Why I might switch from @MailChimp to @AWeber

By Greg Turnquist

Greg L. Turnquist worked on the Spring team for over thirteen years and is a senior staff technical content engineer at Cockroach Labs. He was the lead for Spring Data JPA and Spring Web Services. He wrote Packt's best-selling title, Learning Spring Boot 2.0 2nd Edition, and its 3rd Edition follow-up along many others.

September 3, 2018

UPDATE: I eventually switched to ActiveCampaign and have been thrilled with the results. If you’re just now reading this blog post, then simply swap “AWeber” with “ActiveCampaign”, assuming everything else still applies.

I’ve been a big fan of MailChimp for about two years now. That’s when I started my email list.

HOT TIP: If you are even THINKING about becoming a writer, you need to start an email list. Yesterday.

For the first 18 months+, my list grew SLOWLY. I think I was up to 260 subscribers over that time frame despite having a free novella prequel available both on my Amazon and my site.

It all changed when I discovered BookFunnel and turbocharged things. My list grew from 260 up to about 950 today. And that’s where I’ve started running into issues.

With a bigger audience, I now have a mixture of fans. There are solid fans, others that have joined my street team, and some that just want the freebies. After reading Newsletter Ninja, I realized I needed to fine tune my autoresponder in several ways.

And MailChimp don’t cut it.

MailChimp just added labels. Nice and all, but you can’t do a lot with that. Reading the book, I wanted the ability to tag people for all the various actions they took, and based on labels, launch little mini-workflows.

Gotten three emails and not opened any? Here’s your label. Do you open everything? Here’s your label. Click this link indicating you’re a writer? Here’s your label. And based on these various labels, I can curate content for YOU. I can write stuff that YOU like. I can build our relationship and grow closer to ALL my subscribers.

And if you have shown little interest, I can take one last stab at re-engagement before unsubscribing you.

MailChimp can’t launch an autoresponder based on a label. That. Sucks. AWeber does it. It handles it. It also supports applying multiple labels at any stage. (Or removing a label). That way, while someone is being onboarded, I can hold off on them receiving full blast emails sent to the main list.

Little stuff like that.

Why did I start with MailChimp? Because it was easy. Because it was simple.

Okay, because it was FREE. MailChimp is free for the first 2000 subscribers. In the past two years, some $20/month subscription cost would have tallied $480. My list will cost $29/month, but it may be worth it to curate a more solid bunch of fans. We’ll see.

Happy writing!


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