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

AweberYou may have spotted that I migrated my email subscriptions from Feedburner to my Aweber account. 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.

Personalisation

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 customise or personalise the content of your email. (Update: You can now add unique subject lines in FeedBurner emails).

Delivery Rate

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.

Incentive

While I had a hacked solution to delivering my free ebooks via my feed, having an immediate email delivered right to your subscribers inbox is a much better experience.

Follow Up

Auto-responders are terrific tools for developing an ongoing readership. They allow you to drip out valuable content over time, on full automatic. This is something you just can not do with feed systems and less flexible email services.

Engagement

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 two ways to subscribe to this blog

  1. The rss feed
  2. Daily emails via Aweber

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 Marc’s help also 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 was 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.

Conclusion

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.

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Comments

  1. So just to recap, all the people that used to receive your RSS updates via feedburner are now getting these via aweber? What about the people that sign up via your RSS feedburner links? Are they automagically imported into aweber, or does it require a manual action every now and then?

    I’m considering using aweber too.

  2. So just to recap, all the people that used to receive your RSS updates via feedburner are now getting these via aweber? What about the people that sign up via your RSS feedburner links? Are they automagically imported into aweber, or does it require a manual action every now and then?

    I’m considering using aweber too.

  3. Chris –

    Thanks for the step-by-step. I’m an Aweber customer and I think I might do the same thing with my email subscribers.

    Bookmarked / Stumbled,

    Dave

  4. Chris –

    Thanks for the step-by-step. I’m an Aweber customer and I think I might do the same thing with my email subscribers.

    Bookmarked / Stumbled,

    Dave

  5. @John – Anyone who was receiving my feedburner emails is now receiving them through Aweber, feeds are unchanged. I can’t fix the old links that are floating around so if they sign up to feedburner email using an old link they won’t move across, only existing subscribers and those who use the form from now on.

    @Dave – I would recommend it so far :)

  6. @John – Anyone who was receiving my feedburner emails is now receiving them through Aweber, feeds are unchanged. I can’t fix the old links that are floating around so if they sign up to feedburner email using an old link they won’t move across, only existing subscribers and those who use the form from now on.

    @Dave – I would recommend it so far :)

  7. I’m a huge Aweber fan and use it myself. (By the way, I didn’t have to do anything special to make the posts feed into the Blog Broadcast?)

    But strangely enough, you first email to me after the switch ended up going into my Spam folder on gmail!! And I was getting the Feedburner emails just fine. I imagine that will stop now that I marked it as not being spam. Gmail seems to train well in that respect.

    Thanks!
    Carl Pruitt

  8. I’m a huge Aweber fan and use it myself. (By the way, I didn’t have to do anything special to make the posts feed into the Blog Broadcast?)

    But strangely enough, you first email to me after the switch ended up going into my Spam folder on gmail!! And I was getting the Feedburner emails just fine. I imagine that will stop now that I marked it as not being spam. Gmail seems to train well in that respect.

    Thanks!
    Carl Pruitt

  9. Chris,

    Thanks for making a post about switching email services.

    I use aweber.com since a long time now.

    But recently I decided to move to a dedicated server and do my own emailing from a custom made script.

    Yes – it does bring about the headache of making sure your emails reach your readers. But it allows me to use some advanced CRM options too – features that aweber doesn’t have.

    One of them being: re-sending emails to people who haven’t opened their first email. Many MarketingSherpa case studies show that re-sending emails improve the bottom line by double digit percentages!

  10. Chris,

    Thanks for making a post about switching email services.

    I use aweber.com since a long time now.

    But recently I decided to move to a dedicated server and do my own emailing from a custom made script.

    Yes – it does bring about the headache of making sure your emails reach your readers. But it allows me to use some advanced CRM options too – features that aweber doesn’t have.

    One of them being: re-sending emails to people who haven’t opened their first email. Many MarketingSherpa case studies show that re-sending emails improve the bottom line by double digit percentages!

  11. I’ve been using Aweber for about 5 or 6 years now, and I have nothing but good things to say about them. The support is great, and they are a great group of people to boot.

    I just incorporated my Aweber subscribers into my Feedburner account, and now the Feedburner chicklet looks great. And, with Aweber, I have the option of sending out emails whenever I want, not just when I post. That way, if I have a product launch or other promotion, I can send broadcasts to my entire list.

    Chuck

  12. Hey Chris –

    I, too, migrated to aweber, but I had no idea that I didn’t have to have folks re-opt in.

    I have many customers on WordPress websites, who are just now starting to build their lists with the free WordPress subscription plug-in.

