Which Aweber Alternative Should I Choose?

Aweber Alternative Image

To build an email list or not to build an email list, that is here the question!

Lis from >>>Passive Income<<< and I have a lot in common, no wonder, we started our internet marketing journey around the same time πŸ˜‰ Like her I have contemplated on and off about adding an email list to the ‘mix’ and like her I was very reluctant to do so, perhaps for different reasons, but still. This morning I found her latest blog post in my inbox, entitled >>>’An Apology – I Need To Come Clean – A C-List Blogger Is Born‘<<< which describes her reasons to add an email list sign-up form to her blog and an rather unnecessary apology. Like always, it makes for a good read and the comments are also interesting.

Now here my email list dilemma: Around four or five times a year comes a moment when I think ‘Now I really wish I would have a list!’. This happens either when I have an idea for a great blog post that I want to share but also don’t want to put up too publicly. Some things are better shared via an email then via a blog post πŸ˜‰ But more to that later. The other one is the case of a real good offer that would be interesting to my readers, but doesn’t give enough material for a blog post. This was last time the case when the Catalyst WordPress Theme was on special offer with 25% price reduction. I have worked with the theme, I like it, I can recommend it, but it really wasn’t enough material to make an useful blog post out of it. So here my first question (please leave a comment if you want to answer one, some or all of my questions).

1. Is it worth for me to build an email list if I, realistically, would only send out an email per month or even less often?

And as for getting people to sign up, I know the mantra is ‘Offer something for free to get them on your list’. From my own experience as a subscriber, I know that most of these ‘free offers’ contain mainly outdated material and sales pitches. And a lot of good content can already be found for free on a variety of websites and forums. So I am not really sure if I can provide anything in terms of ‘evergreen content’ for an ebook / pdf as this make money online / internet marketing / SEO game changes so fast that people are really better of reading good blogs and forums instead of an ebook that is already outdated after a few months. So here my next question:

2. Do you care about ‘free offers’ when signing up for an email list or do you sign up for other reasons?

Content is another big one. I really don’t want to run a list that only exists to push the ‘latest, greatest, super, dupper offer that makes you unbelievable rich over night for only $$$’ to people. I have some ideas and tips I want to share that are not really meant for being shared too publicly, but also nothing illegal or black hat. Two ideas I had lately would be ‘How to get a legitimate link from Wikipedia’ or ‘Why you need a (free) WordPress.com blog and what to do and not to do with it.’ So here my next question:

3. As a potential subscriber to my non-existing list, what kind of content would you be interested in and what kind of content would make you hit the unsubscribe button at lightning speed?

And last but not least, with which Aweber alternative should I go? I really don’t like Aweber for a variety of reasons, the main being that they never apologized to the real victims (us, the email subscribers) when Aweber got hacked. They did apologize to their customers, but not to us, the ones that got their inboxes flooded with spam, this is simply not good in my books. The other reason is that I just came across about this blog post >>>Thank You Aweber for deleting my account without notice<<< which raises even more warn-flags with me.

So I started to research alternatives to Aweber, hey, finally we come to the point of my blog post title πŸ˜‰ So far I have been thinking of two possible ways. The first one is to host my own email list with the help of >>>phpList<<<. The good thing is that I would have absolute control over my list, it is free and that it is now supported by my host (>>>Hostgator<<< – best web host in my opinion!) via cpanel (I am database and coding challenged, so I really don’t want to install something like this myself ;-)) There seems to a bit of a learning curve, but looking at the documentation, it seems manageable.

The second possibility would be to use >>>Imnica<<< (no affi link, as I don’t really know enough about them yet to recommend them or not). I like also Mailchimp, but they don’t like internet marketers over there and they want you to put your real address on each email. Whilst I am not planning to use my, still very theoretical, email list to spam people with ‘irresistible IM offers for incredible low prices’, I do want to have the freedom to send out an affi link in an email once in a blue moon πŸ˜‰ As for putting my real address in every single email, sorry, is not going to happen, I love my privacy πŸ˜‰ Yes, you can find out where I live pretty easily if you want to, but that is different from putting my address all over the web in my books. So here my next question:

4. Should I go the self-hosting route or use Imnica or do you have an even better idea?

So, that was it, thanks for taking the time to read, and hopefully, to answer my question(s) with a comments. I am now off to write up some more Keyword Strategy Tips, if you don’t want to wait until I have finished and published the next, head over to Dave’s blog Grabapple who is also writing about it, but is focusing on using >>>Keyword Strategy for e-commerce<<<.

If you like this blog post and found it helpful, why not share it with your preferred social network? Handy links and bookmarklets above ^^^ πŸ˜‰

18 comments to Which Aweber Alternative Should I Choose?

  • Hey Sy, I’m using Mailchimp for Keyword Strategy, and I’m really impressed with it. We’ve used their API to create groups that update dynamically. So I can send a mailout to just our clients, or just the expired trial users.

    I’m really glad I’ve been building a mailing list, but I treat it very carefully – mostly I’ve been publishing my very best articles. The open rate has been great – 30%. You just don’t get that kind of impact with any other kind of marketing method.

    • hospitalera

      Hm, I might just contact Mailchimp about the occasional affi link bit then. I use them for another site, that has nothing at all to do with internet marketing and I really like their interface and functionalities! Using an API is a bit off my abilities, but I might not need it / be able to learn it. I really plan to use a list, if I ever build one, very carefully and to keep it clean. I hate spam more then anybody out there and don’t plan to become a spammer. If an email bounces more then two times, it is out, promised! SY

    • Fraser – do you publish the same article to both the list and the blog? I worry about boring people with duplicate content … Or do you publish the article to the list and then invite them click thru to comment – an approach I’ve seen people use with effect

      • I have been posting favorite articles through the mailing list; maybe 1 in 10? I’ve also been using it to announce new functionality, Google+ hangouts, etc.

