AWeber

The Best AWeber Strategies & Tactics for Small Businesses - E-book

From this moment on: 192 pages Ebook on

The Best AWeber Strategies and Tactics for Small Businesses
£7.97

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


Adding and using ScreenStep html template for AWeber

(STOP PRESS - update 07.12.09: in ScreenSteps Desktop 2.7 (beta) these steps are reduced to only 2 simple steps, read all about it here.....)

This post/lesson is to show how easy it is to create content in ScreenSteps and export it in multiple ways: as (Typepad) blog post, as "lesson" in ScreenSteps Live and PDF file. The article itself can be used again and again as part of a whole bundle of articles (think E-book, training, manual).

The subject of this article shows another feature of ScreenSteps: combining it with AWeber - another great software program.

Where to copy a new template.

How to copy new html template (most times created in Dreamweaver/Frontpage or in this case in AWeber itself) into ScreenSteps Template folder
(How to create a new ScreenSteps html template you can read in ScreenSteps Desktop manual )

Continue reading "Adding and using ScreenStep html template for AWeber" »


RSS so obvious - we forget we had to learn too

AWeber announced the imminent arrival of their brand new web form builder - making it even easier for everyone to design/create those all important forms to capture names and email addresses to start your ethical marketing conversation with your prospects.

Watch the video and read the exciting list of new features (soon to be released) on AWeber's blog.

Underneath the post you can find a Web Form to subscribe to AWeber's blog alerts. Now the rss feed of AWeber's blog is already part of my blog-reader, but I thought: what the heck, let's submit my name and email address and subscribe to the alerts.

The first email - after confirming my subscription - came into my inbox promptly and in it AWeber informs me of another list I can subscribe to: email delivery tips.

But it was the paragraph underneath it that made me turn to my trusted Typepad blog to write this post:

How Do We Make These Emails Automatic?
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Many websites have blogs that they regularly post new information to. The most common way for visitors to get notified of new posts on a blog is via RSS.

 Unfortunately, according to a study by Yahoo, up to 96% of your visitors have no idea what RSS is.

Using the Blog Broadcast tool, we automatically convert the blog's RSS feed to an email newsletter format that more visitors are familiar with.

We - as bloggers and email marketers - know all about rss and feed-readers, but how many of our website/blog visitors have the same knowledge? Are we - bound by our own learning curve and experience - forgetting about how we "discovered" slowly how all this Web2.0 technology can work together and assume everyone else must know this too?

96% of your web visitors don't - so help them (and yourself) out by offering blog-alerts. In Typepad you can so easily insert a web form in the sidebar (see right) and when the new - soon to be released - web form builder becomes available my guess is you can design your web form is such a way it will entice your visitors even more to pop in their name and email address.

So don't forget what is so obvious to you might be absolutely undiscovered territory for most of your web visitors (96%  - blimey!)

Not on AWeber yet? Open an account now and try it out for 30 days.


Are you using Email Marketing? Then read this!

Email Marketing Dynamite - Ed Rivis  Last month Ed Rivis announced his soon to be launched new book: "Email Marketing Dynamite".

"E-Mail marketing is the #1 most critical tactic any business can perform online. Pound for pound it’s also reported to be the most effective tactics any company can perform in terms of ROI (Return on Investment).

All the biggest companies use it to generate extra sales, revenues and profits - so if I have a ‘mission’ at the moment, it’s to get a lot more small business owners using e-mail effectively."

If there is anything I can totally agree with, it is his mission. Our own retail businesses thrives on web marketing which includes - of course - email marketing. If you have been following this blog for a while you know I even created "The Best AWeber Strategies and Tactics for Small Businesses" which is absolutely, purely based on our own successful experience with this modern tool.

Ed has asked (through his own email marketing campaigns in combination with his blog) if he could interview various small businesses about their experiences with email marketing: what effect it has had on their business success or even survival. I had the pleasure of talking to Ed for almost 1 hour as one of the interviewees.

