Note: it needs to be said that Aweber has *just* rolled out a new beta upgrade called Campaigns which I would assume, aims to do some of these features. I received my invite just as I was making the switch to ConvertKit, so I haven’t tried it. It may do the trick. That said, some of the other features I dislike about Aweber are still relevant, so regardless of this new feature, I’m staying put with ConvertKit.
In this video, I’ll explain why email lists are essential components of your business, and share some personal stories about my experience with email. I will also teach you how to setup your email service provider and show you the basics on adding a signup form to your website. Lastly, I share a demo and setup instructions for ConvertKit, my chosen email service provider, but the lessons I teach you will apply to any platform. [Full Disclosure: I'm a compensated advisor and an affiliate for ConvertKit.]

Before ConvertKit came on my radar, I was considering making the switch to Ontraport or Infusionsoft. I was ready for a more robust solution that Aweber just didn’t offer. But after years of hearing people call it “Confusionsoft” and the prospect of shelling out big bucks (at least $200+/month plus hefty $1000+ start-up fee) to use 20% of its features, I wasn’t super excited about making the switch. Ontraport had some promising options, and one of my clients started using them and was happy (though she did hire an Ontraport consultant and strategist to come in and get it all up and running).
Sign up for free trials to see which email marketing tool you consider easy to use. Their prices vary. MailChimp and MoonMail are the great ones to start with if you don’t have a big mailing list. They offer a forever free trial if you have up to 2000 contacts. Some of the other popular brands are GetResponse, Active Campaign, AWeber, Constant Contact, and many more.
It can be frightening to think about, right? But that is exactly how I think email lists should be treated. When you think about it this way, you can begin treating your email list more like people in a room who are there waiting to hear what you have to say and, ultimately, continually deciding if you and the information you provide is still worth being in the room for. This approach will help you craft effective emails, build trust, and remember to treat your list with respect.
“Email automation is the lifeblood to our businesses. Whether we are using a ‘Welcome Series’ for new subscribers, an invitation series for people requesting access to our products, an ascension series for transitioning a lead to a buyer… we are constantly using automation to create more touchpoints with the prospect/customer.” – Justin Rondeau, DigitalMarketer 
I am using MailerLite and after reading your review I have jumped to read it’s Terms of Service, this is where I have found the difference between the two (more here: https://www.mailerlite.com/terms-of-service ). I often include affiliate links in my email marketing campaigns while actually promoting my own content and brand, everything has been fine so far and I am happy with MailerLite service overall. So my last question is if Aweber actually allows affiliate marketing altogether with affiliate links? I would appreciate your answer.
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!

But the truth is more complicated. You only have one social media account, Facebook — because “everybody is on it”. And you don’t understand why anyone needs a whole YouTube channel. You’ve never uploaded a video to YouTube. And starting your “own blog” is crazy talk. Your read blogs — like this one, but why start your OWN blog? Sounds scary. Hell, you’re still on the bubble about whether you need a website.

You can set up “rules” in AWeber to automatically segment your audience, but these rules simply subscribe or unsubscribe people from various lists. For example, when one person joins list B, they can be automatically unsubscribed from list A. This simple rule is particularly useful when you have a non-customer email list, and a customer email list.
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!”
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:

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.


AWeber finds a healthy balance between ease of use and robust functionality. There are some nice features — particularly in the autoresponder realm — but navigation is intuitive enough that I was able to perform basic tasks without looking up tutorials. When I did find myself at a loss and turned to the online help resources, I was quite impressed with the range and scope of guidance available.

I am a consultant in the Home Based Business Industry. My passion for helping others succeed in there business is what I love... The huge value you bring with your professional products is incredible. I recommend and share your products and training with my team and other serious Business owners. It has helped my business and affiliates take it to the next level. Your customer for life! - Dale Copenhaver
When you write great content for your industry you can share it on other related blogs that have high traffic and authority. Guest posting and blogging is a great way to build your personal brand. It makes an awesome marketing channel for your blog. You want to target posts on sites that are relevant for your niche, have an active audience and will include backlinks to your blog and your mini bio in your post.
The primary thing to keep in mind, the supermagic key, is that HTML is used for meaning and CSS is used for presentation. HTML is nothing more than fancy structured content and the visual formatting of that content will come later when we tackle CSS. You might find different approaches elsewhere on the web but HTML Dog focuses on best practice from the outset and getting into the frame of mind of doing things the right way from the start will lead to much better results in the end.
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
There were a lot of other options on the table for higher-level email marketing too, such as Ontarport (formerly known as Office Autopilot), but I remembered an Infusionsoft “sister” conference where I gave the keynote presentation in 2014 called PartnerCON and I met a lot of the staff over at Infusionsoft, which left me with a great impression of the company, so I decided to roll with it.
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.
chantal.. yes we love his posts! I compared aweber with benchmail.. both are great, i liked the added polls, and survey ability on benchmail. sign up for both, play around as they both feel different and both have a lot more added features than mail chimp, unless you are just one company, and not doing a lot then mailchimp will be ok. For me no mater how small the intention is always to grow. Good luck

