How to Manage Your Aweber Lists For Maximum Efficiency

by Mike on September 21, 2009
in Email Marketing, List Building

Last week Tiffany Dow and I were talking about the best way to manage our lists.  I had sought out Tiffany’s advice because she is on a similar path as me…but she’s a few miles ahead of me right now.  :)

Basically I plan to have a whole portfolio of digital products covering various marketing topics and I want to use Aweber to maintain my lists of prospects and customers.  I want to be able to stay in touch with people who buy one of my products so I can sell to them again and again.

Right now the only products I have to offer are my PLR article packs and my Yahoo Answers guide. But since I plan to add a lot more in the future I really want to make sure I set up the best possible system that will allow me to keep in touch with my customers while making as little work as possible for myself.

That last part is key.  I don’t want to be stuck wasting all my time managing email lists when I can be doing more important things.  And let’s face it…the whole reason I got involved in IM to begin with was to provide for my family and have the financial freedom to do what I want when I want.  And I’d rather play games or color with my kids then fuss over 101 email lists.

So my question to Tiffany was how she managed her lists.  As you can see by her blog post on the subject she wasn’t sure what the best solution was.  So after going back and forth a little and reading Aweber’s help areas, I think I found a solution that works for me!

Basically I want to be able to have as few lists as possible but have the ability to customize a bit for the buyers of each product.  I need the ability to cross-promote new products to past buyers, and I want to automate as much of the process as possible by using pre-written autoresponder messages.

But I don’t want someone to buy Product A and then receive new emails promoting the same product!  And it will look bad if they receive the same email multiple times if they sign up for multiple lists.   And so I played around a bit and whipped up a test campaign and used a bunch of gmail addresses to map out my plan…

I’ll have one list for prospects.  This will consist primarily of a pre-written autoreponder sequence that will provide solid content and build trust.  Of course I can still blast out emails whenever I want to promote something or have something to say.

If someone from my ‘prospect’ list buys one of my products they’ll automatically be moved to my ‘customer’ list (Aweber is cool like that).   My customer list will receive a slightly different autoresponder sequence and they will be segmented by Product Name.

Aweber lets you segment your list using various criteria but I think the one that works best for me is Product Name. 

Since I already use DLGuard to manage product delivery and protection, its a piece of cake to automatically pass product names and numbers to Aweber right at the time of purchase.  All you have to do is make sure your ‘customer’ list is integrated with DLGuard and product name and number is passed.  This literally takes about 20 seconds to set up in your Aweber list settings.

I can then create as many new segments within my list as necessary.  If I want to email a promotion for my XYZ product I can simply create a segment that excludes anyone who already owns XYZ.  That way people who have already bought it won’t receive the email.  Pretty cool huh?

But what if you don’t have DLGuard?

Well first of all you should because its an awesome tool that saves me countless hours and protects my files from unauthorized downloads.  But if you want to get by without it, you’ll have to find another way to pass the Product Name on to Aweber.

Or you can create segments based on Ad Category.   If you go this route your list will be segmented by where they subscribed.   For example you’d use one web form for people who bought ABC and another for XYZ.  You’d have to make sure they were coded correctly so your buyers didn’t end up in the wrong segment.  I think this would definitely work but it would be a little more manual and there’s more room for something to go wrong.

For me the combination of DLGuard and Aweber works perfectly. 

But what do you think?    Do you have a way that works better??