How To Set Up The Most Effective Email Follow Up System

Over the coming days, I’m going to show you how you can use email marketing software to turn your website visitors into subscribers, and then turn those subscribers into paying customers. I’ll cover topics like:

  • How to effectively collect email subscribers
  • Easy sources of email content that you can use to quickly build a powerful email campaign
  • How to make your email messages more personal
  • How to measure the success of your email campaign, and ways you can improve on that success

I will be using Aweber for the demos. If you have an Aweber account, you’ll be able to follow right along. I’ve been using AWeber for my email marketing needs for quite some time now. I’ll be sharing a lot of the software’s benefits with you in the posts to come.

If you don’t have an Aweber account, you can try them out for a month for only a dollar. If after a month you decide that the email marketing tools aren’t what you’re looking for, let Aweber know and they’ll refund your money with no questions asked. Yes, they will refund $1.

Does Your Website Try To Hit a Homerun… But Strike Out

Let’s suppose for a minute that you’ve set up a website or blog to market your product or service. You’ve used a combination of tactics like search, paid advertising and word of mouth to drive traffic to your site. You’ve put great content on your site explaining to visitors how you can help them.

And yet, the sales aren’t rolling in (at least, not the way you want them to). Your phone isn’t ringing off the hook. Online sales trickle in, but you don’t want a trickle — you want a flood! There are many possible culprits for disappointing sales figures, and today I’d like to address one common culprit….. your own website.

My Website? But My Website’s Great!

Your website is great… at doing certain things:

  • Serving as a “virtual storefront” where people can see what you have to offer
  • Hosting SEO friendly content so that you can get traffic from Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc.
  • Creating a brand/image for your company and products

But while those things are important, there’s one major flaw that plagues many otherwise great websites.

They Only Take One Shot At The Sale

Tell me if this sounds familiar: you’re at your computer, doing some research on a purchase you intend to make in the next month or so. You come to Joe Business Owner’s site, and he has a perfect solution: it does what you want, it’s just about the right price, he’ll ship it to your door. However, you’re just not ready today. After all, you want to shop around some, and you need this in the next month or so, not necessarily today or tomorrow.

What Happens When The First Shot Fails?

You pass on Joe’s offer, and tell yourself that you’ll come back in a few weeks and order from Joe then. But you lose his website address, or you forget about him (hey, it’s not your fault, you’re a busy person!).

You end up buying from another business. Joe’s competition. But what about Joe? You were *so close* to buying from him! He’s outta luck. He had his shot when you went to his site, and he didn’t make the sale. Too bad for him. Joe relied on his website to hit a home run for him… but it struck out.

Email Gives You Multiple Chances To Close

What Joe *should have done* is offer to send you some more information by email. Let’s say he does that instead. While you still don’t buy anything from him that day, you *do* take him up on his offer of a free consumer guide – and you give him your email address to get it.

You read it and realize that Joe really knows his stuff and he seems like a stand-up guy, too. The kind you like doing business with. He even checks in with you by email to see if you have any questions for him, or to tell you more about how he can help you.

When you are ready to buy, guess whose website address (and email address!) you have right in your inbox? Guess who you trust? Guess who you’re going to purchase from?

Just like a good baseball team, Joe knows that a bunch of hits (emails) lead to more success than the occasional home run. He eventually sold you, even though his website couldn’t do it on the first try.

Is It Hard to Put Together an Email Campaign?

Unlike poor Joe, you know that your website doesn’t have to sell your prospects on the first visit to be successful, because your email campaign can close them afterwards. But you might not be sure if you’ll be able to create an effective email campaign. The good news? Building your first email campaign is a snap!

What’s Next?

Not sure you can come up with good emails like Joe and turn your own visitors into customers? Don’t worry. Tomorrow, I’ll show you the number one place to get great message content, and a few others that can be handy as well. In the mean time, go start your $1 Aweber test account.

72 thoughts on “How To Set Up The Most Effective Email Follow Up System”

  1. Sahil Kotak says:

    Yeah, Email Marketing is very good way to promote anything online.


