Lesson 2: Set up and Connect Your Autoresponder

Set up an Autoresponder

What Is an Autoresponder?

An autoresponder is software that allows you to collect your customer's details (most commonly just name and email address) and store them in list.

It also allows you to email the members of your list in two broad ways:

  • A 1-off email broadcast to your whole list or to selected parts of it
  • A series of emails sent out automatically according to a time frame established by you.

Don't worry if this seems a little vague at this stage. It will all become clear as we proceed through this module.

You will come to understand that your autoresponder and how you use it is probably the number one money-making tool in your website arsenal.

The most popular autoresponders are:

  • AWeber
  • GetResponse
  • MailChimp
  • ActiveCampaign

You can find others with a Google search.

Sign up with an Autoresponder

You can take a look at the four above at:

AWeber | Email Marketing & More for Small Businesses

GetResponse | Professional Email Marketing for Everyone

Marketing, Automation & Email Platform | Mailchimp

ActiveCampaign - Email Marketing, Automation, and CRM

(None of the above are affiliate links; they just take you to the respective website so that you can decide which one looks best for you).

I use ActiveCampaign and so will use it for the examples in this lesson, but all autoresponders will have equivalent features.

Go ahead and sign up with your preferred autoresponder. They all have free trials and in some cases free usage up to a certain number of contacts.

Your List

If you've been researching internet marketing for some time, you will have heard the saying "the money's in the list" and perhaps also that the only real asset that an online business has is its list.

This is totally true. It's also the one asset that can't be taken away from you because of someone else's decision.

For example, you might be selling a large number of related products as an affiliate of a particular vendor and have put a lot of work into landing pages for each individual product containing your affiliate link, an attractive grid layout summarizing the products and blog posts and/or PPC advertising promoting them.

You may have a substantial affiliate income as a reward for all your hard work.

What happens if:

  • The vendor goes out of business
  • A new CEO, who doesn't believe in affiliate marketing (and there's plenty of them) shuts down the affiliate platform
  • They are bought out by another company, who shuts down the affiliate program for an unspecified period of consolidation or
  • There is some other circumstance outside your control?

But your list is your asset and, if you've built it right, comprises people who trust you and will buy products that you recommend.

And... all autoresponders provide the facility for you to download your list to your own secure storage facility.

Connect ActiveCampaign to My WordPress Site

As I've previously stated, I use the Thrive Suite in all of my websites.

It makes connecting an autoresponder to a website very easy.

Get Your Autoresponder's API Key

Your API Key is a string of letters and numbers that you get from your autoresponder and enter at your website.

I've logged in to my account with Active Campaign. There's a menu in the left sidebar.


Click on the gear icon (Settings) to display the Settings menu.


If the Settings menu doesn't display immediately, click the Expansion icon at the top left.

Click Developer from the Settings menu.


This displays the two fields that you need to copy to your website in order to connect it to your website. You can copy and paste (one at a time) by clicking the Copy button and then in your website using Ctrl+V to paste.

Log in to Your Website

Log in to the Administration area of your website and click on Thrive Dashboard in the left sidebar menu.


We are adding a new API connection so go to the API Connections section and click the Manage Connections button.

This will display any active connections and allow you to add a new one.


Click the Add New Connection button.


Select your autoresponder from the drop-down list.


Copy the two fields API URL and API Key from the autoresponder site as described previously and click the Connect button. After a few seconds, you should see a big green confirmation message.


And that's it! Your website and your autoresponder are now connected.

In the previous lesson, I described how to create a giveaway that your visitors could opt in to receive. I'll cover how to use your autoresponder to collect your visitor's name and email address when they opt-in to get your giveaway in the next lesson.

As AWeber is probably the most used autoresponder, I've included a link that tells you how to connect AWeber to your website.

Connect AWeber to Your WordPress Website

And here's some information from GetResponse.

How to add my landing page to WordPress? | Help (getresponse.com)

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