Choosing and Setting Up Your Personal Assistant

If you’re just starting out in internet marketing, you probably don’t have an auto-responder set up or don’t have any clue what an auto-responded is. But do not fear, this section is here to help you out.

An auto-responder will pretty much be your digital personal assistant that will work all day every day and never takes any days off. That is, unless you forget to pay the subscription fee, but that’s another story for another time. In short, it contacts all of your subscribers, manages your outgoing messages, and manages your subscription lists and opt-in forms. The only manual task you have to do is create the email messages. Everything else can be automated. Definitely a sweet deal in my opinion.

The top two paid auto-responders are:

Both are probably the most complete auto-responders you can grab out there today. I personally prefer Aweber because I like the interface and the features available to me over Get Response. Don’t take my word for it. Try them both. At the moment, Aweber offers a $1 trial and Get Response has a free trial. Play around with both and choose the one that you prefer.

If you’re on a budget, the top two free auto-responders are:

1. ListWire

2. MailChimp

Both are solid options, but if I had to recommend one, I would recommend ListWire. It was created by a fellow email marketer, Gary Ambrose, so it’s definitely made with your goals in mind. MailChimp, on the other hand, actually doesn’t like you to use its’ services for email marketing. People have gotten accounts suspended over those activities. Again, play around with both and see which one you prefer, if you decide to go this route. Both are free so they should be easy on your wallet.

I won’t go into detail on how to set-up a list with an auto-responder since each one varies in the set up process. In general, this is how it will work. You’ll create your list inside your auto-responder service (there should be some videos or tutorials available that will help you out, follow the steps) and create a web form. Once that form is designed and completed, you need to place the form on your site using the HTML or Javascript codes provided.

DO NOT leaves this step until the last moment. Setting up your auto-responder should be done as soon as possible. You should actually do this before setting up your squeeze page as your page is basically useless without it.

**Keep in mind that you will be required to provide an address because of the CAN SPAM Act of 2003. This act makes it illegal to send bulk marketing emails without the consent of the recipients. The fines and penalties are steep so I would suggest following the law. I recommend getting a P.O. Box or a mail forwarding address if you don’t feel comfortable revealing your place of residence.

Single Opt-In vs. Double Opt-In – This is a hot debate in the IM community. Some believe that double opt-in is necessary because it provides some extra insurance that you’ll never be accused of spamming. The downside is that you will lose sign ups while building your list. Personally, I don’t use double opt-in and choose to use single opt-in. I believe that if someone opts into your list, they should be placed on your list immediately rather than being given a choice to second guess their decision. Again, this goes back to reducing the number of obstacles for getting that conversion.

Guest Post

Greg Michael is a known blogging expert and internet marketer for the longest time. His apt ability to convert new responses into customers gives him the fair title of a social media expert, his recent post about buy likes FAQ got maximum attention of readers.

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