You can subscribe to the pre-launch news of his new book - which, and I'm sure of it, if it is anything like any of Ed's other products and publications, will show/teach you how you too can effectively implement email marketing to grow/sustain your business in any economical circumstance.

First step: preregister your interest and profit from the opportunity to buy his book for only P&P the minute it is released.


Marketing: The Devil's in the simple Details

No entry, sorry Marketing, from ads to email marketing, needs: focus, strategies, tactics and a keen eye for all the details. Without any of these you might as well stop before you even start.

No matter how small, large, known or unknown you and your business/products/services are, the Devil is truly in the Details. If you spend time to create the best worded advertisement with the best placed images in the best read magazine or paper it all has to be right. Your call for action should be hitting the right spot and the "tools" you provide your prospect to take that action should be securely in place, tried and tested.

If that call to action is for the reader to request free reports, free materials up to the value of £ 1,200.00 and you've got the targeting of your prospect absolutely spot on, you better make sure that tool works absolutely problem free. Because your irresistible offer will be seen by over 200.000 specially targeted readers and a handful of your existing private list members. Those are big numbers!

The details of the ad are spot on, what else do you expect from someone labelled marketing wizard who's private clients pay a 4 figure amount for an hour advice. I've read books, reports from this wizard, listened to plenty of recordings by him and know that if he launches a new program you better pay attention and try not to miss out.

The let down here was in the details of the email marketing tool. Not so much in using AWeber's default Thank You Page (now with added narration!) - many here know that is one of my pet-hates - after submitting my name and email address in the web form on the special landing page, but in the fact I almost didn't even reach that default Thank You Page:

We let one detail slip, so NO Entry for you

For a moment I started to doubt myself - had I already received all these new free reports? and so checked the ad again. No, definitely an offer of new materials and a new program.

If you are promoting a new product, want prospects, clients to opt-in to a new program you are launching DO Create a NEW AWeber list/campaign for it!

(I have various email addresses I use to subscribe to various lists and used a different one to end up on the default AWeber Thank You Page, received the confirm opt-in email and even ended up on a custom 2nd Thank You Page. The first follow-up message contained a link to the download page - unprotected - where I indeed found all kinds of new material from the marketing wizard.)

Now it could be that I'm a nit-picker in this regard, possible because I know how easy and simple these details can be improved. But the fact remains, no matter if you are just starting out with email marketing or if you are regarded as marketing wizard: your email marketing is a part of your total marketing strategy - not just an after thought to be used as 'delivery vehicle' of your no doubt splendid and correct in every detail marketing messages.

AWSTlogo150 You need to have Strategies and Tactics for the delivery vehicle too. If you are using AWeber as this vehicle, you will find practical, tried and tested strategies and tactics in this guide to seamlessly integrate the delivery of your marketing messages into your marketing strategy.

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.


The Best AWeber Strategies & Tactics for Small Businesses - maximise Permission Marketing!

The first tool in The WebMarketing ToolBox for Small Businesses is available!

3dAWST1 The Best AWeber Strategies and Tactics for Small Businesses - maximise Permission Marketing.

The E-book is based on our own experiences and successful implementation of AWeber's auto repsonder for our ethical email marketing. As independent specialised (rural) retailer we now reach prospects and clients in the whole of the UK and even beyond. Our success rate?

90% confirm their subscription, only a hand full ever unsubscribe and we convert many subscribers into clients.

The Strategies we use (trial and error discoveries) and which are now available to you too:

  1. Being Effective and Efficient with your email marketing from the moment you start with AWeber (if you have been using AWeber for some time now I will tell/teach you what, where and how to change certain settings to improve your results immediately)
  2. How to turn your 'sales' pitched into a logical sequence of messages, building up more trust between you and your prospect with every single message you write. Spreading your eggs over more baskets, baskets which all contain relevant and anticipated information that solves a pain/problem your prospect has.
  3. I'll show you where and how you can substantially grow the number of self-qualifying subscribers in the most ethical ways. Our own list, as small retailer, has grown over 250% in 1 year time and continues to attract 45 - 50 new prospects per month. No matter how small or large your existing list is or how large you want it to be, these simple and effective tactics are guaranteed to make the numbers soar.
  4. And I will show you, step by step, how you can combine AWeber with other (online) software programs to automate your email marketing campaigns even further without loosing a 'personal touch/voice'. PayPal is only one of the programs discussed.

