Beef up your list by powering up your autoresponder mastery

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Big Huge Lists!Imagine the following!

You’ve visited a rather intriguing page when all of a sudden, you find yourself engaged in an imaginary conversation wtih the website owner.  And you’re told:


"Quick!  Stop right there! 

Omigosh, I’m so glad I caught you before you read any further!"  (said the website owner)

"Why, I hear you ask?" (she continued)

"Well, because you have to sign up for my autoresponder list, of course.  So do it now."

(tick) (tock) (tick) (tock) (tick) (tock) (tick) (tock) (tick) (tock) (tick) (tock)

"Um, hellO!  You haven’t yet signed up!   My toe is wearing holes in the floor from tapping in impatience, but that’s okay, I forgive you.  Get to it now."

(tick) (tock) (tick) (tock) (tick) (tock) (tick) (tock) (tick) (tock) (tick) (tock)

"Stubborn individual you are, I can see.  What’s stopping you from giving me your email address and name so I can send you lots of followup marketing and compel you to buy my products build my list?"

"Hey!  Where’d you go????"


Sigh.  Ever visit pages that convey the same mental imagery?  After all, building a huuuuuge list, bigger than my teenage kid’s Saturday morning angst, is the Holy Grail of marketing…and so site owners will sometimes be a weee bit less subtle than Godzilla eyeing Tokyo in their desire to add your information to their autoresponder.

But that’s not you!  Nope, smart marketers like you know simple, commonsense techniques to setting up a landing page or blog section and funneling the information to an autoresponder…so visitors will happily give up their contact information for your goodies.  

Everyone has their own special tips and techniques…here’s mine!

Let’s begin with:

Step 1).  Get an autoresponder service that has unlimited Autoresponders.

I personally use aWeber for my autoresponders – I now run over 60 of them.

You can use ARs for:

  • Free 7 day ecourse
  • Sample of your product
  • Get on your newsletter
  • Get on a list to be alerted when a future product is ready
  • Customer care followups
  • Customer surveys
  • Paid eSeminars

etc.  Lots of good things for which you can use autoresponders!

Step 2).  Decide the value you’ll imbue in your landing page.

There are two types of landing pages – actual landing pages like my BarbaraLing ezine (that showcases all the goodies you can expect from my newsletters), and dropdown/slide in/etc. boxes like my  goodie available at my RISE Internet Recruiting eSeminars page.

Single pages have the benefit of offering more ‘Why Sign Up’ space, while drop downs/fly-ins give you only one sentence with which to intrigue your reader. 

An easy way to grab your reader’s interest is to ask questions that begin with:

  • Want to know?
  • Are you aware?
  • Did you realize?
  • Want to prevent?
  • Want to achieve?

and follow that up with:

Submit your name and email address below and get the Real Life Truths about Internet Recruiting to find out!

Obviously, I’d suggest changing that second part.  :)

Remember your goal here. 

Certainly, you want to obtain your visitor’s email address…but that’s really short-term viewing. 

Think instead how this is an opportunity to impress your visitor with your quality!

You achieve this by:

Step 3).  Deciding what you want to send back.

You want to ensure that what you send back (ie, the immediate response) is something so compelling, it leaves a positive impression on the reader and opens their minds to learning more from you/about you/your products/etc.

Thus, consider writing a free PDF report that solves a common issue in your niche, or writing up a 7 day ecourse that’s spaced over 10 days, or … see what I mean? Something that’s big and beefy and tangible and makes your reader go, Wow, this person knows what she’s talking about.

I generally go for the free report like you see in my sign up form over by the top right (that cute little ‘Don’t miss a secret!  Get My Private Newsletter Below!’).  They’re easy to write and you can include as a footer in every page, Like what I share?  Check out other goodies I offer at my Why Subscribe? Page!.

Next, you have to actually set up the autoresponder itself!  Let’s move to:

Step 4).  (C’mon now, you know the title here) Setting up your autoresponder.

Did you know there are nifty tricks you can include in your AR setup to help convert visitors to customers?

These include:

Customizing Your Verified Optin.

Autoresponders are generally double-opt-in (meaning that your visitors have to click on a link they receive in email to actually activate the autoresponder).  You’ve probably seen title subjects like:

RESPONSE REQUIRED: Confirm your request for information from {!listname}@aweber.com

To quote my children, ewwww!  How, well, blah-like. 

Why not use something like:

RESPONSE REQUIRED (and appreciated!) Please confirm your request for Barbara Ling’s….

See that "and appreciated" comment?  And, dare I point it out, that "please"?

Courtesy goes a long long way in this day and age!

And don’t forget the message content too!  The default is:

We received your request for information from the default398737
group. Before we begin sending you the information you
requested, we want to be certain we have your permission
.

Well flap my earlobes and call me Dumbo, but that doesn’t thrill me one teeny tiny piece. 

