Email Marketing Checklist—How Many of These 10 Things Are You ACTUALLY Doing?

Email Marketing Checklist - Smart Passive Income

So you’ve signed up for an email service provider (ESP). Great!

You’ve placed opt-in forms on your website and you’re building your email list. Sweet! You’re ahead of most.

And you’ve setup an auto-responder sequence and also send the occasional broadcast to your list, each with that perfectly crafted subject line to maximize your open rate. Awesome!

Unfortunately, if you’re like most people who do email marketing, you’re probably just scratching the surface with what’s possible.

It’s like that saying: We only use 10% of our brains. Although that’s a myth, the fact that you’re not getting the most out of your email marketing efforts is not.

Here’s a checklist of 10 things you should be doing with your email marketing.

What’s your score?

1. Opt-in Forms on Your Most Popular Pages (Hint: Don’t Guess. Use Your Analytics!)

We all have awesome posts in our archives that seem to disappear forever once they leave our homepage. That’s the sad part of blogging, especially when you’re just starting out and you publish all of your best content first…when no one is reading.

Sometimes, however, those old posts may end up attracting a ton of traffic to your site. Google may finally get their head on straight and an older post of yours shoots to the top of the results page for some highly searched keywords. Other times, an influential site may link to it.

Whether you know this is happening or not, chances are you’re not taking advantage of the increase in traffic to your archived posts.

Here’s your simple 2-step call to action:

  1. In your analytics account, find out which older posts are getting a lot of visitors.
  2. Insert opt-in forms on those posts. Don’t just rely on an opt-in form at the bottom of those articles.

Try it out, and you can thank me later.

2. A Two-Step Opt-in Process

Despite the popularity of SPI Podcast Session #78 with Clay Collins, co-founder of LeadPages – where he stated clearly that a two-step opt-in process out performs a normal 1-step opt-in process – not very many people are implementing it.

Ever since the redesign of the SPI blog, I’ve been building my list here on the site with a two-step opt-in process, and the numbers don’t lie. Even though I have less opt-in forms throughout the site (I don’t even have one above the fold on the homepage), my conversions into my email list have increased by over 25%.

If you are unfamiliar with a two-step opt-in process, it works like this:

Instead of showing an email and/or name field directly on your webpage, you instead show a button. When that button is pressed, a small pop-up box (or “lead box”) appears, which then asks for the visitor’s information. Like this:

Two Step Opt-In Process

You can even see it being used at the very bottom of this post.

This goes against most conventional Internet Marketing wisdom, which says the more steps involved, the lower your conversions will be. But there are 3 reasons why this particular sequence works so well:

  1. When a visitors lands on the page, you’re not directly and immediately asking for that person’s information. You go from looking like a “taking page”, to a “giving page” – one that gives off the notion that you have something to offer first, instead of wanting an email address first.
  2. When the button is clicked, that’s one action that your visitor has already taken. It’s like a virtual “yes ladder”, which is a scientifically-proven persuasion technique that helps one close. They’ve already said yes by clicking the button, and are likely to say yes again by filling out the form. If you just show the form right away, there’s a lot more to do before getting to that first yes in the ladder, and you’re less likely to close.
  3. When the pop-up appears, the visitor has only two actions they can take: fill out the form and submit, or click the (x) to leave. Since they are in “yes mode”and the distractions are gone, you’re likely to capture that email address.

To be fair, setting up a two-step opt-in process isn’t 100% easy right out of the box. The free method would be to setup a button that links to a separate page with the form on it, although a pop-up or lightbox effect will convert much higher.

That’s where LeadBoxes comes in handy. LeadBoxes is a specific feature in LeadPages that creates the two-step opt-in process for you. It’s actually a feature that I personally requested as an advisor of LeadPages. All price points of the LeadPages software have access to LeadBoxes. I’ve used it recently in the promotion of The Smart Podcast Player too. You don’t even need an image or button to call the pop-up – you could even just have it be a link.

3. A Custom Thank You / Please Confirm Page (After Clicking Subscribe)

Whether you use a two-step opt-in process or not, what happens immediately after someone fills out their email address and hits the submit button?

Typically, an email is sent to that person asking to confirm joining the list.

But what else? Where does that person go to from the page that they subscribed from?

By default, it’s to a page similar to this one, depending on your ESP:

Default Please Confirm

In other words, it’s a dead page – a place on the web where no further action can be taken, except “back” or “exit”.

Dead pages on your own site are bad, like 404 pages (which is why you should optimize them, like this) although people could hypothetically click around and navigate elsewhere on your site, if they are still interested.

But driving traffic to a dead page on another third-party site?!


In 5 minutes, you could easily setup a custom thank you page that people land on after submitting their info. On this page, you could include the following:

  1. Thanks!
  2. A note about having to click the confirmation link in the email that was just sent to them.
  3. A way to contact you if they don’t get the email.
  4. An image. Although not necessary, it’s a nice touch.
  5. Additional calls to action.

With #5, you have to realize that at this point, your prospect is hot. They’ve said yes in the yes ladder a few times already, so having additional calls to actions on this thank you page could do you very well.

You could:

  • Include links to some of your more popular blog posts, to keep the conversation going.
  • Share products that you sell on your site (and maybe include a special subscriber-only discount / coupon code too)
  • Anything else that might be helpful to your audience.

