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How to Set Up an Aweber Autoresponder

As I explained in this article, an autoresponder is an automatic email reply. Once you get it set up, the reply gets sent when someone sends an email to a specific address or fills out a form on your website.

How do you get started with autoresponders?

Autoresponders are a powerful tool and can do lots of things. You can customize them for marketing purposes and collect statistics on your leads and messages. To get started, there are four basic steps:
1.  subscribe to an autoresponder service.
2. set up your initial autoresponder.
3. create your messages.
4. let people know how to get your mailings.

Here is a video that goes through the process, and I also explain each of these four steps below the video.

Step 1: Subscribe to an autoresponder service such as Aweber

There are dozens of Autoresponder companies advertising on the Internet. I’ve researched and tried out many of them, and have concluded that the best one for ease of use, reliability and customer support is AWeber (pronounced “A-webber”).

I’m not alone in my recommendation of AWeber – it’s considered by many in the industry to be the “gold standard”. One of the reasons that Aweber comes so highly recommended is that it has a high “deliverability” rate. What that means is because Aweber has a good reputation for not allowing spam, the Internet Service Providers tend to trust email originating from Aweber and will deliver it. This is a really important factor these days.

An Aweber subscription costs $19.95 USD a month (or if you pay for a year at a time the cost is discounted to about $15 a month). You get unlimited autoresponders plus client database management (e.g. your newsletter mailing list). I’ve had a subscription for several years and am very happy with the service.

The process for Aweber account setup can be alittle daunting the first time, but I’ve provided step-by-step instructions below. They also have a very responsive help desk.

Click here to try AWeber

Step 2: Set up your initial autoresponder

· log in to your AWeber account
· Click on the LIST SETTINGS tab
· Change the list name from “defaultxxxxx” to your own list name. For example, let’s say you have a five-lesson ecourse called “Get Organized Now!” You might want to name the list “Get-Organized”. The name can be up to 15 characters and must be unique (i.e. if you try to submit a list name that another AWeber customer is using it will be rejected and you’ll have to submit a new list name).
· Enter a Short List Description. Example: “Get Organized Now Ecourse”
· Click “Save”
· Skip over the “Remove Link/VO Link Customization” section
· In the “Autoresponder Admin Emails” section enter the email address that you want used for replies from your subscribers.
· Put a check mark in the “Reply/From” box.
· Leave the “Confirmation” box unchecked, unless you want to receive an email letting you know every time someone has been added into your database.

Step 3: Create your messages

· Click on the MESSAGES tab.
· Click on “Create Message 1″
· You will see a box that says “Edit Message” and below that “Personalization Fields”
· Don’t bother putting anything in the “Personalization Fields” field
· In the “Message” field make sure it says “#1″ and in the box where it asks you for “days” put “0”. This will make your first message go out immediately.
· Put a check mark in the “Click Tracking” field
· Type your subject line in the “Subject” field. For example, for lesson one of your ecourse you might type “Get Organized Now! Lesson #1″
· Insert the body of your message in the “Plain Text Message” box (the big white box). Note: because it is plain text, you will not be able to change the font, or color, or add graphics.
· Next (optional), if you would like to insert an HTML version of your message you may do this in the bottom section of the EDIT MESSAGE window. You’ll see that in the HTML Message box you can add formatting such as fonts, colors, and graphics.
· Finally, press Save after you have completed the message.

Well done! You have just successfully created your first Aweber autoresponder. But remember we were creating a five part ecourse? So now you need to create lesson #2.

· Click on the MESSAGES tab.
· Click on “Create Message 2″
· You will see a box that says “Edit Message” and below that “Personalization Fields”
· Don’t bother putting anything in the “Personalization Fields” field
· In the “Message” field make sure it says “#2″. You also need to specify how many days after the previous lesson you want lesson #2 to be sent. If it is a weekly ecourse, you would specify “7 days”
· Put a check mark in the “Click Tracking” field
· Type your subject line in the “Subject” field. This time it might be “Get Organized Now! Lesson #2″
· Insert the body of your message in the “Plain Text Message” box (the big white box). Note: because it is plain text, you will not be able to change the font, or color, or add graphics.
· Next (optional), if you would like to insert an HTML version of your message you may do this in the bottom section of the EDIT MESSAGE window. You’ll see that in the HTML Message box you can add formatting such as fonts, colors, and graphics.
· Finally, press Save after you have completed the message.

OK, you’re doing great!

Now just create your remaining lessons following the instructions above. The only tricky part is to remember to change the “Message” field to keep your lessons in the right order. And remember to specify how many days after the previous lesson you want each subsequent lesson to be sent. Note: It’s days after the previous lesson, not days after the first lesson.

Step 4: Let People Know How to Get Your Mailings

There are three main ways people can get your mailings:

1) They are an existing subscriber to your mailing list and you import them to your AWeber database (requires them to confirm that they want to continue receiving email from you). Instructions for doing this are under the LEADS – IMPORT LEADS tab at AWeber.

