Sign up right now for email updates and get two free ebooks:

Archives for April 2008

Why I Switched to AWeber for my Blog E-Mail Subscribers

AweberYou may have spotted that I have been migrating email subscriptions over to Aweber from FeedBurner. This was not a decision I took lightly. FeedBurner has a lot of advantages, not least it is free and automatic, but most importantly, I didn’t want to lose anyone.

That said there were problems with FeedBurner and no solutions forthcoming.

Many people had complained that my email subjects never changed so they would often ignore them or have to open them up to see if they were interesting. I have had a ton of people tell me they unsubscribed for that reason. FeedBurner doesn’t have any features that enable you to change the subject line to the content of your email.

Another big reason is Awebers unparalleled delivery rate. They are ultra strict with members, they have an absolute zero tolerance for spam, even with what other email services consider fair game, such as adding people from business cards and such. Because of this more of their emails get through.

The bottom line for me was deciding if I was going for the “high score” game, that is a larger feed count, or if I wanted a truly engaged audience. It was a no brainer for me, a smaller and more interested readership is my goal. 100,000 people who couldn’t care less wouldn’t help me one bit, neither will 1 million clicks. I need more than just eyeballs, I need you to read and value what I write. For email folks, that starts with you opening my messages!

I often say how important it is to listen to your audience. Many of you were telling me how daily was too often, so I added a weekly option. You also said you didn’t want to have to supply your email address to get my flagship content ebook so I added the download link in my feed. Now email subscribers get the ebook on the web page after confirming subscription.

So now there are three ways to subscribe to this blog

  1. The rss feed
  2. Daily emails via Aweber
  3. Weekly emails via FeedBlitz (also moving when the daily list settles)

Moving E-Mail Subscribers to Aweber

Moving my list would not have been possible without the help of Marc from Aweber. He told me exactly what I needed to do and held my hand all the way. This is another advantage of their service, you actually (shock) get support.

I needed Marcs help too because I didn’t want my list members to go through having to sign up again, or even confirm. They had opted in and confirmed once, had I needed to you to do all that over again I would have stayed where I was. The strict policies worried me but it turns out they will make an exception if you can prove everything is above board. Marc had to log into my feedburner account though, that might be a trust step too far for many people.

After Marc confirmed how many active subscribers I had, I set up my list and changed my signup forms. As my members wouldn’t receive regular emails until everything was switched over, I put a single autoresponse message in place warning about the delay.

Next I exported my FeedBurner emails and imported into Aweber. I added a column of data containing the number 2, which was to tell Aweber that these people start on the message 2 in the autoresponse sequence, skipping the message about delays in delivery.

My next step is setting up Blog Broadcast. If you use your FeedBurner feed url then your subscribers still get included into your feed count total, which is nice. As of now I am still tweaking, but soon I will tick to allow the emails to go automatically, just like with FeedBurner. You can also select days and times to send, so you have way more scheduling and frequency flexibility.

For my email template I gave up on the Aweber editing tool and instead copied my FeedBurner email look and feel to maintain familiarity, pasting it into the editing box using the plain “classic HTML box” text area source code view so as not to have any code changed.

Right now the Aweber service pulls your content out of the RSS description field, which unfortunately means copying and pasting your article into “Optional Excerpt” field in WordPress, unless I find a plugin or other hack around it.

You might have gathered I am so far very pleased with my Aweber experience and I am sure you would be too. If you have more than a few hundred subscribers I would seriously consider it, you don’t know how many messages you are sending that are going unread.

Email Subscription Migration Update

If you subscribe to this blog via email you might see some strangeness while the list migrates from FeedBurner to Aweber but hopefully the end result will mean a much better email experience šŸ™‚

Blogger Appreciation Day

I woke up to find that today was a new world holiday invented by Darren We’re in it together, blogging is about collaboration and together going further than we can by ourselves – so why not help another blogger today by shooting them a word of encouragement, a pep talk, a congratulations, an idea to […]

Do You Need a Social Media Power Account?

Front page Diggs, Stumble traffic, and so on is not just a blogger obsession any longer but big business. If you are selling product online then you need search rankings, and to get those rankings you need links. Right now, everyone is getting into link bait. Conventional wisdom is to build up a power account […]

Some Times You have to be Prepared to Fail

A couple of events have made me think about how people perceive failure lately. I don’t want to draw your attention to the individuals but the basic sentiment I am seeing a lot is that people in the public spotlight shouldn’t do something unless they are sure of success. I’m worried about that. Personally I […]

Fake Blogging to be Criminalized in UK?

Interesting tweet I picked up this morning from SEO Chicks “Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008” This interesting law comes in to force on May 28th 2008 and within the UK stands to criminalise some regrettably common practices It seems that fake blogs (“flogs”), like those from Sony and Walmart, will become not just […]

ProBlogger Book

You might have already worked this out, but for a while Darren and I have been beavering away on a little book project: ProBlogger Book —ā€ Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income The book is our combined experiences in professional blogging. Making a full time income either directly or indirectly by building […]

The Vanishing Power of Mainstream Media

Over the weekend I had discussions on Twitter with someone who is against the democratizing of the web. This person believes it brings the overall quality down and the media should be left to “professionals” (although this was never defined). This discussion, combined with last weeks Cluetrain thinking, brought about a thought that I tested […]

What is Your Legacy?

The last few posts have a bit of a theme. I have been thinking about the Cluetrain Manifesto and the books impact on our current Social Media thinking. I asked if the authors authority had diminished, due to so many people having not heard of the book. Most people agree that this legacy will live […]

The Cluetrain Legacy and Social Media

Yesterday I asked you to answer my Have you read “The Cluetrain Manifesto” poll The question was based on a quick question I posted on Twitter. I have been thinking about this book and its impact on the web and social media concepts we take for granted. As you can see from the chart here, […]