For a great example, check out the “please confirm your email address page” for The Smart Podcast Player:

Custom Thank You Page - Please Confirm

Where do you enter this custom URL in your ESP? If you’re in Aweber, like I am, you can input the custom thank you url in the specific web form that you create, as shown below:

Please Confirm Aweber Settings

Here are some other custom thank you page tutorials for other ESPs that I found:

4. A Custom Thank You / Success Page (After Clicking Link in Email to Confirm)

Like #3, you have another opportunity to keep your visitors engaged during the subscription process, this time (after even more yes’s) after they click the confirmation link in the email that was initially sent to them after submitting their into.

By default, when people click that link in the confirmation email, they’ll be redirected to a “success page” that looks like this:

Confirmation Email - Boring!

Another. Dead. Page.

Another. Lost. Opportunity.

When you choose to redirect to a custom page that you create, here’s what it might look like. This is the custom thank you page people land on after confirming their subscription to get notified about the public release of The Smart Podcast Player:

Thanks Again - You're Awesome

All of the same “additional” or upgraded information (per #3) could be shown here, although you may want to mix up (and test) various call to actions on this page. This is the end of the string of events people go through to subscribe to your list, so you’ll need something to keep them going, or else they’re out.

Yes, you have their email, but you also have their full attention at this point too.

Use it.

The field to enter the URL for this page is in the list settings area (again, in Aweber specifically):

Thank You Success Page

5. A Custom “Already Subscribed” Page

Sometimes, your subs forget that they’re already subscribed to your list, and they try to subscribe again.

When they do that, what happens?

By default, your ESP will send them to a page that looks like this:

Already Subscribed (Default)

Imagine landing on that page. It doesn’t feel (or look) very good.

At the very least, you should create a custom page that says something simple like: “Sorry! You’ve already subscribed!”, which keeps them on your site.

Of course (and you know this by now) you should add additional resources to that page, much like we did in #3 and #4 from above.

If you incentivize subscribing with a lead magnet or giveaway when people subscribe to your list, make sure to add links to those giveaways on this page as well, since a lot of people may have lost it and attempt to re-subscribe just to get it again.

This is also a great solution if you plan on giving away multiple lead magnets on various pages on your site, but don’t want to create a new email list for each one.

The option for the “already subscribed page” in Aweber is specific to each web form. See below:

Already Subscribed Custom Redirect

6. A Killer First Email

A new visitor lands on your website and likes what they see.

A few yes’s later and they’re now subscribed to your email list. Yay!

A minute later, that first followup email arrives.

It better be good.

No, actually – it better be the best. 

The idea here is to blow the mind of your new subscriber, so that it would be ridiculous to unsubscribe now – or ever. Creating an amazing first experience means your subscriber will look forward to more from you. This, in turn, increases the open rates of future auto-responder and broadcast emails, and the trust they have with you and your brand.

If possible, share a quick actionable tip – one that doesn’t take much time but can produce an immediate result.

According to Charles Duhig, author of The Power of Habit,  small quick wins are amazing because they start a habit of reward in people’s minds, and if you’re the one providing that quick reward, those people will have a habit of coming back to you for more.

First email = Small quick win.

The smaller and quicker, the better. Show that you have value to add.

If you’re subscribed to my email list, you may even remember the first email that I sent out and the quick tip and win that I share :)

Although there are more factors involved, this is part of the reason why I believe I have open rates in the 35-50% range, even in my auto-responder series.

7. Scannable Content and Isolated Links

According to my buddy Greg Hickman of Mobile Mixed, 65% of emails are being read from a mobile device.


If you’re not writing your email content in a way that’s easily consumed on a mobile device, you might as well cut all of your numbers in half.

You don’t have to go crazy with adjustments, but just keep these quick tips in mind:

  1. Send yourself a test email, and then view it on a mobile device to see how it reads.
  2. If you’re sending longer emails, things like bold, italics and (especially) sub-headers go a long way. Keep the content as scannable as possible. It’ll make it easier on the eyes, and people are more likely to get to the bottom (i.e. where the call to action should be).
  3. Any tappable links should be located on their own line with space above and below. This is to prevent “fat-fingering” or mis-tapping (something I do all of the time, because I really do have incredibly fat thumbs). You want the links to be “can’t miss”.

Here’s a link to an article on Venture Beat with more information about these statistics, which are indeed favorable for marketers.

8. Remind People WHEN and WHY They Subscribed

At one point early in my online business career, I subscribed to over 20 different email lists from various online marketing gurus. I did this to learn from the best and educate myself on email marketing strategies, but for the most part I simply learned what not to do.

The biggest lesson was that I always felt like a number, or a potential credit card while on those particular lists, which I didn’t like. This is why I personally take the no-direct sell approach with my list, and I remind myself that there are actual human beings on the other end of the computer screen.

One thing I did take away and emulate from a number of those lists was a simple reminder within each email about when and why I subscribed.. Something like that can deter an unsubscribe because it’s a quick way to reintroduce the value that the list could provide a subscriber.

