Setting your First Mailing List with AweberYou've decided to run an online business, and you realize that one of the most importantsteps you'll ever take is building your list. That means attracting visitors, thenencouraging them to give permission to provide you with access to their contact details inorder to receive email from you -- newsletters, updates, short emails, courses, nichespecific tips, affiliate offers -- and that first original offer you're ready to present!In order to do any and all of the above, you'll need an Autoresponder.In this first guide I'll show you how a good Autoresponder works and how to set upAweber, the one Autoresponder service that includes all the components you need, in fiveeasy steps. This will be the longest of our four-guide series. but don't worry: It will beworth it. This guide is packed with step-by-step screen shots, as well as tips it reallyhelps to know in advance, when setting up an Autoresponder list for the first time.What Exactly is an Autoresponder?An Autoresponder allows you to send pre-automated emails to a list of subscribers. Itadds personalized interactivity to your website or blog. Think of it as the differencebetween sticking flyers on a thousand cars in a parking lot and hoping someone willcome to your party. or inviting your best friends personally. Sending personalized"invitations" means only those people who know you and like you will accept yourinvitation.It works like this:1. You place a sign-up box on your sales page, squeeze page, website or blog2. You drive people to that sign-up box via blog posts, social marketing, searchengine optimization, advertising or other forms of networking3. Interested readers voluntarily sign up via this box and give you their contactdetails4. You send them regular emails, either giving valuable information or inviting themto view your offersThat's your subscriber "list", that all-important factor between eternally preparing tomake money online -- and actually, finally doing it.Why an Autoresponder is Important for an Online BusinessIn the real world (the business world) using an Autoresponder means you'll in Partnership with

A roster of subscribers who have pre-screened and pre-qualified themselves as idealprospects for your business offers A ready-made customer base, any time you're ready to present an offer Potential affiliates to sell your product (which they're delighted with)You also need only subscribers who have voluntarily given you permission to email thembecause of the Can-Spam act, which actively forbids unsolicited mailings. Ignore theCan-Spam act, and you are likely to find your site down after one of your victims lodgesa complaint with your internet service provider.How to Prevent Autoresponder AnxietyWhen it comes time to set up this list, many new marketers suffer unnecessarily fromAutoresponder anxiety. One of the best ways to overcome this? Choose a user-friendlyAutoresponder service that walks you through their process step by step, making it easyfor you to build your list quickly and correctly. The anxiety can be lessened even more ifyou have a basic understanding of how this is going to work for you.There are only three basic components to set up initially: A Sign-up list A Confirmation email, asking those who sign up to click a link to confirm theydeliberately chose to sign up (Aweber provides a default one you can customize) A Welcome email, thanking your subscriber for joining and telling them when toexpect more content from you (pre-write your welcome email and copy-paste) orwhere to download your freebieSimple, isn't it?(You'll also need a Web Form for sign-up, but we'll take care of that in Guide # 2.)Your Autoresponder will also automate essential elements, such as Unsubscribe detailsand an Unsubscribe link, which will be automatically inserted in all your emails.After that, you'll want to regularly send a mix of: Broadcast emails Follow-up emailsA Broadcast email is a general email you send to your entire list at the same time -- forexample, your monthly email Newsletter -- on a specific, fixed date. Or anannouncement of a special offer. It stands in Partnership with

A Follow-up email (or a series of Follow-up emails, such as a short email course) issent to new subscribers individually, at set intervals after sign up. These are sequential.TIP: Follow-up email content should be "evergreen", meaning it will always berelevant. Broadcast content is date-specific.Choosing which type of email to insert into your list content is as simple as clicking a taband choosing your message type:Your "Welcome" letter would be a good example of a typical Follow-up email.So all you need to get started is your "Welcome" email, pre-written in a simple text file.(Look through the "Welcome" emails in your own email inbox, to get ideas for a formatthat would work for you the best. Don't copy them exactly, of course: Write yourWelcome letter in your own words, giving your own unique "voice" and promise.)You may be setting up your Autoresponder because you want to drive subscribers to yourfirst offer. There are two easy ways to do this: If Option 2 sounds too complicated, takethe simple route and go with Option 1:Option 1Option 2Create confirmation emailCreate confirmation emailCreate "Welcome" email telling your newsubscriber what they can expect (e.g.generally how often you'll be mailing)Create "Welcome" email telling your newsubscriber what she can expect from yourshort email courseCreate a WordPress Squeeze PageSet up 5-7 Follow-up emails (the eCourse)spaced at regular intervals of 1-3 daysSend a Blog Broadcast email drivingreaders to your Squeeze PageCreate Squeeze Page. Include SqueezePage URL twice in final emailIn this guide series, we're going to focus on Option 1. Option 2 can be ridiculously easy,however -- as well as warming up your subscriber. It's this simple: Have ready a text filecontaining a short email course, each email dealing with one single tip about your topic.Nothing could be easier than to copy-paste each "email" into new follow-up in Partnership with

