What You Need Before You Build a List
|August 24, 2011||Posted by Louise under Website Traffic (and Customers)|
In the Beginning, there were hieroglyphs, smoke signals, the pony express, Morse code, and even carrier pigeons. And let’s not forget regular old fashion mail delivery. In those days, communications were so time consuming and potentially dangerous, that nobody worried about building a list.
Luckily, we’ve come a long way and can now communicate from our own homes and without risking our lives or inhaling too much smoke. Gag! Cough!
Thanks to easy communications like email, not only can you spend hours upon hours contemplating, dreaming, and plotting on how to build a list, but you can also stay in touch and actually build a relationship with your list.
Just in case you’re wondering, the ‘list’ refers to the followers or subscribers you collect on your blog, with who you want to build and maintain a relationship by sending helpful quality emails that often guide them back to your blog and your content, where you befriend and bedazzle them.
But before you dive into building relationships, you need one key item to help you organize it all: an autoresponder.
Sounds like some Star Trek gadget, I know. But it’s actually an email marketing service software that assists you with collecting names and emails and with contacting your list of subscribers. More importantly, the service stores and organizes all of your subscriber’s collected information, your past, current, and future communications and any optin forms you may use to add people to your list. It handles all of the related technical work involved, which is a huge relieving time-saver.
That is, if it works properly. Autoresponders that don’t work properly or don’t provide value will end-up costing you time and possibly money. I know this, because I’ve toiled my way through two autoresponders before finding the ‘one’. And when I did find the ‘one’, arch angels sang and my life became a little brighter. I wondered why I didn’t do this before.
A good autoresponder is crucial. As you build and coddle your list, you will become very dependent on it. Your success depends on your list, the existence of which depends on your autoresponder. You don’t want to be wasting time and splitting hairs trying to make it all work. You also don’t want to be swinging from one autoresponder to another like a monkey on caffeine, as subscribers have to confirm every time you switch. They are not always willing to do that.
Potential Autoresponder Problems
Let me give you two scenarios I experienced before finding my one-and-only autoresponder:
- After lots of research, I sign-up for a free trial with a large name autoresponder. Using their software I set-up the optin process and tested it. My emails were either UNdelivered or they made it to the spam folder. I followed the support guides and guidance from staff, but could never resolve the issue.
- I moved on to another email marketing service. Again, I chose an established name, with reasonable prices and that doesn’t require imported subscribers to confirm. This service lacked user-friendliness. It was a struggle to use and the support information was a disappointment. The videos kept stalling. Testing the optin process, the email delivery was often very slow. After a fair try, I finally transferred to the one provider that came highly recommended by all established marketers, but that cost a little more.
My Recommended Autoresponder
Have you guessed yet? If you’ve asked around or searched internet marketing forums, you’ve noticed that the autoresponder that is most recommended time and again is Aweber. The minute I switched, all of my struggles were over. The service costs more, but for me and my business, Aweber is worth every penny.
There are all kinds of autoresponders out there from free to expensive. So ask yourself,
“What am I prepared to invest for proper care of my list – my bread and butter – and for my time?”.
And if you haven’t learned this already, then let me warn you. Online, you usually get what you pay for. Likewise, there’s also times when you don’t get what you pay for. So, research and ask for recommendations.
Choosing the right autoresponder from the beginning will make life easier for you as well as your subscribers and equip you with the right tools for building a fantastic list.
Do you have an autoresponder yet? Do you use Aweber? Have you experienced problems with autoresponders? Leave a comment.
Keep moving forward…