Week 3 – Start List Building

In my early online days I didn’t recognise the importance of building a mailing list and how autoresponders are vital to that process. Back then, all my business emailing and list building was done ‘manually’. In my Outlook Contacts list I’ve got the email addresses of all the people I’ve ever been involved with in business online and if I went searching I could probably find sets of email series that I manually scheduled out on a person by person basis. Trying to keep track was a total nightmare and completely ridiculous when you look back.

If I’m honest, I probably did too much chasing of people too. You advertise, you get a lead , you send them info, you might do a follow up call, and when they don’t see the ‘opportunity’ you’re giving them, you chase them a bit more. More details, more emails, more calls… mostly a waste of precious time.

Now it’s all different. I’m on the mailing list of several successful online marketers and being on the receiving end of their emails and having bought a couple of other marketing courses, I’ve started to learn their approach and how they do what they do. Much of it is about providing content and value to an audience and then engaging with those who make the effort to respond. So that’s what I’m going to do too.

The first part of this weeks work was registering with Aweber, probably the best provider  of email marketing and autoresponder tools out there. I’d already got an account though as I’d user Aweber when selling my business marketing sites, so when it came to setting up a new list for my blog site, that was all pretty familiar.

The form we were going to add to the blog side bar was for getting names and email addresses of people who were interested in what you were writing and of course, and of course, some of them might turn into customers for your products at a later date.

Just in case you’re not too familiar with how the whole autoresponder thing works, here’s a simplified summary:

  1. You have a form on a website or blog and some one fills in their details – usually just name and email address
  2. Behind the scenes, the form is connected to specified list which has previously been defined within e.g. Aweber
  3. The details are stored in the list and Aweber automatically sends a user defined confirmation email to the supplied email address, asking them to confirm that they want to get the information they’ve requested. This is called a double opt-in because the person has had to take two actions to get the info.
  4. If they respond to the confirmation email, they become a confirmed subscriber on your list and Aweber sends out the first follow up email that you have defined.
  5. For that list, you can define any number of additional emails that are to be sent to the subscriber and can define the time delay between them.
  6. Aweber sends out the email series over a period of days/weeks/months as specified. The whole process is automated and once set up, you don’t need to touch it again – hence the name auto-responder.
  7. You can of course then take all or any those subscribers on any list you’ve built and direct one-off broadcast emails to them and/or start sending other email series to them e.g. about a new product launch.

Hope that makes sense.

Anyway, in this weeks videos, John takes you through that whole process:

  • Registering with Aweber – on a free trial to start with if you want
  • Defining your blog list
  • Editing Aweber’s default double opt-in confirmation message
  • Writing a follow up email
  • Creating the sign up form that you’ll put on your blog page
  • Connecting your OptimizePress blog to your Aweber blog list
  • Adding to Opt-in form to your blog

It’s all pretty straightforward, but like many online tools, Aweber has a million options you can configure so having the step by step video guide from John is just what you need.

You can see the form on the top right of this page – pretty neat job. Stick your details in there and I’ll keep you updated with all the new posts!

On to week 4…

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