I recently re-activated my sign up form for MailChimp (by the way, please sign up… it is in my sidebar.) This was after being asked more times than I can count on where to sign up.
Feedburner is nice, but it is not a substitute for Mailing Lists. For some, you might be hesitant to try your hand at starting an email marketing campaign. You might think you have nothing to sell, but as I have said in the past, you are selling something, even if it is free advice.
You want to attract people back to your site and email lists can do that. A weekly list is nice and unobtrusive. You can include recent posts, a few featured posts, product information, and some extra tidbits of information.
People who are really interested in your site will subscribe and keep returning to see what goodies you have. However, if you have nothing to remind them… well, they are just going to eventually forget. It is just something that happens and that is not always your fault, no matter how memorable you have made your brand to be. People need reminding.
Some of the mailing lists out there may be a bit daunting price-wise, especially for beginners. I use MailChimp, which is pretty nice considering your first 500 subscribers are free. There are others like Aweber and GetResponse. Hopefully in the future I can get a post out that compares each auto-responder side-by-side.
Do you use an auto-responder or mailing list? If so, what advice do you have for newbies?