Now that you have placed your opt-in forms in all the strategic locations we need to discuss the flow that each and every person who chose to subscribe to your eZine will follow.

It is very important that you provide a simple and consistent experience to the people in order to avoid confusion on what need to be done and as such increase your confirmation percentage. And since I don’t even discuss single opt-in, throughout the entire process we will be discussing on using only Double-Opt-in subscription, in which each person will be required to confirm their intention to receive information from you!

Here is a simple representation of what your subscription process should be:

email-subscription-flow

Step 1:  eMail Opt-in

I have discussed this in details in first post of the series “Email Marketing For Bloggers, The Basics” I still want to stress the importance of understanding that Opt-In means willingly and with full understanding giving you permission to send additional information. Don’t abuse that permission and you will have an opportunity to build your own audience and earn in process!

I don’t want to spend too much time in this post on step 1, as I have covered the most important aspects in post mentioned above but I did skip on purpose several things worth mentioning when considering setting up subscription form or page:

  1. Using a theme that provides you with all the options to implement a dedicated Lead Generation (Squeeze) page. I have reviewed a FlexSqueeze theme before and can highly recommend, if you can spend few bucks. It is truly great theme that will help you save on time and create a very professional appearance.
  2. Setting Up Dedicated Squeeze Page and separate from your blog structure. This one is most commonly used and very effective. If you have a bit of HTML knowledge it is very easy to do. Just create a new folder under your blog structure and create all the pages in it. In this case I recommend have some form of Navigational Menu item to get to your squeeze page in addition to all the opt-in forms you already have.

Step 2: Subscription Confirmation Page

If you are completely new to the process and just looking for simplicity you can leave default aweber confirmation page. They have recently added a nice feature – audio to their page and I venture to guess it helps with subscription confirmation rate:

aweber-confirm-page

I always like to customize and create my own page for this step. It can serve couple different purposes:

  1. It can be used to explain a person who just opted-in What They Should Do Next to receive their promised download
  2. Same as above but also Added a Product Offer. This one is not required but it does help you get some additional sales.

I use both and in second case I simply added one of the products I have purchased with Master Resale Rights and it provides a tremendous value for the small price. If you subscribed to my eZine – you have seen the page, but here is quick pick:

subscribe-thank-you-page

Also works really well if you make that thank you page a *.php page and add some “php magic” and call person by name, using information they provided during opt-in process. Here is how you can implement it:

  1. Save the Thank You page as thankyou.php or whatever you want to call it, as long as it is saved as *.php and not *.html.
  2. Add all your normal text using your HTML editor
  3. Anywhere you want to use a person’s name place this code:
    <?php echo $_GET['name']; ?>
  4. As you create a web form in aweber specify link to your thankyou.php page and choose to forward variables, as shown in image below:

forward-subscription-variables

This will forward “name” variable that person provided in subscription form to the Thank You page and the code you implemented on the page will read it and place it in location where you put code.

One additional trick here is to use Correct Case for “Name” on your subscription form. Works wonders for people providing their name in correct case as result. I’m not psychologist but it was explained to me that this something has to do with power of suggestion on subconscious level 😈 Just don’t overuse it!

Step 3: Delivering the Goodies!

This is the most important step in entire process as this is where you have to make good on your promise! Once people click that confirmation link I recommend you send them directly to the download page. You can specify that directly in Confirmed Opt-In settings for the list you are working with.

Simply provide a URL to download page on Confirmation Success Page.  I also recommend you include a link to download in your very first – Welcome Email. Don’t take any chances – attempt to deliver on your promise from as many places as possible! Nothing will kill the trust factor as fast as you failing to provide what you have promised!

I always prefer to use dedicated page for delivering promised download and store it in sub-folder as I have described but what if you just want to be able to use your blog for everything?

Bonus Step: Using Blog For Every Step Of The Process

We are going to be working with several limitations and take advantages of what we have available. And here is how I would do it IF I used a blog for every step of the process:

  • Use opt-in forms as I have described in first post of this series: Email Marketing For Bloggers, The Basics
  • Use default thank you page provided by aweber. I really think that new default page they have should do a job quite nicely, even though I prefer my own pages.
  • Create a page on my blog dedicated to delivering the promised download but exclude it from Menu so it is not visible using one of the Page Management plugins. Simply use editor provided by WordPress to create all the text, upload your file using options available in your editor and link to it from the content of page. Just be sure it is EASILY accessible to avoid confusion!

That is All Folks! Entire process is extremely easy to implement but if you need even more help – here are resources mentioned in this post as well as additional recommendations:

  1. Aweber – must have list management. While I know that others exists – for bloggers it is my #1 recommendation.
  2. FlexSqueeze Theme – simplest way to use your blog for lead generation and provides you with everything you need to create a dedicated Squeeze page
  3. Aweber Unleashed – product my partner and I have recently purchased Master Resale Rights to and now offer to you at discount. It is a series of video tutorials that will teach you all you need to know abut managing your aweber account.
  4. Instant Bonus Page – free membership but I recommend upgrade to access all the features. It is designed to help you create as Many Product Download pages as you like and also add bonuses to it via your affiliate link. Highly recommended if you are looking into a way to maximize your return and you can use it to deliver your free download.
[audio:email-marketing-subscription-process.mp3]

Disclaimer: some of the links mentioned within this post or posts they lead to are my affiliate links and I get compensated for recommending those products. However I never recommend something I didn’t believe in and welcome your questions and feedback.