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April 2009

Q&A's on The Best AWeber Strategies & Tactics for Small Businesses E-training

Time to publicly answer some questions I've been receiving over the last few weeks:

What is AWeber Autoresponder?

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AWeber is an online software program you can use for your email marketing. From sending out your email newsletter weekly, monthly or even daily to - sometimes even more effective - automating your sales messages through the autoresponder (follow-up) feature. It is a great marketing tool that delivers automatic e-mail responses, updates, offers, and instant messages.
AWeber's autoresponder puts an online OR offline business on Auto-Pilot. The Autoresponder works tirelessly, 24 hours a day / 7 days a week/ 365 days a year.

With the AWeber online software, you will be able to:

  • set up unlimited campaigns
  • unlimited messages
  • spam checker
  • text or html-based messages
  • create blog-alerts every time you publish a new post
  • manage your subscribers
  • accessible from every where you have access to the Internet.

Why AWeber is so powerful:
Ensuring requested opt-in email is delivered to subscriber inboxes is an increasingly difficult battle in the age of spam filtering. Open and click through response rates can be dramatically affected by as much as 20-30% due to incorrect spam filter classification.

Confirming that the people who ask for your information have actually requested to be on your list is the number one step in the battle for deliverability. AWeber is using a process called confirmed opt-in or verified opt-in to send a unique link to the attempted subscriber when they request information. Before adding the person to your list they must click that unique link verifying that they are indeed the same person that owns the email address and requested to subscribe. Plus AWeber itself (their email server that sends out all your messages in your name) is White-listed - ensuring an almost 99.9% deliverability.

I'm thinking about using AWeber, is this E-book for me?

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Definitely! From day one on you will benefit from all the trial and errors we made when we started with AWeber (in Oct 07). You don't have to re-invent the wheel to find out what works best - saving you precious time, effort and perhaps also frustrations - so you can concentrate on growing your email lists and therefore your business in the most effective and ethical way possible.

The E-book also contains tips and advice on other web-marketing aspects, not just on how to set up your campaigns or where and how to insert web forms to your website/blog.

Preview of the Best AWeber S&T's available here

WARNING: AWeber web forms - the starting point of your lead-generation - don't work on free blogs hosted by WordPress.com (like you.wordpress.com). WordPress.com doesn't allow any javascript codes on this type of blog. (update 07.05.09: solution discovered- see here)

You either have to host your WordPress blog on your own domain (downloading the free blog software to your own domain and website area - needs ccs and html knowledge!) or opt for one of the Typepad blog accounts (no need for ccs or html knowledge, although knowing a little bit about the 'internet language' always comes in handy). Typepad isn't a free blog platform, but costs rather little (from £ 3.00 a month) and comes with an excellent customer support.

I'm already using AWeber, is this E-book for me?

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Definitely! This E-book will enable you to use it at a higher / or even maximum potential. No matter if you have been using AWeber just for a few months or for years - the Strategies and Tactics in this E-training (and many more other web marketing tips) will give you enough pointers, ideas and insight to unleash AWeber's full power.

Preview of the Best AWeber S&T's available here

Why select this E-book over AWeber's own knowledge base and tutorials?

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Besides being one of the most used autoresponder AWeber is also known for its excellent technical support service, no doubt about it.
AWeber has its own excellent online knowledge base, technical support and step-by-step videos, explaining and teaching you the what and the how of their system. We've been helped out by AWeber plenty of times - reading through their knowledge base, watching some of the tutorial videos and submitting technical tickets to the support team.

The Best AWeber Strategies and Tactics for Small Businesses E-book will go beyond the what and the how, it will explain and teach you the why behind our strategies and tactics:

Why you should follow certain steps in certain sequences;

Why you are sometimes advised not to follow AW standard set-up guide-lines; and

How to implement simple, but powerful, combinations you will not find (or not in detail) mentioned in the knowledge base.

You will learn all the tips, tricks and techniques in the lesson. Most of the lessons contain step-by-step guides, showing you exactly what you must do to achieve the results we consistently achieve. More than AWeber's own step-by-step videos they will go beyond the mechanics and demonstrate both the how as well as the why.

