Lead Generation With Opt-In Email Marketing And Aweber

I’m going to start this article with something hilarious that happened today…

I was on this webinar with Dean Holland yesterday and list building was the subject.

So I thought about writing a little bit about my experiences with email marketing lists and mailing list services only to find out that my Aweber autoresponder is due, yikes!

Anyway so instead of immediately going to their site and make the payment I decided to shoot the video with that there only to show that I use what I recommend on this blog.

Sorry to ruin the fun for you (I should have said “spoiler alert” or something but bah!) let’s get just right into it.

How I Got Started With Autoresponders

Before using AWeber… actually no, scratch that.

Before even using any autoresponders, I didn’t want to start building my list since I didn’t have anything to offer.

You always get the recommendation of using a PLR if you don’t know anything, maybe rewriting it a little bit but to me, that was simply a no-go flag.

The problem was, that as I never wrote anything (I was afraid of creating only crap) I wasn’t in a rush to start the lead generation thing on my blog.

A few months later, I thought “screw this, I’m going to start building my list NOW” but I didn’t want to spend my savings on AWeber.

I had the money but I was very cautious with it because when I decided to go full time with Internet Marketing, I was strictly living on my savings, had absolutely zero income.

Trying All Autoresponders

The Freebie.

Obviously, I first started with the free ones since money wasn’t available at the time.

One was provided by some marketer and I absolutely HATED IT because I was receiving a lot of offers from this guy in order to have his autoresponder.

I never sent ONE broadcast with that, I said “sorry but no thanks” and went over to the next thing.


Then I found Mail Chimp.

This looked amazing inside, had a lot of resources and you can have it for free for a big number of subscribers.

A few blogger friends used it and I said okay, this is it!

So I went with MailChimp and everything was cool until I found out you can’t send affiliate offers with them.

It’s okay to send people to a review article but not directly to an affiliate offer.

To me that was a bit odd and also the fact that your emails are carefully examined, it was like their service is too strict for someone like me.

The final thing that made me get out of there, was that I couldn’t schedule my emails for the exact time that I wanted so I said “thanks and farewell”.

Also, something that many don’t mention, is that you always send this weird vcf file in your broadcast, which is (I believe) a small embedded file that helps with the tracking or something.

To be honest I’m not sure exactly what it is but I hated that because when people are not used to e-mail broadcasts, the first thing they think, it’s some virus so I couldn’t stay there either.

I still have my account with them though. They may not work completely for internet marketers but they can definitely work for something else.


Traffic Wave is a very affordable autoresponder service.

A positive point that they have is that they LOVE traffic exchanges and (if I’m not incorrect) they are the only company that actually embraces your business if you are into Traffic Exchanges, Safe Lists and all of that.

However, I didn’t stay with them since every single marketer I was learning from was into AWeber, GetResponse, Infusion Soft or something else but not a single one using TrafficWave.

So… next!


I started in Internet Marketing with a business in a box (BIAB) created by Stone Evans.

That program worked with GetResponse so they created my account for me and installed a 400 e-mail campaign there for me to start promoting “my business”.

Little I knew at the time, that whenever I upgraded in that, it would be a DIRECT commission to Stone Evans and even if I referred people to this PIPS thing, whenever they upgraded on GetResponse… guess who was making that commission? If you guessed Stone did, you guessed right!

So I said “that’s a bit sneaky my friend but I’m okay with that, you are giving a lot of value anyway” and I went through.

I spent a few months trying very hard to make this work for me but I was literally throwing my money at programs like MyWorldPlus, SFI, GDI and many others so I called it a day.

Decided to quit everything and start all over away from that so I got out of GetResponse and said to myself…

“Okay it’s time to stop messing around, I should have gone with my first damn choice, I knew it!”.


So I went with AWeber, paid the longest I could (1 year) and never looked back.

Something less to think about and waste my time with.

Yesterday was my first anniversary with them and I’m planning to stay there for a long time.

Even if I have to buy more accounts in other places (I’m not close minded to growth and I know Infusion Soft is a great solution but also really freaking expensive for me right now).

AWeber Video

I created this video that says practically the same but you get to see the due payment (which I thought it was a funny timing) and a few comparations to their competition and other recommendations that I’m not going to write about right now since I need to start getting in product creation mode and not in affiliate marketing mode.

So here it is.

Note: I read everything I said until the 1:35 mark because I couldn’t think right, the rest is just me like in every other video you have seen.