  2. Sarge says:

    This is going to be great for me. My goals for next month and the upcoming weeks is to start setting up my mailing list.

    Perfect JC! 😉

  3. DJ says:

    I am not trying to promote anything on my blog. My blog is mainly for informational purposes. Since my blog is so new, is it a good idea to set up an Aweber account so early in the game?

    1. The only person who can answer that question is you.

      However, having said that – i can guarentee that 99.9% of successful marketers (including John) will tell you that if they where given a chance to do it all over again, they would implement an email marketing system earlier.

      1. DJ says:

        I was thinking that I should start with an Aweber account right away. Thanks for the advice.

      2. John Chow says:

        My advice is to always start the email list from day 1.

        1. What if you’re not sure what to include in your e-mails?

          Do you just start a list and not send anything out for a while until you have a more clear picture what information you want to get to your readers?

          1. LetUpdate says:

            That’s my problem too, so i do not use aweber until know.

          2. Lee Ka Hoong says:

            It goes same to me, I think we should prepare some good material and ready to give out to the people who subscribes your newsletter, such a Ebook, free gift and etc, otherwise you’re wasting time and money using Aweber because you can’t get any subscriber.

          3. Money-Era says:

            A lot of you guys are having the same dilemmas to me.
            I have been postponing signing up with Aweber exactly for this reason: how am I going to produce a content?
            Well, I think we all should focus on solving the problem. For example sit down and make a brainstorming session for ideas, then make a schedule to write the content and off we go!

        2. DJ says:

          Thanks John. I am going to start right away.

  4. Rahul says:

    I am waiting for your future updates for email marketing.

  5. Een Rockstar says:

    AWeber is the best autoresponder so far.. I’m quite happy using it..On my first week using it, I test all the functions itself.. AWeber can do more that just send an email..However I can’t wait for your next tip..

    1. LetUpdate says:

      What can aweber do beside the mail news? It is interesting if some one can share it.

  6. Doug Dillard says:

    Looking forward to the rest John of your series on email follow-ups… as I love this stuff!

    I just recently started a massive subscriber campaign and I am really focusing a lot of effort in building a huge subscriber list. I have an awesome course I am giving away for free to subscribers… plus I have a contest for newsletter subscribers only… where every Friday I will be raffling off really great prizes. For the next few weeks I will be giving away custom logo designs, as well as a character mascot from a big name design firm… and a lot more cool prizes after that.

    I will definitely do whatever it takes to build up my list, as I know it is one of the important things you can do with any online business!

    1. Lee Ka Hoong says:

      Needless to say, you’re doing pretty good with your subscriber campaign and I’m proud to be one of your subscriber. I really enjoy being a subscriber and I enjoy the contest that you started few days ago.

      I hope you will get more subscribers in coming days and wish you all the best Doug! 🙂

  7. Diabetis says:

    The problem is getting some traffic.

    1. Benjamin Cip says:

      You can still get traffic promoting a free ebook on forum. You’ll see how effective this method is… but you site must look nice.

      1. EarningStep says:

        yeah… forums.. i got lot of traffic from there. warrior forum and digital point are a nice start

      2. You have to write an eBook worth reading for the offer to be attractive. If you write a terrible eBook, most people will not come back to your site (at least I wouldn’t).

        1. LetUpdate says:

          Yes, agree with you. The best ebook from blog that i find so far is john chow ebook. It make me click almost all the link in that ebook, and bring me to his blog.

    2. Shaun says:

      Get super social, be transparent and honest. The art to selling anything well (for the long term) is not to ‘sell’.

      1. Nathan says:

        In selling, you also got to have the right attitude. Show confidence in your product since if you don’t, no one will.

      2. Money-Era says:

        I agree 100%. If your goal is to maintain a long relationship with your clients, is best to just offer help, solve their problems and act as a consultant with no real sales pitch.
        You build your image of a “guru” in this way.

