SPI 045: How to Win With Your Email List – Part 2 of 2

The Smart Passive Income Podcast Logo

In this session of The Smart Passive Income Podcast we continue the discussion about email lists and how to win with them. In about 2 years, I’ve been able to quickly grow a list of 35,000 subscribers, encourage an email open rate of 50 and 70% (the industry standard is typically 20% or less) and I do make some money from my email list too – without having to pitch anything.

In Part 1 of this series (which I definitely recommend you check out first because it leads into this session), we talked about everything that happens before a person actually subscribes to your list – from where to start to web form placement and some important notes about the bonus offer that you have the option to include as incentive.

In Part 2, we’re going to chat about everything that goes on after a person subscribes, and the experience that new subscribers go through when they sign up so you can better craft your emails and smooth out the experience your subscribers have with your brand.

At the beginning of this session, I address a few questions people had after part 1, including:

  • How do you get the “subscribe to my email list” button in the comment section of your blog?
  • Can you use your home address at the bottom of the emails you send out, which is required by law?
  • How do you deal with those who want blog posts via email, and those who want exclusive content via email?

The main content of this session is about:

  • The one thing you should do with your automatically generated confirmation email.
  • Why you don’t want everyone on your email list, and how to get people off of it.
  • How to keep people going after they reach your “Dead-end” thank you landing page.
  • What to include in your thank you follow up email.
  • Your options for delivering various types of bonus offers to your new subscribers.
  • The most important email in your autoresponder sequence, and what it should be about.
  • How to get responses like “this email came at the perfect time for me” from your subscribers.
  • Certain types of strategic emails I put into my autoresponder sequence.
  • How to properly schedule your emails and the best time of day to send them out.
  • How to check the open rates of all of your autoresponder emails, and what to look out for.
  • Some of my top opened email subject lines.
  • How to make money from your list without having to directly sell anything.
  • And more!

Right click here to download the MP3

Items mentioned in this podcast include:

Table Width Code:
Email HTML Code for Table Width

Above Email HTML Code:

<table width="370px" border="0"><tbody><tr><td>

Below Email HTML Code:


Quick Tip for HTML Code:

I have my HTML code setup in TextExpander for Mac so I can easily punch in some hot keys on my keyboard, and the code will appear exactly where I want it to without having to find it or type it out.

I hope this series was helpful to you. If it was, please leave a comment below (and of course ask any questions if you wish!) and if you haven’t done so already, please take a second to leave a quick review in iTunes by clicking here.

Thanks, and all the best!

Please subscribe below to the podcast to get automatic updates for your device:


Click Here to Download the Transcript for Session 45 (PDF)

  • http://www.internetbusinessgeneration.com Pierre | Internet Business Generation

    Pat, I dono how you do it, but you seem to always come up with fresh interesting content. Great tip for the HTML table code. That email open rate is still the best in the business – Summer Mashup guys seemed a little jealous! 😉

    • Pat

      Thanks Pierre, I really appreciate that. Cheers, and all the best!

  • http://www.christianhomeandfamily.com Carey

    These two podcasts are very timely for me Pat… I appreciate the work and transparency you are putting in. I’ll be listening (and applying) your suggestions in the next few weeks, I’m sure!

  • http://savvyplrbuyer.com Mena Jo

    Shucks, you just had me glued to my PC listening to your podcasts. I don’t normally have the attention span for podcasts and I certainly don’t scribble down notes the way I just have done. I have learned a stack load of new stuff that I’m going to start implementing.

    Really liked your tip about setting the width of the email (well I liked them all!). I have seen marketers do this before, but I didn’t know why. But thinking about it now, yeah, it does make the email much more readable.

    Why have I not visited your blog sooner? Anyway, I’m really looking forward to receiving your emails (just signed up) and checking back on future posts.

    – Mena

  • http://www.zzzprofits.com Moe

    Great podcast! That was the perfect last bit i needed to implement an actual strategy to my list. Been avoiding my list 3 months, lol.

    My list has been growing fast except i had nothing after the welcome and download you free download link. I just didnt really know what to put, so i put nothing. Thanks again!

    • http://www.zzzprofits.com Moe

      One thing i want to add that i just noticed. CHECK how the emails look in multiple clients. I just realized my subscriber emails looked great in Gmail but horrible in Yahoo(no spaces between paragrapsh or headigs). So i had to format them to look good in both.

      Just thought i would add

  • http://www.brendanhufford.com Brendan

    PAT! CMON! I copied your before and after subscription pages long ago =o)

    Before this podcast was ever made, i modeled my entire mailing list experience after what you were doing. Always learn from the best!

