Adding AWeber Sign-up Form to WordPress with E-book Incentive

aweber mail

After having such a positive response from my article about MailChimp Sidebar Widgets I thought I’d write another article about putting an AWeber form on a WordPress site with an e-book as an incentive.

Why do this?

Why email? Email is still one of the most effective marketing tools. It’s personalised, targeted and cheap.

Why AWeber? AWeber is one of the best email management companies. I would say the best, actually. Why? Auto-responders, ease of use, higher delivery rates, built-in A/B split testing features and, unlike MailChimp, they allow you to put affiliate links in emails so you can make more money with AWeber.

Why offer a free e-book as an incentive? People are much more likely to join an email list if they’re getting something in return. So, e-books, MP3s or video courses offered as “lead magnates” serve as a reason to sign up to a list. Once subscribers receive something for free they are much more likely to continue to read subsequent emails.

Video on how to put an AWeber form on a WordPress sidebar with an e-book as an incentive

Here is my video where I take you through the whole process of creating a list at AWeber and adding forms to your website.

What you need to start?

You need to create three pages on your website and an AWeber account. These are the pages:

  1. A “Thank you” page. This is the page visitors see after entering their email address and submitting the form. They are not subscribers at this point. The are only officially subscribed after they have clicked a link in an email sent by AWeber. When they will go to this page:
  2. A “Thank you for subscribing, here’s your free gift” page. On this page you should put your lead magnate, so add a link to the PDF or MP3 on this page with clear instructions on how to download it (right-click, etc.)
  3. An “Already subscribed” page. This page is for subscribers who have tried to subscribe again. They may have missed your free offer last time, want it again or have just forgotten that they’re already subscribed. You would typically put a contact form on this page explaining that the visitor is already subscribed to this list and receiving updates but should contact you if they have any questions. If somebody wants to sign up twice to your list they are probably really interested in what you offer and should therefore be treated well!

Now you are ready to create the form for your website. In order to create a form you need a list.

Creating a new list at AWeber

The first thing you need to do is to create a new list. This is pretty simple. Head over to AWeber, click “My Lists” and then “Create New List” and give it a name. You will probably only need one list per website to start with.

Having clicked the “Create New List” button you will be presented with a form. First of all you need to fill out “Basic Information”, here you will need to enter:

  • List Name: Give a memorable name for the list.
  • List Description: This is to remind your subscribers why they are subscribed you may want to mention the lead magnate and the great free information that will be sent out to this list. This will be seen on your unsubscribe page so it should emphasise the benefits of staying on the list.
  • From Name and Address: This should be as personal as possible. Subscribers should be encouraged to reply to the emails personally and if they see a real name here they will be more likely to engage with the process. I like to make this the main email address from the website rather than a Gmail or Yahoo address.

You are then given an option to receive emails every time someone subscribes to the list. Trust me, you don’t want to fill this out, AWeber provides you with fantastic subscriber reports.

The next stage is “Personalize Your List”, here you can enter:

  • Company Name: You can make this the name of the website.
  • Website URL: Pretty obvious.
  • Email Signature: Again, make this a name of a human being.
  • Company logo: Upload a small JPG.

Then you have an option of whether to automatically send updates to Twitter and Facebook of your broadcast emails. You also have an option to fill out some Global Text Snippets which are a convenient way to change information in many messages at once.

Finally, when creating a list you need to fill out the “Confirmed Opt-in” email. This is the email people receive after they have submitted their email address at the site. They need to click a link on this email to confirm that they want to receive emails so it is a great idea to re-write this to remind the potential subscriber of all the benefits of joining the list, including receiving the lead magnate. You can lose a lot of people at this stage so it’s best to give this a bit of thought.

AWeber along with all other reputable email management companies conform to the FTC’s CAN Spam Act. This requires that subscribers need to confirm their address after entering it at your site.

Creating a form at AWeber

Now that your list is finished you need to create a form so that people can sign up to it. Again, this is very simple with AWeber, go to My Forms at the top and click Create New Form, making sure you have the correct list selected at the drop-down menu top left. You can have multiple forms for any one list.

In the Design stage I like to create the simplest looking form and style it up on the site but I’m sure other people will prefer to use some of the templates AWeber has to offer. In this stage you can choose the fields in the form – maybe you would like to collect the names of your subscribers as well as some other information. However, the more information you request, the less sign ups you will get.