and set the interval at which you want them to go out (e.g. every day for six days or oncea week for seven weeks). You can load seven weeks worth of "classes" -- in minutes.Step One: Choosing the Best AutoresponderThere are many Autoresponder services out there, including free ones. I would notrecommend the latter, because they tend to be either way more complex to use than paidservices or so simple they don't perform crucial functions. On top of that, most insertadvertisements from paying clients into your content, which can not only annoy yoursubscribers into unsubscribing, it can also lure them to competitor offers.It's also notoriously difficult to transfer subscribers from your free Autoresponder list toyour new paid service later on (it usually means asking them to sign up again). Andcustomer support is simply not there.I've tried a few of the top Autoresponder companies and it's been an education in itself.You quickly learn that the most important ingredient is instant and easy customer service.Hands down, I've had my best experience with Aweber.For one thing, you can sign up right now and pay only 1 for the first month. Thisbasic subscription allows you to send unlimited emails to up to 500 subscribers, with a30-day money-back guarantee in case you change your mind.And it will take you less than one day to set up your first list and attract customers to payfor your products or services. Think of it: If you present one offer, even one sale willmake back your investment well before your first month is up -- and a monthly fee of 19(current at time of writing) is within reach of most new marketers.Aweber also provides regular and on-demand tutorial webinars, a vast and easilyaccessed knowledge based of archived tips and tuition -- and, most important, the easiest"live chat" customer help service on the planet, with the fastest response time.They also provide a decent selection of easily-customizable Web Form templates, aswell as HTML email templates (you can send your emails in either HTML or text).Down the line, when you're feeling more comfortable or have built up more experience,Aweber also allows you to create and manage specific campaigns, track all your clickthroughs (you can start tracking immediately) and move customers from one list toanother (for example, from your Sign-up list to your Customer list) by using simple"automation rules".The important thing here is to just get started. Build your list -- and get an offer outquickly! in Partnership with

And nothing could be easier than setting up your account. Aweber's easy-on-the-brainwizard walks you through the process, step by step. Nevertheless, if you're like I was asa new marketer, there's bound to be some tiny step or detail you suspect is obvious to therest of the world that completely stumps you.That's where Aweber really heads the pack, bymiles: Nothing could be easier than to click on thegreen "Live Chat" button below your working area. And, unlike some "live chat" helpsystems, you won't need to go through hoops trying to connect with them, or discoveringthat your particular computer setup doesn't work.Clicking on the "Live Chat" button instantly opens up a separate window where a liveoperator interacts via text messages to answer your question.(Response time is usually instant. The longest wait I've experienced was about fortyseconds and the furthest back I've ever been in the queue is number one.)TIP: Set up your account during their "Live Chat" business hours ("8AM-8PM ETMon-Fri & 9AM-5PM Sat"). You probably won't need them, but it's nice to have theseoperators instantly availableStep Two: Figuring out your Offer/HookSo you've read this far and are slowly getting over your Autoresponder Anxiety. It wouldbe easy at this point to rush and sign up -- but you'll retain more subscribers (the reallycrucial benefit of having an Autoresponder) plus feel less confused during set up if youhave a clear picture of exactly what you want to promise them -- in advance.You may have a specific offer you want to promote. If so, great! The ideal would be todrive your subscriber to that offer via a Squeeze Page (we'll cover that specific process inour third guide).If you don't yet have a specific offer, get that list started anyway. It will be especiallyimportant to "imprint" yourself and your business on your subscriber's consciousnessbefore ever offering a thing.The drop-dead, easiest way to do it is with a short email eCourse. You can have it up andrunning in a morning. Providing an eCourse immediately on sign-up (one that stretchesfor the subscriber over a week or two) eliminates your new subscriber looking at your"offer" email, two months later, and deleting it because she doesn't "know" you (orremember signing up!) in Partnership with

