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10 Killer Tips You Must Know When Using Aweber

This is a guest post by Farnoosh Brock, an amazingly inspirational blogger at Prolific Living, a blog about smart habits for rich living.

If you are online (hello, you are reading this so you must be!) and you have a business – or are even thinking about having a business – online, you would be doing yourself a huge favor by creating and collecting a mailing list.

Simple as this is, I did not see the value in it and only looked into it at the persistence of my very good blogger friends (you know who you are, thank you!) but as Naomi Dunford bluntly puts it: “If you don’t have a list, you have nothing!” Nothing, people and she is right.

Having a Great Experience with Aweber

So let us agree that building a mailing list matters and in the spirit of learning from mistakes, let me share mine with Aweber so that you may have a fantastic experience with building and managing a mailing list with these best practices.

Aweber is a great company with powerful email marketing software. The tech support for these guys rocks. They provide live phone support. You can talk to someone on the phone anytime you are having a problem during business hours.

I don’t know about you but as much as I love using the email support services, there is something to be said about having someone listen to your frustrations when it comes to managing your mailing list. If you don’t now what I mean, you will after setting yours up!

Nonetheless, there are things you could be doing to have a much smoother ride than your truly as you set up or transfer from an existing list, establish and manage your mailing list so listen up and take good notes.

This is a guest post by Farnoosh Brock, an amazingly inspirational blogger at Prolific Living, a blog about smart habits for rich living.

If you are online (hello, you are reading this so you must be!) and you have a business – or are even thinking about having a business – online, you would be doing yourself a huge favor by creating and collecting a mailing list.

Simple as this is, I did not see the value in it and only looked into it at the persistence of my very good blogger friends (you know who you are, thank you!) but as Naomi Dunford bluntly puts it: “If you don’t have a list, you have nothing!” Nothing, people and she is right.

Having a Great Experience with Aweber

So let us agree that building a mailing list matters and in the spirit of learning from mistakes, let me share mine with Aweber so that you may have a fantastic experience with building and managing a mailing list with these best practices.

Aweber Blog Broadcasts
Photo Credit

Aweber is a great company with powerful email marketing software. The tech support for these guys rocks. They provide live phone support. You can talk to someone on the phone anytime you are having a problem during business hours.

I don’t know about you but as much as I love using the email support services, there is something to be said about having someone listen to your frustrations when it comes to managing your mailing list. If you don’t now what I mean, you will after setting yours up!

Nonetheless, there are things you could be doing to have a much smoother ride than your truly as you set up or transfer from an existing list, establish and manage your mailing list so listen up and take good notes.

1. Get a PO Box

Aweber is required by law to display your address at the bottom of each email you send. You need a PO Address. Go down to your local post office and get one. It is easy and extremely affordable. I recommend not using a personal home address. It is not as professional and perhaps even a safety concern for some of you.

2. Set Aside a Week for the Process

There are two scenarios here you might encounter at this point.

  • If you are transferring a list, Aweber asks you to confirm that the list is a genuine one – and not a list of email address purchased through unmentionable means.

    I find this very wise on their part. This process takes a good few days. You need to provide access to your list’s current home – mine was at Feedburner so I had to provide my Google email/password.

    Much as I like to say I trust Aweber, I don’t – and just so Aweber knows, I don’t even trust my hubby or Mom with my passwords so two things: call and provide your password on the phone (do not email it in free text form because it could be sniffed on the web), and make a note to change your password immediately after the transfer!

  • If you are creating a brand new list from scratch – easy, no transfer necessary. I still recommend giving yourself a week to learn the system extremely well.

Giving yourself time to setup things right from the start will make the maintenance of your mailing list much simpler in the long run.

3. Set up the Mail Opt-in Form on Your Site

First, you have to decide how you want to use your mailing list. A lot of people use it just for their newsletter so they keep a separate email option for blog post updates – usually Feedburner or Feedblitz. I like to consolidate so I decided to use my mailing list for all updates to my readers – that means, my list gets a newsletter and blog updates.

I blog no more than twice a week and I send out a newsletter twice a month. It’s short and sweet. So far, I have had 0.5% unsubscribe in a daily growing list. Your results may be different. So first, spell out your purpose for your list.

Define Your Message

Put serious thought into your message and your offer with the opt-in form. Are you giving away a “cookie”, or a freebie? Why should anyone subscribe to you? What’s in it for them? Your email leads are fundamental to your success so do what you can to make your subscribers successful from the start. Make them want to sign-up for your list. Make it irresistible!