I include the following at the end of each of my emails, although some people like to include something like this at the very beginning. It’s up to you:

This email is being sent to you because you subscribed to Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income Newsletter at

Here is your subscription information:

Name: {!name}
Email: {!email}
Subscribed on: {!signdate long}

If for any reason you do not want to receive any more valuable tips, resources and insider information about blogging, product creation and online marketing, you can unsubscribe by clicking the link at the end of this email. No hard feelings!


{!global calltoaction}

Why do I even bother asking people to unsubscribe?

Two reasons:

  1. By putting it out there, I’m not hiding anything. It’s a reminder of the transparency and authenticity of the brand that I hope people stay subscribed for.
  2. If people read that passage and they feel like unsubscribing, I hope they do. I only want people on my list who really want the content I have to share.

Note that the syntax shown above is specifically for Aweber. The name syntax automatically replaces that text with the name of the subscriber, the email one is self-explanatory, and the signdate long syntax is replaced with the date that the person subscribed to the list.

If you use another ESP, I’m sure their help desk will show you how to do something similar.

9. Apply a Global Text Snippet

In the above pasted example, you may have noticed the syntax at the bottom that reads:

{!global calltoaction}

This is another feature from Aweber – one that I truly love. Last time I checked, even InfusionSoft doesn’t have this feature, which boggles my mind.

I wrote a full tutorial on how to setup and use the Global Text Snippet feature here, but this is essentially how it works:

I include the syntax {!global calltoaction} at the bottom of each of my auto-responder emails. Remember, these get sent out sequentially over time after a person subscribes. I have nearly 40 pre-written emails that go out over the course of an entire year, and so within any given week, there could be upwards of 40,000 of these emails (estimated) being sent, automatically.

Within my Aweber list settings, I can enter a Global Text Snippet that will replace every instance of that syntax when it’s sent out.

So for example, let’s say I have a Google Hangout planned for next week, and I want to maximize viewership. In one spot in Aweber, I can change the global snippet to say:

Join me on a FREE Live Google Hangout, May 15th – Click here:…

This message will then be placed at the bottom of each of my emails, or where ever I have that syntax placed.

The next week, I can change it to something else important.

Totally ninja.

Again, you can read the full setup tutorial here.

10. Welcome and Encourage Replies

We get selfish with our email lists. Not just because we don’t want to share it with others (which is totally understandable), but because we are always having a one-sided conversation.

We tell, we share and we promote, but we don’t ask, we don’t wonder, and we don’t encourage a reply.

In several of the emails that I send, I actually ask my subscribers for a reply. I ask things like:

  • What are you struggling with?
  • What would you like to see me write a blog post about?
  • What was your first impression when you visited my website?
  • Please tell me, how can I improve to better help you?
  • What’s one thing that bothers you about your online business or blog?

The answers I get are worth so much, because they give me deep insight into some of the most important people who are a part of the brand – my subscribers. These are people that could comment, read, share, listen and potentially become customers down the road.

And because many of these questions are asked in an auto-responder series, I’m constantly getting emails that truly affect the actions I take, the content I produce and the overall direction of the brand.

Totally auto-pilot.

I see too many marketers out there who dread getting emails back from their subscribers.

Dehumanizing them, in a way.

It becomes incredibly apparent when the email address is no-reply@, or when the email reads “please do not reply to this email, no one will answer you.”

How’s that for building a relationship?

Talk about a huge, wasted opportunity there.

What’s Your Score?

If you haven’t yet started your email list, that’s okay. Better late than never.

You can check out my free tutorial here to help get you get setup with an email list.

If you have an email list, how did you score?

Out of the 10 email marketing strategies, how many are you actually doing right now?

  1. Opt-in forms on your most popular posts.
  2. A two-step opt-in process.
  3. A custom thank you / please confirm page.
  4. A custom thank you / after confirmation page.
  5. A custom “already subscribed” page.
  6. A killer first email.
  7. Scannable content and isolated links.
  8. Remind people when and why they subscribed.
  9. Apply a global text snippet.
  10. Welcome and encourage replies.

Leave your score in the comment section below.

Me: 8 out of 10. 

It might be weird to see the author of this post not get a 10 out of 10, but I’m just being honest with you and showing you that there is always more room for improvement, no matter what level you’re at.

Now I know what I need to work on, and I hope you do too.

Thanks again for your support, and if you enjoyed this article, please help me out by sharing it for me.


  • Jason McCullough

    Hi Pat. I own OptinSkin (Bought it through your affiliate link actually). Is there any place I can buy or download extra skins or templates? I love yours. They always look so good.

    • Pat Flynn

      Unfortunately, there is no marketplace for skins for Opt-in Skin. There is an area within the plugin, however to include your own designs, although for the non-techie, non-coder type, some help might be needed to get them to function correctly.

      • Benji Walklet


        I think I’m not alone when I say that many of your readers are DYING to use the same after-post optin skin you are using.

        Looks like you are using it in conjunction with LeadBox, no? Would love if you shared how you built this with us loyal readers :)

        To be honest, I think the current version of Optin Skin isn’t very good. Although I know they will be releasing some new skins soon which may change my opinion completely.

        • Pat Flynn

          Yes, it’s sort of a combination of both, and beyond my non-coder capability unfortunately, which is why I haven’t shared it yet. I’m looking forward to the new skins for opt-in skin as well and will try to get these new ones to be a part of them, or at least some sort of plugin like before. Thanks for letting me know this is on your mind too.

