Automate Your Email Marketing – Email Service Providers

Aweber Email Marketing

Summary (full details below):

Product name: Aweber Automated Email Marketing
Price: From US$19/month.
Where to buy: Aweber
What it does: It is an automated email marketing system, collecting subscribers’ email addresses and sending out emails on a preset schedule. It has extensive training on how to do email marketing effectively and cutting-edge technologies that enable you to brand your emails, test different sign-up forms and segment your subscribers so you can send them individually tailored information
Rating: 4.9/5.00

Please assume any links on this page are affiliate links. An affiliate link means I will get a small commission if you decide to buy the product, but it will not affect the price you pay. The price you pay is the same, whether you buy it through my link or go directly to the site.

What makes a successful email marketing campaign?

A successful email marketing campaign is one where you have attracted people that are interested in your products, services, or the subject of your blog, onto your email list.

And they buy stuff from you.

Easily said, not so easily done!

A graphic saying stay relevantOnce you have subscribers on your list you can send them emails on a regular basis (automated and scheduled) giving them information that’s relevant to their interests.

The most important term in that paragraph is ‘relevant’!

If you send irrelevant emails to people it becomes spam and they’ll either unsubscribe from your list or, worse, mark your emails as spam.

If I have 10 customers with whom I exchange emails, sending them relevant information is easy. I know them, I know their interests and I can send individually tailored emails to each of them.

That’s impossible when you have 500.

That’s where the services of a good Email Service Provider come in.

What is an Email Service Provider

An email service provider holds the email addresses of everyone to whom you want to send regular emails – known as your ‘List’.

Graphic of an emailIt sends out your emails to your entire list or to segmented portions of it, according to your instructions – that could be on a preset schedule, or a one-shot mass emailing, whatever you choose.

It helps you by automatically segmenting your subscribers into groups with specific interests, based on the links they click, and sends relevant emails to each group.

Also…

The good Email Service Providers make sure that you’re adhering to the legal requirements for signing up and emailing new subscribers – meaning that you’re in compliance with the Can-Spam Act (2003).

They capture the details of the sign-up process, including the date and IP address of everyone that confirms they want to receive your emails – which is a requirement that has to be met before they can be added to your list.

This is important information that you need to have as a defence against anyone trying to lodge a complaint against you for spamming. (The penalties for a spamming complaint that is upheld are extensive – you do not want to have a spamming complaint against you successfully upheld).

How do I find a good Email Service Provider?

There are 4 top tier email service providers, all priced in the same bracket – around US$20 a month:

  1. Aweber
  2. Mailchimp
  3. Constant Contact
  4. GetResponse

There are others, and there are even some scripts that you (or your IT department) can set up on your own server so you can automate your email marketing yourself. But those four service providers will ensure you’re fully compliant with the Can-Spam act and that you’re able to get the information you need to protect yourself against spamming complaints when you need it.

All of those email service providers will:

  • Capture new subscribers’ details through opt in forms
  • Generate the opt-in confirmation email (a legal requirement)
  • Add the subscriber to your list on successful confirmation
  • Enable you to set up email sequences – a sequence of emails to be sent at preset intervals, e.g. an online course where modules are sent out once a week
  • Enable you to segment your subscribers and send them tailored (relevant) emails – e.g. for a food website you could segment your customers into groups interested in Vegan meals, Family Meals, Meals for Singles, etc
  • Set up multiple email sequences – e.g. a different sequence for each of those food segments
  • Offer email templates that you can brand with your company or business branding
  • Offer different sign-up form templates
  • Enable you to split-test sign up forms to find the most effective one
  • Make sure your emails are ‘responsive’ so they show up well on hand-held devices

The Email Service Provider I use

I have used Aweber since 2006 and I’ve been super happy with them.

Aweber automations bannerAweber was one of the first email service providers (it was set up in 1996). They operated in a pretty stable market sector until Mailchimp came along and disrupted things by offering a free plan for the first 500 subscribers.

This competition was good for Aweber customers because it triggered them to raise their game, which they’ve been doing continuously ever since.

Today, Aweber has the most complete set of product offerings of any of the four I listed above. Here are just a few of the things in which they differ from the others:

  • Unlimited sign up form templates – Mailchimp restricts this to 1 per list, the other two have a smaller range of templates. Sign-up form templates allow you to create a sign-up form that matches the design and style of your website. In the case of Aweber, this means you can use different styles of opt-in forms for different locations (e.g. on your website or on Facebook) where subscribers are being added to the same list
  • 6,000+ stock photos that you can use in emails – more than any of the other providers
  • Sign-up form split-testing – only Constant Contact also offers this. It enables you to test different sign-up forms to see which is the most effective
  • 700+ email templates – more than any of the other providers. This enables you to make sure the branding on your emails matches your company or website
  • And just introduced: split-testing of email subject lines so you can find the one that is the most effective at getting your emails opened

But where Aweber scores highest for me is in their:

  1. Training
  2. Support

Training

Graphic saying subject lines are importantWhen you sign up as a new customer with Aweber you will receive a sequence of emails explaining in detail not only how to use the system, but training on how to write effective emails and plan an email marketing campaign.

Aweber places a great emphasis on continual training in the art of email marketing. They regularly host training webinars and release videos showing you how to use new features that they introduce.

It’s all designed to help you become as successful as possible at email marketing, because that benefits Aweber as well.

If you’re looking at your first email marketing campaign this, to me, is a very valuable offering.

As a starter, Aweber has produced a free ‘What to write’ PDF that you can download. Click here to read about the guide and download it.

Support

I’ve had little need to use their support service but, on the occasions I have, I used the ticket/email option (they offer phone, ticket/email and chat, 24/7). The response time was extremely quick (less than 30 minutes) and it completely addressed my question.

There is nothing more frustrating than contacting a support team (of any product or service) with a query and getting a response that is obviously canned and doesn’t really address your question. Either that, or it’s clear that they didn’t read your question properly!

In closing…

If you’re looking for an email service provider I do recommend you check out the ones I listed above and make sure you’re clear on the offerings of each.

It’s important to know you’re protected legally if you’re about to start an email marketing campaign and all those four have you covered..!

For me, as I said earlier, I’ve used Aweber very happily since 2006 and I do recommend it. To get the details please click or tap through to the Aweber website:

Do you run email marketing campaigns? Or even just the occasional mass emailing? How do you manage those? Let us know in the comments 🙂

Cheers,

Martin Malden

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