Last week one of my fabulous readers emailed me about newsletter service providers. She’s gearing up to start list building and internet marketing and wanted more information about Mailchimp’s Terms of Service, and my experience with Mailchimp Vs AWeber if I didn’t feel Mailchimp was the right option for her.
I had used Mailchimp for several years. I was using it on my business site long before I even started blogging. It hasn’t been the best option for me for quite some time, but I was quite worried about moving. On the other hand, it isn’t right for me to tell her she should go with AWeber if I wasn’t willing to follow my own advice. So, over our next conversations I did just that.
Why Move from Mailchimp?
Using Mailchimp has put a damper on my list building for over a year now. Mailchimp prohibits affiliate marketing, Work from Home and Make Money Online content in their Terms of Service. These are the primary topics of this blog. This has made me nervous about suspension. While we don’t talk about those things in the scam sort of way around here, any confusion could have suspended my account.
My next concern is that I have had several “list jumpers” lately. As I had a free report available, people would subscribe, download the freebie, unsubscribe within 30 minutes of signing up. Mailchimp takes unsub rates seriously. As these were people that I had absolutely no communication with yet, I was extremely concerned about suspension through no fault of my own…and losing my lists.
Others I know have experienced suspensions for other reasons that are not their fault. Someone clicks the spam button because they don’t like the content, Mailchimp didn’t like their website, etc.
Please take note of a few of these things if you subscribe to lists. Just as you don’t want us abusing you, please don’t abuse us. If you opted into a list, unsubscribe if you don’t like the content.
What happened is that over time I became too scared to email my list at all. For the last year or so they pretty much got my RSS feed, and that was it. Pretty lame list, huh? I didn’t even bother starting lists for some of my sites. I knew inevitably I would have to move anyway, so I’d just wait on that. That’s lame, too.
From a financial standpoint, it is the right time to make the move. Free is good, but free often comes with limitations. Mailchimp served its purpose as I learned the internet marketing ropes and started making money. But, it is time to take that to the next level. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money.
I geared up for a disaster. I emailed my lists letting them know that I would be moving so they would likely receive another subscription confirmation. I offered them a bribe. I put aside any fear of losing subscribers. Remember – If people aren’t opening, reading or acting on your emails, let them go. The numbers don’t matter, relationships do. A few responded to those emails offering their encouragement and notifying me of mishaps along the way. (My readers and subscribers rock! Thank you all so much.)
I cleaned my Mailchimp list and removed people that had never opened a single campaign. This cut down on the size of list, but remember, I’m not so much worried about those numbers. I wanted to keep those that were engaging. The majority of people from all of my lists reconfirmed. Yay!
The move was very smooth. I downloaded my lists from Mailchimp. Opened the files, and simply cut and paste the subscriber information into AWeber and told them where I had gotten those names. My small lists went through without issue. My larger list was sent for a manual review. This made me a little nervous, and it took about 48 hours. It was accepted after review, but I had embraced the thought of starting over if need be. It would be better to do that now if AWeber found an issue with that list than it would be to have to do that once my list reached a huge milestone.
The system is far less “clunky” for me than Mailchimp. That was another big deterrent from emailing my list previously.
The templates and web forms are phenomenal! So much to choose from. This may become a distraction down the road. I saw a few holiday-themed opt-in boxes over there. They also had forms that aligned with themes of each of my blogs.
You can attach a document to your Welcome email if you offer a freebie to new subscribers. You don’t necessarily need to paste in a link to your report if you would like to give them that download within the email itself.
As you set up your lists, forms and campaigns, a little Progress Bar is available at the bottom of the screen letting you know where you are at and what step is next.
There are several video tutorials with accompanying text and screenshots to walk you through different features, including those RSS to email broadcasts. Webinars are also available. They also frequently send out internet marketing tips.
There are several third-party apps that integrate with AWeber: e-junkie, PayPal, shopping carts, membership sites, etc. If someone makes a purchase from you elsewhere, they can automatically be brought into your list.
If you are a WordPress user, there is a plugin available for adding an opt-in widget. This plugin will also add a nice little box for people to go ahead and get subscribed when they leave a comment.
You can import your Feedburner subscribers if you so choose. I didn’t care to do that.
Everything went very smooth. I have heard some say there is quite a learning curve with AWeber if this type of service is entirely new. There are a few things I still need to tackle myself, but I’ll get there. So, I’m happy with my new home and am relieved that this internet marketing obstacle has finally been overcome. Another step towards success.