GetResponse – EZine

Here, we’re going to take a look at how to create beautiful HTML newsletters for your blog.

[evp width=”640″ height=”480″]tutorials/wpvideos/getresponse-ezine.swf[/evp]

So if you already have a GetResponse account, and you’ve already put in opt-in form to your WordPress blog, then you should be able to start collecting subscribers. Now, instead of sending them a plain text message, you can actually go to your GetResponse dashboard, alright? And click on Create Messages. And now you can choose to create a follow-up email, which is important for any list in GetResponse, but in this example, you’re gonna create an email newsletter for your blog.

So now I can choose to either create an HTML-format newsletter which actually allows me to have much more design elements in my newsletter, or I can choose to have a plainer-looking text format here. If I scroll to the right, you can see this plain-looking text format. So I am going to choose the HTML format.

And in this third screen here, I can actually browse through a couple of pretty sleek and beautiful HTML newsletter designs that GetResponse has already created, and you should be able to find this by default in your account. So if you wanna browse through the template categories, depending on what the topic of your blog or your list is…for example, let’s see…my list is about E-commerce & Internet Marketing. So I’m gonna click on that.

And now, you can see there are several pretty interesting HTML newsletter templates to choose from. So I’m gonna mouse over this one here – that one, and I’m going to either choose a color version, and you can see the changes here in real time…right. So this is the one I want, and I’m going to click on Choose this template.

And once I’ve done that, I can actually look at my existing template and customize any elements that I want to customize using this WYSIWYG editor, or “What You See Is What You Get” – that is what WYSIWYG stands for. So it is a What You See Is What You Get HTML editor, and these are some of the most common functions I’ll need to be using, so for example, I can enter the text that I want here, and I can click on Bold to make the text bold, etc. And if I wanna see even more options, I can actually click on this one here that says, “Show more options.” So now I even have much more HTML editing options. So it really depends on how complicated you want your newsletters to be.

Now, most importantly here, I’m going to enter a subject, and I wanna customize this email to actually put in the name of the subscriber over here, so I’m going to click on Personalize, and from the drop-down menu here, I can either enter the Full name, First name, or Last name. So I’m just going to use the first name only in this instance, and you can see that the variables or the code that will automatically display the first name has been entered into this section here.

Now, I can scroll down some more, and if I have a Google Analytics, I can click on Add Google Analytics tracking to this email address, and of course you need to enter that information of the Google Analytics into your account settings.

And if I wanna track the clicks that are generated from this email, I can also click on Track click-throughs on your link. But again, this depends on the type of account you have; in this example, I’m just using a free account. Okay? And then when I’m done, I can click on Next Step.

Okay, and I see an error message here from GetResponse, saying that the ‘Plain text content cannot be empty’. You see, what happens here is that I want to send out the HTML version of my email. However, not all email programs, and not all email users actually support, or have turned on the HTML email function. So if you send an email only in HTML and you do not enter the plain text version of it, if someone has disabled HTML in the email service, then they would see a completely blank email. So I may want to enter some text here, and then when I’m done with that, I can just go to the next step.

And now you have to choose the recipients. So this is very simple. Unless you wanna add the context manually, most probably you’ll just select All Context, okay? And if you want to save this particular template and settings, so that you can reuse it later on, just enter Name here and click on Save. Okay?

So now, it has been saved as a test Ezine, and the contact recipients group has also been saved as test Ezine, okay? And then I’m gonna click on Next Step.

And in the final step, I can either choose to send this newsletter immediately, or I can choose to set the actual time I want to send it, too. And you can see the calendar opens up here, so I can select a date – for example, tomorrow; and I can also select a time, time zone that I’m in; I can even just change the time over here, right? Okay. And then, finally, if I wanna share this on Twitter, I can enter my Twitter login and Twitter password by clicking on this to activate this box here, and if you want to keep track of all the emails or all the Ezines or newsletters you’ve sent out to your subscribers and you wanna publish it in an RSS format where subscribers can also view your previous Ezines, then make sure you check this option here – Publish in RSS feed. And then click on Next Step.

So here it says, “Congratulations! Your message has been scheduled for delivery.” Now, it says “scheduled for delivery” simply because I chose to send this particular Ezine tomorrow; not right away. So if you choose to send an Ezine right away, then your email message would be sent right away, and you can actually go to the newsletter history page to see all the Ezine that you have sent out.

And that’s how easy it is to create an HTML Ezine from GetResponse.