  • http://thesailingpodcast.com David

    Thanks Pat. I really don’t know how you find the time for everything…but I really appreciate your efforts to educate all of us. Best of luck with the new addition to the family in a few weeks.

  • http://www.outdoorfreaks.net Will


    Great information as always, thanks for the time putting this together. I am currently using MailChimp but am chewing on switching to Aweber so your stuff is more pertinent to me.

    I have one question that perhaps other commenters can help with – how do you know if you should sell your ebook or give it away with a signup? I am more interested in gaining traction in the niche than making a few extra bucks – so that should also be noted.

    Thanks again for the great content! Everyone have a great weekend!

  • http://valueofsimple.com/ Joel Zaslofsky

    Hi Pat,

    I’ve been through all 36 awesome emails in the automated sequence and they’re all still in my Gmail. I’m going to need a “duh dum ching!” for this one, but you didn’t mail it in on any of them. 😉 Each one is valuable in its own way.

    I got a lot out of hearing you explain your philosophy behind what types of emails you send and in what sequence. I have 7 in my sequence right now and aim for about 15 by the end of the year. But the sequence of them needs some work and I know I need to increase the value to a higher level. It’s one of my main business goals so I’ll be working hard on them.

    Here’s a question I don’t think you’ve addressed yet that’s been weighing on my mind. What do you do – if anything – to people who sign up for your newsletter but never click the link in the initial email from AWeber asking them to confirm? Do you assume they weren’t serious about signing up and just delete them in the back end of AWeber? Do you manually follow up asking them to check their SPAM folder for an email from you (assuming you just got caught in a SPAM filter) or maybe something else?

  • http://www.EntrepreneurOnFire.com John Lee Dumas

    The perfect cherry atop the sunday. Thanks Pat, I am putting your suggestions in place as we speak!

  • http://www.sharesandstockmarkets.com David


    I beg you to stop putting out awesome content that I HAVE to listen to, I have work to do :)

    Seriously this and part 1 are probably the most important podcasts that newbies should listen to.

    All the best


  • http://www.english-studyguide.com/2012/08/ielts-grammar-articles-part-1.html Mark Hunt

    Another great podcast. Thanks for the table code, really useful.



  • Pat

    Hey Bruno, can you add 1 more message with everything so it’s all on one spot – you can just copy paste your first comment with the new code and the replacement instruction. I’ll delete the others afterwards.

  • http://www.geemoneytalk.com Ryan G

    Thanks for getting this out there sooner rather than later. I was worried I would have to wait a while to hear the second part to this. Now waiting on part 3.

  • http://www.empreendedor-digital.com Bruno

    Hey Pat, thanks for this – appreciated.

    I just want to give a quick tip regarding the table for your e-mails: I actually prefer to do this kind of thing through templates so if you ever want to change it, it will automatically update all your e-mails.

    So here’s how to do it on Aweber:

    1) Login to your Aweber account
    2) Go to any messages (for this example I’ll be creating a new Follow Up Message)
    3) Hit “New HTML Message”
    4) Click “Templates”, “Template Editor”

    In this new tab:

    5) Click “Create new Template”
    6) Give it a name
    7) Paste this into your “HTML” code:

    *div id=”wrapper”>
    *div id=”first”>
    *div id=”second”>

    Just replace * with an “less than” symbol ..

    8) Now paste this into your CSS code:

    body, td, p {color: #000000; font-family: Arial, sans-Serif; font-size: 12px; margin: 0; padding: 0;}

    #wrapper {width:100%; float: left; margin: 0; padding: 0;}
    #first {width: 370px; float: left;}
    #second {width:100%; float: right;}

    These next lines are OPTIONAL, but this is the setup I use to make my emails look better:

    a { color: #000080;}
    p {line-height: 1.5em; margin-bottom: 1.5em; text-align: left;}

    9) Save it.
    10) Back on your e-mail, just find your template and either hit “Keep my Content” or “Start Over” depending on what you want;

    That’s it!

    Now all your e-mails will look the same and you can change around knowing that they will all look alike :)

    Optional but recommended: write down some stuff right after “aw:body” like what you have at the end of your e-mails like which list they are on, copyright perhaps, etc.

    BONUS: For those on a PC like myself, here’s an amazing software to help with shortcodes for HTML, standard email replies, signature and whatnot:

    » http://www.phraseexpress.com

    Free BTW.

