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     September 10, 2008Volume 7 Number 30 Issue 208     

In This Issue

  • From the Editor

  • Autoresponders Revisited

  • Recommendations

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From the Editor

In order to succeed on the web, you need a list. Don’t let anyone fool you, the great majority of your money will come from the list - either yours or someone else’s. If you own the list, you control your destiny. If you don’t control the list, your destiny is in the hands of someone else.

I have a list - you’re on it - surprise, surprise. I run my lists on my own servers, using a great program from Will Bontrager. I can't say enough good things about Will and his mailing list program. Unfortunately, my servers are starting to buckle under the loads I put on them, so I am moving my sites to a hosted solution.

My new host will not allow me to run my own autoresponder, so, as part of the creation of a new membership site, I am currently in the process of choosing a provider to move my lists to. I have studied a number of autoresponder companies and have winnowed the list down to the two that I am currently considering to host my lists. I thought that this might be an appropriate time to revisit the topic of autoresponders.

Autoresponders Revisited

If you are going to build your own list, you are going to need some incentive to attract visitors to your site. Once you have the incentive or ‘bait’ in place, the next step is to create a signup form where your visitors can leave their names and e-mail addresses in order to gain access to the free report or gift. By doing so, they will join your mailing list.

Creating such a signup form is not especially difficult as there are quite a few free online resources that enable you to do so using templates.

However, if you were to do so, then you would have to program this form so that it sent the name and e-mail address details to an e-mail address of your own. It would then be necessary to send out the free information manually.

Of course, in the early days, when you have only a small handful of new signups every day, this should not present a significant problem. Imagine, however, that you had a few hundred or perhaps even a couple of thousand new signups every day.

This would be terrific news for the long term prosperity of your business, but it would also mean that you were working 10 or 12 hour shifts just to keep up with demand. If you are using a professional quality autoresponder system, however, all of this is dealt with for you by that system.

To begin, you will use your autoresponder to create the signup form in such a way that the prospects details are sent directly to your autoresponder account. In the double opt-in process, that account will then ask the person who apparently has signed up to receive your free gift to confirm that they do indeed want to receive it and join your list by doing so. This request for additional confirmation is designed to protect you against spurious or false spam e-mail complaints. Every person that has been added to my lists has gone through this process, and when I pick my new autoresponder company, will need to confirm that registration again. More on that next week.

Assuming that the recipient of the confirmation e-mail responds in the affirmative, the autoresponder will then automatically add the recipient to your list, and send out the promised report to your new prospect.

As suggested, in order to push this prospect to become your customer, you now need to start sending them a series of e-mails that can encourage them to take a look at your product once again.

As part of the initial setup process, you should have already loaded your e-mail series into your autoresponder account. The responder is then automatically set to send these e-mails out to prospects every few days or so.

In other words, once your prospect has opted in to your mailing list, they will then receive all of your e-mail communications via an entirely automated process.

Moreover, you only need to create your e-mail series once because, after loading it to your autoresponder, it is irrelevant how many prospects sign up for your list. Whether it is 100, 1,000 or even 100,000, the amount of work you have to do to ensure that every prospect receives the e-mail series you created to generate sales remains exactly the same.

And the power of your autoresponder account does not stop there. You can use it to send out what is called a broadcast email. That’s how I send out this newsletter. You can broadcast other messages also.

Once your prospect finally decides to become your customer, then your autoresponder should automatically transfer them to your customer mailing list. You would then use that list to generate additional sales and income in ways that will be investigated in greater detail later in this report.

No matter which autoresponder company you decide to hire, the basic principles of using an autoresponder account (the details of which you have just read) are essentially the same in theory.

As I mentioned earlier, in practice, not all autoresponder systems are the same. For example, the two leading companies in the autoresponder market, the ones that I hinted at earlier, are and

Until very recently, both of these companies were pretty much on par with one another, representing the two outstanding organizations in the autoresponder business.

Very recently, however, Aweber significantly enhanced their services, and, as a result, it is now fair to suggest that they are the clear number one in the market, at least until GetResponse upgrades in a similar manner. At the same time, Awebers’ prices also increased quite considerably, so you are getting more but paying a lot more for it.

Notwithstanding this recent divergence, these are still the two autoresponder companies that I would suggest you consider before deciding which one better suits your business model. No matter which one it is, you should stick with either one or the other, because of one very simple but extraordinarily important factor -- reliability.

In order to make a profit after your initial sale, and to continue doing so in the future, your business will be reliant on e-mail for getting your promotional messages in front of future potential buyers. In effect, the profitability of your business depends on two aspects of every e-mail that you send out.

P.S. Have you seen my new site Mr Idea's Ebookstore. As the name implies it is stocked with ebooks, scripts, websites and more.

Recommendations for this Week

Have you checked out this new site that will give your website a link without requiring a reciprocal link? The search engines love this. It's in the Beta stage right now, so it is free to join. Check it out at: Qassia

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