One of the most important aspects of any online business is to gain a loyal online following of fans and customers. Companies that bend over backwards to help, support, and provide information to their customers will continuously generate positive feedback for their brand.
Gaining an online following has to start somewhere. This is accomplished, first, by collecting the names and emails of potentially interested customers. This is why we created our online eBook. If the person is interested in the topic of your eBook, then there is a good chance they are interested in your product or service. Therefore, collecting names and emails is the first step to gaining revenue.
How do you collect these names and emails once you’ve written your eBook? The answer is by utilizing an autoresponder. An autoresponder is a plugin for your website that allows you to collect names and emails through a sign up forum and then automatically send a thank you or sign up email after. This saves you the hassle of responding to every person that signs up to receive your eBook.
Step 1: Sign up for an autoresponder service.
For the purposes of this article, we are going to use List Wire. This is a free online service that offers web forms and autoresponders. Go to their website, and sign up. Once you have a username and password go to the home page and look at the menu tab on the left. The first option will say “manage autoresponders”, click on this.
Step 2: Setup your confirmation email.
Click on the button that says “Click Here to Add a New Autoresponder List”. This is going to be the first step in setting up your confirmation email. When somebody clicks to receive your eBook, they will get a customized thank you message from listwire with your name on it.
Step 3: Give your autoresponder a name a description.
This will only be seen by you and will help you to keep track of multiple autoresponder lists when the time comes. Then click the “Click Here To Create Your New Autoresponder” button.
Step 4: Create your verification message.
Go up to the blue tabs on the top of the website. Drag your mouse over “messages” and then click on the “verification message” button. The verification message is the email that you will send to eBook readers.
Step 5: Compose your confirmation email.
Do not try to sell anything in this message. Right now, it is just about building your brand. For the subject, you can choose to put the person’s first name to make it more personal. Keep your custom message short and to the point. Thank the person for downloading the eBook, offer a subscription to a newsletter if you have one, or offer a valuable tip that the reader would be interested in. At the bottom of the email, make sure to include an unsubscribe link or message. [Please note: it is against United States law to leave out an unsubscribe link or message (this can result in a hefty fine).]
And that’s it! Now that you have your autoresponder set up, you will need a subscription form for your website. In the next post, I will tell you how to put a web form on your website so that people can sign up for your free ebook. The web form will track who signs up and your autoresponder will automatically send an email to the person with your personalized content. Stay tuned.
Originally published Jul 15, 2014, updated Aug 07, 2020