You have a choice when deciding on what type of auto responder to use. You can use a hosted service, host software on your own hosting account or use software on your own computer. I would recommend that you opt for a paid service for a number of reasons:
1. You need the least amount of technical knowledge to set up your account.
2. The more well known companies back up regularly.
3. You should get higher rates of delivery.
4. You can probably achieve a higher percentage of up time.
With a paid service you will also normally be able to create an unlimited amount of responders or lists and follow up messages. This will mean that you can build multiple related lists and track where you get the best responses and money.
Once you have set up your responder you will then need to create your web pages. The absolute minimum that you can set up is a single web page. This will be the page that your visitors will use to opt-in to your list. This page is called a ‘squeeze’ page.
There is a lot of debate over exactly what should be included in your squeeze pages and you will want to test different elements to determine what works best for you and your niche. Most people agree that you should include all of the following 4 elements:
1. A Headline
This would normally be eye catching and immediately obvious as to what you're offering. Using quantifiable text will also help. So for example instead of writing “Get a free course on tying flies" you would use something like “Learn to tie expert flies that catch tons of fish in just 5 days".
2. A Strap Line
This is normally a single sentence that qualifies your headline and leads your visitor into your page.
3. A Bulleted List Of Benefits Of Your Course.
It is important that you provide the benefits and not the features of your course here. You need to answer the WIIFM (what's in it for me) question here.
4. A Simple Opt-In Form
I have found that by sticking to just the name and email of a subscriber increases the opt-in rates.
Optional elements of the squeeze page include adding audio and video, images and information about privacy and CAN-Spam compliance. I would recommend that you create a number of different pages where people can opt-in and then measuring which provides the best rate of sign ups. Once you have this best page you can then change one element of it across multiple pages and keep doing this, thereby always improving your sign up rates.
I would also recommend that you build a second page which will be the page that your subscriber is forwarded to after they subscribe to your list. This way you can tell them to check their email and click the verification link to confirm their subscription. This way you can also have an immediate chance of selling something - and although the buy rate may not be as good as when your list knows you, this may pay for your advertising costs.
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