Create the Mail Opt-in Form

With your message, you can then create and customize your Aweber form from the available options in the Control Panel Web Forms section. They have tons of templates and you can add extra fields of information and test each one on your website to make sure it meshes well with your design. Aweber strongly recommends that you use one of their forms but worry not; the features and the customization are super rich!

HTML vs. SCRIPT

When you are finished designing your form, you can get either the HTML or SCRIPT version to add to your site. I recommend the SCRIPT. That way all changes are always done centrally at Aweber and the updates show up wherever your SCRIPT is running.

You simply insert it where you need it: If you want to put it on your side bar and you are using WordPress, go to your Widgets and create a Text Box and just drop it in. If you want to use it in a post or a page, just go to HTML (the tab next to VISUAL) for that post/page and drop it in.

For inserting in FBML for your Facebook Welcome Fan Page, you will need the HTML of the code.

4. Define Your Workflow

What is the whole user interface process from start to finish? Think through it. The potential subscriber comes to your site, sees the form, likes the offer and the message, fills out the form, then what? Decide where you want to send them.

This is where your Aweber Form Settings come in. Do you want to then display the standard white text Aweber page that reminds them to confirm their email subscription or do you want to send them to your own custom verification page?

What happens after they confirm? Do you want to redirect them back to your site or to a custom thank-you page? Do you want to send them an immediate Follow-up message after confirmation? What is the goal and content of that message?

I have mine set up such that after the readers opt-in, they are re-directed to my custom Verification page where I ask them to immediately confirm their email – and after the confirmation, I send them to a thank-you page where I offer them a free download.

I wanted to customize mine. You may not. Choose what works best for your style and think also about simplicity and efficiency. There is a lot to be said about automated Aweber forms. I’d use them in a heartbeat if I weren’t so stubborn!

5. Drive Them to Your Newsletter Archives

As we said, you may choose to send an immediate Follow-up message after your reader confirms. In this message, they potentially see their first impression of you and you want that to be meaningful, useful, helpful and short! Use this follow-up to tell them what they can expect from your newsletter.

One thing you can do is to direct them to your newsletter archives, which Aweber very cleverly puts together in a public link. This way, they will have missed nothing from the past and this reinforces even more the value of your newsletter.

The coolest thing is that you can edit that list. You can go to any message from the Sent Broadcasts, click on the Subject, get re-directed to the Stats for that message and toggle the Social Media/Sharing button. This will toggle only your Archives provided that in your Broadcast message, you have your settings such that Social Media/Sharing is enabled and your Twitter and Facebook is disabled. In other words, toggling the Social Media/Sharing to on only puts that message in your archives.

I do not use Aweber to send updates to Twitter and Facebook because I customize those – see Kristi’s tips on ways to automate social media updates. If you wish to do send those updates via Aweber, just be sure to test it out first.

6. Understand Blog Broadcast versus Broadcast

This was probably my most frustrating learning curve. There is a huge difference between Blog Broadcast and Broadcast. First of all, if you only use Aweber to send out a newsletter, you will have nothing to do with Blog Broadcast and I kinda envy you. Broadcast feature is reliable, fast and easy to use.

However, if you decided to consolidate and send both your blog updates and your newsletter from Aweber, take note.

RSS feeds come into Blog Broadcast sometime after the post is published; this is sometimes less than an hour but Aweber quotes between 3 to 4 hours to be safe. When they show up in Blog Broadcast, you have options on how to send that out to your list.

Blog Broadcast is very sensitive in that if you make changes to the text body of the message and the timing delivery options after the feed has already been pulled, it can quite possibly skip (yes I know!) delivering your email to Broadcast queue by 24 hours. This happened to me several times and Aweber confirmed these facts.

So I suggest that once you know your desired workflow, do not change your Blog Broadcast settings after you save them. I set my settings, which are: Check Send Immediately and Uncheck Send Automatically – right before I publish the post. You may choose different settings.

7. Best Practices for Blog Broadcast

Using Blog Broadcast is tricky but rewarding with these little known facts.

First, you have to decide between Full update versus Partial update on your post. Are you going to send out just a short post blurb and let them click to come to your site to read the rest or will you send them the whole post? I do the latter. Aweber is set up by default to send out a partial blurb of your post. To make it do a full blurb, you need to do exactly this.

