What I was trying to get across (and perhaps I didn’t make myself clear here, my fault), is that there are also other equally excellent services. I mentioned MailChimp as someone mentioned they’d like a mail list manager but couldn’t afford AW. MC is free for the first 1000 subscribers, and I think for a large proportion of entrepreneurs, that is enough to get started (more than enough, probably).
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:
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?”
My book, Will It Fly?, will help you choose and test your next business idea. If you’ve already got a business and are struggling to keep up with the workload, I highly recommend my friend Chris Ducker’s book, Virtual Freedom. Chris teaches you how to work with virtual staff to free up your time to focus on the important tasks in your life. [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase Virtual Freedom through the link to the right.]
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.
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!”

The tag is a bit of metadata added to a subscriber’s profile to track their activity or preferences. Tags can be used to keep track of purchases, what a subscriber is interested in (e.g. design vs. marketing), how engaged they are (clicked a link in a launch sequence) and where they were imported from. A subscriber can have an unlimited number of tags.

I do agree that you should not build your business on free entirely. However, I also agree that if you are a small blogger or a non-profit organisation it is nice to save some money as you do not earn much. I’ve actually been using Mailerlite forever free plan until I’ve learned to comunicate with my audience and grown my business a bit to finally pay some money for newsletter service. You can check their quick comparison to MailChimp here: https://www.mailerlite.com/mailchimp-alternative That’s my personal alternative to MailChimp. Cheers!
In closing I signed up with verticalresponse.com and in 2 sec I had an email from the CEO with her photo and a phone number to call if I had any support related issues, and no joke, in literally 10 min I had built my mailer and sent it out to 8500 customers – they did not hold it for a while, or send just a few test mails; it was done and sent and reported on in less than 30 min! MailChimp.com take note: That is how you do it! (reports not bad either)
Last but not least is creating YouTube video content and placing your url in the video description to also drive leads. Again, this is a simple strategy that is a set and forget marketing strategy to build your list of subscribers that will not have a second thought to opting in to your customized AWeber form. Are these the only strategies to consider? NO? I’m sure you have at least 1 or 2 others that come to mind right now.
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.