The Strategies and Tactics (tried and tested) is available now:

  • as E-book - downloaded online
  • The Best AWeber Strategies and Tactics for Small Businesses
    £7.97

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

    Maximise the Permission Marketing principle and add real money to your business now.

    1plus1toolbox250

Preview: TACTIC S4-5: Using AWeber with WordPress.com

This is one tactic we don't use ourselves, we use Typepad as blog platform which accepts all AWeber webforms, no matter if you have Basic, Plus or Pro account. Self-hosted WordPress blogs and Blogger also accept the javascript of your webform, only WordPress blogs hosted on WordPress.com refuse every AWeber coding, even when you use the raw html code of the inline form.
But there's a solution.

Using AWeber to use an AWeber submit form for WordPress.com blogs

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Sounds confusing? It's not, as will become clear in the following steps. When I was writing the lesson on publishing a broadcast/newsletter online the solution for WordPress.com blog-owners suddenly seemed obvious.

When you have a WordPress.com blog it is hosted on WordPress.com server. These blogs are mostly used by those not able to host any web presence themselves (otherwise they would IMHO use the free self-hosted WordPress.org blog software which gives you plenty more options, but require more css and html knowledge).

The beauty of this solution is that you can have a webform of AWeber hosted by AWeber. All it takes is:
1) a template that resembles your blog design or your AWeber broadcasts
2) an AWeber broadcast - doesn't even have to be send out
3) an AWeber inline web form
4) a link on your WordPress.com blog

Note: this tactic also works when you use only the plain text message, but I think an html message in a template works better. I leave the decision with you.

Step 1: create a broadcast in your AW list

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In TACTIC S1-4 "The overall appearance of your messages" I discussed using a template for your messages (html message) and if you use this tactic you have a general template in one of your lists ready to use.

Copy the source from your template broadcast and paste this into the source of your new broadcast. The title of your broadcast can be anything you like, from "Sign up for my blog-alerts" to "Request your free guide".

Write a short message in the body of your message: explaining what's on offer etc.
Don't use any personalised fields though, they will not be filled with details but show like {!firstname}.

Step 2: copy your webform in your broadcast

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Have an inline webform ready (see TACTIC S2-3: the web forms) and copy the raw html code so you can change various items later, like the tracking code.
In your new broadcast, go to the source and paste the code in the position you want it to show. Save the broadcast, no need to write the plain text message this time (or you want to opt for plain text message only).
DON'T queue the broadcast, it is not the purpose to send it out.

Step 3: link to the Syndicate Direct Link

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Every broadcast created in AWeber has a Direct Link. So open the new broadcast again, tick the box Syndicate and click the hyper link behind Direct Link. This will show you (in a new window/tab) how your broadcast including the webform will look online.
If needed, edit text or lay-out and once you're happy copy the url of the Direct Link to place this in the sidebar of your WordPress.com blog (or in any post you like).

Follow the link to the example I've made: Direct Link

Conclusion

It is of course not the most ideal (or even elegant) solution, but it is the most simple solution for WordPress.com blog-owners without any other additional hosting available. Try it out and do test it for yourself to see how it truly works - it will follow the same opt-in process as any other AWeber webform.

This is just one of the many tried and tested Strategies and Tactics you will find in the complete E-training: The Best AWeber Strategies and Tactics for Small Businesses - created by a Plus 1 Makes 3.

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.


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.


When 'failure' turns into innovation = win-win

Last year August I launched the Ultimate Practical AWeber Guide. All in all it had taken me over 2 months to script, record and edit the 59 minute long First! Part of the planned 5 parts of this IMHO covering everything a small business should know and could use to unleash the true power of AWeber.