        • Benji Walklet

          Thanks, Pat!

  • Heather C Button

    FYI: As I’m sure you know that your blog reaches out to many Canadians, please check out the new rules that just came into effect as of July 1st, 2014 ( Among them is something that you should highlight as good email etiquette, which is the practice of ensuring people still want to continue to receive updates at regular intervals.

    • Pat Flynn

      Yup, I’ve already have taken action on this. My Canadian subscribers were sent an email asking to re-subscribe if they wanted to continue to receive updates, and had to click a box to express consent.

  • VinceLin

    Dope. Is there a cheaper solution than monthly payments for LeadPages Pat looks expensive

    • Pat Flynn

      I share a way to achieve the effect of the two-step opt-in process in the post (using a separate page, instead of a lightbox/pop-up)

  • Chenell Tull

    Pat, you are totally ninja. Killer blog post, and definitely an area in which I need to improve. Rock on, Pat! :)

    • Pat Flynn

      Thanks Chenell!!

  • Farnoosh

    Excellent excellent article and I also use Aweber and scored an 8. I have been confused (ashamed to admit it but here goes) about the use of that Global Text Snippet but I am totally going to use it now that you gave me an idea on how/why it’s so crucial. THANK YOU! Keep rocking!

    • Pat Flynn

      Glad you are going to use it! It’s a great tool for real time promotions!

  • therichbrooks

    Pat, I was JUST about to send out a couple of reminders about the Agents of Change conference (starring you, ‘natch,) when I saw this list.

    Damn! I’m not sure I even got a passing grade! Now I’m going to take an extra 30 minutes and check a few more of these off before hitting send.

    Thanks, and see you in September!

    • Pat Flynn

      Thanks Rich! Stoked for the event, I can’t wait!

      • therichbrooks

        Me, too. LOVED the promo video you made. I don’t often LOL, but I did.

  • Vinay Patankar

    Awesome post, going to write up this checklist in and use it for our email marketing :)

    • Pat Flynn

      Thanks Vinay, you rock!

      • Vinay Patankar

        No sir, I must say that you are the one that does the rocking 😉

  • Steve Grady

    Fantastic post Pat, Funnily enough I’ve been reviewing my email list procedure this week so this is excellent timing! Thank you

    • Pat Flynn

      Woohoo! I love when it works out like that :) Cheers!

  • Lisa Bryan

    This is exactly what I needed right now (as I get my website going!) Perfect timing!! Thanks! :)

    • Pat Flynn

      Thank YOU for checking it out Lisa! :)

      • Lisa Bryan

        PS – I look forward to meeting at WDS! I’m attending the Problogger Academy…and a fellow So Cal-er. :)

  • Adrijus Guscia

    Great article! What about adding segmentating people to the list? And with service like (Aweber but better because it has more options like segmentation and more free subscribers than MailChimp) it’s not just for those who can shell out $300 for InfusionSoft etc.

    • Pat Flynn

      Thanks for the great resource Adrijus! Segmentation is important too, however that itself could deserve it’s own post. I’m terrible at segmentation, and am still learning best practices for it.

      • Adrijus Guscia

        You’re welcome! Me too, still learning it but I can already see that it’s powerful even for my small biz and for you, man it’s scary to think how much it can increase your returns.. You’ll totally crush it! :)

        Best of luck! Looking forward to more such articles abut emails/segmentation etc.

  • Blake Rudis

    Great stuff as usual!

    • Pat Flynn

      Thanks Blake!!

  • kimanzi constable

    Killer tips Pat. The way you personalized the little emails (conformation, thank you for subscribing) really builds that connection. That’s the problem with most “guru’s” you don’t feel that real connection.

    • Pat Flynn

      I appreciate that Kimanzi!

  • Margaret

    Really great post! I love the checklist format.

    • Pat Flynn

      Thank you Margaret, you rock :)

  • Tim Leffel

    I think I flunked. But I’ve been making it a point to improve at least one fundamental aspect of my e-mail list communication each month, so this gives me good guidelines about what to work on for the rest of the year.

    • Pat Flynn

      At least you know what to take action on now Tim, I’m glad this will be helpful to you!

  • Legal Seagull Podcast

    Thanks, Pat. Great resource.

  • Natalie Sisson

    Epic post Pat and loved some of these tips. I think I’m at 6/10 and I use InfusionSoft which is severely lacking in many cool features so I can’t do the Global Snippet text although there’s likely a workaround as there always is.

  • Benji Walklet

    7/10. 5, 7, and 9 I need to implement. This is a fantastic post, Pat. Very helpful to anybody looking to master email marketing.

    Thought I’d share one tactic I’ve been using in regards to the two-step opt-in process. It may be a little sneaky, but it works incredibly well:

    Basically, I offer a comparison chart of products on one of my top traffic pages, providing an image of the partial comparison chart. When they click the image, they get offered the full comparison chart in exchange for an email address.

    I use this same tactic with videos. I make a LeadBox image of a YouTube video so that when they click it, they have to enter an email to watch it.

    I realize this is a little dishonest, but when I do this video one I make sure I give them something else of great value on the page (often times, another video they don’t have to opt in to).

