I’ve been using Aweber for about 2 years on 2 blogs now and I’m really happy with it. One uses a follow-up broadcast (i.e. every 2 weeks a new “how-to” is sent) and has just over 1,000 subscribers (from about 50 when I started a couple of years ago) while the other blog uses a blog broadcast (it sends out an email with the week’s news) and has about 250 subscribers.


Tip: We often suggest that you mention what you’re going to talk about in your subject line. However, Nathan Latka of Heyo once told us in a webinar that he usually goes for a really short subject line that provokes curiosity. (He claims he has even used knock-knock jokes.) In the right context, something like “Hey …” can be surprisingly effective. The casual and familiar tone coupled with the slight recognition of your email address may be enough to prompt an open.
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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.
A very informative post. I really liked the offer of the free guide to e-mail marketing near the beginning of the article. I’ve already downloaded it and plan to study it at first opportunity. The overall review was concise and to the point. Great information about Aweber. By not giving them a 10/10 and pointing out the flaws, it makes me want give them a try when I’m ready for e-mail marketing.
I have used both, and I agree with your analysis. The great thing about MailChimp is that it lets you see the email in different clients. That is really the hardest thing about sending emails. However, you can use that service without doing everything else through MailChimp. Also, once you get the hang of it and develop templates, it no longer is much of an issue.

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.
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.
One of the best features of AWeber is the ability to create a series of emails that are automatically sent out to new subscribers.  This allows you to create an eCourse or some sort of introductory guide for your latest subscribers.  This is fantastic as you can market it as an incentive for people to subscribe (e.g. subscribe and get our free 7 day eCourse) and once setup, you can leave it to be sent out automatically.
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.
In this next section we’re going to get more detailed about setting up your blog. Whenever I ask an audience “how many of you have a blog?” I’m always amazed at how few people raise their hand and say yes. I’ve asked business owners of all types. Hair salons, HVAC, chiropractors, not-for-profits, freight forwarders, crypto and the majority are missing this tool.
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.
I have used Aweber for years, but wondered is I should try another service. One thing I do not like about Aweber is they don’t allow you to upload a list of contacts. I know that some of the other companies do. So, I appreciate your comparison. It makes Aweber a little more comfortable. If anyone is interested I do have a free booklet on “71 Ways to Get Free Traffic” that can be found here http://trafficmadeeasy.net/71-ways. Thanks for the article.

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.
You get my drift? The numbers are a bit rough (you might convert less) but it is the idea behind it that works. You don’t even have to have your own product. As long as you are providing your readers with high quality products that you use yourself then you are going to be adding value to their lives. And that is a vital element of making a sale. Aweber allows you to do all this without touching a thing.
Very interesting indeed. I am currently using MailChimp and reading through this article, I am wondering when it was written as features have changed in MC, the tracking has more than is mentioned here, there is now a visual drag and drop editor to create custom campaigns, etc. I am not familiar with aweber but maybe some things have also changed on their side. Maybe we’d need an updated version of this article, along with a DATE of when the comparison was made.
While in these days it’s much less common to get notifications for every email we receive, and instead social media that reigns supreme in that department, that doesn’t mean that email has become any less important. In fact, our email inboxes have become somewhat of a place for solitude for us. Unlike social media – where the content that pops up on your feeds can be sporadic and oftentimes, overwhelming – email is where we receive messages that we’ve carefully chosen to receive.
Perhaps I overshot and started using something that was way beyond what I needed, or maybe it was the way it’s built that didn’t jive with my workflow, but whatever the case may be, I knew I had to look for another solution—a simpler solution—and I needed to find one quickly. My team is close to the point of implementation on a brand new website design, very much inspired by the results of the survey we ran recently here on SPI.
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).
Do most people open your emails on desktop or mobile? Email messages opened on a mobile device have nearly doubled over the past 5 years, while emails opened on an internet browser have dropped 26% in that same timeframe, according to a study from Return Path. If you find your list trending toward mobile, too, then aim for short email subject lines (35 characters or less). (Not sure how your audience reads your emails? Services like Litmus and Email on Acid can track which devices your subscribers are reading their emails on.)
Promise me one thing: when you hit a question or a problem, you won’t let it stop you. Questions will come up. A great place to ask those questions is in the Smart Passive Income Community Facebook group. This closed Facebook group is made up of both new and established online entrepreneurs from the SPI audience. It’s welcoming and supportive—the perfect place to find help to keep you moving.
Great content and excellent value. When it comes to making money online, you certainly know how to do it AND know how to ‘Teach it’ With so much rubbish out there in the online space, its refreshing to see people like you who have huge amounts of integrity making huge strides and allowing people like me to take advantage. Cheers and best of luck. - John Faul
I use Ratepoint because they also offer a review (testimonial) widget I have posted on my site. Ratepoint has a promotion that offers free mailing list service forever if your list is 125 or less. Obviously most of us will want more than 125 folks reading our newsletters but it’s a good start. Good templates, tracking and definitely awesome support.
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.

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!!).


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 have been on your list for some time now and I always pay special attention to your updates! The earnings potential you have given me is unbelievable. And I have recommended your products to some of my family members and they are now starting to see profits on their websites. (we are a family business!) I recommend this to anyone who is beginning in internet marketing. It is very simple to do. Every thing you need to know is already done for you. - Dave Osmonson
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.
As you can see in the flowchart above, when someone subscribes to this particular form, they go through a confirmation sequence. Once confirmed they get “tagged” as having signed up for my eBook, and then they are directed to a specific thank you page. If they are already confirmed on my list, they skip over that part and just go directly to the thank-you page.
Kyjean Tomboc finished nursing school but found joy in plucking and stringing words to ​create value-driven content for brands in the health, life sciences, and lean startup niches. She loves everything strategic in creating content -- from CRO to SEO to SMM to UX (the Internet sure loves acronyms!). Her current obsessions include the human gut microbiome, A/B testing, and Benedict Cumberbatch. Kyjean is also a seasoned trekker.
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.
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.
So far, we have created the list, imported existing contacts to our list, and now it’s time to increase our email list. That will be done by putting up the sign-up form at the blog, landing page or company page, where you wish to add Email-sign up form. Click on the Lists at the top of your Mail Chimp dashboard, click on the design sign-ups form, and you can start designing your form. For first-timer, it will take few minutes to get used to features of form creation here, but once you play with it, it will be dead easy.  You can create different forms for your mailing list. For example, Subscription confirms message, unsubscribe form, and so on.  You can also click on Auto-design, which picks up the logo from your Website, and matches with your Website colors.
You can build a large following of targeted people who are also interested in your niche. Put you niche into the search bar on Twitter and check out the results. You will find out who is posting right now. What videos are out there. Who are some of the industry influencers. Questions that people are asking. And even who are some of the competitors.
Using the Personalize dropdown, you can insert custom snippets like your subscribers first name, or sign up date, and AWeber will automatically insert that data specific to each subscriber if we have it. If you collect first name, for example, you can send an email that says Hello Tom, or Hello Mary, or Hello John, depending upon who you’re sending to.
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