Then you need to decide if you want to update the email introduction blurb above your blog post. This is where it gets very tricky. I like to personalize every blog update with an intro which I create every time. To do this, you must follow these steps:

  • Before you press “publish” on your blog post, go to Aweber Blog Broadcast Edit and add your blurb in the HTML section above the code and save.
  • Decide when you want to send out the form. If you want Aweber to send it for you as soon as possible, choose When # of items reaches 1, Send Automatically and Send immediately in the options. I personally do not recommend this (see below for reasons).
  • If you want to schedule your message, do not choose Send Immediately. Pick a time at least 3 to 4 hours after publish. Then pick When # of items reaches 1 and Uncheck Send Automatically. Save and exit.
  • Go publish your post. By the scheduled time, your post will appear in the Broadcast – note I said Broadcast, not Blog Broadcast – Queue, waiting to be sent out.
  • Test your message by sending yourself a copy from Broadcast queue. Check your title, your blurb, your images showing up (sometimes the HMTL tags get messed up even if all photos show up fine in Aweber editor itself, trust me!)
  • If all is good, hit Queue to send. It will take the system a few minutes to send but you can close the browser and exit anytime.

Note: Send Immediately means that the Blog Broadcast (the blurb and the blog update) is immediately sent over to Broadcast Queue. I leave this Checked.

Send Automatically means that Aweber sends that email out automatically – as opposed to you sending it out manually – when it is available. I do not use this because I like to test my email before sending it, hence I leave this Unchecked.

You can send yourself a test from the Blog Broadcast side as well but Aweber assured me that the final version would appear in Broadcast queue so check that one before sending the email out to your subscribers.

8. To Use or Not to Use the Pop-Up form

First, read the advice in pros and cons of popups and decide where you stand on the issue.

I decided that I wanted to test this out after my research and so far, I have had very good results with no decline – in fact, steady rise – in traffic and subscriptions. The idea is to make it non-intrusive while letting more readers know about your offers. While we never know whom we may turn away and whom we may gain as a reader, we can measure some trends by testing things out.

Aweber has many options for this. You need to create a new Web Form where you can match your template to your existing mail opt-in form template. Then decide on the number of times the form displays for each reader – a one time display is the best option – and the built-in delay in seconds – or immediately if you wish – after the visitor comes to your site.

If the subscriber moves away from the page before the timer reaches 0, they will not see the form so use a timer with this fact in mind. Also if you choose the Display once option, it works by placing a cookie in the visitor’s browser.

This way when they return to your site, Aweber can look for that cookie, and if they see it, the form is not displayed. If the visitor has cleared their cache/cookies, then they will see the form again even with “display once” turned on.

Editor’s note: If you are considering pop-ups or ways of enhancing your opt-in forms, be sure to check out my reviews on Popup Domination (if you want a well-designed popup) and Subscriber’s Magnet (if you want alternatives to pop-ups). If you have Thesis Theme, check out the Marketer’s Delight Skin by Kolakube, a well-designed opt-in form alternative to a popup built into the design (see it in action on Rockin Affiliate.

9. Managing your Subscribers and Aweber Monthly Charge

Aweber shows a box field called “Stop” in Subscriber’s tab and if the box is checked, it means your reader has unsubscribed. However, Aweber keeps them on your list because that information may be useful to you.

You decide whether you want to keep them or delete them. I happen to remove them after reading the subscriber information. If someone wants off my list, who am I to tell them otherwise?

So on your Home page, you have a list stats and a Grand Total which is the Sum of Subscribed (your Active subscribers) and Unsubscribed (Stop box checked subscribers) for your list(s). Note that Aweber takes this Grand Total number into account when setting your monthly charge.

After your first month for only $1, Aweber charges you $19/month for up to 500 subscribers and $25 for 501 to 2500 subscribers and $49 for 2501 to 5000 subscribers. Anything above that and you will likely not care about the cost because you should be making great money from your list!

There is also more information about your subscribers in the Subscribers tab. Aweber shows you the comprehensive list including those who have filled out the form but are still unconfirmed. Aweber keeps them on the list for 30 days before dropping them. Note you cannot delete or send additional confirmation request emails to these subscribers.

10. Patience with Aweber support team

Aweber team is one of the most professional, kind, and helpful support teams I have had the pleasure of working with – and believe me, I have called these guys way too many times.

My advice is to open a ticket, be as clear as possible about your problem, be firm but very professional and patient, and allow them to respond and work through your issues. Also provide as much information as possible to help the process and always be grateful. See my winning secrets on excellent customer service experience and best of luck in your Aweber journey.

Your Thoughts on Using Aweber

Have you used Aweber for your mailing list and/or blog updates? Please share your experiences in the comments for those who are considering using Aweber for the first time or switching over to their services.