My guide never got further than part 1. Main reason: two weeks after the guide was launched, AWeber changed - for the better - some items in their software program and announcement upcoming larger changes - again for the better.

So in fact, within two weeks part 1 of the Ultimate Practical AWeber Guide wasn't up to date any more. Knowing more changes were afoot soon I thought it would be better to wait until then to re-record (most of) part 1. But then I realised: what if next month AWeber changes items again - online software platforms frequently change, at least those who listen to their clients and keep on improving the system.

Three option:

  1. forget the whole idea or
  2. (and those in the know know I'm stubborn, or persistent) keep a close eye on any changes in AWeber and re-record part of the video as soon as possible or 
  3. find a much more versatile medium to create the AWeber guide with

And option 3 it has become. I'm changing medium for the AWeber guide in order to make sure any changes by AWeber or other related programs can be edit/added as soon as possible without rendering any items of my Guide useless or out-of-date. Plus I'm changing the whole set up of the guide: AWeber's own video-tutorials and knowledge base cover many of the basics - my new guide will concentrate more on the Best AWeber Strategies and Tactics for Small Businesses.

The medium I've selected is ScreenSteps and the guide itself will be an Ebook and Etraining. The Strategies and Tactics are from our experiences using AWeber successful for our own small business: independent retailer Wood You Like Ltd.
And as promised above: the content of the S&T's will never be out of date, you will always have the latest version!

And of course I've set myself a target to have everything all ready (and tested) end of April/begining May. Some of you have been so kind to read the first draft back in February which has been very helpful - special thanks to Stephen! - and kind of had a pre-view of things to come.

I love aweber The Best AWeber Strategies and Tactics for Small Businesses will enable everyone, beginners and long-time users, to benefit even more from Permission Marketing (ethical email-marketing) in the most effective AND efficient way. No need to re-invent the wheel, I promise to spill all the beans on all the mistakes and errors we made ourselves when getting to grips with AWeber!

You can opt in to receive more updates on the new guide by popping in your name and email address below - like before, pre-registering your interest, without any obligation!, also means pre-launch discount on the guide itself.

UPDATE: The Best AWeber Strategies and Tactics for Small Businesses is now available!


Why opt-in email marketing is the right - the only - way to grow

Every business - small, large, selling products or selling service - wants to attract more prospects and clients. Email marketing has become one of the most cost-effective ways to establish this.

You can do this two ways: the right one and the wrong one.

The right one is to make your email messages personal, anticipated and interesting.

The wrong one is sprouting your marketing message to everyone you can find an email address from - bulk mailing.

The right one will take time to establish (lead generating can take a while, but done effectively every one of your marketing message will be read and when your lead is ready, acted upon).

The wrong one will take no time at all to establish (buy bulk email addresses from a broker, send out plenty of marketing messages to the list and perhaps one of two will not unsubscribe)

Seth Godin tells it way better than I can:

Email campaign case studies (one good, one bad)


You don't fail that easy

When you write blog-post, create an AWeber email campaign you want to reach out to as many readers, leads, prospects you can. That's our goal: writing compelling messages so that your readers, subscribers keep coming back for more. In order to be regarded as 'The Expert', 'The place' to go to for quality products or services. In short, to market your business.

And then you see a drop in blog-readers and receive notifications of subscribers leaving you (or you see a drop in total subscribers). Most of us will have the same knee-jerk reaction: oh dear, everybody is leaving me! What am I doing wrong??

Marie-Louise over at SuccessTrack can tell you exactly that: "When do you stop marketing to Customers".

Read and rejoice ;-)


Everyone likes options

Everyone really does. You like options, don't you? And so do your subscribers to any of your email marketing lists.
Simple business (of even life) rule: give your leads, prospects, clients options.

