Step 1 - An Email for ResponsesYou need to have an email address for handling responses to your email broadcasts. This email address will be in the "To:" field for these email broadcasts that you send. I use GoDaddy.com for my domain name, and as part of my domain name purchase they include an email forwarding service using the domain name. I know. I was disappointed one of the GoDaddy girls didn't come with it, sadface. I set up the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. This email address forwards any replies to one of my personal email addresses. An auto-reply feature has been set to direct people to my social media accounts if they want an immediate response.
Step 2 - Basic InformationThis is where you get to name your list, and fill out the basic information. Most of this is self explanitory. The email address you fill in here is the one that you set up in Step 1. The name of the list doesn't matter as much as the description, so don't worry too much if the name you want is already taken. It took me a while to find one that wasn't taken. Liam Neeson did not find anyone nor did he kill them. Chuck Norris did not make any promises, only ultimatums.
Step 3 - Welcome MessageNow it's time to set up a personal welcome message for those who sign up for your newsletter. The aWeber website provides several templates to help you start composing your email. It's decision time, what is it you want to say to your new subscribers? Treat it like your diary! OK maybe not. I put a welcome message that outlines some of the benefits of receiving the newsletter. I included links to a couple of my most popular blog posts as well. You've gotten your foot in the door, and now you should try to convince people why they should read your newsletter or other email correspondence. I am going to go over my advertising strategies next week.
Step 4 - Confirmation of Signing UpOnce people sign up for your email list, they will be sent a confirmation email to ensure that they are not a bot. Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto, but you are not my target audience. You can customize this email, and set up a page to direct people to once they confirm that they indeed did sign up for your newsletter. There is a generic template available for this, but you probably want to edit the message that is sent. Most people will ignore the message, but I like to add some humor for those who do. Love you guys!
Step 5 - Sign up Form!The aWeber website provides many pre-designed forms that you can customize. Make sure to include the header and footer tabs, or your form won't look like the templates. By default the form builder software only puts the form, but you can add in all the extras. You can add text to the header/footer as well. Publishing your form is quick and easy. You can copy/paste it right into the spot where you want. You can see my form on the right sidebar here. What do you think? Isn't it sexy?
Now you have a sign up form for your email list. What next? It's time to promote it! Pimp your list baby! I'll go more into this next week.