One thing that one must not forget is also integration with your existing website. If your running on Joomla, WordPress, Drupal or such likes, better you find how the user integration will go with your CMS and one of those email services. You don’t want the client to have to register for your autoresponder on one form and then have to register a second time for your website! You may find that plug-ins to do such things might restrict your choice, check it out first or consult with your webmaster!
We’ve changed email marketing from iContact to MailChimp and, just now, Aweber. We changed from iContact to MailChimp to cut costs. We then switched to Aweber because Mailchimp will not allow you to start an Autoresponder series on an imported list PLUS, as you mentioned, Aweber has much more robust measuring/management tools. However, people should be aware that Aweber requires imported subscribers to opt-in all over again.
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.
For example, if a particular subscriber’s message number is 4, that means that that subscriber has already received follow-up emails 1,2 and 3. So if I have a 7 part follow up message sequence and I write a brand new followup email (message 8 in the sequence), there is no real way for me to prevent this subscriber from receiving message 8 unless I make his or her message number higher than 8. But if I do this, then that subscriber will never receive messages 4,5,6 or 7.
You can turn off confirmed opt-ins in AWeber, but it’s not recommended, which your story verifies. One of the reasons that AWeber has a high deliverability rate is the lack of spam going out via the service. So when importing a list it does suck to have to send out a bunch of emails, but it keep their service up and going, and our emails being delivered.
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.
In response to “bogus” email subscribers, I will tell you why it is done… because I do it myself. When I am forced to put in my email information just to get some free information, it irritates me. The reason it irritates me is because, I deal with many companies in my business, I can not afford the time to keep sifting through my inbox to delete 50 emails from a company that I just wanted a little information from. Email marketing optin is great, but keep in mind – not everyone wants the bombarding of emails after-the-fact.
As a software developer protecting your hard work is an important aspect of selling digital products. You want a licensing system that does what you need, is flexible and not get in your way. ProductDyno does that and more. Other licensing systems make you jump through hoops integrating their services, not so with ProductDyno, it… “Protecting Your Hard Work Is Important”
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.