Welcome to Day 17 of the Internet Marketing Makeover!
Yesterday, you designed an incentive item to encourage site visitors to join your email list.
The next logical step? Put it into play!
DAY 17 OBJECTIVE
Implement your autoresponder sequence.
DAY 17 ASSIGNMENT
Firstly, you’ll need an autoresponder service.
I do not, under any circumstance, want you to use some free WordPress plugin, script you host on your domain or other workaround. This is a service that is worth paying for. Here’s why:
- When you start sending email from your domain (or server) and people mark it as spam in their mail client, your domain gets blacklisted by ISP’s and your mail will not get through to people.
- Your IP address could be blacklisted as a whole by the ISP’s, which leads to NONE of the email sent from your server getting through.
- Email sent from your server will not have as high a deliverability rate as email sent by a reputable autoresponder service. The autoresponder services work directly with the email service providers and spam watchdog groups to ensure mail sent from their service is delivered.
- If you collect emails on your own and later decide to transition to a service, you will not be able to import those old subscribers to the new service without losing about 90% of them (if not more) as they will be required to opt-in again, and most people won’t bother.
- None of these “if” or “could’ scenarios (such as having your IP banned from sending mail) are worst case or rare scenarios. This is all exceedingly common and you will be effected and your mail will not be delivered. Period.
- If you think that you’re legit and that what you’re offering is legit and that there’s no way people are going to hit the “Spam Complaint” button on you and therefore you won’t have to worry about the first 5 bullets listed above, you’re totally, sadly, dead wrong. You can require double opt-in, remind people when and where they subscribed, give them an opt-out link in ever message – but there are still people who hit “Spam” no matter how honest and above ground you are.
Do yourself a favor and just start off using a reputable and reliable company.
Who to use?
Most people will find Aweber to be the best fit. What you’ll get with Aweber is high deliverability, great customer service, unlimited autoresponder lists, tracking and analytics and an automatic form builder that will let you create cool looking opt-in forms, from the standard in-line form to popovers. They also have built-in split-testing of your opt-in forms so you can design a few and see which convert best.
Aweber doesn’t do anything else, just email.
Another option you might be aware of is 1ShoppingCart, I was less that pleased with their email deliverability for the years I used them and as such, do not recommend them as an autoresponder. They’re fine as a shopping cart, just don’t use their email features.
There are a few other companies all the kids are excited about – MailChimp comes to mind. They don’t allow affiliate marketing, so if your business will ever use a referral link, affiliate code or the like, you’re opening yourself up to having your account shut down.
Your email list, that subscriber database, is your hall pass. It’s the “golden ticket” or the “get out of jail free card”. So don’t skimp on this one.
Aweber is most likely the best match for you. They offer your first month for $1, so you can give the service a whirl with little risk on your end.
It is, by far, the best investment I ever made.
They provide extensive instuctions on setting up you list, creating a web form, etc. so I won’t go into detail.
I will give you an outline of what you need to do, in whatever autoresponder service you end up using:
- Create an account and create your first list
- Load that first list with a series of messages set to go out automatically that encourage folks to check out yours or affiliate products
- Remember to include in your autoresponder series the incentive you promised people when they signed up (in the 1st message is best)
- Create a web form for people to subscribe to your list where you explain the incentive / benefit of subscribing clearly
- Publish the web form on your site (Aweber popover tend to convert better than in-line forms, you can also use both in-line forms and popovers like I do on this blog)
- Test what you’ve done by subscribing to your own list to make sure it’s working right!
An autoresponder sequence is the most valuable investment you can make in your business. It takes on-off visitors and turns them into prospects and then customers for life.
This is the single most important step you can make in turning a website into a real business. Do it today!