Suppose you've created various AWeber email campaigns, we have. One campaign for every range in wooden flooring our prospects can choose from. Again, options. Every range email campaign comes with its own set of follow-up messages telling our prospect more and more about the range, the benefits etc.

Multiplelists But we also like to keep our prospects, clients up to date with our Monthly Newsletter (another email campaign on AWeber). AWeber makes it very simple to mail out your newsletter (broadcast) to multiple lists.

This can work very well. Your prospect only has to subscribe to his favourite  campaign (list) and you can still email him or her your standard marketing message.
Of course you tell your prospects when they subscribe to one of your specific campaigns you will also send them your standard marketing messages - so they know and it is anticipated.

But.....

What if your prospect likes what you send him on the campaign he actually subscribed too but not your standard marketing messages. In order to stop the 'standard' his only option is to unsubscribe from the list - but that also removes him from the original campaign.
Or vice-versa: your prospect doesn't want to receive your specific messages from the original list any longer but she would like to continue reading your standard marketing messages (your newsletter with monthly special offers for example). Again, her only option is to unsubscribe from the original list and if she knows where to find your webform register again for your standard lists. Not simple.

There is however a very simple solution within the AWeber system: automation (in the TAB List Settings):

Aweber automation for more options

Of course you tell your prospect when she subscribes to one of your specific campaigns you will also send her your standard marketing messages - so she knows and it is anticipated.

Using the automation gives your subscribers the option to unsubscribe either from the specific list or from the standard list. More chances for you to keep his or her on at least one of your lists.


AWeber trouble shooting - check your leads

If you use AWeber you must be familiar with the Tab: Leads - sub tab Search
(If you are a business -small, medium or large - and are not using AWeber autoresponse email marketing software (aff) yet, you're missing out on the most effective Permission Marketing Tool!)

In this Tab you will find all details of your subscribers: from name, email address (but of course) to the date and place (webpage/blogpost) they became your qualified and targeted prospect. It also shows the important subscription status: verified or unverified.

When a prospect submits his/her details in the webform you placed on your webpage/blogpost the AWeber autoresponder process is triggered and should normally start with sending your new prospect the "Request Confirmation" email. Until your prospect actually clicks on the confirmation link in this email his/her status will stay unverified and none of the automated marketing messages you've written in the AWeber system will find its way to your prospect's inbox.

So, getting your prospect to click that all important link is essential and there are very simple and practical ways to make sure he/she knows this particular and important email is on its way to their inbox (Presentation 1 of the Ultimate Practical AWeber Guide - UPAG for short - will focus heavily on this subject).

In the 'thank you page' your new prospect lands on after having submitted his/her details always insert an email address where your prospect can contact you on in the event his spam-filter has blown your Request Confirmation email into cyberspace. Re-submitting his/her email again on the webform will bring him/her onto the default "An Error Occurred - already-subscribed" webpage which tells your prospect he/she has to wait 12 hours before the original email address is accepted again as 'new subscriber'. Not much help, is it?

Having a contact email address on the 'Thank you page' will give your prospect a better chance. When his/her 'cry for help' arrives you can ask for an alternative email address, advice them to make sure their smap-filter accepts emails from @aweber.com (some spam-filters are so strong they do react on the original sender instead on the From/Reply email address you inserted in your list settings) and when you receive their alternative email address you manually import this into the requested list.
(Tab: Leads - sub tab Add)
A new Request Confirmation email will now be send out to your prospect's alternative email address.

This tactic is especially important when you combine AWeber with Paypal 'buy-button'. Your notification address in the buy-button will be set to your unique AWeber autoresponder address. Meaning, as soon as your client has bought your product the AWeber sends out the all important Request Confirmation email. And as soon as he/she clicks the confirm link two things happen: the 'product' is delivered to your client and you receive a notification - not from Paypal, but from the AWeber system. (Much more on this in Presentation 3 of the UPAG.)
Now, suppose this email gets lost in cyberspace: your client has paid, but no product arrives! And you will not receive the notification from the AWeber system that you have a new client (albeit a waiting in vain client). And on his/her payment notification email from the Paypal system only the autoresponder email address (@aweber.com) is mentioned.

