Smart from Scratch is a course I created to walk you through the process of choosing and testing a business idea, as well as getting your first customers. If you already have a business, this course isn’t for you, but if you’re just getting started—or you don’t know where to start—this course is for you. [Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through the Genius link to the right.]

I’m sure you have heard it many times but providing the value to your readers should be a priority. Don’t send them an email full of ads. Any advertisement should be relevant to the content. Remember that content comes first, ads come second. Talk about the benefits, not features. If you have a product you want to promote, think what value it can bring and add relevant info.

Hi Steve, I think I might have been Asian in a past life. Lol:) Signed up with Mailchimp for the same cheapskate reasons as you. Finding it OK but always wonder what I’m missing as all the “pros” use Aweber. Can you tell me with Aweber are you able to manually look at people who signed up but haven’t confirmed and then send them a polite reminder? Mailchimp seems to be missing that and I always wonder how many people I’m missing because of that!


Never send an email without making sure it’s working properly. What looks good in your inbox can look broken or mangled in someone else’s. Use tools that can help you with testing your SPAM score, deliverability and the rendering of your email. There are plenty of free or freemium solutions that provide screenshots of your email in dozens of different email platforms.
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.
Today, I'm going to bite the bullet and sign up for AWeber, a communications company that offers Auto responder and Email Marketing services.  I am going to launch a newsletter on my music Web site, www.Musiciantip.com. AWeber Is Recommended Web-Wide Rosalind Gardner, Michael Brown, Allan Gardyne, and countless other successful affiliate marketers all recommend AWeber  (… Read more →)
This was all possible with Aweber, with some drawbacks (and one of the reasons I switched to ConvertKit). While you could set up an autoresponder sequence in Aweber, it was not easy or convenient to segment out those users who were in the sequence from getting your main newsletter or blog broadcasts. So, it was possible that people were getting multiple emails from me a week.

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.
We are super excited to be join...ed by James Fairbank, Marketing Director at Rapha for the next TRIBE Breakfast Series event. James will be talking about the history of the UK's most iconic cycling brand and the role that has been played by the Rapha community in it's amazing growth. Founded in 2004 by Simon Mottram, Rapha creates the finest cycling clothing and accessories in the world. Rapha Cycle Clubs launched in 2012 and there are now 22 clubhouses in 13 countries. They work with the best athletes and designers, and strive to perfect any adventure on the bike, whether it’s the shortest ride or the longest race.
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.
I just wanted to say that for those of you who are searching for a reputable and reliable company, look no further, this is the one. I have gotten A+ products and customer service from them. When you buy their products, you will make money with them. How much? I can't say, it all depends on you. I am telling you though, these guys have awesome products. Look no further. - Jeff Osborne
I think this is just giving you a very cautious report. Infusionsoft is quite protective of their lists and how they send but it looks like you had 114,528 on your list and sent to 101,929 with 0 Skipped and 0 Errors. So the variance is due to several things such as the contacts didn’t have email addresses or there are some duplicates and/or 13,000 had opted out. You only had 12 Complaints, which is quite low, but maybe the bulk of them came during one segment that was sent, which created the warning. I have one of the senior support guys looking into this, but I think you are fine.”
What I was trying to get across (and perhaps I didn’t make myself clear here, my fault), is that there are also other equally excellent services. I mentioned MailChimp as someone mentioned they’d like a mail list manager but couldn’t afford AW. MC is free for the first 1000 subscribers, and I think for a large proportion of entrepreneurs, that is enough to get started (more than enough, probably).

Thanks for all this wonderful information. I write both fiction and nonfiction. I’m wondering if I need to create two lists that people could sign up for. Or should I just have one? The audiences have some overlap but are mostly different. How do I handle this, short of having two websites (which I don’t want to do)–I currently have one author website. Thanks for any advice.
AWeber finds a healthy balance between ease of use and robust functionality. There are some nice features — particularly in the autoresponder realm — but navigation is intuitive enough that I was able to perform basic tasks without looking up tutorials. When I did find myself at a loss and turned to the online help resources, I was quite impressed with the range and scope of guidance available.
I’m not sure but as far as I can remember (or at least about 2 years ago) I found a function to activate the subscribers without their needing to opt-in (even though a warning from Aweber would pop up). I lost about 70% of my subscribers in my very small list back then when I changed, but I’ve been able to grow it ten-fold since. And I used opt-in, because I didn’t want anyone to complain to me later.

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 use Aweber to run my Email marketing campaign as they are cheap and their policies are perfect for bloggers and affiliate marketers. More over you can start with $1 only and within one month you can decide if you want to continue with it or not. This is how I started and I suggest you to get started now before it’s too late. To start with, create your Aweber account using below link, which offers 30 days free trial.
That’s why, if you’ve been in the marketing world for any length of time, you’ll have heard the amazing value that email can provide businesses and marketers with when it comes to communicating with their customers. But, while email marketing is an amazing vessel for business’ marketing messages, it’s one of those tricky tools that not every knows how use.
So you should review the product to see if it provides value for your subscribers. Does it work? Is it helpful? How is the support from the product creator? You are co-signing on all of this when you send that email to your list. As a newbie you still need to nurture and protect your list by emailing them frequently with more informative content. Just make sure this product meets your standards.