And even if you do have an actual offer ready and waiting, an eCourse is also a goodmethod to use: It allows you to: Establish a rapport and relationship "Warm up" your subscriberHere's a more in-depth look at both methods. Think about these, before you sign up forAweber.1. Mini Email Course -- As mentioned earlier, if your new subscribers don't know youwell already, a good method would be to add five short Follow-up emails to your firstlist, containing five separate tips on your topic. Then set the intervals 1-3 days apart.Don't put links to offers in the first four course installments. In your final Follow-upTip email: Let your reader know this is the end of your "Greatest Tips" series Thank them for staying along for the ride Provide a link to your related offerWord it something like this:"I hope you've enjoyed my "Five Tips for Dog GroomingSuccess" mini eCourse. If you'd like to learn much moreabout running a successful dog grooming business, check outmy new eBook, "Dog Grooming Made Easy", right now at:"(If it flows naturally, include the link at least twice in that particular email -- the first timein the middle of your email; the second at the conclusion or in the P.S.)Don't be intimidated -- you can write your entire e-course in less than an hour! (Lessthan a morning, if you're especially slow.) Here's how:1. Just write down in Notepad, in point form, five of your best, one-line tipsrelated to your niche's most burning interest.2. Make sure these tips are all on the same single, specific subject highly relatedto your actual offer3. Take each tip and expand around it, explaining it in three or in Partnership with

4. Keep each email short and simple. Ruthlessly cut out anything not related tothat single point (tip).You can write them all within the same notepad file, visually separating each "email"with a simple line for your own easy reference.For each new Follow-up email you're creating in Aweber, just copy paste from yourNotepad file from each of these sections. It's that simple!2. Presenting an OfferYou don't have to take the eCourse rout: You can immediately promote your own digitalproduct. or someone else's product you yourself recommend as an affiliate.Even if you're not a writer, you can create your own original digital products quickly byrecording an audio or webinar. Ideally you want to create a Freebie that shows whatyou're all about -- and why that's a perfect match for your subscriber.It doesn't matter what type of digital product you're selling: The important part is to getpeople to click through -- and buy. A key part of achieving this goal consists of gettingto know your subscribers. This will make any offer you present feel like a natural,logical step; like a friend helping them out.Your best chance of success (with or without the warm-up) will be a strong "hook" (yourkeyword, tapping into their need) -- and thorough research: Identifying your target customer -- and where you can find her online Researching, asking and analyzing what her most urgent need, problem, issue ordream is Tapping into her emotions by finding what she can't live without, pertaining to yourniche topicOnce you've done this, it will be relatively easy to get something created and presentstraight away!Step Three: The Nitty-Gritty -- How to Set Up Your Aweber AccountSo you've finally got over your Autoresponder anxiety, deciding to take the plunge andsign up for Aweber. Let's get started!1. Signing Up1. Go to Aweber and click on the " 1" trial in Partnership with

(You will be charged 1 for your first month, and 19 on a recurring monthlybasis after your trial.)2. Select your pricing plan. Note that the 1 trial only applies to the 19monthly plan -- but if you are already sure you don't need a trial, deciding on aquarterly or yearly plan can save you money too. (You'll end up paying theequivalent of approximately 16 per month with the quarterly or annual plan.) in Partnership with

3. Decide on your log-in name:4.Enter your billing information. (Currently, you can only pay by credit card.) in Partnership with

5. Read service agreement and agree to terms by clicking the green "I Agree,Complete My Order" button:That's it. You're all signed in Partnership with

The next screen you'll see will look like this:Click the "Let's Get Started!" button to get your new list created and your Confirmationand Welcome emails set up.Step Four: Creating Your First ListNothing could be easier than setting up new lists. Once you log into your account (you'llalready be logged in, the first time) go to your "Home" tab, then click on the underlinedlink: "Create and Manage Lists". Remember this link, because it's usually where you'llneed to start, every time you log into Aweber.This will take you to a new screen, where you'll select the green button reading: "Createa New List".You'll be taken to a new page, which contains three tabs arranged in Partnership with

You'll fill in these three Tab sections: Basic Settings Personalize Your List Confirmed Opt-InThe Basic Settings tab requires you to assign a name to your list. It's broken down intosections 1 and 2 -- and at the bottom, you'll see a green "Save Settings" button. Whenyou've completely filled out this first tab, be sure to press the "Save Settings" button.Let's quickly go through this in Partnership with

