The image above is a screenshot from my account showing that I have three follow up messages set at the moment. The first one is the eBook, the second one arrives a few days later and is a thank you message, and the third one is a tactic that I use on my blogs that I only share with my email subscribers. The follow up email function allows me to create a deeper sense of value with everyone who is subscribed.

“As my list has grown, I’ve just remained focused on the next metric right ahead of me. First it was just to hit 200 subscribers, then 300 subscribers, then 400 subscribes. Eventually the goal was 1,000 subscribers, then 2,000 etc. etc.  As I’ve gone past 10,000 and 20,000 and beyond I’ve actually started to focus more not on the sheer number but on engagement.” – John Corcoran, Smart Business Revolution


And the company itself? Well—it’s growing actively at a rate of nearly 45% month over month (check out their open earnings metrics and financial details here), which a fantastic sign. I’ve also recently come on board as an advisor for ConvertKit, and I’m excited to start this journey with them like I did at the start of LeadPages. It’s risky, yes, to move my list to a company like this, but I feel like I have a good knack for knowing what’s great out there.

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.


As its name implies, Drip is an email automation tool that is specifically designed for drip emails. If you’re pressed for time to create your own email content, you can use Drip’s Blueprints, or premade sets of drip campaigns with filler text that you can easily tweak to your own liking. Additionally, this tool allows you to collect email addresses for your drip campaigns via a simple widget that you can add to your website
The TRIBE Breakfast Series will explore what drives mission-based challenger brands. We want to bring together a group of challenger brands and marketing and PR professionals at TRIBE HQ, to share ideas and hear from a number of inspiring voices, so we can learn how to discover and articulate our purpose and better connect with our tribes. All over a (free) delicious, healthy breakfast; granola yoghurt pots, pastries and TRIBE breakfast Shakes.
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
Back to my using AWeber to build a loyal following…in December I was asked by the New York Times to contribute a mini op-ed. I think I almost doubled my subscribers because I already had the system in place to capture those subscribers when they visited my website from the NYT page. Not that I have a huge number of subscribers yet, but I am getting there in part because of using a professional system.
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.

Variations of “Hello {!firstname_fix}” have become the norm in email marketing, not the outlier. Because of that, it’s losing its effectiveness. You can still use name personalization, but you also want to think about going a step further. At AWeber, we recommend segmenting your audience and sending each segment tailored messages with unique subject lines.
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.
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!

