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.
Very nice comparison of Mailchimp and Aweber. It looks like both Aweber and Mailchimp will suspend you without notice for seemingly trivial reasons. I think it is always good to have a backup system of your own. I use autoresponderplus and 12all scripts and have backups of my campaigns. Aweber is a great service you just never no when you might offend them. It seems like Mailchimp is even touchier. I think the best solution is not to rely completely on any one service. Nice post!
I am not a business selling anything yet but for MailChimp I have to give a business address that will be shown in the newsletters. I dont wanna give away my private address as well but how can I still legally (with the opt-in and everything) collect email address and be able to send newsletters? Would you still recommend MailChimp for strategic purposes or do you have any other ideas?
Here are two guides I mention in the video. When you’re ready to create an ebook, my guide Ebooks the Smart Way will walk you through the process. I also highly recommend picking up a copy of the book Ask, which will teach you how to ask the right questions of your audience. [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase Ask through the link to the right.]
With so many new things to contend with and trying to grasp the bigger picture, it is easy to forget that ..er, the newsletter (of some kind) has to be set up. So my “complaint” was that there was no reminder nor alert that I might want to set up a newsletter. A very useful and needful reminder/alert for a newbie! But one does not turn to Customer Support for that!
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!
Overall, our impression and experiences show that Aweber is easy to use, they have a great reputation, and they’ve been around for a long time. We have quite a few subscribers with Aweber since this is one of the first autoresponders we started using. Since we’ve been with them for a long time, we’ve also noticed their delivery can be iffy at times.
Use personalization. Personalizing the content of your emails (depending on your segment from Chapter 3) will make it so much more relevant and valuable to them. Personalization goes beyond sticking your subscriber’s first name into the email. You need to tailor the actual content of the email to address their needs. For instance, an online retailer will find it much more valuable to read an email with the subject line, “How to build backlinks to your eCommerce store” than just a generic subject line, “How to build backlinks.”
Six tabs along the top of the screen direct you to Home, Messages, Subscribers, Sign Up Forms, Reports, and List Options. Some of these have drop-down options. Links to My Lists, My Apps, and Help, along with My Account, can be found in the upper right-hand corner. Your home page is an account overview which displays new subscribers, scheduled and recently sent messages and list stats.
I’m not sure but as far as I can remember (or at least about 2 years ago) I found a function to activate the subscribers without their needing to opt-in (even though a warning from Aweber would pop up). I lost about 70% of my subscribers in my very small list back then when I changed, but I’ve been able to grow it ten-fold since. And I used opt-in, because I didn’t want anyone to complain to me later.
MailChimp also has great customer support but when you’re using their free service, you probably won’t get instant response from their customer team. As you know, premium services always offer faster customer support whereas free services provide less customer satisfaction. As MailChimp only has email support whereas AWeber has email, phone and live chat customer support options.
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.
MailChimp does not allow content that references the terms “make money at home”, ‘get rich quick’, or other similar terms. These keywords overlap keywords used by ISPs and SpamCop organizations to block content associated with spammers from those industries. This generates too much risk for us to encounter automated spam filter blocks for all of our customers.
The fundamental idea is to give people something that aligns with the type of subscriber you seek. For example, if you wish to have a list of SciFi readers, a free SFF short story, book, or character dossier would be very appetizing to the sort of people you wish to attract. It can’t be something they can get from anywhere (like an Amazon gift card) but instead something genuine that you have created.
Your material is easy to follow, easy to read, professional. Where do you get the creative juices to do all this stuff? I come back to your sites often and check out all the others as well. I don’t want to miss any new product that you put out there. Keep up the excellent work, keep on providing exceptional value for your customers’ buck, and may fortune smile upon you as you go about your life. - Danny Fortune
Visit forums related to your niche, have a look around them and see what people are talking about. Remember to listen before you speak. Set up your profile. Add value by answering some questions. Engage and if you see a thread where you think you can add value post a reply to that thread. Be sure to observe the rules of the forum or you may get banned.
Unsubscribe rate. Unsubscribes are always going to happen no matter what, and that’s usually OK because those people probably would never have bought from you anyway. However, a high unsubscribe rate can indicate that you are losing potential customers. Check the following: Why did people subscribe to your list in the first place, and are you delivering on that promise? Is the content of your autoresponder highly relevant to the segment it is being sent to? Are you sending too many sales emails with too little value emails? (Recommended reading: 5 Reasons Why People Unsubscribe from Your Email List.)
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.
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.
Now don't tell Aweber, but I signed up to every one of the lists I created in my account. I signed up with disposable email accounts. I signed up with Yahoo mail. I signed up with Gmail. I signed up with abut half a dozen different accounts. Guess what? Every email hit the inbox. Every. single. one. When you are building your list, you HAVE to KNOW that the emails are going to stand every chance of being seen and opened by your subscribers. Why else would you send emails right?
