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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.

At the top is an option to create a Facebook form, but that's not our purpose here. Instead, click on the blue Create HTML Form button. The first step is choosing the colors you want to use. Click on the Next button to continue.

The next step is to choose a signup form name and the list you want to use. Below that is the fields section, where you can choose how many fields you want for your Web form. In most cases, the name and email address are enough, though in some businesses you might need more for shipping or other services.

At the bottom of this page are the "success URL" and the "error URL." If you leave the success URL blank, you'll get a default thank you page when the customer signs up. If you use this form with a squeeze page, you can set the URL to forward to a download page or a sales page. With the error URL, meanwhile, I recommend leaving this blank and using default error page.

Once you're satisfied with your settings, click the green Save button. This takes you back to the bottom of the Create or Edit Signup Forms page.

As with manual signup, you'll need to create a welcome page when prospects sign up. This is similar to the signup page we created for the manual form, so we won't cover this step again.

The next step is to click the blue View HTML link, which takes you to the Publish to Your Website page. On this page you have two options: the JavaScript form, which is recommended for ease of publishing, or the HTML form.

Click on the preview button for the JavaScript form and not much shows up in the browser. Click on the form preview for the HTML form, though, and this is what you see:

The downside to the JavaScript form is that the number of changes you can make is limited. In contrast, you can manipulate the manual HTML form to suit your site if necessary. To give you an idea of what that looks like, the code for the JavaScript form and HTML form are both available at the end of this article.

When Using Autoresponders, Make Sure Customers Want Emails

Whether you add email addresses to lists manually or with a Web form, it's important to use a verification process to ensure that prospects and customers want to receive your email messages.

In the case of a Web form, I recommend a double opt-in method. With the first step, the prospect signs up for your list. Once they do so, they receive a message asking them to confirm that they want to be on your list. Once they click on the link, they will be signed up for your list.


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