After the Design stage comes the Settings stage. Here you enter:

  • The form’s name: This is for your benefit so you will maybe like to call the form after where it is situated in the site, ie “Sidebar sign-up form”.
  • Thank You page: This is the “Thank you” page you have set up which does NOT have the lead magnate on it as it is the page subscribers see after having entered their email address but before confirmation.
  • Already Subscribed page: This is the page we talked about earlier with a contact form explaining to the subscriber that they are already subscribed.

It is better and more professional to provide custom pages for the two pages above but not essential – your subscribers will see the bog-standard AWeber versions of these pages if you don’t.

Publishing the form on your website

The third step of creating a form at AWeber is called Publish. Here I click the first option – “I Will Install My Form”.

You have the choice of copying either a short JavaScript Snippet or a longer bit of Raw HTML to paste into your website. I prefer to take the HTML because you have more control over its style. As you can see in the above video, if you take the HTML you can get rid of the CSS that comes with it (which is long and unnecessary) and style up the elements in the CSS of your site.

Either way, with WordPress you can paste the JavaScript Snippet or the HTML into your theme files, blog posts, pages or into the sidebar Widgets as a Text Widget (as seen in the video example above).

What are we trying to do here?

We are trying to get the maximum number of subscribers possible. And the way to do that is to make signing up to the list and downloading the lead magnate as simple as possible.

It may be a good idea to send a follow up email to your newly-subscribed subscriber thanking them for their interest. This could include a link to the download page even though they were already sent to that page when they subscribed. Covering all bases is the name of the game with online marketing and you should never stop reviewing these processes because the slightest hindrance will lose you sign-ups!

And, as always, I’d love to hear what you think. Do you use AWeber? I know a lot of people do. Have you found the process of creating lists and forms an easy one?

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Comments

  1. says

    Rob,

    Great timing with this post. I just had someone asking me about the specifics of how to get an ebook from their “drive” to their site. I basically said use Aweber and watch videos on how to use it.

    A fairly unsatisfactory answer.

    Then I came by this a couple of hours after my answer and BOOM. The Perfect resource to get him up to speed. I of course linked your article here, so hopefully you will at least get the one extra visitor (and hopefully quite a bit more than that)

    Great explanation here! (of course!)

    -Steve

    • says

      Hey Steve, great to see you here and thanks for recommending this article to one of your readers. I’ve got so much good info from your site in the past it’s great that I can be of help.

      AWeber is difficult to negotiate for the uninitiated and offering e-books as lead magnates is not something mentioned much in their help pages.

      Thanks again for your kind words.

      Rob

  2. says

    Yes Steve and Rob,

    I will done the ebook release on Aweber and like you all said, its really simple.

    Question:

    Are my post automatically sent to my subscribers? If not how can i enable that?

    Cheers

    • says

      Hey, Jimmy, no, you have to set that up after you’ve set up the list and the form. In AWeber, just go, Messages > Blog Broadcast and take it from there. I’ll probably do a post on this soon. All the best, buddy. :)

    • says

      Actually, Alexandra, they banned me originally! I used them when I started building a list and, stupidly, I waited until I got 500 subscribers before mailing! The list built very slowly so that, when I finally mailed out, the early subscribers had forgotten me. A few people said that the message was spam and I got banned! Lesson learned. Luckily, I moved the list to another ESP and then on to Aweber. :)

      • says

        Sorry to hear that Rob. That doesn’t sound too good. But this probably could have happened with any newsletter provider, wouldn’t you think? Or are Mailchimp’s rules on what is considered spam more restrictive than AWeber’s?

        Anyway, I am still not sure which way to go. Most of the “big guys” seem to use AWeber, but for someone with around 500 subscribers such as myself Mailchimp’s free offer does have its appeal. Would you consider AWeber to be the more feature-rich of the two?

        • says

          I reckon MailChimp’s rules must be quite strict. I should imagine only 2 or 3 people complained and it was impossible to talk to MailChimp about this. Having said that I think MailChimp is a good option. They have all the features (sequential auto responding or follow-up being the most important) and Aweber is quite expensive. So, maybe you should stick with MailChimp. You can always move when you get to 2000!

  3. says

    Rob,
    Enjoyed your videos. I’m looking for a reasonable quality incentive ebook which I can buy to give away for sign up foe my boat owners club. Any ideas?
    Thanks,
    Tim