  8. The money is in the list indeed. Once you have the buy-in, you can pitch multiple offers on a regular basis to somebody who has already expressed an interest in your offerings. It works for me!

  9. Shaun says:

    The moment i put Aweber up ‘Just like John said to’ on this 2 month old blog, guess what happened? My subscribers increased rapidly from 2 a week (Feedburner) to an increasing 7 a day. watch this space eh.

    1. DJ says:

      Did you offer any products when you did this Shaun?

      1. Money-Era says:

        And how many people visit your blog every day (unique visitors)?

  10. LetUpdate says:

    Worthy knowledge about email marketing. Thanks.

  11. Greg Ellison says:

    I can’t wait for tomorrows post in this series. Greg Ellison

    1. Earningstep says:

      the first part made you understand how powerful email marketing is..

  12. I haven’t really tried e-mail marketing yet. It never appealed to me..

    1. It will appeal to you when you start making huge ROI. I think one of John’s featured articles is about email marketing vs. twitter vs. posts. It’s a great read and will make you a believer.

  13. Though you have a great way of collecting and building your email list JC, it’s a bit annoying getting more than one of the same email offers from you. I went ahead and unsubscribed in the end. However, you may want to consider using the aweber tool that allows people to subscribe once, as long as they are on one of your lists. I realize that the idea is to have people on all your lists, but not when the content of all your lists are the same.



  14. I really agree with your tips, John.

    It is better to use our weapon/bullet on few prospective customer and succeed to conclude the sales rather than to shoot randomly without properly aim at our target as it will only lead to waste of resources.

    Btw, tq for the tips John.


  15. This post is very timely (just before the holiday season starts). Thanks for the reminders.

    I am just in the process of cleaninig out my email DB (not using aweber yet). I deleted old addresses where an email checking program returned “user unknown” errors or similar. – Now I still have a problem with addresses from yahoo which the tool couldn’t resolve (all returned an error 999 which is not a real error code). Does anyone know an online-tool to check yahoo (and other) email addresses?

  16. Rich says:

    I don’t get the economics of AWeber pricing. $19 a month, yes, but if I’m successful, I start paying more, for 5000 subscribers, a good amount to do some marketing against, $50 extra per month. That’s a big chunk of change. And if email marketing doesn’t work out, what do I do with my subscribers? Can I roll them back into something free like a Feedburner email? Those prices just scare me.

    1. John Chow says:

      If you have 5,000 subs, there’s no way you can not make more than $50 per month. No email marketer on Aweber cares how much it cost because we make way more off the list. I have over 30K names on my list and it cost way more than $19 per month. Do I care? nope. Not one bit.

  17. An other question on Aweber:
    when importing email addresses, is there still the need to send out a mail to double-opt-in again before you can start using the program regulary?
    All my users are double-opt-in anyway and would be concerned and smell something fishy if I request their optin again.
    Any ideas on how to overcome this?

    1. Make Money says:

      I asked them once, and they said you can send them the file and they can manually do it, if you fax proof that they have already opted in or show some proof.

      This was a while ago though, so not sure if they still do it.

    2. John Chow says:

      Aweber will require those subs to opt in again.

  18. Make Money says:

    I recently got a copy of this software that produces 50 email autoresponders, with fill in the blank customization from Harlan Kilstein as a part of his latest launch. It still needs some manual tweaking but I have to say I was hugely impressed with the 50 emails it produced, and I am half way through edited and uploading them to my aweber account.

  19. It’s funny. So many people say that email marketing is dead. Thank you John for not lying to us.

    1. EarningStep says:

      i believe email marketing is dead for some people but it’s depend on what you share on it

      1. Lee Ka Hoong says:

        I agree with you, it depends on what you share with your subscribers, and also how you interact with them. If you keep hard selling your products, you will piss them off because you never provide them valuable tutorial on something else and just keep promoting your product to them.

    2. Email marketing to non-targeted audience is not effective. Seth Godin wrote a great post about marketing today that is worth a read. It explains why so many people fail at e-mail marketing.