Other (local) small businesses have followed my "AWeber Strategies and Tactics" 1-2-1 workshops. The results are relatively immediately and profitable as every single one of my clients has seen an almost immediately increase in leads, prospects and conversion rate. In other words: their invested time, money and effort has produced a profitable return which can be seen as profit on the balance sheet. Time-after-time, with every new marketing campaign, my 1-2-1 workshop clients have added prospects and customers to their growing lists. Even, and in some cases especially, when they were already using AWeber.

3dAWST1
(image for illustration purpose only)

192 pages (download online)

"E-book" £ 7.97

(After payment is accepted, please wait until you are redirected to our 'download' instruction page - if you don't receive a confirmation email within 10 minutes, please email me for support: karinh@1plus1makes3.co.uk)

Instant access to put your ethical email marketing into hyperdrive with tested and tried successful Strategies and Tactics used by small businesses.


If you want to discover more about ScreenSteps: 'early' webinar

Blue Mango Learning System will hold an 'early' webinar (early for the US, just after noon over here, thanks Greg) on ScreenSteps Desktop for new Users:

Tuesday 28 April 9am Eastern = 2pm BST

Learn more about ScreenSteps

Today the Desktop 2.5 Candidate was launched, even more features, benefits and ease of use! As you can read - if you haven't done so already - on the Kiss Business too (2) blog, the program is awarded my KISS-award for Keeping It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business

I'm using ScreenSteps Desktop to create the Best AWeber Strategies and Tactics for Small Businesses.

3dAWST1
(image for illustration purpose only)

192 pages (download online)

"E-book" £ 7.97

(After payment is accepted, please wait until you are redirected to our 'download' instruction page - if you don't receive a confirmation email within 10 minutes, please email me for support: karinh@1plus1makes3.co.uk)

Instant access to put your ethical email marketing into hyperdrive with tested and tried successful Strategies and Tactics used by small businesses.


Results of short survey on AWeber default Thank You Pages

Monkeylogo Last week I used MonkeySurvey to ask 5 short questions on one particular feature/option the AWeber program has: the 2 Thank You Pages. The 1st page you are directed to after submitting your details in the webform and the 2nd page you are directed to after clicking the confirmation email link.

For both you can use AWeber default pages. Or you can use Thank You Pages you create yourself either on your website or blog (as page).

The questions in the survey concentrated on which option (Default or Custom) AWeber account holders use and why. If you've taken part in the survey I'm very grateful to you.

I was happy to note that most (no matter how long they have been using AWeber, from 1 year to 6+ years) are using custom Thank You Pages. The few ones using the default 1st Thank You Page state: "it saves time".

I'm sure it does, but it will costs you prospects. Leads coming from your own website/blog, where you have put so much effort in the wording and the offer to entice your web visitor to submit their details, are left hanging in the dark. All they read on the next page - which is a large empty white page with one single sentence: Please Check Your Email and Click the Confirmation Link to Activate Your Subscription.

Not very welcoming, not very conversational, not very 'polite'. It is always much better and will definitely increase the conversion rate of leads to prospects if you - as one of the contributors to the survey puts - "maintain the look and feel of my website". Don't interrupt the flow of conversation you are having with your lead/prospect because 'it saves time'. Don't let them wonder where you, your website and your conversation went.

The same applies for the 2nd Thank You Page - and happy to note that even most of those using the default 1st page use a custom 2nd page. Maintain the look and feel of your website.

Thank-you There is however a rather worrying - in my eyes - practice mentioned by 50% of those using a custom 2nd Thank You Page: immediate access to downloads. They are in fact leaving the back door wide open. Even more worrying if you use AWeber as 'delivery' vehicle for your knowledge products (like E-books) or software products your prospect has paid for.
"
This gets the report/software into the visitor's hands as soon as possible."

