GetResponseI started with GetResponse for several reasons:
- It was cheaper (when you go with their annual plan) than AWeber
- They had an event-based autoresponder, unlike AWeber, which seemed really powerful
- They had beautiful templates compared to AWeber—and a lot of them
- They had a landing page maker, which AWeber did not
- Their autoresponder process seemed more graphically appealing and more intuitive to understand
- They had a ton of tutorials to help you get started
AWeberI redid the forms and replaced the GetResponse forms with the AWeber forms on the site. This consumed a lot of time but I had to compare apples with apples. In the process, I found (after a lot of trial and error) that AWeber's forms could be completely customizable. Combined with AWeber's lightbox form feature for links and registration form integration, I thought AWeber would be easily become my preferred choice and I was ready to drop GetResponse. But then I came across a problem. I was having multiple forms throughout the site, but if I wanted all subscribers (regardless of which form they signed up from) to go through the same autoresponder series, AWeber—to my shock—did not have an easy way to do that. I called AWeber's vaunted customer support only to find out they're not as hot as I was led to believe. Different reps told me different things, and none of the things I was told worked. AWeber had a beta feature called "Campaigns" that might do the trick but it was buggy and never worked. When I called customer service back to report the bug, they confirmed on two separate occasions it was a bug and told me both times that developers would be working on it and I would be notified when it was fixed. Well, that's all well and good but in the meantime, I'm basically stranded since AWeber was completely useless to me without the "Campaigns" feature fixed. And note: even if it were to get fixed, it would still be a workaround hack to the autoresponder solution I wanted and not a true solution. So I reluctantly went back to GetResponse.
GetResponse, take 2Back at GetResponse, I decided to ditch S2Member and my plan to use a membership system. Let me be clear: it's a terrible thing if you have to change the vision for your site because of limitations by your email service provider. Further, I had to drop my aspirations to have a lightbox form from links with GetResponse. (I know LeadPages had that lightbox feature but LeadPages was an additional expense that I couldn't afford, and the same thing with OptIn Monster.) While this was all frustrating, I became even more frustrated when I found out that GetResponse's autoresponder feature also couldn't take all my subscribers from all my various forms through the same autoresponder sequence. GetResponse's customer support invoked an AWeber-like workaround that required a lot of manual effort—which is the opposite effect you want from an, ahem, AUTOresponder. I was truly in despair about the fact I was wasting so much time trying to get simple things done instead of actually producing content for my site. I thought I was out of options and was going to resign myself to settling for GetResponse. But then I heard from Pat Flynn about ConvertKit on his Smart Passive Income (SPI) podcast. And initially, I didn't consider ConvertKit because while Pat normally does a great job interviewing his guests, on this occasion, I thought Pat did a very poor job in helping get the message out about what ConvertKit can do. For example, Pat asked Nathan Barry what ConvertKit was, and Nathan said it's email marketing for professional bloggers. Well, what the heck does that mean? What constitutes a "professional blogger"? Darren Rowse? I certainly don't consider myself a "professional blogger." So after listening to that episode, I didn't bother checking out ConvertKit. But on a subsequent SPI episode relating to email, Pat mentioned how he switched to ConvertKit from AWeber and InfusionSoft and the reasons why. NOW I understood what ConvertKit is. So I checked out ConvertKit online and loved what I found. And even though it was a wee bit higher in price than AWeber and GetResponse, I was willing to pay it if it would solve my problems.
Enter ConvertKitUsing ConvertKit was generally pretty intuitive. There were some questions I had, and there was some documentation to answer those questions. And I loved that it was both completely customizable and offered lightbox forms for links. But best of all, you can send all your subscribers across all your forms to one specific autoresponder series.
The bottom lineI'm a very happy ConvertKit customer. The dev team is busy building new features (each month has at least one new feature that is non-integration-related) so ConvertKit should be even better and more stable as it matures. I strongly recommend ConvertKit to anyone who wants to build their online community or online business.
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