List NameChange the default name of this basic sign-up list, which willbe something like "default12345", to something that willmake sense to you later, when you have multiple lists.Aweber states that no one sees this name but you -- but if youlater use the default confirmation page option, keep in mindthat your list name will appear on that confirmation pageList DescriptionThis will be seen by your subscribers on your Unsubscribepage, reminding them who you are and what you do, so keepthat in mind as you state what your list is all about."From" Name/Address Do not use AOL or Yahoo addresses (not allowed). Gmail isallowed, but an email address from your own domain is best.Your Contact Address will automatically appear below thisfield, based on what you entered in the previous page.NotificationsLeave this field blank or else your inbox will be flooded withnew subscribers, the moment you get a serious campaignunder way!The Personalize Your List tab deals with Company branding. You can upload a profilephoto (your logo or a headshot); insert your website URL and your email signature.(Space it like this:Warmly,Beth) in Partnership with

You can also choose to connect with Facebook and/or Twitter. Once you've selectedyour social network(s) they will appear on every list by default.Once you've saved your settings at the bottom of this page, you'll be taken to the finalstep.The Confirmed Opt-In tab provides you with a default Confirmation email template.You can customize the subject line by using the drop-down menu and choosing a defaultfile, or writing your own totally custom subject line. (N.B.: If you choose the latteroption, you'll need to wait 24 hours for it to be approved.)Notice the grey tabs to the left of the email form: These show you which parts you areallowed to edit. (You can also just click on the paragraph you wish to edit.)The only part of this section you can't edit is the block of text between the dotted lines.Once you've set up your confirmation email, you need to decide where to send your newsubscriber. You can either use Aweber's default Basic thank you page, or send them toyour own Custom URL (either simply welcoming them or providing your actualdownload). Since we're going to be sending a Follow-up Welcome email, you mightwish for now just to stick with the default for in Partnership with

TIP: If you wish to personalize your emails so that your subscriber sees her name, use{!firstname fix}, rather than {!firstname}: This will literally fix any "mistakes" -- forexample, if your subscriber has used all lower case in her sign-up process. You don'twant to be sending her emails that read: "Dear mary"!Leave Sections 2 and 3 ("Require Opt In on Web Forms" and "Success Page") totallyblank, for simplicity's sake. (The green "ON" button should be as shown.)So now you've set up your list and customized your Confirmation email. "Save settings"once again.Notice that you can "Save settings" at any time in the process. If you log out of youraccount, you can easily get back to where you were by clicking on that all-important"Create and Manage Lists" link on your Home tab, then double-clicking on your listname.The set up wizard at the bottom of each page always shows you where you are in theprocess:You can always select the green "Do This Step" button to continue immediately. or logout and continue where you left off, next time you log in.Step Five: Your First Follow-up EmailThe final step will be to insert your Welcome email. At this point, you should be able tocontinue much as above with ease. Your only decision will be how you want yourfollow-up email (or emails, if you've decided to include a short eCourse) to in Partnership with

HTML and text version (the latter for those who have set their email client not toreceive HTML) Text only (a proven tactic with short eCourses) HTML only (not recommended)For HTML, you can either choose one of Aweber's many HTML ready-made templatesand customize your selection. or copy-paste your own HTML, if you have web designexperience and you are comfortableFor simplicity's sake, I would recommend for your first list, leaving the HTML textareabox blank and choosing Text Only by default, as a in Partnership with

When you go to click your green "Save Changes" button, you'll see a new button to theleft of it allowing you to preview your email in a new window. (You can also sendemails to a test address from within Aweber).If you are inserting a download link in this email (rather than promising them InstallmentOne of your mini eCourse) you need to know that the process for inserting it is differentin the HTML editor than in the Text box. In the HTML editor, you'll press the little"world" icon to insert the link:In your text editor, you'll simply type it out like so:"http://myblog/hi.html"If you aren't ready to insert a link, don't worry -- you can always edit your emails and addone later.In our next guide, we'll continue by creating your custom Aweber Web Form, loadingyour free digital product into a hidden WordPress page and setting up your downloadbasics. (Remember, until your sign-up form is live or until you include mention of anactual offer, you can work on your first list at your leisure, once you have yourConfirmation and Welcome emails set up.)In our third guide we'll focus on setting up your Squeeze Page in WordPress andintegrating your Aweber code.In our final guide, I'll show you how to quickly and easily set up and schedule a blogbroadcast -- a wonderful Aweber feature that allows you to send an email to all blogsubscribers automatically. You'll use this to finally present your first offer.Now go get a cup of something hot and take a break. You've earned it! in Partnership with

Contact Info:Email:[email protected] Toll Free:1-800-399-9610Connect with me! Twitter: @LoriLynnSmithFacebook: : in Partnership with

Aweber also provides regular and on-demand tutorial webinars, a vast and easily-accessed knowledge based of archived tips and tuition -- and, most important, the easiest "live chat" customer help service on the planet, with the fastest response time. They also provide a decen