LESSON #60: Setting Up Your Opt-In List

By | April 6, 2010

In the previous lesson we started talking about list building.

Today we’re going to dig into it, as we set up an email opt-in list…

(Watch this video…)

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Main points:

(Watch video for a live demonstration of setting up a list)

  • If you haven’t yet signed up for a list hosting service, I recommend AWeber Communications

  • For additional education on list building, please see my List Building Pack

    Action steps:

    1) Set up your opt-in list.

    2) Put an opt-in form on your website.

    In the next lesson we’re going to set up a customer list, and integrate it into our sales process.

    As always, you are welcome to post your questions and comments below.

    Have a great day!

  • 74 thoughts on “LESSON #60: Setting Up Your Opt-In List

    1. Wayne Batten

      At least 13 people could understand this lesson. You talked so fast and clicked so fast I sure could not follow. Well,i’m not a guru or an expert. To be sure there is somewhere something a bit simpler to follow.

    2. Eric Post author

      Sorry about that. I tried to keep it pretty straight forward. But have you tried pausing the video after each step? I think that would be much easier than trying to follow along in real time.

      Also keep in mind that we are building upon previous lessons. I did not take the time to explain how to edit a file in Notepad, how to FTP, etc… as all of that has been covered previously. It’s important for newbies to follow the lessons sequentially, as that’s how I’ve designed them.

    3. Pete Moring

      Hi Eric. When I setup an optin form with Aweber a couple of months ago I used the code for ease but it just wouldn’t send the test E-mails to my account.
      I told Aweber, but by the time they got round to checking it out I’d already replaced the form on my website with the full HTML code which works just fine.

      The reason I’m stating this is that you need to remind us ‘lesson watchers’ to double-check that the form actually WORKS after set-up by going to your webpage and filling in the details as if you’re a visitor. (Obviously needing a spare E-mail account for this task)

      OK, good to see you back in the groove Eric 🙂


    4. pedro

      hi eric, what do you think about automateyourlist.com it is the same as aweber but much cheaper.

    5. vicki

      I don’t have an Aweber account, but I have done this before using Freeautobot, with an old squeeze page I no longer use. It is a bit tricky the first time you do it, but it’s just copy-paste the code into the HTML of your web page. Hardest part was figuring out where to find the optin form code on my Freeautobot account, and then which parts to change to what, but if you take notes the first time you do it, it’s easier to remember the next time.

      By the way, do you know anything about Listwire? It just came out, and it’s free, but I don’t know how it compares to Freeautobot versus premium autoresponders like Aweber?

      For someone on an extremely tight budget, is Listwire the next best thing to having an Aweber account?

    6. Lawrence

      Please eric , how can I make my site searchable on the web. Could you pls chk my site and help me know what I should have done better?

    7. Eric Post author

      That’s unusual that your form didn’t work initially. You’re right, you should always test your forms to make sure you end up on the correct confirmation page, and that the confirmation email is sent.

    8. Eric Post author

      Actually it’s not cheaper, it’s the same price. And AWeber also has a $1 trial.

      It is actually a private label of AWeber. AWeber has many private labels (such as ProSender) which are marketed by the individuals and companies that the private label imprints are licensed to.

      While the private labels offer the same service (I’m not sure about the new analytics), I prefer to go directly through AWeber for a couple of reasons.

      The first reason is because of their name and domain. The aweber.com domain occurs in the headers of my emails, and I believe it has the longest history and strongest relationship with the ISP’s to ensure deliverability.

      The private labels replace the aweber domain with their own domain.

      And the other reason is because I’d rather be a direct customer of AWeber. There is no question about who will support me.

      Also I do not think AWeber allows their private labels to undercut their own prices. On the contrary, most of their private labels have higher prices so they can make a bigger profit margin than they would if they were simply an affiliate of AWeber.

    9. Eric Post author

      I do not recommend any free email list host.

