In an earlier Aweber tutorial, we showed you how to set up an email list in Aweber.
In this tutorial, you will learn how to create the follow up (autoresponder) messages you will send to your list, as well as how to send a broadcast message to your list.
Before you begin, you need to know the basic difference between follow ups and broadcasts.
- Follow ups are usually a series of emails sent in the same sequence to all subscribers.
- Broadcasts are most often used for time sensitive announcements and are sent to all subscribers on the same day.
What can you do with autoresponders? Autoresponders give you the ability to drip content to new subscribers in sequence. When someone signs up for an email newsletter they typically get the same content as everyone else on the list at the same time. With sequential autoresponders, you can make sure that everyone who signs up to your list gets the same information in the same order, no matter when they sign up. When someone signs up to your autoresponder list they get the first message immediately. Subsequent messages are sent on the schedule you set. You might send message two on day three, message three on day five, message four on day ten, etc. You decide.
You can have an unlimited number of follow-up messages in your autoresponder series, but you don’t have to have all of your messages entered at once. You can start with just a few then add messages as you go. Every time you add a new message it will be added to the follow-up sequence, to be sent a number of days after the previous message in the sequence.
This is a great tool to use when you want to teach your subscribers how to do something and want them to get the steps in order. I use a sequential autoresponder through Aweber for my free mystery shopper course. People who sign up for the course get seven lessons about becoming a mystery shopper. They also get added to my mailing list to receive ongoing news and tips about mystery shopping, but their first messages take them through the basics of mystery shopping.
Step 1: Add Your First Follow Up Message
Log into your Aweber account and hover over the “Messages” tab. Select the “Follow Up” tab to add a new message. (Note: If you have more than one list set up in Aweber, make sure you are in the correct list.)
You’ll be taken to the follow up messages for this list. Since you are adding your first message, you’ll need to click the “Add New Follow Up” button to get started. You will need to do this each time you add a follow up message to this list.
Step 2: Add the Subject
Start at the beginning by adding a subject line and work your way through the form. To add the subject, click in the box. To personalize the subject with the reader’s name, click the personalize link at the point where you would like the info added in the subject.
Make your subject something that subscribers will recognize and that will make them want to open and read your message.
Step 3: Add the Message
Your messages may be sent in HTML, text or both. You should always have a text version, because some people can not read HTML emails. You may choose to also have an HTML version if you want to change the size or color of fonts or insert images into your messages.
Aweber offers a variety of templates you can use for HTML emails. If you would like to use HTML you may use one of the templates or format the email yourself, using the fonts and graphics you wish to use. It is a good idea to save your HTML template so you can use it to create a consistent look for all your email communications with your list.
To create the text message, insert your message in the next area. It is important to remember that when sending a text message, you should never copy and paste from anything except a text editor such as Notepad. Copying from Word or other software may leave hidden code that will cause problems. Curly quotes are a common problem, but certainly not the only one.
To make your message readable, keep line length short and consistent. Aweber makes it easy to format the lines of your message. If some of your lines extend into the blue section, just click the “wrap long lines” link.
Step 4: Preview And Save Messages
When you are finished writing or inserting your first message, click preview to get an idea of what your list subscribers will see. Click save message. Note, the first message will always be sent out immediately after a new subscriber confirms their subscription.
You have the option to track clicks. When you choose this, Aweber codes each link in the email so they know when someone clicks on it. Then you can view your statistics for the message to see how many people clicked on each link in an email.
Step 5: Creating The Second Message
For the second message, follow the same steps outlined above. This message will give you a few new options. For example, starting with the second message, you can specify the interval at which you’d like to send the messages. In this example, the subscriber would receive the second message four days after they subscribed and got the first message. If you also selected four days for message three, it would be sent four days after message two, which would be eight days after they subscribed.
You also have the option of allowing a message only to be sent on certain days or times. For example, if you only want messages sent Monday through Friday, you can specify that by clicking the box next to “Only deliver this message on certain days and times,” then selecting the days and times you want.
Step 6: Testing Messages
In the list of messages (Messages Tab), you will be able to click the test link, beside each message to receive a test copy of the chosen message. ALWAYS test your messages. Even if they look fine when you preview them, you may discover something unexpected when you receive the message in your email inbox.
When you click the test link, you will get a popup where you will add the email address where you want the test to go. If the email wasn’t ok, you may make changes to the message by clicking on the title link and then sending a second test.
You may edit your follow-up messages at any time, so if you discover a typo or want to change the content of a follow-up message, just log in to your account, select the message, edit it, then save the revised message.
Once you have finished working on your messages, log out of your Aweber account.
Watch for the next tutorial, where you will learn how to create a web form to add new subscribers to your list.
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