If you set-up a good autoresponder, you can build your list right from the very beginning. You may choose the free route because you are concerned that your list will not build or convert for you, and you want a return on your investment.
The problem is that you will eventually have to transfer your list to a paid model with more capabilities and no intrusive advertisements, which compete with your offers. This is a common problem with a free autoresponder. However, if you choose to go that route, my recommendation is MailChimp.
One of the most popular systems (and one that I also recommend) is AWeber. This tool is affordable and has a nice $1 free trial offer (for 1 month) – and it is only $19 a month (or $45 for 3 months) if you decide to continue your subscription after the free trial.
One of the biggest reasons why AWeber is among the preferred autoresponders is because of the excellent tutorials they provide; plus, a simple, step-by-step walk-through with prompts when you are setting up your system. They make it very easy.
You should also have a squeeze page in place for building your list. This can be placed right on your home domain. The squeeze page should have a nice graphic presentation with everything above the fold with no scrolling required. Have one main headline and one or two sub-headlines on the page.
Have a list of bullet points or a video directly across from the opt-in form. This will encourage people to sign up for your freebie. Whatever you use – keep it short and to the point. You want them to feel a sense of urgency – so they can’t wait another minute to get started!
The opt-in form should not be complicated; and it should match your site graphics. Ask for ONLY a name and email address. If you start asking for phone numbers and other information, you will lose them.
It is also a good idea to place an opt-in form on the main blog and home page of your site. Then, if someone lands on www.yourdomain.com/blog, they will see an opt-in form in the sidebar above the fold of your site.
If they click through or enter your site on a specific blog post or page, they should also see an opt-in form below each entry. This makes it easy for them because if they are reading and scrolling, they may not remember to go back to the top of the page after they have finished.
A good autoresponder collects all your subscribers and keeps them in clearly-defined groups (which you set up), so it is simple to set out bulk messages when you want to do so.
Choose an autoresponder and open an account today – do not put it on your “TO DO” list.