Get AWeber Here

You can support me (if you want) by getting your account through my link here.

get aweber here

Whatever you decide, is okay with me just DO SOMETHING NOW! ;-)

Payment Update

Well I just made my $193.80 payment a couple of hours ago and thought about updating you people in here.

aweber payment


There are two things you do NOT mess with and these are your Hosting Account and your Autoresponder.

There are more but those two are (I believe) the most crucial ones.


Occupy your mind in what matters and please don’t make the same mistakes I did.

It took me literally MONTHS to select the right autoresponder.

In case you still don’t have one, just go to AWeber pick the plan that suits you the best, roll up your sleeves and start learning how to use it.

Believe me, I would have paid a LOT of money if I had somebody to tell me what I just told you, get this recommendation and run away with it.

Take care,


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  1. Reply

    Hi Sergio

    I’ve been with aweber since april 2006. and must have sent over a million emails with them by now :-)

    The best thing about aweber is that with a little bit of technical knowledge it can be integrated into any membership script. Also thanks to my gigs on fiverr I’ve found out how to turn any image into a form so I can do any sort of customization to make great forms appear on blog sidebars.

    I think the best advice you give here is to just get started by putting a “get updates” form in your sidebar, these come with most of the genesis themes and I recently copied one of them for a client so if anyone wants that doing please get in touch.

    If you do email marketing correctly you should cover costs of $20 per month easily. If you’re not then you need to find a new mentor who will show you exactly what to do.


    1. Reply

      Hey Andrew,

      I know you have been an Aweber form creation whiz lately so hopefully maybe some of the QS Challengers will take you on your fiverr gig for this.

      You give great points on your comment Andrew, I really appreciate that.

      Thank you for stopping by my man and sharing a bit of your knowledge here, speak soon! ;-)

      PS. Are you watching the Euro Cup?

      • Karson Kraybill
      • June 22, 2012

      Nice post Sergio! Like the history and experience you have shared here. I started with aWeber and still have a monthly plan but never really used it until now.

      Hmm… I really need a bit of that technical know how. Have wishlist members plugin and need to figure out how to integrate it with aWeber.

      Anyways, thanks for the wonderful post!

      1. Reply

        Hey Karson, thank you my man!

        I think Aweber provides a quick one-button upgrade to change your plans but as I stated on my article, I did not take any shortcuts when I signed to their service.

        I bought my entire year up front and just renewed the yearly plan a couple of days ago.

        About WLM, since it’s mainly a plugin for protecting paid member’s zones in a wordpress site, it wouldn’t be a problem for Andrew to create an html/css form for Aweber.

        However, I don’t know if Andrew knows about specific WLM configuration but I’m pretty sure he’ll let you know if you ask him.

        Good luck and thanks for the awesome feedback my man, take care Karson! ;-)

          • Karson Kraybill
          • June 23, 2012

          I think I found some directions… we’ll have to see if it works out. Saw you mention you wanted to do a guitar lessons site. If your up for a partner on that site let me know!

          Yea, I’m glad I saw you post as I was thinking about checking out mail chimp.

          1. Reply

            My man Karson, I gotta be 1000% honest with you, you have been doing a FANTASTIC job so far, don’t screw it up with MailChimp.

            Get Aweber man, you’ll thank me later.

            PS. The guitar site is meant to be in Spanish, you can read more about it here: https://www.marketingwithsergio.com/first-niche-site-experiment/

            Nothing has been done to the site yet, that’s the problem when you have way too many projects going on at the same time!

    • Patrick Griffin
    • June 21, 2012

    Hi Sergio,
    I agree with all you say here.
    If anyone is reading this and is unsure what to do then I would say that one of the main things you need to get right is your autoresponder.
    Some people say they will try to manage everything themselves from their gmail account at first until they can afford an autoresponder…wrong! Never, ever try this.
    If you are going to communicate with people by email then you need an autoresponder and Aweber is the service I use too.
    A key point with Aweber is that it tells you if your email looks spammy and allows you to correct it. As a result it has a near 100 per cent success rate at getting your message into other people’s inboxes.
    Finally changing an autoresponder is a big deal and is not something you want to do too often. This is one thing you will want to get right from the beginning.
    P.S. I also recently converted from the monthly option to the yearly one. It seeemed to make more sense to me also.

