Before we move forward and discuss how to communicate with your list and discuss options and content for your offers, it is important to cover some of the technical steps for setting up your autoresponder.
If you have not already chosen an auto-responder service, I highly recommend AWeber. The company was established in 2006. The pricing is affordable; they have an excellent tutorial system and a friendly, accessible help desk. They have been my auto-responder since 2012. Other reputable companies are: GetResponse, Mail Chimp, and InfusionSoft.
Click here to set up your account: AWeber.com. To be completely above board, I am an affiliate and will receive a small commission if you set up your account through this link. It does not add any cost to your fee.
Please note that each auto-responder set up process is slightly different – and every company changes their system from time to time, but the information below for AWeber should be close enough that you will be able to follow it without difficulty.
Once you have set up your account, you are ready set up your first list.
Create Your First List
1. Log into your AWeber account and click on “Manage Lists” located in the top bar.
2. You will see the following information – just below the bars at the top. Click on the green button, “Create a List.”
3. The “Tell Us About Yourself” page will appear.
4. Complete all the information on the page (if you haven’t already done so.) First, enter the name of your company or program that you are marketing. Then enter the website URL for the website that is associated with your company.
5. Complete the form (shown below) with the “Contact Address.” Enter an address where you can be reached, if necessary. The address will automatically appear at the bottom of any messages that you send out. A valid PO Box or street address is required by the CAN-SPAM Act.
6. Finally, enter your “Sender Name” and “Sender Email.” This is the email address that your messages will appear to come from when received by your subscribers.
7. Click “Next Step” to continue.
8. You will be taken to the “Let’s Create Your List” page.
Enter your “List Name” (up to 32 characters in length). The “List Name” is for your benefit ONLY. It will identify which list you are working on within in your account. It is not something that subscribers will see.
Even if you only have one list for now, do not label it “List 1” – “List 2” and so on. In a very short time you will have no idea which list is which, and you will have to open each one to find the list you want.
9. Complete the “List Description,” which describes what the mailing list is for. You have 400 characters (not words), so keep it sharp and brief. Your subscribers will see the “List Description” on the unsubscribe page (if they choose to unsubscribe).
10. When finished, click “Next Step” to continue.
11. The “Approve Your Confirmation Message” page will appear.
12. The confirmation message is sent to subscribers when they are added to your mailing list to get permission to send them future messages. You are no longer required to do this; but, even if you do not plan on using a confirmation message, you should still set it up.
13. As shown above, you first set-up the subject line (as shown in the box). You can either choose a pre-approved subject line from the drop-down box – or you can “Request Approval for a Custom Subject Line” by clicking on that link.
14. If you choose to create your custom subject line, allow up to at 1 business day for approval. Rules to keep in mind for custom lines:
Tell the subscribers who you are
Why they are receiving the confirmation message
What they need to do with the message
Example: Confirm your request to receive our Healthy Low-fat Recipes
15, You can personalize your subject line if you have captured the information from your subscribers. You do this by using the “Insert Personalization” drop down menu. (See image below.)
16. The next step is to edit the confirmation message. Click the “Edit” button to edit the introduction and/or the signature. (You cannot change the middle section.) You can also personalize the message.
17. When you have finished editing, click the “Approve Message and Create List” button at the bottom of the page.
18. Your list is now officially set up. If you are ready, you can take it a step further and create your Welcome Email. (Or you can do it later.)