  • Ricardo ‘Reason’ Butler

    I got an 8 out of 10. Number 9 and 10 is what I am missing.

  • Venture Blend

    wow…Awesome post pat.

  • Joshua Rivers

    This is great, Pat! Looking to take my e-mail marketing to the next level in the next month or so!

  • Jamison Jones

    Pat, every time I get on your site for advise or a tip I’m absolutely floored. You’re crushing it on every front. If I can do even half of what you’re able to do I’d be beside myself. Keep up the good work. Great post!

    • Jamison Jones

      Btw, I’m book marking this post to keep myself accountable. Thanks again.

      • Paul Shard

        Likewise. Definitely bookmarking this article.

    • JackMSVaughan

      Totally! It’s amazing, and also the wealth and quality in the posts. Thank you Pat

    • Ian

      Agreed. Pat’s the best around with this stuff. I’m bookmarking it too.

      • Solomon Mwale

        I this we will all have to do the same so that we do not miss out these tips as we go along.

    • Mike Lazarus

      I bookmarked it 8 out of 10 times

  • Marcus

    Pat, l scored a 7 out of 10. Heading back to improve my score to 10. Thank you for sharing these tips with us.

  • Danny Causer

    Kind of off topic, but you are mentioning leadpages in there for the opt in but I notice when I read this post the opt in is by optin skin. Are you trying that out instead? Does it also have the two stage optin. Which service is better to use

  • Roberto Lebron

    Solid material, as always! Time to roll up my sleeves…!

  • Nick Loper

    Dang I’ve got some work to do now, only 5 out of 10 for me.

    One thing I did implement on my custom thank you / please confirm page is a subscriber survey that asks people what “side hustle” projects they’re working on (that’s the theme of the site), what their goals are, and what’s holding them back.

    The survey has generated over 100 responses so far in just a few months. Really fascinating and insightful stuff I never otherwise would have known about my audience.

    I’m also using Aweber and will be testing out some of these other ideas as well. The leadboxes thing seems a little counter-intuitive (the more steps in a process, the more it seems people would drop off), but the way you explain it makes sense.

  • Kerstin

    I am not sure I understand this bit: :Insert opt-in forms on those posts. Don’t just rely on an opt-in form at the bottom of those articles.”
    What’s the difference between a post and an article here?

  • Dan Miller

    Pat – thanks man. We are doing a major revamp at and I’ve instructed my team to follow this to the letter. No sense reinventing such a clean system – thanks for sharing.

  • Jacque Watkins

    Wow Pat, this is SO helpful. Thank you so much for leading the way in modeling generosity. I’m so thankful for you. And now, to take some action!

  • TakeActionWAHM

    I got 6 out of 10 – better than 50% anyway!

    • Michal

      Very good! I got just 4.

  • Hallartistry

    I got 5. Some of these I never even thought of. Thanks for all your awesome advice Pat!! Since I’m already a bit overwhelmed with things I need to do to make my business better, I think I’m going to try and just work on implementing 1 of these per week.

  • Benjamin Boyer

    Awesome checklist! This is one the most helpful things I’ve seen in quite a while and honestly my own score was a little lower ( OK WAY LOWER ) than I’d like to admit but it will be back at 10 by the end of the day because of this checklist ThanksPat!

  • Adam Franklin

    That’s very useful Pat. Only 5 for me. Work to do;)

  • Bridgett Tulloh

    I’ve never had the chance to really thank you. A year and half ago I discovered your site and the concept of passive income. From your instructions, I built a niche website that gained 5,000 unique users within 6 months. This is from a girl who previously didn’t even know how to purchase a domain!

    Now in my other 2 businesses, I meet with colleagues who are astonished at what I know about email opt-ins, internet marketing, brand building and more. And it’s largely due to you, Pat! Next, I’ll be launching a Podcast and guess where I’m coming to get the info?? Right here.

    This latest post is amazingly helpful, once again.
    Many, many thanks Pat!! You rock

    • Pooja

      Great to hear about your progress Bridgett! That’s fab.

  • CosmicRosebud

    WOW..guess what I was cleaning out my inbox..unsubscribing like this amazing post from you..and..well am staying on your list! Thank you Pat..yep you just created a whole ton of work for me..but it is GOOD work and something I should have done before..I got lazy with my email list! Even better..I can now significantly improve my clients email list management. PLUS I’ve bookmarked the global snippets post because frankly..that bit of Aweber always mystified me. Once again..thanks

  • Pooja

    Great post Pat! I scored a 6. Not too bad, but room for development, yes. :) I am not sure if I’ll get LeadPages already as that is an investment (for now), but I’ve got my eyes peeled to apply the other 3 tips.


  • Mario Llige

    Hi Pat. This is the first chance I’ve had to contact you since I subscribed to your emails. My wife and I are doing some research to develop a subscription website and we’re so glad we found you.

    What I like the most is your constant presence (automated and real), and your generosity in sharing real/useful information, and that you treat people well and ethically.

