Great timing. My billing info on mailchimp needs updating so now is a good time to switch to aweber. When I had to decide between the two a few years ago I picked mailchimp because their template system is way cooler. Aweber’s stuff looks like teenagers’ homework assignments in the 90’s. In contrast to an all male engineering team mailchimp seems to have a few girls on board to spruce things up. But as you said the functionality behind the email is more important than the look so I’m jumping ship. Oh, I’ll also be saving $20 pm.
“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
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.
I have written this guide by keeping a user like you who have no prior skills with eMail marketing. This guide will help you to create your own eMail list and also create the sign-up form which you can add it on your blog. This whole process will take next 25 minutes of your time and you will be starting with one of the best online marketing channel for yourself.
One thing I like most about MailChimp is it has a free pricing option whereas AWeber has $1 option as a starting point. That means you can create a free account on MailChimp without giving your credit card details whereas you need to pay $1 for first month to start using AWeber. You can try AWeber by just paying $1 for first month. After that, you need to pay $19 each month.
Write great subject lines. David Ogilvy once said that 80 cents of your dollar should be spent on writing headlines. With emails, the subject line is just as important. If it doesn’t catch your attention, you won’t open it. So, spend the majority of your time writing and polishing your subject line. A great email subject line entices curiosity about the content of the email. It’s also personal, and highly relevant to the recipient. To learn more about how to write amazing subject lines, we have an entire blog post on the topic: 30 Successful Bloggers Share Their Best Converting Email Subject Line.
To start, you’ll have 700+ templates to choose from. There are some very nice layout customization options here, once you learn how to use them. AWeber uses both “sections” and “blocks” in its organization. Blocks are elements like text boxes, images, etc. Sections are the frameworks in which they exist. Most programs use similar organization, though they may use different terminology. The difference comes in your ability to edit or customize the sections themselves. In previous versions, the ability to customize elements like buttons was limited–you couldn’t change the text of buttons–but you now have the ability to easily customize those elements.
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.
Think about implementing referral links to incentivize your subscribers to spread awareness about your brand, too. Referral links allow your current customers to promote trackable links for your business. In exchange for sending new paying customers your way, you can give them incentives like discounts, coupons, vouchers, cash, prizes or redeemable points.