Friday, November 8, 2013

Converting to MailChimp

As I mentioned to my email subscribers today, I switched over to MailChimp from FeedBurner for my email list.  I did the same over on my site last week.

The main reason for doing so on that site was to gain a few features I was looking for.

One was to receive email notifications immediately for new subscribers.  The other was to be able to automatically send new subscribers a welcome email with a link to download a free eGuide on keyword brainstorming that I put together for that site.

I was trying to offer the bonus as an incentive for folks to subscribe and I didn't realize that FeedBurner does not notify you when you get new subscribers.  I had a few people subscribe over a period of several weeks and had no idea.  So they never got the eGuide in a timely manner, which bothered me greatly since I like to under promise and over deliver, not the other way around.

I did some research on AWeber and MailChimp, since those were the heavy hitters I was familiar with.  AWeber is the one most online marketers promote and I figured out why.  They offer a 30% recurring affiliate commission on any sales, which is a great payout, but not necessarily the best option for those folks just starting out.  

AWeber charges $1 for the first month and then $19 a month after that.  If you're just getting started and don't yet have regular $ coming in from your online adventures, it doesn't make sense to start recurring monthly fees. 

MailChimp on the other hand has the same features and in many cases reviews I read mention how they're slightly ahead of the curve when it comes to their GUI and feature set and the best part is they're absolutely free for anyone starting out.

As long as you've got fewer than 2,000 subscribers across all lists in your account, you can send up to 12,000 emails per month without paying a dime. They won't even ask for a credit card.

SOLD...that was all I needed to hear.  I did check their pricing in comparison to AWeber for when you do outgrow their free service and it is within a $1 per month for comparable plans.

Another deciding factor was that you can seamlessly import your FeedBurner or any other list of email addresses via comma separated value (CSV) file or manually add them without your subscribers needing to reconfirm their email addresses.

After signing up, one other cool feature I'm about to try out is how MailChimp handles embedded videos.  If you click their checkbox to 'auto-convert video', they'll attempt to scan your content for embedded videos and show an image in place of your video and if you click the image the video will play. 

At least that is how I'm understanding things.  Not sure if will play right in the email or if it will launch a video player.  Typically videos embedded in emails either do not show at all or they don't work.

For a test, I'm going to embed a video of the Buffalo Bills beating the Patriots at the Bills backers bar here in town.  Can't go wrong with that!  Then anyone who has subscribed via email will see if/how it works when we receive the email for this post.  Hope it works!

If you have your own blog or website, you should definitely start building a subscriber list if you haven't already and I would definitely recommend MailChimp.  Check out my post 
Converting Your Email List to MailChimp for full details.

And if you haven't subscribed to my blog here yet, now is the perfect time!  Subscribe here.  


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