Here’s what I use:

Thank you for requesting my blueprint! Before
I can share it with you, I want to make certain
I have your permission to send them to you.
I think you’ll be rather pleased by
what you learn (oh, and make certain right
now you add "btl@barbaraling.com" to your whitelist
so all communications are certain to reach you!).

Remember, many email systems will flag messages as spam when the recipients really do want to receive them.  By giving them a gentle nudge in the white-listing direction, you’re helping to ensure your message goes thru.

And don’t forget to:

Set up your thank you page!

Whenever anyone signs up to your autoresponder, they’re either directed to a generic thank you page or one that you specify.

Here’s mine.  It contains:

Thank you for subscribing to my newsletter!    The first issue is already winging it’s way to you – I think you’ll greatly enjoy what I share.

Couple of things – first, please make certain that you’ve white-listed the address:

btl@barbaraling.com

This will ensure my newsletter reaches you.   If you need some tips in whitelisting, check out:

Oh, and don’t forget to grab yourself a complimentary copy of my book, Beginners Make Money Cookbook.  You can learn about that and more over at my Recommended Ways to Make Money Online section.

Notice the marketing techniques I implement in this simple thank you page.  One, I thank my visitor.  Two, I re-iterate the need for whitelisting and even provide a link to help.  And three, I continue my marketing by alerting my visitor to my complimentary Make Money book that I offer.

Nice, eh?

The above are only touches the tip of the iceberg with how you can beef up your list membership by taking advantage of simple politeness, top-notch quality and superior customer followup.  I hope you’ve found it helpful!  Please leave any questions in the comments below, and I’ll be happy to answer them as soon as possible.

Enjoy!

Barbara


#BEGIN highlights of this blog writing post:

Beginners marketing tips: Make sure your autoresponder account has unlimited ARs.  You’ll be surprised at the uses up with which you’ll come for them….

Intermediate and/or Advanced marketing tips: Use your ThankYou page for additional viral marketing/helpful tips/etc.

#END highlights of this blog writing post


Like this post? Please feel free to tell your friends and Digg It – I very much appreciate your time!

 

 

About the author

Barbara Author: Barbara Ling. 17+ Year veteran marketing entrepreneur, currently specializing in teaching others how to build a viral fanbase/community online using Facebook, Pinterest, blogging, coffee (lots of coffee, or maybe tea if that's your preference) and more! See my Google Profile here!

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  1. I like the idea of concentrating on value-added. I’ve signed up to lots of newsletters and received only the stock welcome and then only pitches afterwards. Being unique certainly makes marketers stand out.

  2. @Jeff

    I’ve been running autoresponders now since 1998 and have found that it’s the little things that count! There’s another trick I forgot to mention that deals with hyperlinking not only your site but your other ezines/bonuses to your signup form; I’ll have to dig that out and write it up.

    Thanks for visiting!

    Barbara

  3. Hi Barbara,

    Michael here from Emarketscout.

    Wow, you’re imaginery conversation betweeen a website owner and a visitor really got me rotfl …*-).

    Thanks also for revealing your funneling technique. It’s always good to know how other smart marketers work.

    Looking at your site makes me think of one or two tweaks to add to my blog too.

    Keep the good work up.

    Regards,

    Michael

    Michael’s last blog post..How To Put The Secret To Work For You

  4. Great tips! I like how you focused on content more than just technical aspects.

    I agree whole-heartedly with your third point about sending back something with real value.

    Like Jeff, I’m on tons of lists that provide only marginal value, but one recent subscription stands out because of their humor and the quality of everything they send (if anyone’s curious, it’s the stuff from “Conversion Rate Squirrel“, LOL).

    It’s more work upfront, to be sure (and honestly, that’s what’s kept me procrastinating on doing it myself!), but the user experience is worlds apart.

    Sarah Lewis’s last blog post..How to Get a Custom Blog or Website Design on a Small Budget

  5. @Sarah,

    Thanks for the link on Conversion Rate Squirrel – I’ll check it out! And thank you for your kind comments regarding my post; I very much appreciate them.

    Best wishes,

    Barbara

  6. When I set up my first, many moons ago, I was told not to spend (waste) too much time customizing the confirmation page.

    “They know it’s coming. They don’t really read it, just look for the link and click”, is basically what I was told.

    Do you have any sort of proof that sign-up “respond” in certain ways to your customizations?

    Dennis Edell’s last blog post..How Do YOU Spend For Advertising, Or Do You?

  7. Hi Dennis,

    Are we talking ‘signup page’ or ‘thank you’ page?

    Proof? Nothing tangible; I just noticed that I received more signups at my second AR as well when I made the link obvious from the first signup page. And my goals for the thank-you page are mainly non-tangible as well; ie, continue the ‘softsell’ with the ‘here’s some additional help to ensure you receive the newsletter’.

    Keep in mind – the majority of my ‘customization’s via email center simply upon politeness and making my voice unique from other other bazillion of marketers out there.

    Hope that helps!

    Barbara

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