      1. Nick Aviles says:

        It’s all about targeted audience. That’s what separates a good marketer from a bad one.

      2. Teen money says:

        You are absolutely right. Email marketing to non targeting audience is not effective at all. It is effective when you build your list yourselves.

        1. Make Money says:

          Parry Marshall has been talking about some really good email marketing stuff lately too, about segmenting your list into 100 different lists, and only selling people what they have told you (by optin in) that they want.

  20. Lee Ka Hoong says:

    I believe that email marketing would be good in not just promoting your product but also in interacting with your readers as well. This helps on building healthy relationship between you and your readers, relationship is really important because your readers will be the people who helps in your online business.


  21. fas says:

    The $1 trial is tooooo tempting, time to bite the dust.

    1. Nathan says:

      $1 trial? Oh, I’m going to check it out. Thanks

      1. LetUpdate says:

        And your $1 will refund if you do not like it. :mrgreen:

  22. Dave Doolin says:

    Very timely!

    I am just about to embark on getting my list actually working, so I’ll be following along closely.

  23. Nathan says:

    It’s difficult task to do email marketing since I myself doesn’t read those because it looks like spams unless it came from someone I know.

  24. Nick Aviles says:

    Thanks for the post John. I’m wasn’t sure whether or not I should get Awber, but I think it’s a good idea.

  25. Looking forward to this series, email marketing is something I really need to get my head around.

  26. ListBuilder says:

    If you just start your online business, the problem for setting up your list with Aweber/GetResponse account is that you need to pay monthly fees. You may not know how long you need to build up your list and how responsive is your list to your email promotions in the future. So what I did is to build my own email marketing system. By doing so, I do not need to pay any month fees at all, and I have full control with my list.

  27. There are alot of open source alternatives to aweber that are really useful and if you’re good at PHP then you can do amazing things with them. Check out PHPlist, it’s really a great program but definitely not as easy to use and probably more time consuming than aweber

    those are my cents

  28. Blogging says:

    Looking forward to the rest of this series! SY

  29. It’s not gonna sound original to say, but I really liked that you created a post saying “Why” about email building.
    Advantages I can already foresee are
    1. Better follow up from readers
    2. Higher built up & expectancy than just list of ideas
    3. It would give line of thinking to those who are new enough to not know what ‘s value of taking effort to build the email list.

  30. Jad Smith says:

    Fax to Email works in conjunction with non-geographic telephone numbers. This way you will not waste paper as you can print only the faxes you need and you will save money on inks and maintenance costs.

  31. Teen money says:

    I am always looking for a good email marketing software. It will help me staying in touch with my customers. Emails makes it possible to effect sales from a customer who otherwise would not have bought the products from us.

    A good software would always help

  32. Ms. Freeman says:

    Oh Boy!!! This is what I have been wanting to learn. Time to roll up my sleves and get to work on creating a GREAT email campaign. Thanks!

  33. Volksphone says:

    I didn´t really like e-mail marketing but if i am watching more and more videos on your website i think i have to keep my mind of it to get more conversions and sales through this sales funnel.

    best regards

  34. Tim says:

    My list has been lying dormant so this series is very timely. I’ll follow closely… thanks!

  35. This is a very intresting post John, I am still waiting for the next parts to learn more about this.

  36. Certainly this kind of topics and post need more time and I think more posts.

    You really started a good and informative series which was due from very long on John Chow.

    Going to read part II

  37. Hey Chow,

    I must say that you have mentioned a great connection between few set of things. I love this post as it taught me some valuable lesson regarding effective selling.

    Thanks for it pal.

  38. Joe says:

    John, it is a pleasure to receive your emails. The flow of your Aweber auto-responder and broadcasts messages are smooth as silk.
    The arrangement of all your affiliate links are also masterful, completely surrounded by good content.
    I have learned a lot from your site and email campaigns.
    Thanks for everything

  39. Money-Era says:

    The ability to close after some time is really interesting to me. John, would you share some statistics? How many sales %wise you get on a day of sending the newsletter, one day later, two days later and so on?

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