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!”
I was diligently serving my small (but growing) list with useful advice, information and excellent articles. I had great response from people in my list and I was extremely careful to send useful information related to my niche. Why do they think I am a risk ? I don’t know as the Chimp wouldn’t say ! Maybe they are doing too well and they need to cut down the number of their customers
Branding of your Email list is very crucial from day one, as this will help subscribers to quickly recognise your Email. Specially, if you are one of those marketers, who are sending super valuable Emails via these auto-responder services, branding will ensure you will get better CTR. Your default name, reply to addresses, and welcome Email are key points for the first stage of Email branding.
One of the final clinchers in the decision to move to Aweber was when I found out that you can completely integrate your Feedburner emails as well as have your new Aweber email subscribers count towards your Feedcount. For those of you out there who like to display the number of readers your blog has you can rest assured knowing that all your new subs will be included in that count.
Great post! I am new to online marketing, my business is actually only a month old and I too am using Aweber. I have found it really simple to use and I love the reports section. I am an analyst by trade so this is so up my street! I came across your post as I was interested to find out how Aweber compare to other autoresponders and if I’d made the right decision. Your post has told me I have. I will look forward to reading more of your reviews and tips.
Linking campaigns can also come in handy if you want to do things like nurture prospects into loyal customers. If you host a contest to raise awareness of your brand and supercharge your list growth, you’ll then need to tell them more about yourself. After your welcome series, try leading them into an educational series about your business and product offerings.
Aweber is the perfect email solution for your business and organization. With Aweber you can build and control all of your emails and email lists. It will organize your contacts into specific email groups, so you can be sure that you send the email to the right email list. Aweber allows people to subscribe or unsubscribe to your email list easily. It is the perfect tool for your email marketing needs.
Of course, you probably already know that Aweber has been around since 1998, that’s like a million years in internet time that is, lol. They are located in Chalfont, PA which is fairly close to Philadelphia. So you know when you are working with them you are literally working with the best in the industry. Because really, how would they have survived this long if their product is crap?
Pop ups should be easy to close. Nothing is more annoying than having a pop up appear and you do not know how to close it. Sometimes your visitor may not be interested in what you have to offer and so will decline the offer by closing the pop up. If the ability to close the pop up is difficult, such as the exit link is not visible, you can lose visitors. Therefore make sure that your pop up can be easily closed to avoid losing readers.
Thanks again for another fine quality product. I have been a member of quite a few of your email lists and have purchased a lot of your products also. One thing I can say is they all are very thorough, informative and you over deliver. I have dealt with a lot of online marketers but there are very few like you who deliver such value and so quick to respond to e-mails. You are someone I know I can trust and that is very important in this business. Thanks again and hope to be able to meet you someday. - Rick Sorrels
have you ever looked at convertkit.com. I read about it from Pat Flynn at smart passive income. He started on aweber and went to infusionsoft because thats what all the big guys use. It’s very expensive. Then he found convertkit and it sounds like it worked for him. I have tried both aweber and mailchimp in the past and I ended up not using either one because I found it pretty time consuming to get right. I guess my point is there are a lot more options than just mailchimp and aweber. Something to think about for an update to email marketing.
I have recently just created my website and I still do not understand much about email marketing although I have friends and came across this topic umpteen times when I am doing my research online. It sounds like if I want to create a successful website, email marketing is pretty important. Aweber definitely sound like an extremely useful tool to get things started, will definitely consider using it!
This is not the first time - nor will it be the last time that they have amazed us with the quality and content of product. Not only are their products detailed and easy to follow, but they go over the top in delivering how-to guides with step-by-step instructions that make my products stand out from the crowd. This will help solve your problem and improve yourself as a marketer. - Adam Davies
With the rapid pace of change you don’t have to know everything there is to know in your niche to get started. If you’re only a few steps ahead of your audience then you’re the leader. As you apply your knowledge and follow your passion you learn even more. This becomes valuable information which you can package and pass to your audience. So how do you get paid?
The first fifteen minutes of our in-person conversation was purely catching up and discussing upcoming family vacations, but then we dove right into the conversation about email marketing. It was not a pitch to join his platform at all. In fact, there was none of that except for a small but expected, “Hey, if Infusionsoft doesn’t work out for you, let me know, and we can see how you might be able to use ConvertKit.”
When you create an email list, you’re allowing a group of fellow human beings to come together in one place where they expect to hear from you. You have a huge opportunity—responsibility, even—to provide value to them. When someone essentially says, “Hey, I like you enough to give you my email address,” you owe it to them to offer up everything you can to ensure that they make progress, stay informed, or are entertained.
Email marketing is such a critical component of business for most companies (with the rare exception) because you able to communicate with your audience in the place they spend a good chunk of time (their inboxes). You also have the added benefit of building an asset (an email list) that no external platform (I’m talking to you Facebook) can mess with.