      I will say that anything is better than nothing, so you should do what you have to do.

      But a premium email host such as AWeber is one of the very few investments that I would consider mandatory for this business (along with a domain and web hosting).

    10. Eric Post author

      In terms of getting your site indexed in the search engines, simply linking to it in your comment above will get it there before too long.

      However, I believe you are referring to search engine optimization, which is a fairly complex process of giving your site the “authority” to rank highly in search results.

      We will be covering SEO later on in the lessons.

    11. Jim Natale

      Thanks Eric. All your lessons have been great. This lesson on AWeber has been very helpful. I will be using this to setup my form for TradingPro

    12. Ray

      Hi Eric,

      I have put a button to the “preview videos” on my trade pro site, which brings up a light box for the optin series.

      Do you think this will work better than the conventional box on the site? I also use GetResponse which seem as good as Aweber, any comments on them?

      Great to see you back and active on the videos

    13. Eleanor

      Hi Eric, Thanks for the lesson on aweber. You went really fast and I will need to go over it several times. You forget about us newbies and it is hard to learn when you do not take it slower and explain more detail. Something you might want to consider.
      Thanks and keep up the lessons.

    14. Don

      Can’t seem to find where to paste the code on the sidebar of a wordpress blog. I have adsense on the sidebar but can’t seem to find where the code is. PHP files are confusing to me. I can get stuck on petty details like this for months. Very frustrating.

    15. Eric Post author

      Yes I think that’s a good idea!

      You could always split test to see which results in more opt-ins, but I certainly like the idea. Also be sure to test in in internet explorer, as the light box seemed to be in the wrong place for me.

      GetResponse is good, if you’re already signed up with them that’s fine.

    16. Eric Post author

      I’ll try to keep it in mind, thanks for the feedback. And remember, you can pause the video as often as you need to 😉

    17. Eric Post author

      Keep note of this kind of thing… anything that you’re not good at, or anything that causes you to get stuck. Then outsource those things as soon as you are able.

      No use getting stuck for months on something like this, when you could outsource it on Odesk or Rentacoder for $5 or $10.

      In the mean time, make sure you’re editing the sidebar.php file.

      Look for the Adsense code (or something that you want to paste the opt-in form above or beneath). Then just paste it, save it, and upload it to see if it’s in the right place.

      As long as you saved a backup copy of your sidebar.php file, there’s no way you can mess anything up 😉

    18. Isha

      Hi Eric

      Firstly I would like to thank you for these free video’s, I think they are amazing! Prior to my stumbling onto your site, I had pockets of knowledge but with the help of these video’s I have been able to string most of this knowledge together so they are very appreciated!

      Re opt-in boxes have you heard of icontact? If you have what are your thoughts re aweber over icontact. I have used icontact and am just curious to understand the difference?

      Thanks again Eric, you have a great heart!

    19. Reed

      Thanks for the great lesson Eric.

      That was the pie. Now I want the cream!

      Hope its coming soon ! Mmmmm…mmmmm…mmmmm…!!!

      Have a Great Day !


    20. Eric Post author

      Yes, in fact I mentioned icontact in the previous lesson as being one of the “good” providers. I have not used them personally, but I know marketers who use them and they do well with it. Compared to AWeber they appear to be comparable in terms of features and price. So if you’ve already got a list on icontact, I’d say stick with them. But if you don’t have a list, I’d recommend signing up with AWeber because I’ve had a good experience with them over 5+ years.

    21. Eric Post author

      Yup, as we go through the 12 list building lessons, it’s going to get progressively more exciting 😉

    22. Pingback: Creating a Customer Email List | Eric's Tips

    23. Kevin P Gillespie

      Eric…I sometimes come across project offers that profess to cut out nearly all the work and lead directly (almost) to the money…….
      for a price………what say you? KP

    24. Petre Tudor

      Hi Eric,

      What wonderful is you are started to send us your serie of lessons as to List Building. I’m very intersted to follow all action steps for these lessons. Additionally, I jus set up a the first my opt-in list for Global Domains International site as affiliate.
      Have you enough patiente to watch my below video squeeze page where I added my Aweber web form?