Editor’s note: Also a little something to consider for WordPress users – Aweber has recently announced access to their API as well as a WordPress plugin. Be sure to find out more when making a choice for your mailing list provider. I also use Aweber for both my sites using mailing lists including Kikolani and Rockin Affiliate and have nothing but good experiences with their customer service.

By Farnoosh Brock

Farnoosh Brock left a 12-year career at a Fortune 100 company for her pursuits in writing, coaching, blogging and building her company. She talks about smart habits for rich living with a focus on helping people create a smart exit strategy out of the wrong job to their true path. Be sure to grab the 14 weekly power career tips and uncensored corporate escape advice from here!

82 replies on “10 Killer Tips You Must Know When Using Aweber”

I’m a big fan of aweber! I love how easy it is to use. The deliver rate is the best. Works everytime for me! I have a small list but I have to keep it going no matter what.

Yes definitely get a PO BOX! You don’t any unwanted visitors dropping by your house.

Great Post!

Too funny on unwanted visitors, Kevin, but I guess it could happen. Definitely don’t leave your mailing address (or your family’s – my brother has a strange habit of giving out my address when he doesn’t want to give out his own ;))! – and yes, big fan of Aweber here too believe it or not! Thanks for being the first commenter!!

Hi Farnoosh,
Very comprehensive post. I have been using Aweber for about 1 year now, with no problems what so ever. You really do get what you pay for.
It does take some getting use to but hey it’s all part of the learning curve.
Pete

Hi Peter, thanks so much and you have been using Aweber much longer than me. It’s wonderful to hear it’s been smooth sailing. They are wonderful and take great care of their customers. And yes, there is a learning curve but in the end, a very good choice. Thanks for your comment!

I love Aweber. they are the best of the best when it comes to autoresponders.

One thing that I see a lot of people doing with their blogs though is not giving any incentive to people for subscribing. even a 10-20 page “special report” where you give some value and help people will give people a reason to subscribe rather than just “sign up for updates”

I actually don’t have an initial incentive myself on either of my lists. While that’s a great way to get some high volume of subscribers, I find that the people who do subscribe, although in smaller quantity, are doing so because they want the newsletter itself and not just the free gift which lowers the rate of unsubscribes. That’s just my personal experience though – I’m sure different niches and different goals will vary in results.

I see Naomi took this one and you know, I have only one free ebook to offer and I do send them to archives of newsletters as I mentioned but I would like to come up with a nice free “cookie’ especially after watching the Dave Navarro/Naomi Dunford videos on list building. However, sometimes people unsubscribe right after that too so the newsletter had better be awesome on its own! 🙂

That is possibly true too… But, having just a subscribe to updates on my sites, which I did for a long time didnt really get people to subscribe. I had like 100 subscribers, which wasn’t really enough to make it worth what I was paying aweber. Both methods work, its just about how much you want to build, and how fast you are trying to do it I guess.

James, most important thing – I believe – is to go with your guts after all is said and done and you hear all the advice in the world. If you don’t think Aweber is worth it, you are right and should apply that principle to your blog. I really admire anyone who empowers their own core values at the end of the day. Having said that, I hope you see massive growth soon and come back here and tell us that it may be time to sign up for an official mailing list software ;)!!

I agree about the values. I really try to deliver with the newsletter. I send out loads of cool stuff, blogs I find, etc, just like with a good blog post via email. I think where most people have trouble with email lists is that they just send out ocassional updates from their blog, and then hit them with promotions all the time. I invite people to webinars (not the sales pitch ones, just free training) which I record and then use as bonuses for products later, I use old content, and cross promote other sites and other people’s stuff. One thing I am doing with this new blog is leveraging some old guest posts I have gathering dust on my hard drive and using them in the newsletter. Since the new site is in self improvement, alot of the business mindset stuff I have done relates well to the market. When I started it was painful, because it was an expense I had to work hard to justify, since it wasn’t paying for itself. Now, I gotta say I wish I had started building a list sooner LOL.

I’ve been using it for awhile now, and I think I’m going to implement the fade-in and see if that helps pick up the subscriber rate.

I don’t have a “free-offer” incentive up yet either, but only because of my laziness 🙂

One thing that’s been annoying me lately is that when I use Wikipedia links in my broadcast it gives me an error like 50% of the time. I’m not sure if it’s the parentheses that are in most of the links, but it’s kind of weird. I end up generating a shortlink with bit.ly or some other service to get around it.

Also, do you have any experience with broadcasting to your Facebook page? I just tried it with no real noticeable result. Of course it was only one week so not a true campaign or anything.

