The choice of which email service provider to use is one of the most important choices you can make for your business. It isn’t an easy decision to change, so it’s best to get it right from the beginning.
I know because I recently switched. It wasn’t an easy process, but for me it was well worth the effort. After switching from MailChimp to AWeber, I was able to implement a new strategy that more than tripled my email subscriber rate and also improved open rates.
Those changes are translating to big traffic growth for Think Traffic.
Making sure your customers can easily sign up for your email list should be a top priority. Making sure people who subscribe to your list actually receive those messages is another.
Before I implemented the strategy I’m about to share with you, Think Traffic was averaging 5 or 6 new email subscribers per day. After the switch, Think Traffic now averages 20+ new email subscribers per day, and regularly has days where 60 or 80 or more people sign up.
Last month I even signed up 172 new subscribers in a single day because of this strategy – that’s more than used to sign up in an entire month!
Here’s a weekly graph of the recent email signups at the site:
The difference between 41.6 sign ups per week and 154.2 sign ups per week is huge on an annual basis. It’s the difference between 8,018 email subscribers per year vs. 2,163 subscribers per year.
What could you do with an extra 6,000 email subscribers this year?
You probably already know that email subscribers are far more valuable than any other kind of subscriber. Email subscribers are the key to growing your site and being able to drive sales on demand. That’s why I focus so much on improving my email subscription rate as much as possible.
When you have a solid subscriber list, you don’t have to be dependent on other people to drive traffic or convert sales. Your email list represents a captive audience.
Why I Switched to AWeber
First off, please note that parts of this strategy could have been implemented on MailChimp as well (as a couple of people pointed out in the comments), so not all of the increase can be attributed to the switch to AWeber. Read on to find out how AWeber’s advanced features made my strategy even more effective.
Back in March, I started devising a new strategy for the email list here at Think Traffic. You probably noticed the change. Look over in the left-hand sidebar, or at the bottom of this post. You’ll see something I call the “Traffic Toolbox.”
The toolbox concept is simple and effective. Instead of having just one single giveaway for email subscribers (which is a good idea), I give away a whole kit of resources to email subscribers that will help you grow your site’s audience quickly.
Check out how the toolbox works here, just enter your email and you’ll get instant access:
There’s something you should know about that little email box above. It’s the main reason I had to switch to AWeber to implement the Traffic Toolbox concept.
The critical piece to the Traffic Toolbox is what happens to existing subscribers when they re-enter an email address. With AWeber, I’m able to politely just direct them to the subscriber’s area for the toolbox. With MailChimp, the software just rudely flashes an error message telling the subscriber they’re already signed up.
That was a dealbreaker, but there are several other very important reasons I switched to AWeber as well, which I’ll get to in a second.
To finish up on the toolbox concept, notice in the graph above what happened to my email sign-up rate after implementing the toolbox: my email sign-up rate more than tripled.
This big increase happened for three reasons.
First, I created a value-packed set of resources to entice people with.
Second, whenever I add a new resource to the toolbox, I write a blog post about the resource and encourage people to subscribe to get access (in the post, see this post on using LinkedIn to build traffic with Lewis Howes for an example of this). Every time I run one of these posts, I get a big spike in sign ups.
Third, AWeber has built-in A/B split testing features that let me optimize every email form and make sure I’m getting the highest subscription rate possible.
Like I said earlier, the process of switching to AWeber from MailChimp wasn’t a piece of cake, so I recommend that you start off on the right foot if you’re still at that point.
If you haven’t started building an email list, you need to drop everything you’re doing and start building your list now. Don’t wait or you’ll kick yourself in six months or a year from now when you realized how much traffic and sales you missed out on.
And in case you’re wondering, FeedBurner doesn’t really count for building a truly useful email list. The problem is that with FeedBurner, you can’t email people separately on demand. They only get email blog updates.
You need to be using AWeber, MailChimp or some other fully featured email service provider. This is one of the most important assets your business can build.
Back to AWeber’s other features that convinced me to switch. Here is a full list of what I like about AWeber vs. MailChimp:
- Built-in A/B split-testing to make it easy to optimize subscription rates for any form
- Simpler form insertion scripts. AWeber just gives you one simple little line of code to embed a form you’ve designed anywhere on your site.
- Better selection and control over forms you can design. AWeber’s interface for designing forms is just easier to use, and there are more options to start with.
- The ability to send existing subscribers to a particular page, instead of showing them an error message. This is what I mentioned before, and it’s the basis for the entire subscriber toolbox concept.
- Better deliverability. Once you sign people up, whether they actually receive your messages is a critical question. In my experience, more people receive my messages with AWeber than with MailChimp.
- Better timing of delivery. When I was with MailChimp, several times during important product launches (like Traffic School), lots of people didn’t receive email I sent out for hours after I pushed publish. With AWeber, they have been much better at delivering messages on time.
- The ability to send one message to anyone subscribed to any of your lists. Sometimes you’ll want to email everyone on your lists one single message. MailChimp doesn’t allow you to do this, so you’ll have to send multiple messages out (one to each list), and some people will get duplicates. With AWeber you can simply choose to send your message to some or all of the other lists in your account.
This isn’t all to say everything is perfect with AWeber. I still like MailChimp and think it’s a good option if you aren’t trying to do any advanced things like I mentioned above. MailChimp also has an attractive free plan to start with if you’re trying to save money in the beginning.
Also, MailChimp’s interface is cleaner. They’re a company that focuses on design and usability, and it shows within the product. MailChimp is slightly easier to use, and definitely a little more fun.
I don’t miss MailChimp much, now that I have switched. The nicer design isn’t enough to make up for the missing functionality.
If you’re just starting out, or are serious about building your email list, I highly recommend AWeber.
Enter your email in the box below and you’ll get a free test drive account to check it out. If you sign up, I’ll get a little commission as well. Win-win.
Start Building a Big Email List
Helping over 102,000+ businesses like yours raise profits and build customer relationships using AWeber’s opt-in email marketing software for over 10 years.
(if you’re reading this in email, click here to get your free AWeber test drive)
Questions about either email service? Questions about how I put my subscriber toolbox together? Fire away, I’m happy to answer.