    Hope that helps!


    PS: as you can see this is for HTML messages since plain messages will ignore both a table setup as descbribed by Pat and also CSS setup like I did. So I prefer to stay with CSS and a template so I can easily control from one spot :) This way if, for example, you even find out that peeps will read and click more if you have more margin between each paragraph, you can quickly change ALL your e-mails to look like that instead of going one by one.

    I know you are a maniac when it comes down to productivity Pat, but adjusting that e-mail by e-mail would be a monstrous task even to you 😀

    • http://www.internetbusinessgeneration.com Pierre | Internet Business Generation

      Bruno, this is really useful, thanks for taking the time to share with us!

      • http://www.empreendedor-digital.com Bruno · Empreendedor Digital

        No probs Pierre, glad to help 😉

    • http://www.topbloggingcoach.com Theodore.N

      Thanks for the Info Bruno, I’m sure it will help many of us here.

      Please do you also know how to do this in Getresponse?


      • http://www.empreendedor-digital.com Bruno · Empreendedor Digital

        Sorry mate, no idea :(

        But if there is a template editor you could try finding a html and css pages to add those codes.



    • http://www.MLMAdvertisingSecrets.com Brandon

      Hey Bruno, I saw a free download at http://www.phraseexpress.com is it free to use?

  • http://www.topbloggingcoach.com Theodore.N

    Thanks for publishing this long awaited post Pat, i really enjoyed the part 1 of the podcast, infact i have listened to it for about 6 times now because i keep learning new new things. I’ve downloaded this part 2 and can’t wait to enjoy it too.

    You rock man.

  • David

    Your posts always have a way of being bizarrely timely for me, Pat, but this one happened literally on the DAY I signed up to Mailchimp and started my first opt-in form. I can’t thank you enough for all these tips!

    (I’ve had to wait patiently until today to consume this content however, as your transcript still isn’t available and I rely on it when I’m away from my office.)

    Mailchimp has a really complicated UI for designing templates and forms, but luckily I found a great post by Derek Halpern with some nice, free opt-in form designs:

    Here’s the same ones for you Aweber users:

    Man, I’m psyched now!

  • http://www.johnbanksblog.com John Banks

    Hi Pat,

    Great post – only I can see OptinSkin and you talk about Subscribers Magnet? Are you using both?

    I am still to try any on my blog – just wondering which one you prefer, as I thought they were basically the same thing?


    • Pat

      Hey John, the only feature of SM that I’m using is the little checkbox in the comments for to subscribe to my list. A lot of the other features in the plugin overlap a little bit with Optin Skin, but Optin Skin is far superior in my opinion, plus it has more options.

  • http://fever18.in/ fever18

    These two podcasts are very timely for everyone… I appreciate the work and transparency you are putting in. I’ll be listening (and applying) your suggestions in the next few weeks.

  • http://www.simplebutcreative.com Kevin | Simplebutcreative Media

    Damn this was another great session Mr. Flynn! These last two podcast really motivated me to build my own email list. I’m redesigning my website at the moment so that I can focus on collecting emails. I wish I heard this podcast session two years ago! Better late than never I guess :)

    Looking forward to your next podcast!

    Simplebutcreative Media
    Kevin P.

  • http://www.alaininternetmarketing.com Alain

    This strategy is a bit too early for me, but to already know before hand, how to do things when the time arrives, it is precious.

    Thank you so much.

  • http://seoinfobox.com/affordable-search-engine-optimization-companies/ Steven from SEO Info Box

    You are one of the few email lists that I’ve subscribed to and actually bother to read. Most of the others one just try and sell me stuff I have no interest in buying so I delete instantly (should really unsubscribe but never get round to it). Think it boils down to you not trying to sell me something every 2 days like the others. I really need to start an email list soon.

  • http://www.empreendedor-digital.com Bruno

    BTW, instead of using a paid plugin to get sign ups to your newsletter, why not use a free one that Aweber provide?



  • http://www.TheGreatBusinessProject.com Ralph

    Awesome tips Pat! Just installed Subscriber’s Magnet plugin and will be using the HTML table trick too. Thanks again!

  • http://www.handymarketer.com Christelle

    Hi Pat, Thanks for this great podcast, very useful. It’s amazing how many tips you can fit in one episode, it’s like in your posts, you always have some tips in them that other bloggers would use as one single blog post!
    Anyway, I also have a question for you:
    What if you have a list that you built over time but never used to have an autoresponder and decided to start one now. Would you ignore these people, or can you set up the autoresponder to be sent to them as well, with some kind of delay to make sure they don’t get let’s say 15 weeks worth of emails in one go?
    Thanks for your feedback, have a great week.

