Year: 2009

3 Ways to Build Urgency In Email Subject Lines

By Rebecca Swayze

As I examined my inbox in the days before Christmas, I couldn’t help but notice a growing trend in the email marketing messages I receive from retailers big and small. Almost every other message in my inbox touted a percentage off or free shipping of my purchase in the next however many days.

Don’t Let Your Opt-In Form Get Out Of Control

By Amanda Gagnon

You may remember Mr. Manyhats, a busy man who suffers subscriber fatigue. His wife, Mrs. Manyhats, has the same problem. She has so many emails, she doesn’t know what to do. But she likes that the emails provide her with suggestions and offers that match her interests. One of her interests is craft projects, so she goes to Michael’s Arts & Crafts website to sign up for their emails. But when she gets there, she changes her mind.

New Email Parser: Shopping Cart Gurus

By Nick Moore

Integrate Shopping Cart Gurus with AWeberAWeber integrates with numerous third party applications through the use of email parsers.

These work by extracting subscriber information from notification emails sent to your campaign’s email address.

You’re probably already familiar with how we integrate with popular applications like PayPal, Clickbank and 1ShoppingCart.

But we recognize that there are smaller niche services which are integral to many email marketing campaigns. For example, based on feedback we’ve received from users, we’ve added a parser for Shopping Cart Gurus.

Video: How to Integrate AWeber and Shopping Cart Gurus

Shopping Cart Gurus is a lightweight shopping cart system and a nice alternative if you seek simplicity over deep customization. And it takes almost no effort to have customers added to your AWeber list when they purchase from you.

For Shopping Cart Gurus, it’s as simple as turning on the parser (under the “My Lists” tab in your AWeber control panel) and sending new sign up notifications to your list’s email address.

Whenever a customer purchases a product, they will be automatically added to your list. See our knowledge base article for more in-depth information, or check out the Shopping Cart Gurus website if you’d like to learn more about their software.

Any Services You’d Like To See Parsers For?

We integrate with many third-party applications – use the search box at the end of this page to find instructions for integrating your favorite application with AWeber. If you don’t find the one you want, get in touch and let us know!

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Test For an A+ Message: It’s Worth It

By Amanda Gagnon

Most of us glance into the mirror before stepping out the door each morning. What if there is food in our hair or our clothes are on backwards? The mirror-test saves us from potentially horrifying embarrassment.

Our emails deserve that same opportunity. Since they can’t check the mirror themselves (due to their unfortunate lack of eyeballs), we must do it for them through testing. Trust me, this is a step you do not want to skip.

You and your email marketing campaign will both be relieved if your test turns up a mistake that would have resulted in mismatched e-shoes.

Why To Test

You’ve probably had this experience: you open an email, you get interested, you click on a link, and:


You’re done. You can’t go any further, so you delete the email and move on to other important things, like checking the mirror for smudged mascara.

And you do not want that to happen with your emails.

So. Two or three minutes of clicking about in exchange for peace of mind? Good, I’m glad you agree!

Let’s look at how to keep your reputation as a flawless and stunning emailer.

Where To Test

Different email clients render HTML in different ways, so you’ll need to check for design flaws.

You want to test in at least the top few webmail providers, since you are most likely to have subscribers using them. (You may need to set up accounts if you don’t already have them, but it’s free to do so.)

If you can, you’ll also want to test in Outlook (there are several versions of Outlook – if you have Outlook 2007, test in that one first) and possibly Mac Mail and Mozilla Thunderbird.

What To Test

  • In HTML messages, double check the design. Do your images display in all accounts? Do special effects show up as jargon? Do the fonts look right? Now you can see if your style is universally acceptable.
  • Scan for typos. You may see mistakes you missed before while working in your account.
  • Check your from line and subject line. Each email provider limits to a different number of characters, so make sure enough information is visible in the inbox.
  • Click your links – every one. Our Link Checker will make sure the page is found and exists, but it’s up to you to make sure that each link actually goes to the right page where you want your readers to journey.

How To Test

After creating a message and before you queue it up, you’ll see the option to test it. Click on that “Test” link and fill out the form. If you’re using personalization in your message, this will test those fields as well.

Screen Shot Testing

Go through the process for every email service you’re testing in. If you see a problem, do your best to tweak until it’s fixed.

When you are assured your message is presentable, you can send it out to deliver your words far and wide.

Tell Your Story

Have you ever stopped a flawed email just in the nick of time by testing it?

Have you ever skipped testing only to regret it later?

Share your stories below!

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Do You Create More Effective Email Campaigns With These Reports?

