Starting a Newsletter and Email List

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Starting your very own email list is just as important as the website you’re building. If you are wanting to build a online presence then you will want to start an email list. Starting your own email list can grow your brand awareness, get you more people coming to your site, and many other very important things.

When you’re ready to start your own email list you might not know where to begin? Well, the good news is that I can guide you in the right direction to succeed with your newsletter. It’s really simple to start your own email list these days using the amazing tools you have available to you. The best option to build your email list is using AWeber, getting setup with this service will allow you to not only automate your newsletter it will also allow you to do many other helpful things on auto pilot. Don’t ever try to start an email list without a service like AWeber.

If you go the route without using AWeber then you will be losing people left and right on your email list, you might also leave out some things that make it so know one signs up at all.

So What is a Newsletter, & Why you Will Want to Have One from Day One!

Before I show you how to start your newsletter let me give you the understandings of a newsletter & why you should have one of your very own. Now, before you get confused I will be talking about email newsletters, there are many forms of newsletters, some of them are print newsletters, video newsletters and so on.

Email newsletters are a tool for your fans to subscribe and get updated directly and easily. The way in which a fan signs up is simple, they will sigh up through an opt in form much like the one you see at the bottom of this page. When they put in their email, name, or whatever else into the opt in form they then will be sent an email asking them to confirm their subscription. Once they confirm their subscription they will then be sent a welcome email.

Some people don’t really think there is not much point in having a newsletter when the people who are their fans already like their social media pages or perhaps follow their RSS feed. To put simple email is more powerful then you might think, many people check their emails before they even get out of bed. Newsletters are a huge way to drive sales, traffic, promotions, and many other things that you need and more importantly want. Another great thing to keep in mind is that when you have a newsletter you’re obtaining people’s email addresses. You don’t get people’s email addresses from Facebook, Twitter, or RSS feeds. Newsletters or “emails” have a huge impart on the digital word, there are more than a billion emails sent everyday.

Step One – open an AWeber account so you can start building your list. Another cool thing about using AWeber is that you can manage multiple lists within one account. There is no need to get more then one AWeber account because you can manage all your lists under one account unlike some email marketing services out their. If you don’t know what a list is then let me explain so that you don’t get lost along the way. Let’s assume you have three websites that all have completely different content on them. If you sign up for a AWeber account you can then set up lists to each website allowing your subscribers to only get the content that they opted in for.

Step Two – setup up your first email list on AWeber. Now, we need to setup your first list for your newsletter to be sent out. First, click on “create and manage” lists link. You can see where the link is in the image below.

aweber-list

Then you will need to fill in all of your information, don’t forget your email address in the “Contact Address” this is going to be shown at the bottom of each email your AWeber account sends out. This is required by law by the “CAN-SPAM Act.”

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Step Three – setup your confirmed Opt-In email to allow people to “confirm” their subscription with your site. The “Opt-in Confirm” email is a good thing because it’s doing many things for you. The first is making sure that there are no bots signing up for your newsletter. The second is making sure your subscribers really want to be a part of your newsletter and they didn’t sign up by mistake.

Also, it helps you make sure that every email address that gets entered on your opt in forms are put in right, hence the people that may sign up by mistake. This will also allow the emails that are not entered in right be rejected to be placed onto your list. Sometimes people will put the wrong email, they wont end up getting the opt-in email. If that happens they will most likely try again.

On your account you’re given the option to not have the opt-in email sent. However, don’t turn this off because you will hate yourself in the long run. Having it set to “On” is the best option for you so don’t turn it off. Below you can see the an opt-in email that was created.

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Step Four – setting up the success page for your newsletter. After editing your confirm message you will see below the “Success Page.” This will be the page your subscribers will be sent to after getting a successful signup through the opt-in form. This is where you would want to say something along the lines of: “Thank you for subscribing, we have sent you a confirmation email to confirm your subscription.” Below you can see the “Success Page” url that you will want to put in.

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Step Five – Writing your welcome message for your list (The follow up message number one). The welcome message is going to be sent to your subscriber right after they have opted into your newsletter. With this message you will want to say something like: Welcome, here is the amazing first email you have subscribed for, or something that they are expecting to get from your site.

