plus, I didn’t sell anything on my blog at the time either so Mail Chimp’s reason for banning me was completely uncalled for.
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.

i know the benchmark, you can have 3 lists, all sent from 3 different companies, and if someone opts out, they get the choice if they are listed on other lists, to tick all the lists they are on, or just some. Does aweber and mailchimp do this? I have emailed mailchimp several times with the question but no answer yet, i am pretty sure they do not, so if someone opts out it is just an opt out from that list.
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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.
This is usually an invitation sent out to the whole mailing list. If your company is holding some event, such as a physical reveal of a product, or a webinar, this is the starting point that will significantly increase awareness. This is a mixture of a newsletter and offers email, as people are asked to participate in the event that they can either only watch, or make a purchase as well.

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As for email services, well actually there is a limit on how many emails you can send from a free gmail or yahoo account. Sending out mass emails is considered abuse of service by these free email service providers. Your emails will either end up in spam folder of your users, or they will not recieve them at all. It is also possible that your email service can suspend your account for violation of terms of use. This is why you need a third party email service.
With Aweber, it is very easy to sort through your list to find out who hasn’t confirmed. But as far as I can tell, there’s no way to send out an automatic reminder. However, you can do this manually since you have their email address. Plus I believe you can tell if they’ve even looked at the confirmation email so you can sort out who you want to remind vs someone who is truly not interested anymore.
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.

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Just so you know, I am quite a newbie to this brave new world of autoresponders.  Before I started this site (rather, I migrated from a previous platform to this self-hosted WordPress platform), I had not even heard of autoresponders.  But since the beginning of this site, I have adopted a new attitude: from a lackadaisical blogger to one more focussed on the possibility of building a long-term business.
In the end, they told me that I had violated their terms of service because they classified my website as a get rich quick scheme. Long time readers of MyWifeQuitHerJob.com know that this blog is certainly not about getting rich quick. Plus, I didn’t sell anything on my blog at the time either so Mail Chimp’s reason for banning me was completely uncalled for.
We also had our account blocked last year but they never told us why. We don’t sell anything via our newsletter. We don’t even talk about how to make money (that’s not our field). We write about business news and part of our CRM initiative. We sent several email inquiries to them. All were ignored. We ended up setting up a new account and reimporting all of our lists.
Price: Several users feel that the price is too high for many small businesses, especially businesses that don’t need all the bells and whistles AWeber has to offer. This is compounded by the fact that there’s no “dormant” mode; so long as your lists are in AWeber, you’ll need to pay the monthly fee based on your number of subscribers, whether or not you are actually sending emails. Some would like to see a low-price or freemium option for very small businesses.
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