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.
Yes, I believe you can save the subscriber list onto your computer with both services. While moving subscribers from Mailchimp to Aweber was relatively straightforward, it did take me quite awhile to move all of my autoresponders and port my entire setup to Aweber. So if you can afford it, I would simply start out with Aweber and stay with them instead of having to move later.
I wasn’t sharing my affiliate link for ConvertKit (but I am now – I earn a commission if you buy with this link) as this move was happening because I wanted to take a couple of months to really test it out.  After using it for more than three months now, however, I’m extremely happy with the results and am confident in my recommendation. Please note that I do receive a commission from the affiliate links to ConvertKit that are on this page. [Full Disclosure: I’m a compensated advisor and an affiliate for ConvertKit.]

Remember that this AWeber Review is from the perspective of a newbie.  And also of someone who does not want to have to spend hours and hours researching, reading up, and learning how to use a system effectively.  I just want to be able to have a gentle learning curve, not have so many technical aspects thrown at me all at once, and to get on with my job – which is to write my blogs and run my site.  And have a life!

Both mailchimp and aweber have too many features for someone that wants to keep it simple. I’ve tried both and went to JetPack. I’m sure a few simple features could be added to JetPack….keep it simple and charge a smaller fee, than aweber. I had and know others as well that got sold on aweber and never used it, paying a heafty monthly fee for nothing. That’s the way of the world now….get them to sign up, put it on their credit card and they forget about it and never learn how to use it. Helps pay for all the other people that spend endless hours on the helpline gobbling up the service reps time trying to figure it all out.
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.
Send new subscribers a “welcome” sequence. This is the message that you send to people right after they subscribe to your email list. It could contain a link to your lead magnet for an easy download, a thank you for subscribing, or maybe a call-to-action to check out your most popular blog posts. Every email list needs a welcome series: don’t miss this chance to “woo” your new subscribers and turn them into loyal fans!
I basically had to download the javascript from their site, figure out how their code was written and then tailor it to how I wanted it. Otherwise, I would have been limited to their templates which I didn’t really like. In addition, the Aweber popup code didn’t work properly across all web browsers and I had to fix this manually. (Updated: This problem has been rectified)
You can set up “rules” in AWeber to automatically segment your audience, but these rules simply subscribe or unsubscribe people from various lists. For example, when one person joins list B, they can be automatically unsubscribed from list A. This simple rule is particularly useful when you have a non-customer email list, and a customer email list.
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.
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.
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.
Please do not think that I am advising anyone to move away from AWeber. Nor am I saying that they are not reliable and don’t deserve their respected reputation in the industry. After all, many top bloggers do use AWeber on their sites. Have done for many years and continue to do so. I would still encourage anyone who is more patient, and more technically inclined to give AWeber a try. I think their reliability and service will not disappoint.

I am not signing up for an account so I don't know exactly how the API works, but if I were setting up an iPhone App to work with this, I would use the rails plugin. Rails gives you JSON communication for free (IE no extra work required) http://guides.rubyonrails.org/layouts_and_rendering.html see section 2.2.9. Then use on IOS app use something like: http://code.google.com/p/json-framework/ to interact with that.
On the other hand, you have pointed out a problem that Aweber should address and that is their training and instruction materials. They should definitely have better video and written tutorials on how to use everything. And while I found the ‘get started’ webinar extremely helpful, years ago, you shouldn’t have to get on a webinar to learn about the product. At the very least, they should record one of those webinars so you can just click and watch any time you want!
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.
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
Pam, we are sure JetPack has nice features and all but it allows you to add a blog / comment subscription module only. On the other hand services like MailChimp and Aweber are professional email service providers offering many powerful features which allow you to really benefit from the email list you are building. As far as simplicity is concerned, we are slightly more inclined towards MailChimp, they have a great user interface even for absolute beginners, they have excellent documentation, and lots of resources to learn how to use each feature available.
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 do agree that you should not build your business on free entirely. However, I also agree that if you are a small blogger or a non-profit organisation it is nice to save some money as you do not earn much. I’ve actually been using Mailerlite forever free plan until I’ve learned to comunicate with my audience and grown my business a bit to finally pay some money for newsletter service. You can check their quick comparison to MailChimp here: https://www.mailerlite.com/mailchimp-alternative That’s my personal alternative to MailChimp. Cheers!
I know that this is ancient, but I just made the switch to MailChimp due to a theme change (the theme uses shortcodes which WordPress eats for breakfast) I’d sent out one e-mail with MailChimp, and my second blog post got killed. I blog about re-selling crap I buy from garage sales, thrift stores, and flea markets on eBay. I actually have a blog post titled “work from home – not yet!” detailing why I’m not able to work from home. The hard part for me is that I don’t make enough money on the blog to justify using Awebr. If this is the way it’s going to go, I’m going to need to re-evaluate my blog, what I want to do with it, and whether I should make the switch to a much more expensive option. Not surprising that someone else has had a similar experience though.
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.
If you’d like to check out ConvertKit, my referral link is here [Full Disclosure: I’m a compensated advisor and an affiliate for ConvertKit], and if you have any questions about ConvertKit, both Nathan and I will be actively popping in and out of this post to reply, however we’re currently at the LeadPages conference in Minneapolis so we may be slow to reply at first.
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.

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.
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.
I wasn’t sharing my affiliate link for ConvertKit (but I am now – I earn a commission if you buy with this link) as this move was happening because I wanted to take a couple of months to really test it out.  After using it for more than three months now, however, I’m extremely happy with the results and am confident in my recommendation. Please note that I do receive a commission from the affiliate links to ConvertKit that are on this page. [Full Disclosure: I’m a compensated advisor and an affiliate for ConvertKit.]
I am not signing up for an account so I don't know exactly how the API works, but if I were setting up an iPhone App to work with this, I would use the rails plugin. Rails gives you JSON communication for free (IE no extra work required) http://guides.rubyonrails.org/layouts_and_rendering.html see section 2.2.9. Then use on IOS app use something like: http://code.google.com/p/json-framework/ to interact with that.
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.
In closing I signed up with verticalresponse.com and in 2 sec I had an email from the CEO with her photo and a phone number to call if I had any support related issues, and no joke, in literally 10 min I had built my mailer and sent it out to 8500 customers – they did not hold it for a while, or send just a few test mails; it was done and sent and reported on in less than 30 min! MailChimp.com take note: That is how you do it! (reports not bad either)

I have tried just about every membership platform out there. The are either buggy, cumbersome or WAY too expensive – especially if you are just getting started. ProductDyno fills a much needed void. It’s easy affordable and they have thought of everything. This thing has so many integrations and features you might think you are… “Finally The Perfect Solution Made Affordable”
Most of the editor’s shortcomings are image-related, even for basic functions like cropping. You can resize an image, but that’s it. In addition, getting at the HTML and CSS is a bit of a pain. It can be done, but you’ll need to save your message as a template, then edit it as a template, save your changes, then start a new message using that template. It works, but you’ll waste a lot of time clicking and scrolling.
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