I think I may not do it again just because I want to reward the people who do sign up with extra goodies (ie my sparkling wit 🙂 and also the Facebook broadcast linked back to the Aweber generated page. I’ll have to look and see if I can host those myself or something. Oh well, rambling now over. Thanks Farnoosh!

Hi John, yes the fade-in has been good to me so far and I have not heard a single complaint and I have only seen a rise in traffic. Ok that’s very odd on Wikipedia….do you mean in Aweber, what (_) are you referring to? I use Wikipedia links all the time in my posts and haven’t noticed any problems.
As for broadcast to Facebook page, I haven’t done it because I like to put personalized updates on Facebook page and of course the newsletter is only for those who sign up so no but did you enable the Facebook sharing and make sure the link to your Facebook page is valid? Well, best of luck John I don’t know if I helped much but I am with you in the end in that I would not automatically update Twitter or Facebook from Aweber but that’s just me. May want to research further to see what others have to say!

Hey Farnoosh,

yeah I mean right in Aweber, when I’m making up my broadcast, I go to save it and I get this “bad link” error (I can’t remember the exact error message now). Even though it says something about “save anyway”, it seemed like it wouldn’t work until I changed the link. I’ll investigate further and see what the deal is…

And what I meant about Facebook is that I do have it enabled correctly. The Aweber newsletter post shows up correctly, but what it does is link to an Aweber generated page (with my email as the content).

I’m not sure if there’s much benefit to this. It must be a useful feature for some or Aweber wouldn’t include it, but I don’t know the benefit of it right now.

Hi John, I have not had that error but one thing you can do is to check the HTML source code right there in Edit mode for Broadcast and find your Wikipedia link and make sure it is being inserted correctly….. …I am sure you know…and test that link in another browser. That’s one step closer to understanding why you are getting this error. Usually I would think shortened links would give errors (for instance, you can’t put tiny URLs in Facebook it has to be the full link)…and then do screen capture shot and send it over to help@aweber or call them. They’ll figure it out for you!
And I am really not sure about workflow of Facebook part BUT the Aweber generated page that you mention is the same as Archives of newsletters that I mention where, each newsletter or blog post update you sent has its own public html page. It’s great if you want to reference it (but has nothing to do with Facebook to my knowledge!).

As with all new products/software/tools, there is a pretty steep learning curve with Aweber, but its actually a lot of fun to use. It makes blasting so much easier and efficient.

Hi John, indeed, you can say that again….a very steep learning curve if you get really deep with Aweber but in the end, you feel so empowered to know the tool inside out. Thanks for your thoughts!

Great rundown of aWeber. I used to use GetResponse. Liked aWeber’s support systems better, but GR had a better price back then and I could manage the technical stuff.

Now I use mailing software. I like it because it’s paid for — no monthly fee — and there are no additional bulk fees. 🙂

Hello Alison, I just finished reading your comment on my blog about that special topic and can’t thank you enough for sharing your thoughts!
So glad you found this useful. Not familiar with GetResponse but to me, customer service is everything when I buy a service especially for any length of time. I have heard the similar comparison to MailChimp though! Good for you to have such a good set-up! I am glad you still found value here and took the time to share your thoughts so others may find it useful….!!!

Hi yes, Aweber is great with the right investment of time and effort and I hope this guide provides you everything you need to be well on your way! Glad you enjoyed it!

Hi Andrew, you know, I learned so quickly by necessity and all my frustrations would have been in vain if I didn’t share it with others! 🙂 Glad you enjoy their service too. Thanks for dropping by!

Thanks Farnoosh for the tips – especially on blog broadcast. I’d stayed away from this as it looked a bit complicated – still does LOL! Otherwise totally agree that Aweber is great 🙂

Cathy

Hi Cathy, you are So welcome! It IS complicated but if you follow exactly what I have, I really feel confident you won’t run into issues……believe me, what you see on blog broadcast is about 3 weeks worth of trial and error and mistakes and oh a few hours on the phone with Aweber :)! So you are ready to tackle it with these tips….good luck and thanks for your comment!

Excellent information here Farnoosh. You obviously thought out and researched this post at length! I was impressed with aweber when I was a client, but I recently switched to a service with unlimited autoresponders and subscribers for a flat monthly fee. Your point #9 really drove me nuts with aweber … if you build a sizeable list at all your monthly fees become ridiculous for an autoresponder service … just my 2 cents.

Best to you,
Scott

Hi Scott, no doubt it’s NOT a cheap service and the fact that we can import and export our subscribers gives us the freedom to move around without losing our user base. I am about to go from one level to another so my fees will double by next month – it’s good to see the list grow but I have to find ways to offset the cost….I am not familiar with the other service you mention and really wish you a very smooth sailing journey so you can focus on the content you send to your list! Thanks for taking time to comment, Scott!!