    It’s very helpful to know that if they can show their history of double opt-in, that they can move their lists to aweber more easily once they grow larger.

    Do you have any knowledge about deliverability of the WordPress plug-in?

    Thanks,

    Becky

  13. I’ve been using Aweber for about 5 or 6 years now, and I have nothing but good things to say about them. The support is great, and they are a great group of people to boot.

    I just incorporated my Aweber subscribers into my Feedburner account, and now the Feedburner chicklet looks great. And, with Aweber, I have the option of sending out emails whenever I want, not just when I post. That way, if I have a product launch or other promotion, I can send broadcasts to my entire list.

    Chuck

  14. Hey Chris –

    I, too, migrated to aweber, but I had no idea that I didn’t have to have folks re-opt in.

    I have many customers on WordPress websites, who are just now starting to build their lists with the free WordPress subscription plug-in.

    It’s very helpful to know that if they can show their history of double opt-in, that they can move their lists to aweber more easily once they grow larger.

    Do you have any knowledge about deliverability of the WordPress plug-in?

    Thanks,

    Becky

  15. @Carl – Hmm, I had better change the from address hadn’t I? I don’t want my main email account being marked as spam!

    @Ankesh – I can see how those features would be valuable but right now this was a big enough deal for me :)

    @Chuck – Exactly, plus auto responder sequences etc too

    @Becky – I don’t know about deliver ability of other services, just that people told me Aweber was the best. I know there are many factors, not just the service you use so if you get good results stick with it :)

  16. @Carl – Hmm, I had better change the from address hadn’t I? I don’t want my main email account being marked as spam!

    @Ankesh – I can see how those features would be valuable but right now this was a big enough deal for me :)

    @Chuck – Exactly, plus auto responder sequences etc too

    @Becky – I don’t know about deliver ability of other services, just that people told me Aweber was the best. I know there are many factors, not just the service you use so if you get good results stick with it :)

  17. Chris,

    Any luck finding a plugin/hack that would allow Aweber to pull full content without resorting to pasting entire post in excerpt field in WP?

    I love Aweber and have used it for years. Oddly enough I just began building a subscriber list in Feedburner and was thinking of porting my RSS subscriber list out of Aweber. So a timely, thanks.

  18. Chris,

    Any luck finding a plugin/hack that would allow Aweber to pull full content without resorting to pasting entire post in excerpt field in WP?

    I love Aweber and have used it for years. Oddly enough I just began building a subscriber list in Feedburner and was thinking of porting my RSS subscriber list out of Aweber. So a timely, thanks.

  19. Chris –
    Do you use a plugin to gather the email names? and if so, which one? Also, do you feel that feedburner is aware that they need to some changes to the way they conduct their business and make their service more user frindely or will they just be the 800 pound gorilla in the room?

  20. Chris –
    Do you use a plugin to gather the email names? and if so, which one? Also, do you feel that feedburner is aware that they need to some changes to the way they conduct their business and make their service more user frindely or will they just be the 800 pound gorilla in the room?

  21. I use the Aweber form to collect the emails. If you look through their own forums and on Google it is a popular request. I looked there first to see if there was a solution, I will be kicking myself if I overlooked something! FeedBurner is a great service and they do listen to the blogosphere, I think they will add these features, but they are not in place right now.

  22. I use the Aweber form to collect the emails. If you look through their own forums and on Google it is a popular request. I looked there first to see if there was a solution, I will be kicking myself if I overlooked something! FeedBurner is a great service and they do listen to the blogosphere, I think they will add these features, but they are not in place right now.

  23. I think i might check out the Aweber service for this. Maybe will have some test and run about it. Thanks Chris for the heads up on using it, also to mentioned that your rss works fine. :) Glad i still can receive it.

  24. I think i might check out the Aweber service for this. Maybe will have some test and run about it. Thanks Chris for the heads up on using it, also to mentioned that your rss works fine. :) Glad i still can receive it.

  25. FeedBurner’s options for email are pretty disappointing at best.

  26. FeedBurner’s options for email are pretty disappointing at best.

  27. Thanks for this post, Chris. I have been using Aweber for a few years, for my newsletter and then my blog feed, and was wondering if I was missing something vital by not using FeedBurner. I’ll cross off “look into FeedBurner” from my never-ending to-do list!

  28. Thanks for this post, Chris. I have been using Aweber for a few years, for my newsletter and then my blog feed, and was wondering if I was missing something vital by not using FeedBurner. I’ll cross off “look into FeedBurner” from my never-ending to-do list!