It sure does, but so would the first follow-up messages from your AWeber list. Granting access to reports/software on your 2nd Thank You Page (or as I like to call it: the request confirmed page) also grants access to it for 'clever web surfers'. Just try this search on Google to see how many free reports and software products you can 'collect' without submitting your name and email address or pay for. (Actually doing so would be illegal, so just look - don't 'touch')

Thank you for your purchase = download

Close the door!

I love aweberIn the Best AWeber Strategies and Tactics for Small Businesses you will find: "TACTIC S1-2: The ongoing conversation during the opt-in process" about the use and benefits of custom Thank You pages and which also explains very simple methods on how to close that back door.

3dAWST1
(image for illustration purpose only)

192 pages (download online)

"E-book" £ 7.97

(After payment is accepted, please wait until you are redirected to our 'download' instruction page - if you don't receive a confirmation email within 10 minutes, please email me for support: karinh@1plus1makes3.co.uk)

Instant access to put your ethical email marketing into hyperdrive with tested and tried successful Strategies and Tactics used by small businesses.


Short survey on 'ongoing conversation' practice

How often do you submit your name and email address in a 'web-from'? Did the writer of the article/blog-post or the hoover-over form kept you engaged in his/her writing leading up to the moment you were asked to submit your details? Did he/she explain what's on offer in exchange for your details?

After submitting your details what happens to the engaging conversation you just experienced?

In the Best AWeber Strategies and Tactics for Small Businesses I will dedicate a whole lesson/chapter to this practise.

If you are using AWeber as autoresponder and email marketing tool, would you be so kind enough to take a very short survey (5 questions only) to help me fine-tune this chapter. (Or at least find out I'm on the right track).

Click Here to take survey (SurveyMonkey) - and your time is much appreciated.


There's more to the submit forms than meets the eye

No matter what program you use for email marketing - for newsletters and/or auto-responders - the one item that drives your list is the 'submit' form in to which someone can enter name and email address.

We all know them and many use them on their website and/or blogs (nowadays even on Facebook)

Sumbit form for blog articles Submit form for blog articles with free report Submit form for free water hardness test Hoover-over submit form for webmarketing tips 

From simple forms to hoover-over forms, we've seen and use them all. Offering free reports, free tests and even more. The submitted details, mostly just name and email address, end up on the all import email list where the conversation with the prospect starts in the form of follow-up marketing messages and broadcasted newsletters.

But the trigger - the driver - is the submit form. Without it, it becomes rather difficult to fill your list. A single form driving a single list, is in many cases the most effective way.

If you have 4 or 5 different products/reports to offer, all with there individual follow-up messages i.e. email lists, do you need 4 to 5 single forms?

Can you imagine a webpage or blogpage with 4 to 5 webforms underneath each other? Your reader - website visitor - will have to read all the headlines and then select the one he/she is most interested in. We - Wood You Like Ltd - have 5 quality 'wood floor ranges' and 4 have their own leaflet. But we don't have 4 forms underneath each other our interested prospect has to select from.

FormMultiOur multiple list driver looks almost the same as any other normal submit form. The only apparent difference is a drop-down menu with the titles of the wood floor ranges.

But there's more in that form that meets the eye. This single submit form (web form) is able to drive all 4 individual AWeber lists we have set up for our ranges.

In the background, behind the scene, the selected option sends the name and email address of our new subscriber to the correct AWeber list. Our reader interested in the Basic range will receive the leaflet about that range and our reader interested in the Design Parquet range will receive, using the same submit form, the leaflet filled with all our Design Parquet patterns.

One form drives all 4 individual lists without us having to fill our web page with more submit forms.

I love aweberIn The Best AWeber Strategies and Tactics for Small Businesses the behind the scene work is explained step by step, so you too can - if needed - combine more lists in one single submit form. Saving you space on your website and offering a more user-friendly form to your prospect.

3dAWST1
(image for illustration purpose only)

192 pages (download online)

"E-book" £ 7.97

(After payment is accepted, please wait until you are redirected to our 'download' instruction page - if you don't receive a confirmation email within 10 minutes, please email me for support: karinh@1plus1makes3.co.uk)

Instant access to put your ethical email marketing into hyperdrive with tested and tried successful Strategies and Tactics used by small businesses.