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How to Use an Autoresponder for Small Business Email Marketing

Nathan Segal | Feb. 8, 2013
The best customers come back to buy from you again. Making a list of customers and using an autoresponder to send them emails about sales and other promotions is an easy way to attract repeat business. Learn how to set up an email list and use an autoresponder to stay in touch with that list.

Before you can get started, you need to create a list. To begin, click on the Contacts header in iContact. This brings up a page with the following options, as seen below: My Lists, Add Contacts, Search My Contacts and My Segments.

To build a list, click on the Create a List link in the My Lists section.

This brings up the List Settings section.

Enter the list name and the description (if any), then choose to use a new public list label or the default label. When finished, click Save. This takes you to the My Lists page, where you can see your entry at the bottom of the page.

The next step is to add a welcome message. Click on the Add Welcome Message link and go to the Create a Message page.

Here there are four options: Message Builder, Message Coder, Create a Text-Only Email or Create from Web Page. We'll look only at the first two options, since those allow you to track responses.

First, click on the Message Builder button for a list of email templates. There are many options.

Click on the Message Coder button, meanwhile, and you'll get the message editor below. By default, this displays in an HTML format. (I prefer to change that to the design tab, which is easier for editing text.)

For the purpose of this article, I'll leave the text untouched and click on the test message button to send a message to my email account.

This is what the test message looks like in Gmail. (Note that you can modify the HTML of this message to suit your business.)

Once you're satisfied with your welcome message, choose the methods of sending a message (by individual signup or Web form) and click on the green Save Welcome Message button.

This takes you back to the My Lists page. As you can see below, you're now ready to add email contacts to your list. Click on the Add link under Subscribers.

This is the Add Contact to My Lists page. In this case we'll click on the Add Contacts One by One button.

On the Add One Contact page, you can add the email address for each person and other contact information if you wish. (Note that the prospect email list option has been enabled by default.)

Enabling Email Collection With a Web Form in iContact

Now we're going to look at email collection using web forms. To get started, click on the Contacts heading, which brings up the screen seen below.

On this page there are two different headings you can click on to create Web forms. In this case, click on the Web Forms heading in the main menu bar. This takes you to the Create or Edit Signup Forms page.


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