Nicely done, Farnoosh.

It never occurred to me to utilize newsletter archives to my benefit; sounds like something to look into.

Of course, one more very important thing to consider when building an email list, is how often to stay in touch with it and what kind of messages to send.

Another post topic? 🙂

Ana

PS Would love to see your guest post on my blog!

Dear Ana, praise coming from you makes my day! I get your newsletters (you may know this ;)) and I bet your archives are full of great information so why not let new subscribers benefit from them? To me, most of your content at Traffic Generation Cafe is timeless or at least good for months if not longer with the strategies you provide, just my thoughts. Oh and if you or Kristi write that post for us, I’d be delighted ;)!
PS: Consider that request granted with delight….let me just think of a worthy topic!! Will be in touch!

Hi Farnoosh,

Chase Kramer here. I’m the Import Specialist here at AWeber. I’m the person who worked with you when you were bringing your list over from Feedburner. I just want to say it was a pleasure working with you! I’m happy to hear you’ve gotten everything else up and running as planned. Thank you for writing this amazing article. It’s great to see you and everyone else in our community sharing ideas and helping each other out. This article is a great asset to any new AWeber user. Thanks again! And to any new AWeber users out there, we’re looking forward to working with you!

Happy New Year to all,
Chase Kramer
AWeber Import Specialist

Chase, you did help me at length!! My husband says my file at Aweber has a huge red mark and warning all over it….tell me it’s not true so I can put an end to his banter ;)!
So thank you very much for all the support and I have been seriously enjoying the learning process, even if I ran into issues – and wanted to turn it around and share it with the fantastic community of bloggers and Kristi has a great space here for us to do that! Please feel free to share it with Aweber users however you wish or send them over to Kikolani during training or for any references. We’d be delighted to help new users get going fast! Thanks so much for your reply, happy new year to you and the Aweber team!

Hey Farnoosh,

I just took a look at your account and I don’t see anything to cause worry. In fact, what I found is quite the contrary – your open rates are stellar! Your readers appear to be highly engaged and I can see why 🙂 If you or your husband have any specific concerns, feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to address whatever it is that he’s seeing.

Thank you for offering to have this content distributed to new users in the future. I’ve forwarded this post on to one of our Education Team members, so they’ll have it at their fingertips whenever they create new guides in the future.

Thanks for your well wishes! On behalf of the AWeber team, I’d like to wish you and your readers the best of success in 2011. As always, we’re here to help whenever you need us!

Warm regards,
Chase Kramer
AWeber Import Specialist

Chase, I hope you know I was kidding – or rather, my husband is just giving me a hard time from all the times I have put a call into Aweber. :)! You are very kind and wow, I am thrilled to bits to know about the stats!! Thank you! Please have the Education team use this as they deem appropriate and of course if they see anywhere that I may not have accurately explained the workflow, please do let us know! Thank you so much and here’s to a fantastic year to Aweber and its customers!

Aweber is great for large lists but if you are only have several smaller lists then I still prefer mailchimp because its free with 1000 subscribers and 6000 emails per month.

Hi Andreas, have you used Aweber and MailChimp both? It’s hard to find people that have used both at length…I met some that have switched over but at early stages….Yes MailChimp is more economical, I heard the same, but I believe Aweber tops them in support and as you can see, that was a big deal to me.. ;)! However, MailChimp is used to probloggers by and large so I think you are in good company. Thanks for weighing in!

AWeber is fantastic for people starting out with email marketing. A great upgrade from Constant Contact. Their additional integrations and features make it very valuable for the price they charge per month for the allotted subscribers.

If you happen to outgrow AWeber, there are a handful of solutions available on the market that would be ideal. Infusionsoft can help automate many of the multiple campaigns and email follow-up subscribers receive without any issues. Same goes for iContact if you want to keep your featureset to a traditional autoresponder.

Good tips here on AWeber, thanks for sharing. 🙂

~Joseph

Hi Joseph, gosh I can’t believe I skipped over you – blaming lack of sleep this week. So sorry! You know, I have heard a lot of people migrate from Constant Contact over to Aweber too. Glad you like them as well…..So far, I think I am happy with Aweber and you know, it takes a learning curve to get on another system and more TIME which I am desperately short of ;)! Thanks again and so nice of you to weigh in here, Joseph!

Hi Dennis, thank you thank you! I am so happy you enjoyed this post and very nice compliment. I was very motivated to write this as you can see ;)! I was determined to pass on all the details I had picked up along the way and if you feel anyone else may find it useful, please feel free to share it. All the best!