  • http://www.brandbrawler.com Cullen K.

    Hey Pat, Thanks for all the great info and sharing your insight. The money might be in the list. However, we can’t forget “the list” is made of people that are no different from you or I. I would definitely recommend this to anyone doing email marketing.

  • http://www.forwardboost.com Justin

    Do services like aweber either walk you through the anti-spam laws or at least give you enough information to make sure you don’t accidently brak any of them? Or is there another source to learn about that?

  • http://www.essential-photoshop-elements.com/ Rick

    Thank you Pat. Quick question:

    I already have a series of 4 autoresponders that I send the 1st couple of weeks after someone subscribes. I now have a few thousand subscribers. If I add new autoresponders at this point, will the new ones only go to new subscribers or will they also go to folks that subscribed earlier? Thanks!!

  • http://www.epicwebstudio.com/ Rodrigo @ Epic Web Studio

    Thanks a lot Pat, I just started a blog in my business website and I had Aweber already so this Podcast helped me out a lot to consider many points to do in my website, I’m integrating a form in my fan page as well to improve my results.

    I just published my Business Blog today and my aweber form was ready from day one, thanks for your help, as always great results!

  • http://www.productivesuperdad.com Timo Kiander

    Hi Pat!

    With Aweber’s new (and a bit confusing) message editor, how do you actually insert the HTML code?

    I can’t seem to find any way to modify the HTML as I could with the earlier version.


  • http://www.howtofinancemoney.com/ LCF Personal Finance

    I’ve followed your model religiously (the written version) and somehow, I don’t feel this audio version is redundant…not a bit. Thanks Pat.

    I recently discovered this extra tip helps in conversion – it’s in Step 2 of creating the Webform. If the checkbox – “Enable Facebook Registration Form” is ticked, the form will auto fill in the visitor’s Facebook username and email. Which means no typing is required. I think this is good considering most people had the Facebook logged in all the time in the browser anyway.

    The form must be at least 300 px wide though.

  • http://goguu.com Ankit

    Great Post !!!

    As always :)

  • Marcin

    In regard to width of the message, you can just:
    1. Hit “New HTML Message”
    2. Choose “Plain” template -> “Start over”
    3. If you double click on your message, a panel will pop up where you’ll be able to adjust the width. Then, you can also easily change it by ‘grabbing’ the border of the block and adjusting to the size you want.
    4. If you need to add a new follow up msg, just click copy on the previous one and the width will be exactly the same.
    It’s simple and it works for me. I’ve tested emails with different email accounts and every time it looked the way I wanted.
    Maybe I’m missing sth here?:)

    PS. I think that (at least) latest users of Aweber don’t have the option to create messages in html editor. I’ve created my account over a month ago and I’m able to use only Drag & Drop editor.

    • Pat

      Actually, you can do html still. If you go to Broadcast, or Followup, right underneath the button that says “Create New Broadcast” or “Create New Followup”, there’s a text link that you can click on to “Use the Old Editor” instead. There you can see the html and plain text options.

      When you’re starting a new list and you go through the wizard (the “do next step” thing at the bottom) it automatically opens the new editor for you when you create your followup message. If you get to that point, go to followups, add a new one (using the old editor) and then delete that first one.

      • Marcin

        Pat, I really can’t. I’ve just contacted Aweber to make sure – they turned off the old editior a couple of months ago, new accounts can use only Drag & Drop editor.

        PS. I’ve noticed one ‘funny’ thing on your blog. I wanted to check if you replied to my comment, so I opened your site in Chrome. On the main page I could see this post has 42 comments, but when I entered it, I could see only 16 and I thought mine was deleted. So I did the same in Internet Explorer and everything seems ok now. Isn’t that weird? I’ve checked other posts – in some of them all comments are visible and in some they aren’t. I’ve just thought you may want to check it!

        • Pat

          Hmm, that is weird Marcin, thanks for letting me know re: comments.

          About Aweber, you’re right. I just double checked and indeed new customers don’t have access to the old editor. My apologies.

          I chatted with them and you can still get the table, it’s just you don’t need the code for html anymore, it’s all drag and drop.

          In the html template editor, click on the blue button that says “Templates”, and then select the first, plain one. This makes the background white.

          Then click on the white space and then in the black rectangular area, click on the icon with the line and the + symbol on the right, and this adds a column you can drag left or right to set the width, and you can then write your email as normal.

