Aweber vs. Feedburner, Reloaded

A couple of weeks ago, I finally installed an Aweber form on my website. I’ve been using Feedburner to deliver my posts by email since I launched msquared in the summer of 2009.

Basically, Feedburner is perfect when you are just starting out. And, it’s free. It helps you start building your own list by offering your web visitors a way to receive your blog posts by email.

But at some point, your biz starts growing, and you’ll want more control of how and when the people on your list receive your posts. You might even want to email them directly, going around your blog, if you will. A more personal approach that I see a lot of other successful bloggers using. Not only do you receive their blog post updates, but you occasionally receive another kind of message (email announcement or newsletter or some special offer) that is never published publicly on their blog. Did ya get all that?

For this type of control, choosing what you’ll say to your subscribers and when it will go out, you’ll need Aweber. And, it’s not free.

I talk about a lot of this in more detail in my original post Aweber vs. Feedburner.

But here’s the big deal. Converting.

At some point, when you do decide to switch over from Feedburner to Aweber, there are a few strategies to consider. And you need to be strategic, because anytime you change services in your business, there is potential for drop-off. Or subscribers just not taking the invitation to join you at your new service digs.

One strategy is to convert to Aweber (create a list and install the web form on your website somewhere) and notify your Feedburner subscribers via blog post. Simply tell everyone what’s up. You are in the middle of transition. PLEASE go sign up again. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, or you’ll miss out. Something like that. You write the post, press publish, cross your fingers and hope that you start to see all your Feedburner subscribers magically begin subscribing to your Aweber list.

The other strategy is export/import. You can actually download an export file of your Feedburner subscribers and then upload the list at Aweber explaining that your subscriber info was obtained in the “fair & decent” way, which is to say, the subscriber confirmed they requested to be on your list. You’ve done this a thousand times yourself, right? The whole, “quick, go look in your inbox now for the confirmation email and click the link.”

But the problem is, Aweber is going to re-confirm your subscriber. It’s their policy. So you’ve got to communicate to your list and say, “I’m switching service providers. You’ll receive an email from Aweber asking you to confirm you’d like to stay on my list.” And then do the same thing from above; cross & hope.

Most business owners report unhappily ever after’s here. And that there is a loss (some would say any loss is significant, it’s your people!) in their total number of subscribers when they make such a conversion. And so the advice is, don’t let your Feedburner list get too big before you decide to convert to Aweber.

Why I converted & the strategy I chose.

I don’t have that many subscribers (yet). More than some, less than others. So it’s a good time for me to consider the switch, if I plan to use one of the two options above. By the way, I do keep track of the total numbers of subscribers I have each month (a tip I got from Charlie Gilkey about measuring Key Performance Indicators in your business).

Ultimately though, I fell in with that group of biz owners who want finer control and the potential of reaching out to my tribe without using a blog post.

And I decided that I wouldn’t stop using Feedburner at all and avoid attrition completely. I designed my Aweber email to look (as close to) Feedburner’s email as possible so that while I’m using both services, the emails will look like they came from the same place. Obviously, I removed from my website, the Feedburner email subscription and replaced it with my Aweber form, preventing any new visitors from subscribing via the old Feedburner email feed.

So now the biggest issue I face is not attrition, but my list receiving duplicate emails. Here’s what happens: when an existing Feedburner subscriber opts-in to my Aweber list, they’ll get both the Feedburner email and my Aweber “look-a-like” email. Ooops! Seriously though, I keep all my peeps and may confuse and/or irritate, at most, a few too (which is the less riskier of my two options.)

So this next part of the post is for the You’s that have subscribed to my blog by email in the past:

Dearest all my Feedburner Subscribers,

Thank you muchly for asking me to come straight to your inbox. I’m honored. And will do my best to help you & your inbox feel expanded and optimystical at least once week.

If you’ve recently opted-in at my website using my Aweber form, you might want to consider unsubscribing from your Feedburner email the next time you receive it. Otherwise, yes, you will be getting two emails from me. And I’d really prefer you stay with Aweber, but don’t want to interrupt you receiving me in your inbox by asking you to opt-in again or pulling the plug quite yet on Feedburner before you do.

I appreciate you hanging out with me on my blog and that you’ve allowed me to come hang out in your inbox.

If you decide not to subscribe using Aweber, that’s ok. You’ll still get my posts by email via Feedburner. But you’ll miss out (ok, no pressure, but it’s true, you will!) on any special communications I might make outside the public platform of my blog.

If you’ve got questions or would just like to pick my brains a bit more to understand it all, please email me.

With loads of gratitude,

mm.

So what say you? A better conversion strategy… or just my optimystical perspective? I hope both!

Thanks for reading. And if you have any questions about Feedburner or Aweber and which one is right for you right now in your web business, let’s chat.

2 thoughts on “Aweber vs. Feedburner, Reloaded

  1. Thanks for taking the time to write this out. I’m in the middle of moving my growing email list from Feedburner to Mailchimp. Right now the plan is to export my list to a CSV, upload that into Mailchimp, then manually delete the emails in Feedburner.

    I hadn’t considered whether users would have to re-confirm. While I might lose a couple people, I think most of my readers will be happy. Why? The MC emails are a lot prettier and look more like my site.

    Like

  2. Great article! I have 26 subscribers to my feedburner which I just figured out how to check! (A while ago I was told on a forum that it was illegal to have access to that information – what a bunch of hogwash!)

    I have since put A Weber forms on all my sites and now need to begin the process you described above. I’m glad I caught this early and thanks for the tips on the best way to handle it 🙂 PS Subscribe to my A Weber list and get a free ebook on 5 success tips for social entrepreneurs 😀

    Like

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