Do you have an email list? Having a list of customers and prospects who want to hear from you is like money in the bank. When they sign up for your list, they give you permission to contact them and that keeps you in front of them and on their minds when they are ready to buy. An email list is a way to build and maintain relationships with customers. If you do not have one yet, you need to get started. Last week.
There are lots of email marketing companies where you can host your email list. I use Aweber because, in my opinion, they have the best features and benefits. You may think you do not need a lot of the bells-and-whistles offered by a service such as Aweber but, believe me, you do not want to outgrow your email list service. After you have built up a large list, moving to another, better provider is not something you want to do. That’s why you should start with the best and it is my opinion that Aweber is the best.
There is no reason to be intimidated by the idea of using a sophisticated system such as Aweber’s. They make it easy to use, and their online and telephone support is very helpful if you have questions. To show you how simple it can be (and some of the useful options available to you) in this tutorial you will see how to set up an email list on AWeber.
Step 1: Create Your List
Once you log into your account, click on the “Create and Manage Lists” link. You will be taken to a list of your current mailing lists, if any.
In the right side, you will see a link to create a new list. Click the link. You will be taken to a page where you can fill out list info.
Step 2: Add Basic List Info
On this page, you will be asked to fill in information specific to this list such as the name of the list, a description, email info, and the contact info (for CAN-SPAM Act.) You have a few options here that you will want to pay attention to.
For starters, give the list a better name than “default1499758.” When you have several different lists, having meaningful names makes it easier to manage them. For example, my mailing list for Blogger LinkUp, my list for bloggers and guest posters, is called guest-posts. The from name should be something that subscribers will recognize. That might mean your name, your website name or something else that will be familiar to them. You want them to know why they are getting this email, even before they open it.
Step 3: Add Company Branding Info
The company branding info is not required by Aweber. But the more of this you provide, the better. That is because this is where you build your brand with customers. It is important to reinforce your branding with them, not only so they remember you and do business with you, but so they remember why they are getting your emails and do not report you as a spammer.
Simply click in each box to insert your company name, website URL and your email signature. Your signature could contain links to your main webpage as well as to a support or product page. You might also include a telephone number or other important information, but don’t make the signature longer than six or seven lines.
The Logo URL box is where you put the web address of your logo graphic, if you wish to include it in your email messages. If you don’t know your logo URL, go to your website, right-click on your logo and choose “Properties.” Copy the logo address/location and paste it in this box. It might be something like http://www.example.com/images/logo.jpg.
Step 4: Auto Post To Twitter And Facebook
With Aweber you have the ability to send autoresponder and broadcast messages. Autoresponder messages are sent in sequence to each person as they subscribe. For example, you may have a series of ten messages and you send the first on day one, the second two days later, the third four days after the second and so on. No matter when someone subscribes, they would receive those ten messages on the schedule you set up. Broadcast messages are sent to everyone on the list at once, no matter when they signed up.
You might use autoresponders to deliver content such as an email course and broadcasts for time-sensitive information such as announcements of events or new products as well as ongoing updates.
If you would like to post your broadcast messages to Twitter or Facebook, Aweber will do that for you automatically. Simply fill in the information about your Twitter and/or Facebook accounts in this section. You may want to set up a Twitter account especially for your list broadcasts. You can make this decision on a list-by-list basis. For example, if you have one list about recipes and another about Internet marketing, your followers may not be interested in both subjects.
Step 5: Subscriber Notifications
When you start your list, you may want to do a little “happy dance” every time you get a new subscriber. By setting up subscriber notifications, you will get an email whenever someone confirms their subscription and joins your list. (You can always turn it off later, when you are getting so many subscribers that the notices are overflowing your inbox.) To set up new subscriber notifications, just enter your name and email address in the notification area.
Then, click the “Save Settings” and “Go To Step 2” buttons to continue setting up your list.
Step 6: Personalize Your Confirmed Opt-in Message
Aweber generally requires what is known as “confirmed opt-in” or “double opt-in.” That means that after someone submits their email address, they need to confirm their subscription by clicking on a link in an email message they receive from Aweber. This is done to verify that the person really did choose to subscribe, and they were not added by someone else who entered their email address in a web form. It helps to protect you from spammers and spam complaints.
It is a good idea to modify or personalize the default text of the confirmation email. You may modify the subject, the introduction, and the signature. Notice that the actual confirmation message and link cannot be edited. Those are set by Aweber.
When editing the subject, you may choose to select one of the standard subject lines or write one of your own. If you write your own it will have to be approved by Aweber. However, in my experience, the approval comes quickly. In the other sections you can customize your message to remind subscribers where they signed up and what they will get when they confirm their subscription. You can also personalize the message by including custom fields, such as the subscriber’s name (if you asked for it on the subscription form).
Step 7: Add a Confirmation Success Page URL
Some people call this the ‘thank you’ page. This is a page on your website to which subscribers will be taken after they confirm their subscription. If you have promised them a free ebook for subscribing, you might want to put the download link on this page.
Do not neglect this opportunity provided here. You have the subscriber’s attention. They have just agreed to receive emails from you. They probably like you. ;o) They have made a small commitment to you, you may want to ask for another commitment. Include a call to action on this page such as following/friending you on social networks or, better yet, making a purchase. This page is a good place to put a one-time offer, such as a collection of several of your products at a discount price. Or, if you do not want to discount your products, feature someone else’s product available through your affiliate link so that you receive a commission on any sales.
After entering the URL of your thank you page, click “Save List Settings.”
Now that you have successfully set up your mailing list, you are ready to start sending broadcasts or follow up messages. We will address setting up messages in the next Aweber tutorial.