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Review Of AWeber Autoresponder Software System
How We Use Auto Responders At Free Spirit Gallery

For a successful website to be effective, you must find ways to keep visitors coming back for repeat visits and to stay in touch with them.  One very effective way to do this is through a newsletter you can publish but rather than just posting new issues on your website, it would be better to have your website visitors subscribe so that they can receive your newsletter via email.  You can then alert them to new articles at your website.  This is exactly what I do with the monthly newsletter from Free Spirit Gallery.  I tell visitors about new native art articles as well as other interesting websites I find.  The easiest and most effective way is to use an autoresponder software system.  I use one called AWeber and I’ll take you through the process of what I do with my newsletters.

The more difficult way to manage subscriptions is for people to email you to subscribe and then manually develop a database of subscribers followed by mail merging each new issue.  Making adjustments to your database would turn out to be a nightmare.  You don’t want to do this especially once your subscriber list starts growing.

AWeber has a very easy system to create many different professional looking sign up boxes for my visitors to subscribe.  I use boxes that are right on my webpages as well as hover boxes which appear over webpages when my visitors first arrive at the Free Spirit Gallery website.   I choose the design of box I want as well as the information I want my visitors to fill in and then it’s just a matter of cutting and pasting a generated HTML code that goes into my webpages.

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I can monitor the effectiveness of each type of box I use since AWeber automatically tracks the statistics of the boxes.  I can even run test trials where the system will alternate two different boxes on the same webpage to determine which one is more effective in getting more subscribers.

Subscribers can always choose to unsubscribe anytime as the autoresponder system includes a special link at the bottom of each email sent out.  The maintenance of adding and unsubscribing is therefore automatic.  This makes my website in compliance with anti-spam regulations since visitors choose to opt in as subscribers and can leave whenever they wish.

When subscribers first sign up, they are sent a welcome message from me.  This is known as a follow up message.   AWeber automatically does this for me 24/7 whenever I have a new subscriber.  This is why such as system is called an autoresponder.  For another website I run, I even have a series of follow up messages that are sent out at predetermined time intervals after each message.  This setup is ideal for multiday educational reports for example.

aweber autoresponder autoresponders auto responder email marketing newsletters review

The other type of email message I use is called a broadcast and this is what I use for my newsletters.  I usually write my newsletters in Microsoft Word first and then paste over to AWeber.  The system allows me to send out the gallery newsletter as an HTML or a simple text message.  I tend to use text messages just because not everyone out there has computer setups to read HTML messages efficiently, especially in areas without high speed internet.

I add links to useful webpages in my newsletters and one very useful thing that AWeber can do is track the rate of how often each link is clicked on.  This helps me learn which native art topics are of most interest to my subscribers.

When it comes to writing my newsletters, I will write when I’m inspired.  Sometimes, I end up writing enough material for a few issues at a time.  I can then create separate broadcast messages on the autoresponder as future newsletters and specify which future dates each issue will be sent out.  This is all set up in advance so the system sends out the next few issues automatically for me while I work at other projects (or while I’m sleeping!).

aweber autoresponder autoresponders auto responder email marketing newsletters review

I can also choose to send out the same newsletters or broadcast messages to subscribers who signed on from different websites I run.  If I feel that a certain issue would be relevant for visitors from let’s say two different websites, then AWeber allows me to include different subscriber lists for each message.  I don’t do this for the Free Spirit Gallery newsletter but do for some of my other websites since they sometimes have related material.

This autoresponder software system is quite easy to use.  I can create as many lists and send out as many messages as I want.  If I tried this with my own email system, I will likely have problems with my internet service provider.   The thorough statistics track how many subscribers I have and even which countries they are from.  There are separate reports for each message I send out as well.

The support service from AWeber is also good.  They have an online chat system with their support staff during business hours and their email response is usually within 24 hours.  They even have educational tutorials to help new users.

aweber autoresponder autoresponders auto responder email marketing newsletters review

AWeber is one of the top autoresponders chosen by webmasters today.  I’ve been using this system for a few years and have easily built up almost 10,000 subscribers worldwide for my newsletters combined.  The annual subscription to the AWeber service is affordable and I definitely recommend this autoresponder to all serious website owners - click on any of the AWeber graphics on this page to learn more about their system.  They usually let you try their system for free for a month to see if you like it.

I also wrote an article on how to choose website hosting services.  

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