    To anyone else reading this, show Pat your gratitude by giving him constructive feedback – what you like or don’t like and why – so that he can continue to grow his business. Help the world become a better place: everyone benefits in the end! Cheers

  • Christy Largent

    Pat, as usual, you deliver with actionable content. Thanks for showing us how to do it…especially us new to the online biz. Sad to say I didn’t know any of this stuff…that means there’s TONS of room for improvement! I’ll plan to have these up and running strongly by the time I see you at the Platform Conference in November. :)

    • Pat Flynn

      I look forward to seeing you there Christy! You can let me know how many of these you’ve crushed :)

  • Kris Reid
  • Susan

    All I can say is WOW! Thanks for the helpful info. Lots of additions to the blog to-do list. 😉

  • Pratik Unadkat

    Pat, what to say? Definitely a mind boggling and opening content.

    Appreciate your content and insights always.



  • Abdullahi

    Hi Pat!

    Awesome post here. Very resourceful. I do all the above except #2 and #9. Although I’ve read about global text snippet before, I’ve never felt the need to use it. Until now.

    However, I disagree with you on #2. First, the sign up link doesn’t even respond at all when I click it on my mobile device (I use an Android tablet). Imagine how many wannabe subscribers that could be sending away for your business.

    Again, even on a PC, the thought of having to load another page alone (for those who don’t know the sign up form would only pop up) would definitely discourage a handful of readers who otherwise might have subscribed.

    In my view, LeadPages is NOT smart. All those I see using it are also LeadPages affiliates. Since only users of LeadPages can be affiliates, I suspect many of them only use it so they can promote it and reap the hefty recurrent commissions.

    Thanks for a great post once again.

    • Pat Flynn

      Fair comment Abdullahi, however LeadPages keeps data from all of it’s users. Over 20,000,000 opt-ins have been collected with their system, and they’re able to track exactly what’s working, and what’s REALLY working, and the two-step opt-in process is working really well. I mean, I have hard numbers that tell me this is so – so it’s working for me. Perhaps you’re an outlier in terms of your bad experience with it here on this particular page, but android tablets account for less than 1% of my overall traffic. It works on mobile devices, and all of their landing page templates are mobile responsive.

      As a full disclosure, do know that I am an advisor for the company, so of course I’m going to say these things, but have you tried it yourself? Don’t knock it before you try it 😉

      They also have data from people outside of the IM industry in case you’d like to get more numbers from those who are NOT affiliates. You’re probably just noticing that because you’re in this space and notice people like myself who promote it. Again, it’s a great company and it’s no wonder they were backed for millions of dollars by investors. If you’d like to discuss this more, I’m happy to have a conversation with you about it. Thanks again for your honest comment, and I appreciate the support and time you took to leave it!

  • Mark Wiens

    5/10, going to work on improving my score immediately. Thank you Pat.

  • Andrew James

    Really awesome article.. 7/10 for now :)

  • Faramarz

    Your article is the best which I have ever read about the email marketing! Thanks buddy.

  • Nick Horowski

    Thank you so much for this post. Over the weekend I started planning on what I need to do to get more subscribers to my newsletter. This puts one of the many things I need to work on in an easy to do checklist. I love that! Thank you so much

  • Luciana Reif

    A lot to do…. I made 3 out of 10….

  • Lincoln Parks

    Great post here Pat. I am always working to make my mailing list better and this post spells it out great. Thanks for the great tips.

  • G Samuel Verret

    Hey Pat, thanks for a very informative and instructional post. It was extremely helpful to me. You rock when it comes to adding value to your subscribers. Keep up the good work!!

  • Stefan Pylarinos

    Awesome advice, I’m doing fairly well but can always do better!

  • Alvin Cheung

    I always thought I have done things right until I read something you post.

    Now I am off to change my whole structure of my email responder.

    I love it! Its amazing how valuable your articles are.

  • Mike Hawkins


    Can I access all the tools you’ve shown here in AWeber with their basic $19/month plan? Or do you have a larger subscription?

  • Scott Asai

    Man, I need to get on it…

  • Brian Yee

    My score is 7 out of 10. I didn’t apply #1,8 & 9. Very informative post! It’s very useful for me as a beginner of email marketing. Keep up the good work!

  • Robb Gorringe

    I love this ‘meat & potatoes’ type of hearty content. Thx Pat!


  • Antonio Matos

    Hi Pat,
    Thanks for the post, I must admit that I after going over your tips I only have 4 out of 10 I’ll make sure to going your steps.
    Have a great day!!!

  • Darrin Bentley

    Another wonderfully informative post Pat! As someone fairly new to the world of email marketing, this is a great primer!

    Kudos to you!!

  • Sunday

    Hi Pat,
    Its nice reading this practical piece on email marketing. The 10 checklist on email marketing as described in this post are readily powerful.

    From number 1 to number 10 we have the necessary things to do when we embark on email marketing.
    To be candid, I have not been doing any of this. I guess its time I start applying them today.

    I have shared this comment in where this post was found and “kingged” for its value to Internet marketers.

    Sunday – contributor

  • Carlos Puig SagiVela

    Pat, which two strategies are you not using now and why?

  • Van

    Its a pleasure to come here every week to know that there is something worth reading on the pages of this site. Thank you Pat

  • richard

    Can Facebook Afford To Buy An Estimated $1,500,000,000 Twitter ?

