When I first started blogging several years ago, I jumped onto the aweber band wagon. I built a subscriber list of over 400 people. I was posting regular articles and then a monthly newsletter with more in-depth articles for free. I was spending so much time writing, I never created a product and the onsite ad’s were not bringing in enough money to cover the cost.
Clarity is key here. Your sign up form should explain the benefits of signing up for your email list, information about the types of content you’ll be sending (newsletters, product promotions, etc.), the cadence of your emails (i.e. weekly, monthly). When you define these expectations up front, your subscribers won’t have any questions about what they signed up for.
The main weakness I see is the price-point where small companies are concerned. If you don’t need all of AWeber’s bells and whistles, there’s no reason to pay for them. You’ll also want to make certain that if you are trying to cancel your account, you’re not just accidentally suspending it. This is especially important where the free trial is concerned, as AWeber requires your credit card info.
Slide in form – This is a less invasive form than a pop up, but still helps capture your visitors’ attention when they are scrolling through your content. As they make their way through your content, a slide-in form will appear about 3/4 down the page. This is the perfect time to get people who are engaging with your content to sign up for your list.
I just wanted to send you an email and give you a big thank you. I am busting my butt trying to build an online business, and I carry a very strong interest in marketing (I'm a graphic designer, so I guess it could go hand in hand). I'm never sure who is who, I can't tell who I'm listening too or buying from or who created what, but I feel you create and offer some of the best quality products for prices that really do meet my budget. And a BIG THANKS for all of the effort and quality content you provide. - Slade Julius
With Aweber however, this is not that easy to do. With Aweber, each and every one of your subscribers is tagged with a message number which indicates which followup emails they have received already. To prevent a subscriber from receiving a specific followup email, you must set the subscriber’s message number to be higher than the email sequence number.
Click through rates. Once your subscribers have opened your email, are they actually taking the action you need them to take? If you think that you have a low click-through rate, perhaps your body copy is not as effective as it needs to be. Consider the following: Is the copy of your email relevant to the subject line? Did you offer real value to your subscribers in the email? Is your call-to-action clear enough? Is the link easy to find?
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!
Alex GetResponse is a good service too. They have a smaller customer base than MailChimp or Aweber but they are definitely on the right track. You should consider your own options that will help you decide. For example, pricing, growth, support, reliability, deliverability, spam filters, etc. Make a list of these factors to compare on your own, you will also find such analysis around the web but those analysis could be biased towards one of the service. So you better do it on your own.
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.)
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.)
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.
Check your ‘Form Type’ settings to alter the width of your signup box. This is important as you need to make sure that it is the right size for your site. Think about where you want the box to appear on your site – for the sidebar, you will want it reasonable small (perhaps 250-300px wide) whereas if it’s for after your post, maybe something much wider (e.g. 600px).