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.
Thanks to the 1000s of hours of real world marketing experience, we have put together an archive of the most likely things you'll encounter and do wrong when starting out your business. This top secret archive of mistakes are the results of over 10 years of practical hands on marketing experience by experts how have been playing the game since the early 2000s!
Global Text Snippets can help cut down on this. It answers the “How did I get on this list?” question that pops into their head when they receive an “unfamiliar” email – even if it’s a list they subscribed to. So when you compose an email to send out to your subscribers about an offer that may be spread across several sites, you can say something like:
Aaron Danker is an established internet marketer with over 10 years of online experience. He provides high level turn-key solutions and website installation services for beginners and has recently turned to coaching to share his knowledge and expertise with dedicated students. Newbie Lessons is the result of years of training and common problems beginners face all condensed into one powerful and easy-to-use learning platform.
He is the co-founder of Neil Patel Digital. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies. Neil is a New York Times bestselling author and was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations.
I just wanted to say that for those of you who are searching for a reputable and reliable company, look no further, this is the one. I have gotten A+ products and customer service from them. When you buy their products, you will make money with them. How much? I can't say, it all depends on you. I am telling you though, these guys have awesome products. Look no further. - Jeff Osborne

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.


The key is when visitors hit your blog it needs to look like something. This will lure visitors to want to sign up for your mailing list in exchange for something of value that you offer. This could be a special report, an ebook or some other free gift. Marketers call these “lead magnets” because you’re attracting leads that you can eventually convert as you sell them products and services.
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).
If you are a beginner and want to try any rocking email marketing software, MailChimp is for you. You don’t have to even use your credit card to use MailChimp  as you can get it for free (upto first 2000 subscribers). But the pricing becomes much more than AWeber once you start getting more than 2000 subscribers. So it again depends on your website email marketing needs.
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 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
And that was that. I didn’t really get any help afterwards, but I trusted that most of them were getting through because my broadcasts were being replied to, and I just hoped it was just some bug or internal error and not actually brakes being put on my emails. I was again, appreciative of the quick call to attention, but was still left hanging a little.
And that was that. I didn’t really get any help afterwards, but I trusted that most of them were getting through because my broadcasts were being replied to, and I just hoped it was just some bug or internal error and not actually brakes being put on my emails. I was again, appreciative of the quick call to attention, but was still left hanging a little.
A low open rate means that people have started to either ignore your messages, or delete them as soon as they receive them. (Or, what I do, is mark them as “read” and just leave them there – probably never to be actually read!) If your open rates are low, you need to work on your email marketing game. Take a look at the previous emails you’ve sent them, or at your subject lines. Something about those emails has deterred your subscriber from opening them up, so tweak and test until you get higher open rates.
An affiliate product is created by someone else but you can promote it to your list and earn a commission on every sale you make. When promoting an affiliate product to your list you don’t want to just promote any kind of product just to make a quick dollar. Remember the effort you out into building a list of raving fans that know, like and trust you.
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.
Thanks Aaron, Your products are always top notch! The helpful videos really supply many ideas on product creation and then ways to promote them. Pricing products has always been a problem, but not anymore, from learning how to discern a price to one-time-offers to making more profits, the videos are really a teaching tool! Everyone need these training! - JB Nova
Have, no doubts! This is the highest quality content that I have come across. I wast able to actually save time and get products out quicker and it will flat out help your bottom line. I went from barely doing 3 figures monthly, to 4 figures monthly all because of this system and products. I have bought over 10 products and have never been disappointed! - E. Mason
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.)
The Smart Passive Income Blog started in October 2008 simply as a place for me to report and talk about everything that was happening with my business at GreenExamAcademy.com. Starting an online business changed my life and saved my butt after getting laid off, and it was the least I could do to pay it forward and hopefully help others that had met struggles during the recession, too.
Litmus recommends around 50 characters. Yes Lifecycle Marketing says emails with subject line up to 20 characters have ethe highest average open rate, unique click rate, and click-to-open rate. An analysis from Retention Science found that subject lines with 6 to 10 words results in the highest open rates. And Return Path advises using 61 to 70 characters.
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.
This was all possible with Aweber, with some drawbacks (and one of the reasons I switched to ConvertKit). While you could set up an autoresponder sequence in Aweber, it was not easy or convenient to segment out those users who were in the sequence from getting your main newsletter or blog broadcasts. So, it was possible that people were getting multiple emails from me a week.
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One of the best feature of Aweber eMail form creator is, you can have extra field apart from Name and eMail. For example, if you need to get the Address or Phone number from your subscribe, you can do that by adding a new field. (The step is easy to do and even with zero design and coding skills you can do that). What I suggest is, simply select any template from the page and you are good to add Aweber sign-up form on your blog.

