Having a mailing list is one of the most important resources you can have on the Internet today. Before the Internet, top marketers carefully managed their mailing lists to generate countless billions in catalog sales, direct sales, fundraising, grass roots movements and so many other activities. With the Internet, this process has become so much easier and your audience can wrap around the globe.
This lesson shows you how to create a mailing list for your website using an online service called AWeber. I’ve used other onlines services and PC-based mailing list managers and out of all the services I’ve tested, Aweber is the best. Using it is very, very simple and they also provide some of the best support and training I’ve ever seen from a service like this. The following how to guide will show you how to get started with AWeber and then what to do after you’re up and running.
Create an account
Visit Aweber and open an account. Click the order tab in the top right and then fill out the registration form. Don’t forget to write down your username and password. There are two payment options for aweber. One is an annual charge and then other is for month to month. The annual charge is the best value but choose what makes the most sense for you.
Login to your account
Return to the AWeber web site and log into your account. Before you do, you may want to click on the video walkthrough link and watch their excellent selection of training videos. At the time of this writing, they have provided four comprehensive videos walking you through the process of setting up your account, creating email newsletters with their free template selection, building an effective email follow up campaign and adding a registration, or opt-in, form to your own web site.
It really is hard to beat the value of AWeber and when you factor in their great training and customer support, there’s little point in messing around with any other solution out there.
Create a list Step 1
Once you’re logged in, you’ll be taken to your control panel for your account. There’s a lot more available than what you can see in this screen shot.
To create a new list, click on the Add New link as seen in the screen capture.
Create a list Step 2
In the next screen, Manage Lists, the option at the top is Create List. Click Create List to continue.
Configure your list: List Settings
The first options you’ll see after creating your new list are for the basic list settings.
1. Give your list a name: The list name is also a special email address. Anyone sending an email to this address will be added to the mailing list, which is a handy shortcut and alternative to using a registration form on a web page.
2. Give your list a description: Short List Description is a short reminder of what the list is for. The only time someone sees this description is when they click an unsubscribe link in one of your messages. This description will be shown in the confirmation dialog and a good description may remind the person why they joined the list in the first place.
3. Multiple Unsubscribe: Leave this option checked. It allows people to mass unsubscribe if they happen to be on more than one of your lists. Even if you aren’t planning on having more than one list right now, it could be useful in the future and doesn’t hurt anything if you only have one list right now….so just leave it.
4. Open Rates: Again, leave this option checked. It will help you get statistics about your mailing list in the future.
5. Click Save: Every once in a while, I forget to do this before moving to the next configuration section.
Configure your list: Company Branding
After you hit Save for the List Settings above, scroll down to the next configuation section. You don’t have to fill this information out, but if you have a Company Name and a Website URL, you should at least set those items and then just leave Logo URL and Divider HTML Color blank.
Don’t forget to hit Save before you move to the next section.
Configure your list: Reply Address
This section is very important. In fact, you can’t do anything with your list until this part is configured.
1. Email address: This is your address or one that you want to use for your mailing list. Many internet marketers actually use their real address in this field which means that subscribers can hit reply to a message and ask you a question or send you a comment.
2. Name: This should be your name or something that clearly identifies your list to the subscriber. When a message is received, this is what people are going to see in their inbox. My recommendation is that you personalize this. When people see an email from a company name, they are less likely to open the message.
3. From/Reply: Check this box to make this email address the address used by all the messages sent from your list.
4. Notifications: Check this box and when someone subscribes to your list, this email address will be used to let you know.
5. Add: Click add to link this address to your list.
6. Save: In case you missed it earlier, click Save when you’re done with a section.