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.)
Now you have created your first email list using Mailchimp, and it’s time to grow your Email list. Obviously, we will be designing the Email signup form in the next step, but first it’s a good idea to import your existing subscriber list to MailChimp. MailChimp supports all major services like Feedburner, salesforce, Eventbrite, Zendesk and many more. Importing from Feedburner to Mailchimp is easy, and you can refer to this guide which will help you to get started. Do remember, your list is free for first 2000 subscribers only, so if you are exceeding the list, you need to start paying.
As for reporting options, AWeber presents the standard raw numbers and percentages (clicks, opens, unsubscribes, and the like). It also includes more advanced data such as opens, clicks, and revenue over time; subscriber growth; and stats by location, area code, or designated market area. In addition, you can compare results across your past 20 emails. You can track subscribers based on their signup method, and the list segmentation options provide plenty of ways to optimize your email marketing. Reports are well laid out and easy to understand; much of the data is presented in both chart and table format.
3. Email converts better. People who buy products marketed through email spend 138% more than those who do not receive email offers. In fact, email marketing has an ROI of 3800%. That’s huge! And if you are wondering if social media converts even better, think again: the average order value of an email is at least three times higher than that of social media.
Just in case you’re new to the whole email marketing landscape, Aweber (along with MailChimp, ConvertKit, InfusionSoft, Ontraport and countless others) are email marketing systems designed to allow you to capture subscriber emails and then send them direct messages straight to their inbox. Some are very basic doing only email marketing, and some are full service systems that also include commerce and CRM capabilities.

During my beta tests with Split Test Monkey, I found it simplifies things to make it easier to setup and fast without all the complex features.  I ran a list building campaign with cold YouTube Video SEO traffic for 16 days. I expected conversions at 4-10% or much lower because people didn’t know me. I tested two… “19.43% List Conversions and $4985 in Revenue?”

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.
“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

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.

But really, the conversation was just a series of questions about my needs, my experiences wants and desires as a blogger, podcaster, and digital marketer. Having just completed a software product of my own (The Smart Podcast Player), I appreciated the questions and fully understood what he wanted, and I was not afraid to hold back. He was my friend, and plus what if he created the perfect solution for me.
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.

Looking for a place to start promoting your list? Look no further than the followings you already have established! If you’re actively creating and sharing content on a platform like Facebook or Twitter, try reaching out to your audience and encouraging them to sign up to your list. After all, they’re already finding value in the content you’re sharing. Now it’s time to take your relationship to the next level.
Creating separate lists allows you to segment your subscribers. So, for example, I would never send a message to subscribers on my IE Publishing the same messages I send to those on the Get a Mobile Career. Different group of folk. Those on the IE Publishing publishing list are interested in my fiction (mostly romance novellas); not in affiliate marketing. Here’s an explanation for each box on this page.

Hi Steve, I think I might have been Asian in a past life. Lol:) Signed up with Mailchimp for the same cheapskate reasons as you. Finding it OK but always wonder what I’m missing as all the “pros” use Aweber. Can you tell me with Aweber are you able to manually look at people who signed up but haven’t confirmed and then send them a polite reminder? Mailchimp seems to be missing that and I always wonder how many people I’m missing because of that!
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.
Thanks for bringing that up. It’s about time I redid that book cover as it was the first ebook I ever wrote. But when it comes to email marketing, you shouldn’t have to look over your shoulder wondering if you are going to get banned or not. Some of my other blogging colleagues have noticed higher delivery rates with Aweber over Mailchimp which I didn’t include in the article either. Ultimately, if you are going to do any sort of affiliate marketing, Aweber is the way to go. It’s not worth taking the chance of getting banned.
The first fifteen minutes of our in-person conversation was purely catching up and discussing upcoming family vacations, but then we dove right into the conversation about email marketing. It was not a pitch to join his platform at all. In fact, there was none of that except for a small but expected, “Hey, if Infusionsoft doesn’t work out for you, let me know, and we can see how you might be able to use ConvertKit.”
And I was sold. I couldn’t have people not receiving their intended emails. And I thought, if the features and reliability were good enough for big bloggers, I’ll probably find everything I need there as well. Now I have over 1200 subscribers and everything was done reliably in 2 years, so I’m staying (except I find strong reasons to change services).

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.
I don’t know. I’ve been building it for 5 years and only ever added an address when a reader expressly asked me by email to add him (I kept the proof). Gave aWeber my login details and apparently that wasn’t good enough. They waffled that their spam rate is below 0.1% industry standard and mine is slightly above. All I can think is that a handful of readers have been too dumb, lazy or spiteful to just unsubscribe and instead just report me for spam. 🙁 All I know is that my conscience is clear.
A low open rate means that people have started to either ignore your messages, or delete them as soon as they receive them. (Or, what I do, is mark them as “read” and just leave them there – probably never to be actually read!) If your open rates are low, you need to work on your email marketing game. Take a look at the previous emails you’ve sent them, or at your subject lines. Something about those emails has deterred your subscriber from opening them up, so tweak and test until you get higher open rates.
Finally, you can optionally include “automations” with your broadcast. Automations are a simple way to automatically add or remove tags when your subscribers do certain actions, like open the email or click on specific links. Adding and removing tags are important when creating segments, or subscriber groups, and triggering automated email campaigns.
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