To prevent being accused of a 'cowboy', a fraudster etc make it a habit of checking your leads in AWeber regularly. Any unverified leads in one of your lists that is linked to Paypal should be checked in Paypal first - is the payment actually received. If so, send your new client a reminder to check his email account he used for the payment for your Request Confirmation email. Then you can ask him/her for an alternative email and add that manually in the AWeber system. Preempting complaints is a good practice - even with automated systems.

Greetings from the 1 plus 1 makes 3 experts

Karin H. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)

 


Keep in touch with AWeber

Keeping touch with your prospect, clients is essential for any business that wants/needs to grow. How else are they going to remember the products/services you have to offer them? You don't need to bombard them with your marketing messages, but regular contact between you and them is a proven profitable way to grow any business - as long as your messages are interesting enough for them.

AWeber (aff) makes "keeping in touch" not only easy but versatile too: you can choose to send your prospects follow-up messages at regular intervals (automated!) and/or broadcast special offers, product release, trade-news at a pre-determined time.

Message menu in AWeber
(screen-snapshot made with MWSnap3 - a great, simple and free tool)

(Blog-broadcasts are another option, in fact a combination of the two but that's for another article)

Follow-up versus broadcast - when which?

Say you're offering a free report, product leaflets or interesting article to your website visitors. All they have to do to receive it immediately is to pop-in their name and email address in the web form you provided for it and your AWeber campaign takes over, automating the delivery of your message for you. Your website visitor turns into a prospect by confirming his/her wish to receive your report, leaflet, article etc. Your first AWeber follow-up message contains the promised 'product'.

After two days you like to tell your new prospect more about your product, service. In AWeber you create your second follow-up message. And a third 4 days later in which you tell them even more, point them towards a specific webpage on your site etc. The options are plentiful.

Any new prospect receives your 3 messages at the interval you've set in your follow-up messages, no matter when they requested your free report or anything else you've offered. In the example above your messages will be send out to them over a period of 7 days (1 on day 1, 2 on day 3, 3 on day 7)
(This is an ideal method when you're offering/selling weekly or regular tips that don't have a 'sell-by' date or even courses.)

Broadcast is a message you create to be send out to your total list of verified opt-in email addresses at a specific pre-determined time. And only once.
For instance a Monthly news-letter. We email our newsletter every first Monday of the month. Any new subscriber to our newsletter after the first Monday of the month will not receive our latest newsletter (and of course there's a solution for that too, but that's for another article).
You can imagine all the options these broadcasts can give you: special offers with a time limit, 'breaking news', daily updates of share prices or one-off announcements.
You determine when the broadcast is emailed (day and time) and all your prospects/clients on your specific campaign list will receive it at the same time.

So, to re-cap:
Follow-ups
are the messages your prospect/client receives at pre-determined intervals from the moment they subscribe to your AWeber campaign.
Broadcasts are the messages your prospect/clients receives at the pre-determined specific day and time you decide.
(And of course you can combine both methods for any of your campaigns!)

Karin H. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)

3dAWST1
(image for illustration purpose only)

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


How to make the switch to AWeber simple for your readers

When we started using AWeber (aff) we already had a long list of prospects and clients who we emailed our monthly newsletter. Before we switched to AWeber this Newsletter was created with Groupmail5. A handy program (the simple version free) but not with all the features AWeber possesses. Whenever we managed to receive an email address from a prospect or client we added it manually to the Groupmail program, whoever indicated he/she didn't want to receive our newsletter anymore we had to remove manually from the list.

AWeber works completely different with many more options. Automation for one thing. Our website has various AWeber webforms: some inline, some hoover over, some with multiple options for leaflets and some with multiple tick boxes. Whenever someone fills in one of the 'webforms' his/her name and email address is automagically added to the list - but only after he/she confirmes the wish to be added (verified opt-in method). The odd person who wants to unsubscribe from the list can do so by clicking a specific link that is always (automagically) added in every message sent with the AWeber system.