By Amanda Gagnon

Your AWeber reports provide a many-faceted view of your success. But have you taken the time to explore them and learn how they can help you improve your email marketing campaigns? If not, that’s OK; we’ll help. Let’s look at a few reports and how each one empowers you to communicate with subscribers more effectively.

Trigger a Lightbox Web Form With a Link or Button

By Marc Kline

A lightbox is one way you can grab your visitors’ attention – it appears above your webpage and shades everything else out.

We offer the lightbox as an option in our Web Form Generator. Once a page loads, the form installed on it appears above it. For some, this is great – a way to really catch the visitor off-guard with an offer to sign up for your email marketing campaign.

Well, one man’s treasure is another man’s “annoying pop-up”. Some just don’t like them and there’s no convincing. They don’t want something that appears unexpectedly.

Does this describe you? Then I wonder how you might feel about lightbox that appears only when a visitor does expect it – and asks for it.

An Alternative to the Automatic Pop-Up

When we recently re-did the Web Form Generator, the project’s lead developer, Dan, unsurfaced a neat option. By copying and pasting in some JavaScript above your form, you can set a button or link to trigger the loading of a lightbox, thereby preventing some of the possible pains of pop-ups while preserving a lot of the good stuff.

Check out the demo, then head over to the Knowledge Base to learn how to do this for your site.

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4 Easy Autoresponder Ideas for Beauty Salons

By Rebecca Swayze

A carefully planned autoresponder series builds the foundation for a solid email marketing campaign. To some business owners, creating this series can be a daunting task – but it doesn’t have to be! With a bit of planning, everyone can create an autoresponder series that communicates important information and offers to subscribers, no matter what industry you are in. For example, let’s look at some easy autoresponder ideas for a specific type of business – a beauty salon. These examples are specific, but you can apply them to all kinds of campaigns.

Subscriber Fatigue: 7 Steps To Kick It

By Amanda Gagnon

Mr. Manyhats has much to do – and a cluttered inbox. When he checks his email, he clears out all but the most pressing messages. Many of them don’t look particularly interesting or helpful anyway, and he can’t afford to waste his time. Like a lot of people, he is suffering from a case of subscriber fatigue. In the current economy, many companies are marketing especially aggressively. Some 247 billion emails are sent every day. In the melee, subscribers often choose one or two emails to open, and delete the rest. Your goal? Get Mr. Manyhats to choose your email. But how?

Smart Video Thank You Pages

By Justin Premick

The thank you page is the first thing a subscriber experiences after signing up to your email marketing campaign. It does a lot to establish expectations about your campaign.

It’s also where you can knock their socks off.

An awesome thank you page can get subscribers excited about receiving your emails, making each each and every broadcast you send a celebratory occasion for them. (Or, at the very least, make them more likely to open your emails.)

With the launch of our new Web Form Generator, you can also offer a more personalized thank you page experience to subscribers.

A Smarter Way To Say Thanks

Smart video thank you pages are the happy medium between AWeber’s default thank you page and your own custom URL.

We pass subscriber form data to the page so that everyone who signs up to your list gets a unique experience.

This is your subscriber’s name with your confirmation subject line. Not a generic “Check Your Inbox” message. And it’s as simple as choosing Smart Video Version from the thank you page drop down menu.

Not only that, the smart thank you page will pick out the subscriber’s email provider and adjust the video accordingly.

So if someone enters an address that includes, they’ll see a video telling them to check their Gmail inbox. Likewise with Yahoo, Hotmail and many others. If we don’t have a specific video available (say, for addresses at personal domains), your subscriber will see a video showing the most popular email application for their operating system (Outlook for Windows, Mail for Mac OS X).

It’s probably the closest thing to magic you can experience using a web form…

Test It For Yourself!

Try the demo form on our site to see what your subscribers will experience!

(That form is just a demonstration. You won’t be signed up to any list, and we aren’t keeping any information you enter into the form.)

A good looking web form makes a great first impression on a subscriber, but an engaging thank you page is just as important.

You can shape expectations and build anticipation, all the while directing the subscriber to their inbox.

  • It’s important to note that smart video thank you pages are only available if you’re using confirmed opt-in… so if you’re not already doing so, consider this reason number three ba-billion to start.

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How To Build Relationships Via Email: We Talk To Chris Guillebeau

By Justin Premick

As you know, many businesses treat email marketing as a purely one-way marketing medium. They focus on getting as many sales as they can before recipients scramble to the unsubscribe link. While that model might work for a few businesses, it’s certainly not for everyone. Here’s how AWeber customer Chris Guillebeau uses email to connect with subscribers, build relationships – and, oh yeah, grow his business while traveling the world.