What You Need Before You Build a List

building-your-listIn 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, communication was 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.

A Good Autoresponder From the Start is Crucialemail-marketing

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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…

11 Responses to What You Need Before You Build a List

  1. Hi Louise
    I also have Aweber, but have yet to set it up.
    I also have tried a couple of others but had problems with both of them before I could even set them up.
    Customer service was almost non-existent.

  2. Hi Louise

    I have tried various autoresponder services and the best of the best is definately Aweber.

    It is pricy compared to others but has the best support and training of them all.


  3. Dee,
    Aweber most likely emailed you the beginner’s tutorial. It’s also easy to find when you log onto their site. It’s so easy! So don’t hold back because your “twice shy, once bitten”…

    Within the first week at Aweber, I emailed them and chatted online. That kind of support tells you they’re good and justifies their cost, because an autoresponder is a crucial part of your online business.

    And after what I went through with the other two, the ease this service came with was such a relief!

    Thanks for posting Dee!

  4. Hi Richard,
    They do offer a $1 month trial to start….afterwards it’s a sliding scale or should I say ascending scale(?) depending on the number of subscribers on your list. So, you don’t get hit all at once!

    Thanks for the feedback!

  5. Hello Louise,

    Great post and it rings true on every point. I myself have talked til blue in the face about Auto Responders. All I ever hear is that Aweber cost to much so they are going to use a free service. The next thing I hear from them is that their emails never get read or that free service is no longer up and running so they loose their list completely. All that work for nothing!!!

    All ARs are not created equal and you get what you pay for!

    I did some research by signing up to over 150 lists and watched where their emails were going, ie spam folder or inbox and the greater majority of Aweber’s mail went to the inbox. Most in the spam folder was all the other services. It didn’t take a brick to hit me on the head to know which Auto Responder I was going with to get my emails read.

    Dennis Pippin

  6. Dennis,
    I think I was one of those you tried to convince. But I had to suffer first to fully appreciate a good autoresponder’s value.

    I’ll have to go check my spam folder and see which autoresponder emails land there. Thanks for that great idea!

    and thanks for dropping by,

  7. Hi Louise

    It’s certainly true that you need to think twice about price when choosing the AR service. Sometimes you DO get what you pay for, and AR providers are no exception.

    Unfortunately our world has got into the mindset of ‘price first’ – and thinks “get more, pay less” is a winning strategy. And we wonder why the bargains we buy don’t last.

    AWeber doesn’t have its first place in the affections of many for no reason.


  8. Hi Anthony,

    Unfortunately our world has got into the mindset of ‘price first’ – and thinks “get more, pay less” is a winning strategy. And we wonder why the bargains we buy don’t last.

    AWeber doesn’t have its first place in the affections of many for no reason.

    That’s why I wrote the post. Hopefully some who read it will ‘get it’ and save themselves some grief. It’s difficult enough to get going in the beginning!

    Thanks for the feedback,

  9. I am using Aweber for running my newsletters. At first I thought that their service is very costly and not worth our money. Anyway I decided to give a try.But once I started using it, I got addicted. So much tracking options and awesome signup forms, a real life saver. Really useful service.

  10. Hi Rojish,
    You are so right about Aweber. Some things are just worth paying in order to run a business and enjoy it!

    Thanks for the comment!

  11. […] I’ve mentioned in a previous post, What You Need Before You Build A List and above, you need a list of loyal followers that will buy from you again and again for you to […]