Earlier this year, I made a big decision to move my email list of more than 135,000 subscribers to Infusionsoft from AWeber, which I’ve used for the past five-plus years. Three months later, my email list now lives on a relatively new and rapidly growing platform called ConvertKit. [Full Disclosure: I’m a compensated advisor and an affiliate for ConvertKit.]
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!
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.
Hey Chris, great blog about Aweber. I hear Jay talk about Aweber on the Friday webinars within WA, and was always intrigued. Being a relative newbie to all this. I have been apprehensive to get too involved right now, I am still just trying to get down the basics of affiliate marketing, so doing the email thing is a bit scary for me, but after reading your review, I will check out Aweber. It can’t hurt to get some info on it, and to test drive it for free for a month. Thanks for the informative and honest article!
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?
There are hundreds of millions of users on social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google, LinkedIn just to name a few. Many of these people are looking for exactly what you offer. And unlike traditional marketing where you must pay huge monies upfront for advertising in print, radio, television and outdoor the digital marketing world has changed the game. You can get started online advertising with daily budgets as low as $1. Then optimize and scale up based on research. You can even boost your free content to increase views and conversions.
AWeber has the most user friendly interface and you can easily create stunning newsletter using AWeber built-in sign up forms. Nevertheless to say, AWeber control panel is so much easier to understand even for the beginners who don’t have much technical knowledge. AWeber currently has over 700+ stunning email templates and 6,000+ free stock images to create spectacular newsletters for your subscribers.
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.
Businesses that choose to make email offers, usually belong to the e-commerce industry. The benefit for those who are on the mailing list is specific offers that they can get from your company. This kind of approach provides value for both parties. The business can increase the number of sold items, whereas the customer is in a special position as a result of being subscribed to your business.
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:
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!
One question I have that you might be able to answer is: I send out a broadcast once a week when a new post comes up. I set this up manually, though I’ve seen that there is an option (I believe) to automatically send out your blog post to your e-mail subscribers. I guess I’m a little nervous about doing an automatic thing (though that is what happens with people who are subscribing via my feed). Does this make sense to you? I only post once a week so it is not that difficult to manually send out a broadcast. Just wanted to know if you could explain the mechanism behind the automatic blog post option.
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.
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.
I find the best way to get your free content online and to build relationships directly with your audience is with your own blog. There are tons of reasons to have your own branded space on these Internets. Remember our goal is to make money online. Long term we build a property with huge traffic, engagement and conversion it is an asset we can sell.
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.
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.
Update: MailChimp refutes this claim about affiliate marketing saying that they only impose temporary bans when certain links in emails are blacklisted. What’s nice about AWeber is that they let you know BEFORE you send your email how likely your email will hit someone’s spam folder and whether you are accidentally using blacklisted links in your email.
In the end, they told me that I had violated their terms of service because they classified my website as a get rich quick scheme. Long time readers of MyWifeQuitHerJob.com know that this blog is certainly not about getting rich quick. Plus, I didn’t sell anything on my blog at the time either so Mail Chimp’s reason for banning me was completely uncalled for.
I have applied much of my knowledge of digital and online marketing. But I also continue to stay busy learning new ways to make money online. Even as I’m writing this I’m also testing and tweaking three additional tactics. So the process is never finished and we grind on a daily basis. Each challenge is an opportunity to learn and improve for the next round.
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.
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.
Freedom to make decisions is something I allow and trust my team to do on several levels without ever needing my permission. It makes us move much faster. If they know certain decisions help support the main objectives and value of the brand, and it’s not something that could potentially damage the brand or cost more than $500 (this isn’t a hard number, it’s a rule of thumb), then they are free to take the reins and continue moving forward.
Open rate shows a percentage of total recipients that viewed your email. You can track it in HTML emails that include a transparent image (a tracking pixel). When it’s loaded, an email is tracked as open. This metric isn’t 100% accurate. As mentioned earlier, some email providers block images, and a user needs to enable them to see the visual elements.
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.
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Follow-Up Series (Autoresponders): In addition to one-time email blasts (called Broadcasts), AWeber allows you to create chains of autoresponders (campaigns). An example would be a welcome email which is sent to each new subscriber who signs up, then a series of weekly “How To” emails explaining the various applications of your product. You can set the interval between these messages to anywhere between 0 and 999 days. You can also start subscribers at different points in the cycle if you wish (so for instance, if you had a separate signup form for advanced flying widget users, you could start them on #5 of your series (“New Applications of Flying Widgets”) instead of #1 (“What is a Flying Widget?”). You can set up separate follow-up series for each list, and you can copy them between lists. You can even set it to stop sending messages once the email has been opened.