Promote up-sells/cross-sells. You can even set up an autoresponder sequence for someone after they purchase and get repeat customers. Depending on the products you sell, you could offer an upsell, or cross-sell related products. For example, if someone buys a digital camera, you can offer to add a lens, a tripod, and other accessories to their order before it ships. Or, if you sell products that people buy frequently (like food or disposable items, like diapers), you can automatically send them offers for new items when you know they’re about due for another order.
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.
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.)
Basic: Each week I send out an email about my latest podcast episode. Now, I create a rule that says that if they click on the link inside my email (sending them to my show notes page), they get tagged as Interest: Podcast. That means, should I ever want to send an email to those that I know are interested in my podcast, I can just select this tag. Easy.
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.
4. Affordable: I was willing to pay more money for better features, but wasn’t convinced I needed to be paying $200-$300/month for those. I know many, many, entrepreneurs who pay those fees and like I say above, use a fraction of its capabilities. I didn’t feel that was necessary for my business – at the point of consideration, I didn’t have a complex business with numerous products or sales funnels. For the past couple of years while my kids are home on crazy-small school schedules (right now I have 2.5 hours per day), I have been primarily working 1:1 with clients and offering My PRO Plan. This will change in Fall 2016 when both kids are in school full time (I can’t even imagine!?!) and I have more time to execute on my ideas, but for now, the big shot services weren’t needed.
The disadvantage with using free services like Mailchimp is they’ll usually suspend your account without warning, it’s kind of like setting up a blog with wordpress.com or blogger.com. Since it’s a free service it’s kind of like they have this “one and your done” attitude which I guess is understandable since you’re getting the service for free, but sometimes I wonder. Now on to Aweber.
To manage expectations, it’s a good idea to send your subscribers a quick follow-up email immediately after they’ve subscribed. This is an optimal opportunity for you to, not only thank them for subscribing, but to also to introduce yourself, send them material that you think they’ll be interested in as new subscribers and remind them how often to expect your messages. Almost all email service providers give you the option to create an autoresponder workflows (something we’ll talk about a little bit later), so use it!
To manage expectations, it’s a good idea to send your subscribers a quick follow-up email immediately after they’ve subscribed. This is an optimal opportunity for you to, not only thank them for subscribing, but to also to introduce yourself, send them material that you think they’ll be interested in as new subscribers and remind them how often to expect your messages. Almost all email service providers give you the option to create an autoresponder workflows (something we’ll talk about a little bit later), so use it!
ashley.. try benchmark as well. the differences i can see, for me anyway are we have 3 products, so want a different company name to show for each, and if they opt out i wanted the option of which list they want to opt out of, even if i send them letter A from list A, but maybe they are also in B and C, they might still want letters from b and c just not A, benchmark and i believe aweber does this. benchmark also allows you to set up a whole load of detailed surveys as well which is cool. mail chimp, if someone opts out of one list the lists are not linked in anyway so then you have to manually check them out of the other lists, and have to assume they want out of all with out giving them the option to chose in and out of what lists.
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.
I suppose the secondary reason I haven’t made the switch is because I run multiple blogs and don’t want to get stuck paying multiple fees at this point. (I’m under the impression I’d have to pay separately for each email list, but please correct me if that’s not the case. That would change things.) I love the functionality and features of Aweber, but I can’t see paying 4-5 monthly services fees while so many of the blogs are in a start-up phase.
“No, because a lot of others have told us those are the features within some of these all-in-one business solutions that make them extremely cumbersome and overwhelming. Our target customers are bloggers, podcasters and other people who are building audiences who want to be able to have an easy-to-use, but powerful email marketing system, with automation and all of the features that you want, without all of the things that you don’t need right now.”

Enter the autoresponder. The autoreposnder (or as ConvertKit calls it, a Course), is a series of messages that get sent in succession automatically. You write them once, determine the frequency, and then subscribers get these same messages no matter when they join your list. It’s a fabulous strategy because you build it once and then you can rest knowing that even if you can’t send something in real-time, they are still getting these carefully crafted emails.
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.
We’ve changed email marketing from iContact to MailChimp and, just now, Aweber. We changed from iContact to MailChimp to cut costs. We then switched to Aweber because Mailchimp will not allow you to start an Autoresponder series on an imported list PLUS, as you mentioned, Aweber has much more robust measuring/management tools. However, people should be aware that Aweber requires imported subscribers to opt-in all over again.

Hi I have recently been looking into them both trying to decide which one to go for. Am I right in saying that Aweber offer more services than mailchimp or are they just openly advertising more? I am really confused about which one to go for. I like the look of aweber more however I am trying to figure out if it is worth the price difference. Thank you in advance. Found your comparison very helpful. 🙂
First of all you need to sign up for a free account at MailChimp. Here is the signup link (Aff. link). Once you have signed up, and logged into MailChimp dashboard, you will be seeing a screen similar to this, and click on create a list. The good thing about MailChimp dashboard is, it’s interactive, so you will not find any issues with getting started with it.
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.
For example, if a particular subscriber’s message number is 4, that means that that subscriber has already received follow-up emails 1,2 and 3. So if I have a 7 part follow up message sequence and I write a brand new followup email (message 8 in the sequence), there is no real way for me to prevent this subscriber from receiving message 8 unless I make his or her message number higher than 8. But if I do this, then that subscriber will never receive messages 4,5,6 or 7.
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.
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