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.
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
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
3. Create your account.
Image 3. Create an Aweber Account
4. Enter your billing information
Image 4. Create Aweber Account – Billing Options
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
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
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, firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
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
2. The template design page is shown in the image below
Image 10. Web Form Template Working Area
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
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
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
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.