    1. Reply

      Hey Patrick,

      Thanks for chiming in bro and you brought a bunch of extra great points to the table as well. I do remember that I was adviced that moving a list was “no problem” but you would have to send them a broacast and make the subscribers sign again…

      Not a problem you say, making them sign in AGAIN? Haha no thanks! Better get it right from the start and avoid losing a huge percentage of subscribers.

      Thanks for stopping by Pat, hope you’re having a great day so far! ;-)

        • Patrick Griffin
        • June 21, 2012

        Yes Sergio that is exactly the point. In theory it is easy but I would not be surprised if 70 to 80 per cent of a live list decided not to resubscribe. I have no scientific data to back up those numbers and it would be interesting if any of your readers has changed lists and has real data to share.

        1. Reply

          I don’t have a clue my man so we’ll have to wait and see. ;-)

  2. Reply

    Timely & informative video for us QSCers. I’ve used MailChimp too and the lack of being able to use affiliate links can be a real pain. Will be soon testing out Aweber.

    1. Reply

      Hey Jarkko,

      That’s right man, MailChimp is cool until you realize all the hoops you have to go through for sending a simple promotional broadcast.

      Cheers man, you won’t be disappointed! ;-)

    • Munir Nathoo
    • June 21, 2012

    Hey Sergio, interesting article on our third week’s assignment. Thanks for all the info. I am going through the same dilemma as you and that is how do I start building a list when I do not have much content to offer yet. My blog is mostly about origami so I can’t really give away an ebook on IM, or can I? Coz its our assignment, am just going to go ahead and start with Aweber, lets see how it goes…

    1. Reply

      Hey Munir, no you can’t offer stuff about marketing there.

      On that specific blog, you have to be all about origami.

      Give them a book on how to get started with origami, something basic and you have to nurture that list sending them updates on your blog to more stuff about origami.

      Your visitors are not going to care about blogs or marketing so stay within topic.

      Actually, your site is origami-for-all.com

      I wouldn’t even have the Dean Holland’s article posted in there. (You can put that post in private so it doesn’t shows there and you don’t lose it either in case you change your mind later).

      In your About Me page, I would remove everything that mentions “Internet Marketing” or “making money online” since again, that’s not what your visitors are going to be looking for in there.

      These are MY recommendations but you can ask this same question at the QSC forum and see what kind of feedback does the rest of the guys give.

      I think that would be interesting since there are so many levels of experience in the group.

      Hope this helps a bit, thanks for stopping by man!

    • Munir Nathoo
    • June 21, 2012

    Hey Sergio, Thanks for those tips. I was actually waiting for this course to be over and then remove everything to do with the QSC. Maybe I can start another site where I can dwell into IM.

    Yes, that’s a good idea about the book on Origami. I have to look for an ebook with PLR that I can give away or maybe make one. Let me investigate further. Thanks for the tips man! You are very kind…

    1. Reply

      That’s smart thinking right there my man Munir!

      I won’t say much right now but I’ll look for something tomorrow that it may help you a LOT. I can’t do it right now since there’s a thunder storm and we already went powerless a few times so I’m shutting everything down as I write this.

      Take care and THANKS for the awesome support my man, speak tomorrow! ;-)

    • Chetz Togom
    • June 22, 2012

    I also tried a few autoresponders but at the end I believe Aweber is the best for beginners especially because it’s user-friendly and already have a lot of nice templates.

    I used Aweber before but when I wasn’t really active writing my blog I decided to close my account. I guess now I have to register again.


    1. Reply

      Hey Chetz, yeah man, Aweber is a MUST for everyone starting.

      Whenever I find a company that really has all the potential to grow and has little or no flaws, I stop looking elsewhere.

      That’s why I only recommend one company for domains, one company for hosting, one for email marketing, etc, etc. Of course there are many exceptions to this (think about wordpress themes and plugins, even hosting accounts) but the idea is to use what works and move on.

      Thanks for stopping by man and yeah, register that new account and get it ready for some heavy duty action! ;-)

    • Jens P. Berget
    • June 22, 2012

    Hey Sergio,

    I have the same experience with autoresponders as you. It took me a long time to decide to start using AWeber. And the reason is the same as you, I had no idea what I would do with it. I didn’t have a product to offer and I didn’t have any content at all, other than what I was publishing on my blog.

    But, building a list is too important to think about. Just get started, that’s my advice to people :)

    1. Reply

      Hey Jens,

      I know we both tend to over analyze things sometimes and I’m GLAD we’re finally past the autoresponder stage.

