how to build a list

How To Build A List Of Subscribers With Aweber Autoresponder

Surprisingly a majority of bloggers don’t know how to build a list of subscribers using an autoresponder and a sequence of newsletter, updates or other emails. It is a pity, because these bloggers miss out on a huge opportunity to generate online income. This step by step guide will show you how to set up your autoresponder to capture leads and how to build a list of subscribers.

Undoubtedly, a subscriber list is a golden ticket to online financial success. The most successful internet marketers value their lists more than any other aspect of their marketing efforts.

I am sure you heard over and over that “Money is in the list”. If the list is nurtured and treated well, nothing can be further from the truth.

How To Build A List Of Subscribers On Autopilot

The simplest and the most automatic way to start building a list is by placing and opt in box on a blog. The opt in box allows one to collect email addresses anytime in return for something of value. The “something of value” may be a valuable free gift and a promise of an email newsletter, course, updates and so forth.

The autopilot capability is facilitated by email marketing services that are casually referred to as autoresponder providers.

What Is An Autoresponder?

An autoresponder is a computer program often used as an e-mail marketing tool. It allows you to collect the names and email addresses of the visitors to your blog. As well, it allows you to automatically and at preset times provide information of your choosing to the individuals who submitted their email address. These individual are referred to as subscribers. They are now members of your mailing list.

Setting up an autoresponder on one hand is very simple. On the other hand, for an someone who has never set one up, the process may seem very confusing and even intimidating. The following step by step guide should remove any uncertainty you may feel (believe me I’ve been there).

I will guide you through the set up process using the Aweber autoresponder, as this is one of the two companies I have been using (The other is Getresponse and I’ll show you how to use it in another post). If you are looking for an email marketing service that is reliable, user friendly and supportive, I can wholeheartedly recommend Aweber. Of course, there are other paid and even free services. I do not recommend a free service. There are way too many horror stories of lost accounts, lost subscribers, poor deliverability and so on.  Please do your due diligence and choose wisely as you will be using this service for a long time.

How To Set Up Aweber Autoresponder

1. When you will click on this link you will be taken to the Home page of Aweber.

Image 1. Aweber Home Page

Sign Up For Autoresponder

On the Home page you will see the option to sign up for $1.00 trial period for one month (red arrows). Click on this option.

2. Select the pricing options.

Image 2. Aweber Pricing Options

Selet Autoresponder Pricing Option

3. Create your account.

Image 3. Create an Aweber Account

Create Your Autoresponder Account

4. Enter your billing information

Image 4. Create Aweber Account – Billing Options

Enter Your Billing Information

After you enter the account and billing information, click to complete your order and your Aweber account will be ready to use. You will receive a confirmation email with your log in information.

How To Create An Autoresponder List

In the autoresponder you will be able to create lists into which you will add your subscribers. For example, you can create a separate subscriber list for a newsletter, products and so on.

1. After you will log in you will arrive at your account home page.

Image 5. Access Account Home Page

Your account home page

To create a subscriber list Click on “My Lists” and in the drop down menu click on list settings. On the page you will get to, you will be asked to create a new list. Click on that link.

2.  You will arrive at the list setting page. On top of the page you will see 3 options: Basic Settings, Personalize Your Settings and Confirmed Opt-In. First you will need to set up the basic settings. Please note that sometimes Aweber places a default name where you are going to place your list name. You may also see a green bar above the settings telling you that a list has been created successfully. Ignore that message and proceed to set up the list.

Image 6. Creating A Subscriber List – Basic Settings

Basic Settings

In the Basic Settings, enter the list name of your choice and fill out the rest of the form. In the “From Name” field use your own name not your website’s name. Most people prefer to get emails from people rather than companies they are not familiar with.

Use your web address in the “Address” field. For example, You would have established this email address when you set up your blog. Make sure to include your physical address, as it is required.

In the “Notification” field, enter your email address where you can be notified of new sign ups to your subscriber list. It is recommended that you create a specific address for that purpose because as your list grows, your email box may be overtaken with the sign up notices.

3.  When you complete the “Basic Settings” click on “Personalize Your List

Image 7. Creating A Subscriber List – Personalize Settings


In this section I initially only fill out the top part.