So glad you stopped by and Congratulations on your new business! This truly is the time to be successful online. I agree Aweber has the best reports, there are so many ways to slice, dice and dissect the data to help your burgeoning business grow. I think people who have large lists would benefit even more from all the ways the data can be analyzed and how you can segment and streamline your lists. And compared to others, it’s inexpensive which means you can focus that cash outlay somewhere else if needed. That really is a huge help to those of us just starting out. I mean, who doesn’t like saving money? Let me know how I can help you get your business going, I’d love to help!


Thanks for bringing that up. It’s about time I redid that book cover as it was the first ebook I ever wrote. But when it comes to email marketing, you shouldn’t have to look over your shoulder wondering if you are going to get banned or not. Some of my other blogging colleagues have noticed higher delivery rates with Aweber over Mailchimp which I didn’t include in the article either. Ultimately, if you are going to do any sort of affiliate marketing, Aweber is the way to go. It’s not worth taking the chance of getting banned.
Great guide, just what I was looking for but it is timing that is my question. I have just got my ecommerce website up and running selling “print on demand” (small run personalised printing) products. Have only a few items for sale so when should I try to create my email list.? Is 15 items in a shop too small so wait until I have say 50? Create a landing page that promises more in the future so sign up now? Not an easy one to find advise on. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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.
Even my team members, who are much smarter than I am, couldn’t get a grasp of it as quickly as I wanted them to. Although the help I hired was amazing, that company wasn’t a part of Team Flynn like my other teammates. They would never think to change things here and there on their own for the benefit of the brand and what it stands for, because that’s not what they’re paid to do.
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 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

And I was sold. I couldn’t have people not receiving their intended emails. And I thought, if the features and reliability were good enough for big bloggers, I’ll probably find everything I need there as well. Now I have over 1200 subscribers and everything was done reliably in 2 years, so I’m staying (except I find strong reasons to change services).


To be really frank and honest some of the email submit forms I see out there look dreadful. The fonts are all different to the blog itself and the box is out of line with the formatting. It is vital that you appear trustworthy at this stage because you are asking for your readers’ personal email address. Any hesitation because of a funked design could cost you the subscriber.
Looking for a place to start promoting your list? Look no further than the followings you already have established! If you’re actively creating and sharing content on a platform like Facebook or Twitter, try reaching out to your audience and encouraging them to sign up to your list. After all, they’re already finding value in the content you’re sharing. Now it’s time to take your relationship to the next level.

Their Follow Up feature is the perfect way to send introductory emails to new subscribers (say you want to introduce them to your most popular posts or send in a 5-series email campaign covering your latest project) before they receive your usual newsletters. Many users prefer AWeber for its comprehensive phone support and ability to integrate seamlessly with other web apps.


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One of the best feature of Aweber eMail form creator is, you can have extra field apart from Name and eMail. For example, if you need to get the Address or Phone number from your subscribe, you can do that by adding a new field. (The step is easy to do and even with zero design and coding skills you can do that). What I suggest is, simply select any template from the page and you are good to add Aweber sign-up form on your blog.
ConvertKit has been very forthcoming with their business development, and they even publish monthly income and stats. You can see the latest here and their real-time numbers here. Nathan took the company from a struggling side hustle, to an ever-growing successful company in about nine months once he dedicated his attention to it and made it his focus (yes, this is why I always talk about the importance of focus!!).
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