This however meant that we had to add our existing newsletter readers to our new automated system, asking them to opt-in for this list if they still wanted to receive this. We've tried out 2 methods for this, both on a group of 100 readers.

Method 1: with the Groupmail5 program we wrote a special message to this group of 100 readers, explaining we were switching to a new delivery system for the newsletter and giving them a weblink to click, which brought them on our "Subscribe to our Newsletter" webpage. On there they had to fill in name and email address in a webform, click submit, receive the Confirm Subscription email and in there click the confirmation link. Many steps to take to re-register their interest in our monthly news. 5 did take all the steps, 95 didn't.

Method 2: in AWeber we wrote a special Confirm Subscription message, explaining we were switching to a new delivery system for the newsletter. We imported the email addresses of our second group of 100 readers in AWeber, which once uploaded (this can take up to 4 hours) would all receive the special Confirm Subscription message in their inbox. All they had to do was click the confirmation link in that message to re-register their interest in our monthly news. 1 step in all.
53 did, 42 didn't and another 5 of the emails were undeliverable.

Shortening the decision cycle: make it very simple for someone to make that decision you like them to make - eliminate all unnecessary steps. And our trial proved this again.

After this trial in best methods we simply imported all email addresses (including the 95 from method 1 who hadn't re-registered yet) and sat back.
Of course we lost a number of subscribers this way, but that is not as bad as it sounds. Who would you rather email? Someone who took (how ever tiny) steps to indicate they would like to receive your news and/or information (qualified prospects) or someone you think might be interest (unqualified prospects)?

After the switch operation we were left with 60% qualified prospects from the original newsletter list. And this list has grown ever since, all with readers really interested in our news - not just because we think they would like to hear from us. They opted-in especially.

So if you are switching from one email 'bulk' messaging program to AWeber make it as simple as possible for your existing subscribers to switch with you and in the same time end up with only qualified prospects. 

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Supplier or communicator?

We - Wood You Like Ltd - sell stuff, so we are suppliers. We buy stuff too, so we have suppliers

I've just counted the number of suppliers we have: 44 - and we're only a small two-wo/man-band.
How many do you have and how many of them keep in regular contact with you, not meaning the times they send you a new invoice of course!
I can count the suppliers who regularly keep in contact with us on one hand: 10%

Envelop My Insurance company sends me their newsletter 3 or 4 times a year, my printer emails me their monthly special offers, my Accounting and Customer Relation Management software company emails me tips and practical advice on how to use the program more effective once or twice a month, the Dutch company where we bought some specialised floor-fitting tools from last year emails me their workshops and celebration offers, and my accountant slash business consultant - well, that's a completely different story.

The company where I buy our office requirements doesn't - the alternative stationery company we had to use for a specific product not available from our regular supplier does.

We - as supplier/retailer - keep in regular contact with all our clients and prospects.
Do you?
Our existing clients keep coming back to our showroom - or buy online - for maintenance products and sometimes even for additional wooden floors for other rooms. And our clients keep referring friends and family to us. Do yours?
Our prospects who turn client tell us it is because our letters and messages keep reminding them of our products and/or service and now they are ready to buy it is a logical decision to come to us. Do yours?

EmailSince November last year we use AWeber (aff) email marketing online software to keep in contact with prospects and clients.

Since November last year every visitor to our website/blog who requests a leaflet (we have 7 informative brochures or PDF-files to choose from) receive this in their inbox straight away. A day later they receive a personalised automated message with more info we think they might find useful too. Two days later more information follows in again a personalised automated message and on the first Monday following the first message they will find our latest Monthly newsletter in their inbox so they can too profit from our Newsletter Readers Only Monthly offer.

Since November last year 40% of our new clients were newsletter readers first.

Since November last year we use AWeber (aff) - personalised automated email messages and broadcasts - to establish this. Simple, straight forward and ethical. Do you?