Almost 3 p.m.  It’s already been a full day of work. All over tech issues. If you know me very well, you are aware that tech stuff drives me crazy. It’s NOT my area of anointing. But starting my own online business over a year ago forced me to learn some tech things by necessity, whether I liked it or not. (I don’t like it, thank you!)

Today you will notice a new opt-in form at the top of the website on the right hand side by Mail Chimp. You have no idea how much WORK it has taken to get there. Hopefully it is STILL working! :O  It’s not the company’s fault that I had trouble. I should have contacted customer support at the start.

See, WordPress sites and Mail Chimp have cat fights sometimes (some type of conflict), so it wasn’t on my end, either (amazing!). Sweet Jessi with Mail Chimp’s customer support told me about a WordPress plug-in that would fix that and that I should have no more problems.

Don’t quit!

Plug-ins are great. There’s a few plug-ins for Mail Chimp available, and after I installed the second kind of plug-in, I was finally able to get the Mail Chimp opt-in form to work. I wanted to give up, but I don’t like being a quitter and can be determined (to my own detriment sometimes!).  But I pushed through the obstacles and did it! (Lesson: talk to Jessi or someone in customer support FIRST!)

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I am testing Mail Chimp to use for my ezines instead of Aweber. We’ve all heard that Aweber, Constant Contact, and 1Shopping Cart are the best. I’ve been using Aweber for almost a year now and it’s reasonably-priced.  Aweber is great!  But every little bit of money adds up when you’re running a business, and there is no cost to use Mail Chimp. My friends LaTara Ham-Ying, Arika Lewis, and Rochelle Valasek told me about Mail Chimp. They love it.

Who knew? I could be a model!

Segue: What I love is the cute little monkey that is their logo. He wears a mailman’s hat and a blue messenger bag for his mail. When you log into the site with your email and password, he’s there to “greet” you with funny jokes. One of the ones he said today was, “You could be a part-time model, Beth.”

I took a screenshot of it and saved it in my Paint.Net program in a file for the days that aren’t going well and I”m thinking of career options (just kidding).  I think I DO like Mail Chimp after all!  Rochelle, or Shelley as I call her, told me about the monkey’s jokes and said it always makes her laugh. But she laughs a lot anyway and she makes me laugh.

The PANIC Button

After today’s stress with the opt-in form, I need the laugh! Shelley and I have texted throughout the day. Mostly me.  This morning after something unexpected happened after I imported my Aweber list into Mail Chimp and I told her what was going on and to HELP, she texted me, “DON’T PANIC!”  This immediately made me wonder if I SHOULD panic. Did she know something I didn’t?!!!  Today her browser’s been crashing and I’ve been battling the tech gremlins. I wish she lived closer so we could go out tonight to eat Mexican and we could both just laugh over today!

Which one is your favorite?

I have not made up my mind yet about switching over to Mail Chimp and have not deleted my Aweber account YET (just this morning someone told me they were severely disappointed with Mail Chimp and are not going to use it).  I am still testing the waters. I’d love to hear YOUR thoughts and experiences.Which ezine/newsletter/autoresponder service do you use and why do you like it?

I love the variety of templates Mail Chimp offers for ezines (your newsletter). Already I’ve gotten compliments on the one I sent out yesterday to my list. I have been wanting a change with my ezine’s template for awhile now.  I’m very much a visual learner and love anything visually appealing. Mail Chimp has some pretty ones, that you can design just for your niche and their needs. Aweber seems to have limited templates for ezines/newsletters. (I do believe that Aweber is one of the most dependable and reputable services out there – one of the best.)

A banana split sounds good!

I know that sounds like a random thought. The editor on the templates for you to write your emails on in Mail Chimp is extremely user-friendly – more so than Aweber, I think. Mail Chimp offers a variety of tools like A/B split testing (not that I know what that really is – but their picture had a banana split on it underneath it so that is why I noticed it, lol).

They also have Google Analytics integration, an Iphone app, social media sharing, and syncing with your shopping cart. These features help you to assess how effective your “campaigns” are (your emails that you send  to your list).

Do you have good open rates?

There’s a lot of factors for people opening – and not opening – ezines: compelling headlines, day of week and time, information overload, too few or too many sent over a period of time, solid content, visual appeal, etc.  You want to make sure your tribe is READING your ezines (good open rates), is CLICKING on your links in the ezine,  and is wanting more – hopefully resulting in building a strong, trusting relationship with them and ultimately leading to your products’ and events’ sales.  🙂

If you are a writer, speaker, life coach, website designer, or someone who has your own business and need a service for sending out ezines/newsletters and/or an autoresponder, you might consider Mail Chimp.  You need a way to stay constantly in touch with your readers/listeners…they need to hear your important message and as Robin Tramble so often says on her anointed telecalls, the “yummy things” you have to offer – the encouragement and help they need.

Weigh the pros and cons.  Test it first. Be sure to contact customer support FIRST for questions/trouble-shooting, and if you have a WordPress site, upload one of Mail Chimp’s plug-ins in your WordPress dashboard for your opt-in form. Encourage feedback from your readers about it.

And don’t forget to read the jokes by the monkey when you sign in. They are cute.

***

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    2 Comments

  1. Beth Jones January 24, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Mike, I have not used Omnistar Mailer and actually that’s the first time I’ve heard of it.  For now I am content with Mail Chimp, although there’s a couple of features that Aweber has that I prefer. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Mike Simmon January 19, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    I have used Omnistar
    Mailer for 2 years now and I like it.

     

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