Something to always keep in mind is always make your emails as appealing as possible for your subscribers. Add visuals with your emails and make sure they will appeal with your subscribers. AWeber says you should use only plain text in your emails, I however have tested the plain email along side the HTML emails and they both have around the same open rates. I use HTML to spice up my emails so I think you should do the same with your emails.

Step Six – always send yourself a test email before you start the newsletter on autopilot. After your message has been completed then you will send yourself a test email to your inbox. When you send this test email it will make you see exactly what your subscribers are seeing. Testing it this will show you if there is something wrong with your message before it gets sent out.

Step Seven – setting up your opt-in web farm that will be setup in your website. This form will allow people to put in their info to become a subscriber. To build a new web form you will click on the “Web Forms” button on your AWeber account. You can see the image below.

aweber-web-forms

Once you click on the “Web Forms” button you will then be able to build your new opt-in form. This is where you can choose from multiple form layout, colors, fonts, and other things for the design of your web form. you can create more then one opt in form for different placements on your website. For example: you can have a sidebar opt-in form and a page opt-in form. The page opt-in form would be on pages that are “full Width” and the sidebar one would be places in the sidebar. Doing this will make the chances of people signing up for your newsletter more high.

After you have setup your form as far as design, look, and feel you will need to customize your form setting. You can do this by clicking on the settings tab. You can see this in the following image below.

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Make sure your form name is a unique name for each form that you create. This will help you keep track of each form that you create, thus making sure you don’t misplace one in the wrong place. The thank you page is going to be the page that I just showed you how to set up a minute ago. Once you have set this all up the way you want you then have five options at this point. As you can see in the image below.

aweber-options

The first three options on this are pages that AWeber created for your convenance. The first one of the options let the subscriber know that an email has sent to them, it’s the email that contains a confirmation link that they must click in order to subscribe to the newsletter. Without them clicking it they will not become a subscriber to the newsletter. The next to options on the list our the Audio and “Smart” Video Versions. These two will tell the user exactly what to expect and what links they need to click, that way there is no confusion when they are subscribing to the newsletter. However, you need to understand that many people may not be able to listen to audio on their current computer or device.

I choose to have the custom page because it will keep the subscriber on my site. Here are a few ideas on what you might want to include on the page.

Write a short note about how they have been sent a confirmation email that they need to check. You may even go the extra mile and show them a picture of the email they just got.

Write a message about what they can expect after clicking the link within the email. Tell them to make sure to remove it from the spam box if it has been thrown in their.

On this page you can also place a free gift or maybe tell them to buy a product. This page is a great way to direct your subscribers to new revenues that you couldn’t have ever got without placing it on this page. You can even place a link to an affiliate on this page if you prefer that over a product of yours.

No matter what you tell your subscribers to do at this point is up to you, just always be honest and never scam people out of anything, be honest.

The Form opt-in Code

Once you have performed the previous steps you will need to imbed the HTML code into your web page. To get your web form code you will have to save the form you have been creating. Then under the “Publish” tab you will be able to select what you would like to use. The publish part can be seen in the image below.

aweber-install-web-form

You can either grab the Javascript Snippet code that is generated from your form. You can also grab the Raw HTML Version of the code that is generated. It’s much easier to copy the javascript snippet that’s generated because if you go back into your AWeber account and change your form in anyway, it will automatically update on your website without you having to place the new code onto your website. Using the javascript snippet you can keep track all of the statistics like impressions and signups much easier.

aweber-install-web-form

At this point all you need to do is to copy and past the javascript snippet into your website. If you have a WordPress website then it’s really simple, just paste it right into your page, post, and or sidebar then you’re done with your newsletter! Now when people fill out the form they will be sent a opt-in email, then the welcome email, and all the other emails you have set up within your AWeber account.

Thanks so much for reading this post, it was a bit long but I think it’s worth the length because newsletters are really important. If you have any questions then please feel free to leave a comment below and as always please sigh up to the newsletter. Thanks again and best of luck to your newsletters! Cheers!

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