  • Enter you company name which could be the title of your website.
  • Enter the URL of your website and lastly
  • Leave email signature blank.

You may want to change your signature from time to time. What I mean by that is that occasionally you may insert a link under your signature. You can do that when writing your emails. If you are not careful, you will end up with two signatures, one that you inserted in your email and this default one as well. (from personal experience I know that it does happen.)

Don’t bother with the social sharing buttons or global text snippets for now. You can explore these options later. You can make changes to your list setting at any time.

Click on Save Settings (green button) and you are done personalizing your settings.

4. After you personalize the settings, click on Confirmed Opt-In. You have to do this whether you want to have the optins confirm or not. You can disable this function if you want in section 2 (see image below). In most instances you will want to leave the option on as having this option is recommend in order to prevent malicious subscriptions and false spam allegations.

Image 8. Creating A Subscriber List – Confirmed Opt-in

Confirmed Opt-In Setup

You can modify the confirmation message. The circle over the dark box on the left hand side of the message (section 1) indicates which portion of the message you can modify. Input any information that relate to the list you are creating.

In section 3 you have an option to input the URL of a Success Page the subscriber lands on as soon as he confirms the subscription. So for example, if you offer a subscriber a free report you will enter here the URL of the page from which they can download the free gift. This is not compulsory, because as soon as they confirm their subscription, you will be emailing them a welcome message where you would include the link to the free gift you promised them.

Make sure to save the settings!

How To Create A Subscriber Opt-In  Box

Your next step is to create an opt-in box which you can use on your blog to capture the leads. It is very simple to do as Aweber offers well over 100 templates that you can easily customize. Below I will show you how to do it.

1. After you complete the lists settings, on the navigation bar click the “Web Forms” tab and on the page you arrive at click the green “Create A New Web Form” button.

Image 9. Accessing New Web Form Templates

Create An Autoresponder Web Form

2. The template design page is shown in the image below

 Image 10. Web Form Template Working Area

Templates To Create Autoresponder Webform

You can explore the templates and choose the one that you like. After you select one that you like you can customize it to suit your website and your taste. You can delete or edit different parts of the web template. As well, you can resize the form.

When you scroll up and down the webform template black edit boxes appear at each editable part of the template. You will find that different templates may offer different options. It is a very simple and intuitive process and there is nothing that you can muck up as your webforms will not influence the settings you have created for the list.

Also, you can often change the colors. Experiment with the form until you create a form you are happy with. You can preview the form by clicking on the Preview tab above the Template tab.

Once you are happy with the form click “Save Web Form”. You will be led to the Web Form Settings page.

3. Web form settings page is a place where you will give a name to your form for your records. As well, there you will also set up your thank you page options.

Image 11. Webform Settings

Web Form Settings

Select one of the “Thank You” page options from the dropdown menu. At the start you may just choose either the basic or the audio version. Many marketers create a thank you page and insert the URL in the Custom Page filed. It makes it more personal and it allows them to display value products to their subscribers. Here is a very simple example of a custom thank you page. But don’t worry about it now, you can add the page at a later stage.

Once you are finished with basic settings, click Save and your web form will be ready to be used. When you click on “Go To Step 3”, there you will be able to get the code for your autoresponder opt-in box and you will be able to start building a list of subscribers.

4. As shown in the image below you will have 3 choices of installation. You can easily install it yourself unless you hired a designer who is going to do it for you.

Image 12. Autoresponder Code

Installation Of Optin Box

If you are using a WordPress blog installing the form is very simple, so please choose and click on the option “I Will Install My Form”.

5. On the installation page you will have two choices as you can see on the image below.

Image 13. Installation Choices

Installation Options Of Autoresponder Opt-In Box

Option 1. Raw HTML Version

  • Click on this option to expand the window
  • Copy the whole HTML code and paste it all in any HTML editor
  • Save your new widget

When you want to add the opt-in box to your blog’s sidebar, go to Widgets, drag a text widget to your sidebar and paste the HTML code there.

Option 2. Java Script Snipet – it is the recommended code to use and all you need to do is copy the code and place it in the text widget as discussed above.