      Please, watch it up to the end and see you if I successfully followed your video instructions.

      Also,please write your comments into your blog asap.

      What is better to fill in the “Thank you” Aweber blank field? My Squeeze page or my replicated (referral) companiy’s URL?

      I am waiting your comment.

      Petre Tudor

    25. Eric Post author

      Yes that looks good!

      I will be covering the confirmation page when I show how to build squeeze pages. There are different strategies, but usually it’s best to send them to a page on your own website, which tells them how to confirm their opt-in.

      I would probably set the video to auto-play, and I will be showing how to do that in the lesson about video squeeze pages.

    26. Robert Boyer

      Hello Eric

      Great the way you have designed your lessons.

      I am in your downline in the TLS List Builder System. Do you have any suggestions for obtaining new subscribers to my existing autoresponder newsletter using the TLS system?


    27. Eric Post author

      Make sure the subject line of your verification email is eye-catching (because it will arrive at the same time as 5 others). Make sure you give a compelling reason in the verification email for them to click the confirmation link.

      When you receive new subscribers from other sources (other than TLS), you can refer them to TLS on your thank-you/download page to help build up your downline on TLS.

    28. John Dougan

      Hi Eric,

      I’m not sure if you’re aware that Aweber charges you for all the email addresses listed in the unsubscribed list as well as your active email list.

      You may want to check that out with them.


    29. Eric Post author

      Yes I was aware, but thank you for the reminder! In fact I am planning on purging my unsubscribes soon. It is useful to have them because of the historical reporting/stats/analytics. But I think I’ve got the info I need, so I’ll probably wipe them soon and save some money 😉


      i;m not sure if i;m doing the list right. but love the program. learned alot. now i;ll run though them again just to make sure. thanks you really know what your doing. best program i;ve ever gotten.. tried of lost money on fight by night deals. thanks again

    31. Alan Harrison

      whatever happened to KISS
      Weebly uses idiot proof web creation and you don’t need HTML knowledge.
      So with Weebly you just set up your webpage plus opt in seconds.
      I must say the various steps in Aweber look cumbersome especially for a newbie plus they’re obsessed about your existing email customers having to opt in again which I wouldn’t want to hassle them with.1Shopping cart or Get Response hopefully don’t and may be easier.Your comments would be appreciated but can you should perhaps cut out the HTML lesson since most want WYSIWYG which is what blogger and weebly offer.Thanks

    32. Web host

      Earlier you mentioned that you concider hosting plus a domain name and, in your case aweber as mandatory for this business!

      Which I agree with but with cost as a factor every single month, paying multiple providers for online services can and does mount up.

      Looking out for alternatives is not a bad thing to do!

    33. Martin

      Hi Eric,

      I have created my Aweber account, set up my new list and paste the Java code in the HTML coding page of Kompozer. When I make a preview, the opt-in form does not appear on my sales page. Only a little yellow square appear and it’s written (script) in it. Can you help me with that?


    34. Eric Post author

      If you’re using Kompozer, you would need to make sure you’re pasting it into the source code and not into the WYSIWYG editor.

      Then to preview it, you will probably have to save it and view it outside of Kompozer by opening it in a browser (IE or firefox) or just upload it.

    35. Eric Post author

      Sure it’s always good to look at your options, but based on my 10+ yrs of experince in this business, I’ve outlined what I believe is the best way for most newbies to get started.

    36. Eric Post author

      Free sites like Weebly and Blogger can be a good strategy to incorporate secondary sites into your business (Like review sites, feeder sites for SEO, etc). But if you’re serious about having a business (particularly if you’re planning on selling your own products) IMO it’s vital to have your own domain and paid web hosting.