I think these tips would also work for using other newsletter scripts. I’m not prepared to spend money on something until I know it will bring me something that i worth me paying the money. 🙂

Hi Dean, yes some – not all – of these tips work with other newsletters and scripts but most of the tips are specialized towards Aweber services. At the very least, I am not familiar with how other services work. And I think you will have to come to that decision – whether the mailing list is worth the money – on your own. My research and my timing showed me that it was and I am very happy I went for it. Best of luck and thanks for your comment!

I was thinking of creating a Newsletter and this comes at just the right time. Thanks for clearly laying out the steps in setting up this mail management program. I’ll certainly take a good look at this and some of the others mentioned in the comments and make a quick decision. Very professionally written post.

Jim, excellent!! It’s a huge step. I created mine in November and have been really enjoying it and I keep it really simple but still the response is very nice. Best way to get in touch with your subscriber base. Best of luck and you know we have the vote of approval from Aweber here in the comments too so you are in good hands. All the best and thanks for your comment!

Farnoosh – Having a good mailing list is definitely an important asset to any online business out there. I loved your advice on defining your message when setting up on opt-in form on your site, because is something I was lacking in the beginning but eventually learned how to have a targeted focus for my opt-in list and my subscribers took off from there.

I also like the idea of driving them to my newsletter archives, and I will try that one out for myself. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject.

Hi John, thank you so much for your comment and I am so happy you found this Aweber guide useful. I am always refining my message and I think just being aware of what we say and how we do or do not attract readers or add value in itself is important to recognize. I recently started using the Archives list too and I hope your subscribers enjoy having a chance to go back to the past if they want to see what they missed! Thanks again and best of luck!

Yeah I’m an Aweber fan, and continue to recommend them. I’ve watched Mailchimp closely and MC has been developing some pretty cool stuff in the last year that Aweber doesn’t seem to have, but hopefully Aweber’s new API will catch them up. I’ve got no reason to leave them though, they’ve been terrific for me (including their support when I stuff something up).

Hey Paul, I think I have seen you hang out on some forums. Glad to hear you are also an Aweber fan and it’s great to hear that you have the MailChimp perspective as well and I heard a similar thing about MailChimp from a user…but the support at Aweber goes unmatched. I am planning to stick around too. Thanks for your comment!

Aweber may be a “great company” but what makes it preferred over clones with comparable services? And, have you or someone created a video of these steps, for us visual learners?

Hi Ari, there are tons of tutorial videos on the Aweber site and they should get you started with all the steps that they cover. This blog post is only available in text right now. I am not sure I follow your specific comment here: “over clones with comparable services” – so sorry…can you reword please?

Love, love, love these! Great practical write-up on how to maximize Aweber. Personally, I need to edit/streamline my process. I can make better use of certain features like a custom “Verification” and “Thank You” page. I also don’t have an archive page. I’m hesitant to create that one though.

Anyway, great write-up Farnoosh!

Thank you Ricardo. I am glad you are so excited about these tips! Having a good process will save you a ton of time!! Use everything only AND ONLY if you are comfortable with it, so archive page may just not be of use to you…oh well. Thanks for the kind words and best of luck, Ricardo!

Great post Farnoosh. I’ve only just recently started seeing AWeber being used on sites around the net, but the service seems pretty solid. I’m not crazy about the P.O box thing but it might be worth it.

Hi Margaret, so happy you enjoyed it….believe me I am recent customer with them too. I started November 1st! Service is solid yes and you know, I hesitated the PO Box thing but it was so easy, so cheap and such a good idea to actually have a non-home mailing address that I use it for some other purposes too. It helps to have a more business mindset and approach to the blog and it is so worth it to get your mailing list started….All the best and thanks for your thoughts!

Hi Margaret, the PO box is a small expense for a pretty cool benefit. I have one and it costs about $85 (Australian) per year. By using a PO box my home address is kept private, which is important to me and my family. It also gives me a fixed address which makes it easier when moving house (which we’ve done in the last few years, and lo and behold I didn’t need to update the address on a bajillion domain names and online accounts :-)). Speaking of domain names, you can use the PO box on those too, again protecting your home address without having to pay any extra for WHOIS protection with your domain registrar.

It might not be for everyone but I’m glad I did it.