  • Yes I thought about a list when that Catalyst offer was live too – never got around to doing the blog post!

    1. Yeah how many more pdfs do I need on my hard-drive again? Its been done to death in my experience – I thought about offering a – summary of my best posts – some of the stuff I forget that is on the blog – because with Aweber I can send people a set of “lessons” – so its not a bad way to reuse old material – that is relevant but buried

    2. If you already have followers they will sign up just out of curousity ….

    3. Like theoretically then LOL ? Send me one offer from an ** A-lister and I will be SOOOO out of there! I think you need to send something out every month or so -or people may forget why the hell they signed up in the first place – and unsubscribe because of it

    I like Aweber – I hear what you are saying but they are market leader for very good reasons.

    RE the “real address” – I use a PO Box – its genuine – I’ve had it for years, so if you have access to one – even if its shared by another “business” in the family – then that’s fair enough. I wouldn’t put my actual residential address on those emails – I’m reckless not stupid!

    I would never host my own email list – there are just too many issues about being marked as spam – and maybe losing your hosting account as well – just not worth the risk

    • hospitalera

      “never got around to doing the blog post!” The song of my (blogger) live!
      1. Summary of blog posts would be great, and could replace feedburner, for the monthly email if nothing else comes to mind – true!
      2. I hope so πŸ˜‰ There are a few people reading and liking this blog πŸ˜‰
      3. Good point, the first line should be then “You are receiving this email because you have signed up to …” And no, no re-hashed A-list offerings from me, promised!

      As for the rest. I don’t believe we have PO addresses here, it would be ‘post restante’ and that would be a PITA and not practical.

      As for self hosting, I need to ask Hostgator what their do’s and don’ts are when it comes to this. I really like the idea of doing this myself and if I behave well my hosting account shouldn’t be compromised … Or I could just sign up for a new web host to host the list, hmm… Decisions, decisions ….

  • hospitalera

    Ok, I asked Hostgator about the do’s and don’ts when using phpList and here is what I got as an answer (abbreviated):

    Only double-opt-in allowed (I am not planning anything else!)
    As long as you are not sending more than 500 emails/hour – it is ok.
    Any mailing list larger than 5,000 addresses will require a dedicated server or VPS hosting solution. Lol, if I ever have so many real subscribers on my list I can afford a dedicated server without problems πŸ˜‰
    Any mailing list over 900 email addresses is only allowed to be sent to during off-peak times to prevent high server loads. Off peak times qualify as all day Saturday and Sunday, and 1AM – 8AM Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday. – I can live with that also, just to have to adjust the clock to make up for the timezone difference πŸ˜‰
    Any mailling list MUST comply with all guidelines set forth by the United States government. These can be found at:
    here – Oops there is the residential address business again, need to contemplate that one ;-(

  • Online Mobile Store in India, Buy Mobile Phones Online, Send Mobile Phone to India

    Aweber and Getresponse both cost an absolute fortune as they both increase in cost as your list grows.Aweber is known as one of the oldest and best auto responder services available. They are experts in email marketing and boast one of the best email deliver ability rates in the business.You can get Digital Access Pass and manage your e-mail campaigns without charge that way.

    • hospitalera

      “Absolute fortune” is relative and I expect that an ever growing list will cover that cost easily. If not, I would do something wrong πŸ˜‰

  • so…. it is still a pick between Aweber and Mailchimp? IΒ΄m using Aweber at present, quite ok with that, I just set it up to send out the rss feed every so often at the moment though, so not all that organised as I should be at the moment. (man, I am a bad marketer LOL )

    • hospitalera

      I really don’t want to use Aweber, they really p…ssed me off by not apologizing to us, the victims, when they got hacked and they only care about the list owners, not the people behind the single email addresses … SY

  • I am using Mailchimp on my email marketing campaigns.This is the second most preferred alternative for Aweber. Why? You can use it FREE if you have 2000 below subscribers and you can send 12,000 emails for free for a month. I wish this helped you.

    • hospitalera

      Yes, I am in email exchange with Mailchimp at the moment to see if they can accept an evil Z-Blogger πŸ˜‰ so far it looks good πŸ˜‰ SY

  • Here’s another option http://www.getresponse.com/pricing – I don’t know anything about them but am on the odd list that uses them … pricing seems OK

    • hospitalera

      Thanks Lis, but me thinks I have settled pretty much on Mailchimp πŸ˜‰ They have great support and a lot of useful guides for email marketing and how to use their stuff (see Resources. So far I am really impressed! Watch this space for an email sign-up form near you πŸ˜‰

  • With respect to offering something for free, one way to make it worth the user’s while is to actually pay someone to write it for you, perhaps even somebody well-known. Of course, this would cost you something, but it could be worth it if the list is big enough.

  • I have been using MailChimp since the beginning of my blog and I am very happy with it. Plus it is free up to 500 subscribers which I am no where near yet.

    If you decide to use MailChimp let me know, I have some good links to blog posts that can help you set it up easily. I also added a nesletter sign up form on my FaceBook fan page.

  • Assistance

    Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and all. However just imagine if you added some great photos or videos to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and video clips, this site could definitely be one of the greatest in its niche. Fantastic blog!