2) You set up a form on your website that enables them to subscribe.
Instructions for doing this are on the Customer Control Panel at AWeber.

3) Add leads via email. This is a handy way. I’ll give details below.

How to Add Leads Via Email

· The person sends a blank email to your Aweber autoresponder email address.
Remember back in Step 3 you named your list “get-organized”? That means that you have an email address of get-organized@aweber.com which is the autoresponder email address for your five lesson ecourse. So if someone sent a blank email to get-organized@aweber.com they would start receiving the five lessons.

· Let people know about your offering. For example, you could put a message on your website or create an email signature in Outlook or Outlook Express that says “You can receive the free five lesson ecourse Get Organized Now! Just send a blank email to get-organized@aweber.com and you will immediately receive the first of five weekly lessons.”

Click here to try AWeber

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Has A Question February 14, 2008, 6:17 pm

    Just wondering, what about other services such as shopping cart one that has inbuilt auto responders? Are they just as realiable or would it be better to just have an aweber account

  • Barbra February 17, 2008, 11:53 pm

    The autoresponder within 1ShoppingCart works much the same as Aweber, so you don’t need both. 1ShoppingCart is more expensive, but that’s because you are getting the shopping cart as well as the autoresponder all in one. An economical alternative to 1ShoppingCart is to use Aweber for your autoresponder and Paypal for your payments. Paypal is reliable, easy to use and reasonable in terms of fees.

  • Janet Ford June 10, 2008, 4:18 pm

    Aweber is AWESOME. I also highly recommend it.
    Wonderful Aweber article! I wish I had found it years ago.

  • placement June 29, 2008, 7:24 am

    I like Aweber too.. thanks for the nice paper of setting it up.

  • Benny July 16, 2008, 3:20 am

    Great article. I am currently working on my 1st e-mail course. This is exactly what I needed. Great step-by-step instructions!

  • Barbra July 23, 2008, 7:45 pm

    Happy to hear that you found it helpful Benny!

  • Helene July 12, 2009, 9:57 am

    Thanks for your submission to The Work at Home Family Carnival. My readers will appreciate your step by step instructions on how to work with the AWeber autoresponder.

  • Travis January 2, 2010, 6:11 pm

    Barbra,

    Your articles helped me put the nail in the coffin – After reviewing and comparing autoresponders, AWeber is hands down the choice, and this article helped setting up my first email campaign easily.

    Thanks!

    Travis

  • Barbra January 2, 2010, 8:08 pm

    Glad to hear the article was helpful Travis!

  • Adam October 22, 2010, 4:11 am

    I have both Aweber and 1shopping cart’s autoresponder which I haven’t setup. Are there any advantages to using the 1shoppingcart version? It isn’t costing me anything extra at this point, but was wondering how it compares to Aweber.

  • Barbra October 22, 2010, 5:52 pm

    I use both Aweber and 1ShoppingCart. If all you need is an autoresponder, then go with Aweber. If you also need a shopping cart, then 1ShoppingCart provides both. However, if I didn’t already have an account with 1ShoppingCart I probably would choose a different shopping cart service (changing over at this point would be time consuming for me). 1ShoppingCart is expensive for what you get and their customer service leaves much to be desired.

  • Paul October 29, 2010, 3:09 am

    Hi I tried to set up aweber 1st time, I followed tuitorials, I got an email from aweber saing I had put my own address which is for billing and that was canspam ……… I am confused can you advise
    Thanks Paul t

  • Barbra January 22, 2011, 7:27 am

    Paul, I’m not sure exactly what the problem is, but you could just send a support ticket to Aweber and they will explain.

  • body wrap April 11, 2011, 2:53 am

    Thank you for this tutorial on Aweber Autoresponder. The step-by-step instructions are appreciated!

  • Val April 12, 2011, 12:11 am

    Hi,

    I would like an auto responder service if it’s cost effective enough for me to purchase on a monthly basis. How much does this service cost?

    Thanks!

    Valerie Mullins

  • Barbra May 22, 2011, 6:34 pm

    Hi Valerie,
    Aweber costs $20 a month. Whichever service you choose, make sure that it will meet your needs for the long term. It’s a hassle to change autoresponder services once you have built up a subscriber list. It’s better to choose a good service and stick with them. Personally, I would go with Aweber because they are the acknowledged “gold standard”.

  • renato October 26, 2011, 1:03 pm

    I have subscribed to Aweber three months back and until now I could not set up the system, although the customer service staff of Aweber are so efficient in telling me what to do, still I could not do and fix it myself. Very glad to see Barbra’s Aweber tutorial, with this, I’m sure I can do it this time. Many thanks indeed.

  • Phillip Maxwell December 2, 2011, 4:59 am

    I love Aweber, it is the best, Aweber just added a new feature that integrates Facebook. I have to check that out to see how it works.

  • Body Wrap April 5, 2012, 9:26 pm

    Great article, I have been using Aweber for about a year now. I love Aweber, thanks very much for putting this article together it was very helpful.