Note! For some reason, not all Java scripts are well accepted. For example, Getresponse Java Script is not working on my theme very well and I have to use HTML code if I want it to work. This, I believe, is theme related issue.

Typically, bloggers have their opt-in box in their sidebar. With your opt-in box in place, your blog is ready to work for you 24/7, collecting subscribers on autopilot.

I know it is a long post but I felt I had to give it to you in one go. This article is the first one in the series of articles on how to build a list of subscribers. In the subsequent articles I will show you how to create a newsletter sequence , emails that will be successful, how to promote your products but not to annoy your subscribers and eventually I will share with you some powerful list building techniques.

I look forward to your feedback. Please leave a comment below.


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10 Responses to How To Build A List Of Subscribers With Aweber Autoresponder

  1. Tim Bonner April 17, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    Hey Dita

    Really thorough guide on setting up an account on AWeber. I’m sure lots of people will appreciate it.

    I’ve just left AWeber and moved to Mad Mimi because I can benefit from using the free account at the moment.

    The free account doesn’t have the auto-responder but for now I can live without it. I also find Mad Mimi much easier to use than AWeber.
    Tim Bonner recently posted…Was I Mad To Choose Mad Mimi?My Profile

    • Dita Irvine April 17, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

      Hi Tim,

      My personal feeling on using free autoresponder is this: DON’T DO IT! It may be “cheaper” now but ehn you have a list and you emails are not delivered you will want to move your list to a responder that works properly. What happens then you will lose a majority of your subscribers. I’ve heard too many horror stories to risk that.

      Just my thoughts.

      Take care,


  2. Terry Henry April 16, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

    Great post Dita, It’s very detailed and informative…truly step by step.
    If anyone didn’t know how to get a list started, they certainly would
    know exactly what to do after reading this 🙂

  3. Paul Henderson April 11, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    Hey Dita,

    it’s always a great idea to include some of the things that can stump a newcomer. Nice use of images too by the way, to make what is a full and complete post – nothing left out – just the way I like my information 🙂

    All the best,
    Paul Henderson recently posted…White Listing – And Why You Should Be Doing ItMy Profile

  4. Glenn Shepherd April 11, 2013 at 5:00 am #

    Great guide, Dita! You’re right, I think there are many bloggers who don’t have the first clue about setting up an autoresponder. And really, why would they? It’s not something that most of us would ordinarily have used before. I know that the thought of tackling an autoresponder used to fill me with dread! So it’s really good that you’ve put together this guide that will be sure to help anyone with doubts or difficulties. And even though it’s for Aweber the techniques are pretty much transferrable, so you can apply the principles to your autoresponder of choice
    Glenn Shepherd recently posted…Challenge Updates and When Things Go Wrong…My Profile

    • Dita Irvine April 11, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

      Hi Glen and Paul too,

      Thanks for stopping by. I remember when I tried to set up my autoresponder, I was so confused. So I wanted to make someone’s life easier and put myself back in the beginner’s shoes and wrote this article.

      Although many things are quite simple in retrospect, at the beginning to some they are overwhelming.

      Thanks to having you both here,


  5. Sandy Halliday April 11, 2013 at 3:43 am #

    HI Dita,

    I think a long post is fine when you are giving detailed instructions like you have done. It didn’t seem long as I read through it. The instructions are very clear and I’m sure will be a great help to people who want to start building a list.

    I think it’s important to change the default wording in the confirmation message if you are going to use it. I have received the default message from some marketers and it does not look good.

    Aweber puts in your list name which may not make sense to the receiver if you could not get the name you wanted as often happens, and it’s best to personalize it.

    Sandy Halliday recently posted…Turn $100 into $2000 Challenge Week 3 ResultsMy Profile

    • Dita Irvine April 11, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

      Hi Sandy,

      Of course you would want to change the default. You have to make the message more personal. You want you message always look professional. You are making a first impression.



  6. Joshua Mason April 11, 2013 at 1:07 am #

    Great post Dita! I am sure lots of people have issues with how to properly use an autoresponder. Really great information and awesome graphics to guide it along. Great!

    • Dita Irvine April 11, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

      Thank Joshua,

      My graphics are just screen captures, but I am glad you liked them

      Take care,