    Twitter is worth an estimated $1.5 billion. For most of us, it is a amount that we simply cannot afford. However, if your name is Facebook Mark Z and you have $300 million in cash and $4 billion in Facebook stock, the story may be a little different. Still, Facebook Mark was not sure if he could afford Twitter so he decided to call up financial guru Suze Orman during her “Can I afford it” segment to see if Miss Orman would approve of Facebook Mark spending $1.5 billion on the micro blogging platform.

    Did Suze Orman approved or denied Mark’s request to buy Twitter? Watch the video to find out the answer.

  • Metz

    Very informative post, Pat!

    This is a must share and a must read email marketing checklist, because email marketing benefits are clear to see and this one is low cost compared to mainstream marketing channels. I am certain that those who are unfamiliar with this method of advertising may not immediately understand why it is so popular amongst companies in a variety of industries.

    Newbies will read important tips and guide on how to create their own that converts.

    Thanks for this wonderful post Pat!

    I found this post shared on, the Internet marketing social site, and I “kingged” it and left this comment.

  • Wesley Wiley

    I’m printing this page and will keep it on my desk until all have been implemented. This is a fabulous post Pat. Thank you so much for taking the time to put all this together!

  • Maima

    Wonderful Tips – Thanks!

  • Ron Kelleher

    My score was 5 out of 9, but is now 6 out of 9, since I added #8 to my template. Next, I have to investigate whether I can do #2, #5, and #9 with Mail Chimp. Thanks Pat!

  • Juan

    This month I start to learn about email marketing. I don’t know which email service provider good for me. But I choose mailchimp anyways, it is good or not?

    • Luke Guy

      MailChimp works great. Very good for young startups, Aweber has more opt in forms and design. But Mailchimp works great too.

  • Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Pat,

    Excellent. I have a few covered. Love the scannability note, whether people are reading on mobile, or on laptops, they scan. Most busy folks don’t read your entire post or newsletter, so you should give them ease of scanning to feed into their wants.

    I myself rarely consume an entire post although I’ll read most of it. Scanning is a biggie in the email marketing game.

    Customize like crazy, using names, and thank individual subscribers for their time, and commitment to reading your emails. Some people forget that subscribers and readers are the people who help make us successful. When you treat every commentator with care, and every subscriber with love, you’ll nail your email marketing campaign.

    People dig replying, chatting, and asking through email but you need to keep the engagement train running, to really see immense benefits on the email marketing engagement front. Keep asking pertinent questions and you will see increased interaction, and will also form stronger bonds, as you reply to requests in a timely fashion.

    Thanks Pat, excellent post. Tweeting to my 28 K followers.


  • John L. Dobbs

    Pat, I scored ZERO. I’m going to go to work on this and post my new score in 7 days. Let’s see what happens. Thanks for the article.

  • Rob Montgomery

    Once again, Pat, I am amazed at the ideas and insights you share in your blog. I scored less than I expected and it looks my email marketing needs a bit of a facelift. Will definitely bookmark this post for future reference!

  • Sweeney Daniel

    Surprised you didn’t mention ‘micro’ lead magnets.
    Wonderful post btw which I’ll be featuring in the Friday Reload.

  • WAHM Business Directory

    This post actually increases my demand in helping the marketing email list we have for our clients. I don’t know how you do it Pat, but you sir are a Pro Blogger and a genius. I’m going to apply these tips tonight and see how they work with our directory.

    Best wishes,

  • Solomon Mwale

    Thank you so much Pat for all the information that you are sharing on this blog. It is really equipping us to get to the goals that we have never been there before just because of all that we are reading on this blog. Looking forward to getting more and more information as we go along.

  • ryan

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  • KW

    Another very detailed and helpful post. Thanks Pat, you are much appreciated!

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  • Melissa Wilson

    Such great information here. I will definitely be referring back to this in the future as I work to implement each of these strategies.

  • Denis Smith

    Thanks for the info. The other day I was checking the emails coming from a specific sender and I found out that he is sending 3-4 emails to my inbox. Is this OK? I send only 1x per day and sometimes I don’t send at all but still earn.

  • HCGChica

    I had my developer code me a double optin after the previous posts you discussed about it Pat and along with newly designed optin areas, I get a LOT more subscribers on a daily basis now and it’s been pretty consistent since it went live back in May – like almost double than before. I changed a lot of things at once so hard to say how much each factor contributed, but definitely I LOVE the double optin!

  • Paul Shard

    We’re just working on improving the opt-in process for our email list so thanks for this great article which clearly outlines some powerful actions we can take to achieve this.

  • Spencer Shimon

    Pat, thank you so much for creating this blog post! I was literally just going to ask you a question on Ask Pat not to long ago about this very topic. This is much more in depth than I even expected. I’m new to email marketing, and I’m assuming this was done strategically because of Jeff Walkers book being launched, smart move! So, just wanted to show my appreciation. Take care.

  • Dmarcotte

    Excellent article as usual – I just went to my website ( and changed to a 2 step opt in and added it to my most popular posts and pages. I am also going to take a look at my auto responders and make sure they read well on mobile devices. Thanks again for your help.

  • Rosemary Smith

    Fantastic content here, and I will implement some of your strategies on my site. Thanks.

  • Crystal Foth

    I failed!! Well at least I know what to do now!!! Time to get started on this checklist! Fantastic resource Pat – I will use it as I get started on this. Thanks for always providing the best info around :).