      I didn’t include this in the article… but I remember how every one of us, were all migrating little by little from MailChimp to Aweber.

      Now that I think about it, if I had known better at that time, I think I’d be able to predict that change without hesitating.

      Thanks for stopping by Jens and sharing your thoughts on List Building! ;-)

    • Terry Conti
    • June 23, 2012

    Hi Sergio
    Aweber is the big guy on the block when it comes to auto responders. Just like eBay is the big guy on the block for auctions, Just like youtube is the big guy on the block for videos. Haven’t seen too many marketers use Infusion soft.

    A lot and I mean a lot of big marketer names use Aweber. You really don’t have to get inconvenienced with stupid rules if you use Aweber. Just keep it reasonable and you shouldn’t have any problems.

    I use Aweber and I love it! When I first got it I thought I was going to have all sorts of problems trying to figure out how to use it. I got to tell everyone once you dig into it, its not hard to use at all.

    Terry Conti

    1. Reply

      Hey Terry, those were exactly my thoughts too!

      At first I was like “Oh boy… this is going to be more than a steep learning curve…” but it turned out to be very easy to work with.

      I have seen only a few using Infusion Soft and that’s mainly because they manage their entire business from that platform: shopping cart, subscriptions, e-mail marketing, affiliate managing, etc, etc.

      The plan that would suit my needs is ($299/month) and that’s definitely out of my reach right now.

      About Aweber as a very robust e-mail marketing solution, I’m 100% with you.

      Actually here’s a fun fact, the marketers I know that use Infusion Soft, have a few Aweber accounts themselves and use them every day so that’s gotta say something!

      Take take care Terry and thank you for chiming in my man, hopefully this will bring more awareness to those marketers that are just getting started, have a great weekend. ;-)

    • Ola
    • June 23, 2012

    Hi Sergio,
    I quite like your post on auto responders, I also used Aweber up until early this week. I found it easy to use but had to put it on hold for awhile, but I will still chose Aweber over the other auto responders. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Reply

      No problem Ola, glad you found this helpful.

  3. Reply

    Great information about the various autoresponders Sergio. I decided to go with GetResponse in the end but I have found it hard to learn their system. I think maybe Aweber is easier to use even if a bit more expensive.
    Well done for making the step to ahead with the opt in. I hope you get lots of signups. I am about to do that myself!

    • Richard Smith
    • June 25, 2012

    Hey Sergio,

    You are spot on with the AR and Hosting as the main meat of your business. I actually use a service which is an all in one solution and costs me $19.95 a month and its BRILLIANT. As a fellow QSC’er then I can already see that yourself and other people are aligning yourself with the right tools to do the job and all you have to do now is get that product on the go.



    1. Reply

      Hey Richard, as long as it is working for you, then stick to it!

      I think I have been preparing for a really long time already lol but hopefully with all the positive drive and mindset, I’m off to a great start.

      Thank you for stopping by Richard, speak soon and have a great day man! ;-)

  4. Reply

    Hi Sergio,

    I was just thinking about autoresponders not long ago. I’m on the same boat you were, I don’t have anything to offer in exchange for a opt-in at the moment.

    For that reason I went with mailchimp just to see how things work. I’ll most likely be moving to Aweber later on.

    Thanks for the video! :)


    1. Reply

      Hey Rod, I know a lot of people that started with MailChimp as well.

      They are fine if you want to get a taste of what it’s like to send broadcasts to subscribers but they really don’t like Internet Marketers so I just moved to Aweber when I decided to do things right.

      Out of 20/30 people I know that were with MailChimp, they have all migrated to Aweber now.

      There are still two or three rebels out there but they’re not interested in making money online so… Aweber it is my man!

      Glad you liked the video and thanks for stopping by, if you have any other questions just give me a shout and have a great day Rod ;-)

    • Michael Hitchens
    • July 3, 2012

    Aweber for me to dude – your right, its not something you want to spend time thinking about – I took ages comparing features.

    1. Reply

      I’ve been there as well Michael and I can only wish somebody told me this when I got started. ;-)

  5. Reply

    What is funny about this….I get the occasional email from someone that I know has aweber and maybe even get response, but they have this blog loaded with free newbie training….

    Which you have to optin to get and all the answers come from mail chimp along with the download page link…..

    Hadn’t looked before or noticed because of how it is set up….. It is all done for free the site is a a blogspot.com

    Wish I could remember who……

    1. Reply

      Sorry Cararta, I don’t even know how to respond to this.

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