Farnoosh, aloha. Thx so much for the clear instructions. Just reading them, I could tell you were speaking from experience. After reading your post, I will be changing some things and making better use of other features–AND I Will Not Change Blog Broadcast Settings Once I save them. Aloha. Janet

Aloha Janet! Hawaii? What part of paradise are you in? I have visited your heaven 5 times and I only fall in love more each time….You are most welcome, Janet. I have packed a ton of experience in the 2 months and having issues really helps push the learning curve so I am very happy that it is being useful to others now. Yes, if you change the settings on blog broadcast, it may skip over to the next cycle so I would set it before you publish as I explain here (but for every post, you can customize it as you like). You are most welcome and all the best!

Hi Dennis, the good news is that you do not need a PO Box at all and if you prefer your home or street address, you should be perfectly fine using it. Thanks for your thoughts!

Yeah sure, no worries, Dennis. You know, for me, a home address just doesn’t look professional. A business address does so if it is an office location with a name of your business, then of course that is preferable over PO Box but how many of us have physical offices versus being full-time telecommuters, especially as bloggers? I would say very few….My other hesitation is not giving out my home address to my entire subscriber base. So for these reasons, not having a business location and not wishing to share my home address, an address devoted specifically for the blog made sense….! Maybe we can argue over the semantics of professional. Maybe preferred would have been a better word… :)! Does this answer your question more, Dennis?

I am currently now using Aweber since I do not have a list but I am planning to make a list soon judging by the importance of lists. These tips can certainly prove helpful for me. Thanks a lot Farnoosh

Dear Shiva (a great name because that is my Mother’s name!), you do not have a list YET 🙂 and you will have a growing one that will blow you away if you take all the right steps and give them valuable content. I am so glad you took some tips away and all the best to you, Shiva!

John, you are kidding right? Even if you have 10 people on your list, they signed up to hear from you. You must start engaging with them. Imagine if you signed on someone’s list on Jan 1st and they did not contact you until April. The April subscribers to the newsletter would be happy but the January subscribers would feel awfully ignored and you build no credibility by having a list and not contacting your readers….Go go send them an email right away – well, you know what I mean :))!

Farnoosh is right John, and it can get even worse.

They will feel horribly ignored if they even remember you! Two bad yet not unlikely scenarios…at best they unsubscribe, at worst they pull the spam trigger.

Thanks Dennis! I am sure by now, John already sent them something after this dialogue :)!
Yes, we want to engage with our beloved readers….Darren Rowse says “Love your readers to death!” and it does not matter if we have 3 or 3000! That has yet to change for me….and that’s what makes EVERY single reader special and well, they are! 🙂

Hi Farnoosh,
I also use aweber. I only send out really good information to my list: things that I myself would be grateful to receive in my inbox. I think it’s better to send few newsletters but make them great than to always send out stuff and it not be worthwhile content.
Keeping up a newsletter does require some perseverance. Just formatting the images and font colors in my newsletter takes a long time. But it’s worth it in the end because I’m building a relationship with my readership. I really liked the tips about blog broadcast – that would save me a lot of time rather than having to do it all manually like I do at the present moment.
All the best,
Eren

Hi dear Eren, I am totally with you on the “few” – so long as it doesn’t exceed a month for me….because I also send my customized posts to my audience so I touch them at least once a week but when I don’t have valuable information for a newsletter I also do not send anything – so I am with you on this one, Eren. Just using good judgment. would we want that in our Inbox?
As for format etc, mine is super simple now. It is just a plain newsletter with a tad bit of formatting and a few reference links. I have seen TOP BLOGGERS send out PLAIN text newsletters and I KNOW they have thousands of people on their list, just food for thought…First example that comes to mind: Dave Navarro of The Launch Coach.
So glad you enjoyed the post and here’s to a growing list and strong readership for you, Eren!

Another vote for Aweber… love the reporting, flexibility, and tracking. I use it alongside telemarketing campaigns and its very useful to call knowing whether a mail has been opened, and looking at click throughs 🙂

Hi Maxxy (great name by the way!), lovely to hear of another Aweber fan – yes, they have all of those features. I did not get into tracking and reporting very much but it is rich and versatile for sure. Great to know of your satisfaction and hope this post helped in at least one way to improve your use of Aweber….thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Frank Kern loves Aweber and usually wants to deal only with companies that make his life easier, are easygoing to deal with, and sell a worthwhile product. Everything I’ve seen of it says it’s the superior product in the world of auto-responders and mailing lists. Soon as I figure out how to grow a list, I’ll be signing up with them, as well.

Thanks for the raving review!
Delena

Hi Delena,
Great to know of the vast influence and wide reach of Aweber. It is an amazing product! Sign up and grow your list sooner than later and you are most welcome. All the best to you and thank you for your comment!

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