      I was not aware that Weebly offered list building, but if they do I absolutely would NOT recommend using it to host a marketing list.

      I can not emphasize enough how it is worth it to use a good email management company such as AWeber, and while it may seem cumbersome at first, it is well worth taking the time to familiarize yourself with their system.

      Almost all WYSIWYG applications do offer the capability of editing the source code, or at least pasting in a snippet of code, like an opt-in form.

      When you get to know the system, you will see it’s not really cumbersome. AWeber has a built-in WYSIWYG editor for their opt-in forms, and then it’s just a matter of copying and pasting a snippet of code onto your site.

    37. Martin


      yes I’m pasting it into the source code as showned in your video. Is there a technical support for Kompozer?

      When I just click on my HTML page itself, it opens it in my internet explorer and I see the form correctly. But when I open it with Kompozer and publish it, the published version doesn’t work. Aweber technical support were not able to help me and I really don’t know what else to try. Is there a way to publish it with my browser instead of publishing it with Kompozer?

      Thank you!

    38. Nisha

      Who the hell has given “Unsatisfactory” rating to Eric’s Tips in WOT [www.mywot.com], amidst of giving all these valuable info for free.


    39. Eric Post author

      Interesting, I was not aware of that site. Well if anyone is a member, feel free to give me a good rating to make up for the false accusation 🙂

    40. Jennifer @JTInternetMarketing.com

      Hi Eric,
      One thing you – or anyone, for that matter – don’t talk about is the philosophy behind setting up lists.

      What I mean is that when I started (a couple of months ago) I started list-building in a JV Giveaway to which I submitted 3 gifts – so, I set up 3 lists – and a special offer – a 4th list. Then I added an opt-in in on my blog – another list. So now I have 5 or more lists, each with a few subscribers on – so when adding follow-up messages (I know you cover this specifically later) I have to add them to 5 or more lists.

      If I knew then what I know now I would probably have added all the subscribers from the JV to one list and had another for the blog subscribers.

      I just thought you might like to add a PS to this Tip to say how you would recommend organising/choosing lists.

      Best Wishes

    41. Eric Post author

      Good point. Another and perhaps even better option is to keep creating seperate lists (like you did), but also simultaneously add those subscribers to a master list. You can do this in AWeber using their “automation” rules. I talk a bit about it in lesson #69.

      You will end up having that subscriber in 2 different places, which means you pay more in AWeber. But it’s worth it because…

      -You have the benefit of having segmented lists based on where that subscriber came from.
      -You have a master list with all your subscribers on it, so you only have to add your followup messages in one place.

    42. Gerhard

      HI Eric

      Have you used Traffic Wave Responder – your opinion? I recently joined Traffic Wave and they give a fixed price regardless of how many subscribers you have. I’m even tempted cancelling Aweber after moving all my subscribers to TW.

    43. EA Marcus

      Great video. I knew how to do this for opt-in and sales pages but not for blogs. Thanks for the clear and concise instructions! Thanks Eric!

    44. Gary

      Eric, I am really stumped by this! How do I have an open-ended “newsletter” or blog message-sending system when I allow a company like AWeber to manage my contact list? What I mean is, I was with Constant Contact for a while, and I had a very small list of about 100 people. I had pre-inserted about 20 messages to be sent on a weekly basis. However, I had to take a break at the end of message 20 for awhile, thinking I could come back and add more messages later. But when I came back, about half of my list had already reached message 20 and were automatically deactivated in the account since they had reached “the end.” I was not allowed to reactivate them! I’m sure this is very simple, but I have not figured this out yet. Eric’s Tips is a very good example of what I’d like to do. You have 100 proposed lessons but you do not send out lessons every week. I know how to send out weekly lessons, I’m just not sure how to do that within a list management company without being confined by an “end date” to the particular campaign. Is there a way to have an open-ended campaign? Please help.


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