          I really dislike the new editor, but Aweber was really good at walking me through how this worked.

        • Marcin

          No worries :)

          “Then click on the white space and then in the black rectangular area, click on the icon with the line and the + symbol on the right, and this adds a column you can drag left or right to set the width, and you can then write your email as normal.”

          That’s exactly what I do and it works well!

  • http://www.genuineinternetmarketing.com Shane Eubanks

    Great job packing loads of tips into this podcast…it was one of your best episodes yet! I can’t believe you have over 30 autoresponders. haha

    You briefly mentioned the best day and time to send emails to subscribers and I wanted to share a super simple way of determining that day and time (aside from just guessing, which I guess would be even more simple…ha..anyway).

    What I’ve done over the years that has worked great is to find the day and hour that I get the most search traffic to my sites (using Google Analytics). If you know the day and hour(s) that get the most organic traffic, then you know exactly when your target audience is most interested and engaged in the type of content your website offers.

    Super simple!

    Google Analytics doesn’t have a standard report to show this, so I created a custom report and have shared it (along with an example) to make this extremely easy to do. I put up a quick blog post that shows the example and goes into more detail over at:

    Hopefully that helps some of your readers/listeners to quickly and easily determine a good starting day & time to send emails to their subscribers!

    Again, great episode (along with part 1)

    Good stuff! Keep it coming!

  • http://CashFlowsToo.com Monty Campbell

    I really love how the comments come together. Even the way Bruno added a element to help with the e-mail system is amazing.

    Great post. Great podcast. I am thankful to be a part of this growing industry and community.

  • http://blogueur-pro.com/ Olivier Roland

    Hey Pat, great podcast, thanks !

    For the table tip, I tested it and it doesn’t work in Outlook – the email is displayed as if there is no table – but it does work with Gmail.

    I personally prefer to type my email first in the Plain Text field of Aweber, wrap it, and then copy and paste it in the HTML field and add formating and links into the HTML version of the message.

    This way even the HTML version is wrapped, and it works with every single email software 😉

  • http://naiti.ru alexey petrovsky

    Pat, one little request: can you change a PDF header to something not-so-blacky? The header draw a LOT of color ink-jet black inks giving almost nothing. I’ve tryed to copy&paste to LibreOffice Writer and it works nice, some formatting gone but it’s readable.

    And second one: can you provide a link to online PDF-reader versions, like “related:scribd.com” (@Google Search).

    Thank you so much from Russia!

  • http://www.tauedu.org/bussiness_studies_bba.html Study BBA in USA

    Hi I am David. I read the all information.I appreciate your work.Nice article.Thank you for this information

  • http://intentionalsuperhero.com/ Josh Bulloc

    I love the podcasts. If you place a link in the HTML version of the emails do you just paste the text link in the text only email?

    Thank you

  • http://www.internetmarketing-advice.net The Secret Insider

    Another excellent Podcast with great tips, thank you for the HTML table code and congrats on your new daughter :-)

  • http://www.johnbanksblog.com John Banks

    Hi Pat,
    That open rate is awesome – probably because of no pitching! Must be great to have such a responsive list. Having just become a father for the second time i could do with some high open rates myself!
    Great content as always…..


  • http://www.personalsuccessdefined.blogspot.com Richard Anderson

    Great, useful content Pat,
    Makes me wonder why all those other internet markering folk out there don’t teach it the way you do. I’ve spent so much time un-learning tons of stuff since I discovered your blog, and am simply amazed at how much progress you’ve made in such a short time. I’m all ears!


  • http://www.internet-marketing-training-for-newbies.info/ Sam Frost

    Excellent podcasts my friend. One tip I would like to share for email marketing is that you should avoid putting heaps of promo content in your first 5 or 6 emails in the autoresponder sequence – doing this has seen my unsubscribe rate drop about 1 in every 50. Not bad considering the niche I’m in.

    Interestingly enough, many affiliate marketing courses teach you to really squeeze your list ASAP for profits – but I’ve found this to be a risky course of action, and much prefer actually giving lots away for free.

  • http://partp-courses.co.uk/ Mike T

    Great info here, thanks Pat, a load of stuff I didn’t know or wasn’t sure about!

  • Leah Leitch

    ” I should probably get a copywriter on the show to discuss headlines” Yes, Yes, Yes!!!!!!

    • Anam

      I could have gotten more if I had made more videos, but with only 18 videos live at the moment, I think that’s pretty good.

      plastic surgeon