  • Tomer Algrably

    Pat, this is definitely great stuff, I’m doing a lot of email marketing and you just came up with a perfect list!

  • Cindy

    Whoo hoo! I needed this swift kick in the rear today. Thanks, Pat! Going to spend the rest of the afternoon working on fine-tuning the email plan. I scored a 5, but on the easier ones to implement, so now off to score a 10!

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  • Pushpendra Pal Singh

    Pat, I know that you are the best internet marketer. I follow your case studies and instruction to do marketing effectively. I am going to revamp email newsletter marketing strategy for my education website This site is getting high traffic but very less mail subscription.
    I hope that above guide will help me a lot.

  • Luke Guy

    10. Welcome and Encourage Replies

    This is what makes the list grow. Do it and you’ll do well. Keeping the connection alive is what makes or breaks companies.

  • chris

    I’ll have to say a very well written post. Great info on e-mail marketing training. Thanks

  • darwisbong

    i got 7 / 10 , not bad !
    jam tangan pria

  • Peter K.

    Thanks so much for this guide – I’m helping the company and will def. link them this guide. Great blog – so much learning packed in just one site. Love it!

  • Lienna May

    Pat, thank you for all your hard work and knowledge that you share with us. You are a true inspiration to all of us! You rock!

  • Glenn D Johnson

    Thanks, Pat.
    I’m going to sit here on this page and update all of my opt-in stuff right now. I won’t get up until I’m finished.

  • Daniel

    Man, look at the value and love how you break down your posts… Awesome article and thanks for what you do!

  • Mike Veny

    Thank you and thank you and thank you!

    You don’t know how much you’ve helped me increase my income. If I can ever be of help to you, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

  • bhupinder

    Hi Admin,

    Thanks for sharing the checklist of email marketing. its really help. Really nice post.


    This is so great, thank you for this! It’s perfect timing as I set up my blog. Newbies and experienced can benefit from this list.

  • CD Duplications

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  • Catherine Holt

    Oh, I really love the please confirm your email and thankyou page. This is such a better idea than going to those ‘dead pages’ as you put it. I will be revamping my email sequence to reflect this :-)

  • nick

    i got 4 pat , anyway thanks for share kemeja pria

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  • Rick Peterson

    Hi Pat – Very helpful article, but I do have a question. I wanted to see your custom “Already Subscribed” page (since I’m already subscribed to you). So I clicked on the green “Get Started” button at the bottom of this post. I was kinda surprised to see the ugly AWeber default message that you show in tip #5. What say you? I mean I totally understand that you’re super busy. Have you just not gotten around to it yet?

  • Emeroy

    Wow. 5/10. Definitely gonna customize those pages today.

  • Marina Yamamoto

    7 out of 10 for me.. But I’m not sure there’s a global text snippet option with mailchimp. I’ll check. Thanks!!!

  • Jeff

    So excited I took the time to finally read and listen to SPI today! I have learned so many valuable things. I’m just getting started in the IM world, launched my first site at the beginning of the month, and I’m happy to say that I’m at a 7/10 on the email checklist… but the three I’m missing out on are huge! Thank you Pat!

  • Gery

    This is my first time go to see at here and i am genuinely pleassant to read everthing at single place.

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  • Mrinali Sharma

    Hey Pat,
    After reading your article I tried Mailchimp coupled with a wordpress plugin on my blog and so far I am pretty happy with the response. Right now i am working on your Idea of “Writing a killer 1st email”. Let us see how it goes. :)


    • Rithi Pathak

      Hey Pat,

      After reading your article I tried Mailchimp coupled with a wordpress plugin on my blog JEE Advanced Result 2015 and so far I am pretty happy with the response. Right now i am working on your Idea of “Writing a killer 1st email”. Let us see how it goes. :)

  • Paul

    Pat i am the creator of and i am trying to read the article on how to setup aweber to send out my emails on days. I know where to go but there are checkboxes and what not that I’m not familiar with how to setup. Can you please point me to the article, i herd you talk about this once… thanks … and btw i emailed you too :) thanks brother. was awesome having you on my show.

  • Sanjeev Tomar

    Thanks for the wonderful post, I will try to follow these on my blog

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  • Molly Chen

    This was amazing, thank you for sharing.

  • Jeremy Turner

    Pat, thanks for sharing this article again on twitter. My partner and I are launching our site very soon with zero subscribers. We are really trying to do everything the right way so we don’t have to go back and do it again.

  • Katrina Parker

    Just so you know…you are helping me do “Email the Smart Way” (just so you know if I knew how to place a hyperlink to your opt-in for Email the Smart Way, I so would’ve done that in the reference) because of you and a few others in the industry I’ve made building my email list one of the first foundational steps of building my my business. So I Thank You!

    I have 2 questions in regards to utilizing the global text snippet:

    1) Can you place the global text snippet anywhere in the email? Does it have to be at the bottom, or is that just where you prefer to put it?

    2) Why utilize the global text snippet, instead of sending out a broadcast email?

  • Jovica Ilic

    Good post for beginners, it’s a definitely nice checklist. I can also recommend email course at which contains some more advanced email growth tactics.

  • plathw

    Great info, thank you!

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