I’m constantly on the lookout for new ways to grow my readership, and while I’m happy with my existing methods, there are always more opportunities to improve upon. One area that I’ve been wanting to explore is building a contact list that is constantly being updated and changed. Up until now, my approach has been to manually input new email addresses whenever I found a suitable prospect, but that is a labor-intensive process which leaves me open to human error. I also don’t want to push my luck by trying to enter everyone’s email address, so I’m looking for a better way to do this.
If you’re familiar with AWeber, you’ll know that they offer an API which you can use to integrate your software with theirs. Whilst their standard pricing is pretty affordable, there are some great deals if you’re a business or blogger who uses AWeber regularly. For example, the first year is only $29/month, and you’ll receive up to 100,000 messages per month. Sounds like a good deal to me! Especially since AWeber’s standard plan only allows you to send up to 24,000 emails per month.
In this article, I’ll introduce you to the AWeber API and how you can use it to build a dynamic contact list.
The AWeber API
The AWeber API allows you to integrate your software with theirs to receive email notifications when a new subscriber joins your list or when someone clicks a link in your email. The API is very simple to use and requires no background understanding of coding or complex integrations – everything is done for you, and you can get going with minimal effort. To create an API key and access the API, click here.
What makes the AWeber API so special is that it is fully dynamic. That is, the data that you input into it using the API will stay there and be refreshed whenever an email is sent out to your list. What’s more is that you can use this data to build a mailing list that is always expanding and changing.
How to Build a Dynamic Contact List Using the AWeber API
To demonstrate how to use the AWeber API to build a contact list that is constantly expanding and changing, I’ve built a quick tutorial for you. In this tutorial, we will be building a WordPress plugin that will do the following:
- Monitor and save all the email addresses in your AWeber account
- Generate a hyperlinked, auto-updated list of your saved contacts
- Let you know when someone submits their email address to your list
- Update your contact list whenever you send out an email
To get started, create a new WordPress plugin named Dynamic Contact List. Next, navigate to the plugin’s WordPress dashboard and click on the “Activate” button to make the plugin available to you. Once you’ve done that, you can click on the hyperlink icon (a little blue folder with an arrow pointing to the right) in the WordPress toolbar to open up a panel of options for your plugin. Here you can configure a bunch of different options for your Dynamic Contact List plugin. Choose the general settings, which includes the plugin’s name and description, and then click on the “Update” button to save your settings.
Now that you’ve installed the plugin and configured it, you can start using it. To create a contact list, navigate to the admin area of your AWeber account (if you haven’t already done so). From there, you can click on the “Contact Lists” option in the navigation bar to bring up a list of all your contact lists. Create a new list and call it something like “Saved Email Addresses,” and then click on the “Save List” button. This will save your new list in the AWeber interface. You can give your list a description if you’d like.
Now that you’ve saved your list, you can start adding email addresses to it. To do that, navigate back to your WordPress dashboard and click on the “Saved Email Addresses” option in the list’s drop-down menu. This will open up a page of all the email addresses that you’ve added to your list so far. You can click on any of the email addresses to see the person’s full profile. From there, you can click on the “Add More” button to add more email addresses to your list.
Once you’ve added all the email addresses that you want to monitor, click on the “Search” button to see a list of all the people whose email addresses you’ve added. You can now click on the checkbox next to each email address to select them all and then click on the “Create Alert” button. Doing this will create an alert for each of the people whose email addresses you’ve added. You can now click on the “View Alerts” button to see all of the alerts that you’ve created. You can click on any of the alerts to see more information about the person or business who subscribed to your list.
If you’d like, you can click on the “Delete Alert” button next to any of the alerts to delete them. Once you’ve deleted all of the alerts that you no longer want to receive messages about, click on the “Back to List” button to close the panel of options.
Why Is This Important?
If you’re like me, you probably find it pretty frustrating when you try to create a list only to have it remain static. One of the great things about having a dynamic list is that as you add more members to it, the list continues to grow. This means that you never run out of space to save email addresses because you can always add more! It also means that if you want to send an email to everyone on your list, you can do so without risking your existing subscribers unsubscribing due to being overwhelmed by an avalanche of spam. The more important point is that with a dynamic list, you don’t need to commit to keeping track of all the email addresses in order to use them. If you decide that you no longer want to monitor a certain email address, you can simply delete it from your list and stop receiving messages from that person or business.
How Does This All Work?
If you’re wondering how all of this is possible, it’s quite simple. Since the data in your list is stored within the API itself, whenever you send out an email, the list is automatically expanded to include everyone in the mailing list. As you can see in the tutorial, it’s quite easy to add more email addresses to your list using the “Add More” button. This is because the API will automatically detect that you’ve updated your list and will save any new email addresses that you’ve submitted.
As I mentioned above, one of the great things about a dynamic list is that it grows with you. This is because every time you add an email address, the list continues to grow. So, if you’ve decided that you want to send out a message to everyone on your list, all you have to do is send out that message and be happy to see that everyone who subscribed has received your message. You don’t need to worry about running out of space since the list will continue to grow with more email addresses being added.
Another great thing about a dynamic list is that it connects the dots. So, if you’re trying to reach someone who is on your list but whose email address you don’t have, all you have to do is add their email address to your list (using the “Add Another” button) and then send out your message. It won’t be long before you start receiving messages from this person. If, however, you’d like to be extra careful and don’t want to overdo things (remember, you don’t want to spam your subscribers), you can add this person’s email address to your block list (where you get notified when someone tries to email you but you’ve chosen not to subscribe to their email). In this way, you can control how many emails you receive from each person or business.
If you’ve decided that you’d like to keep track of all the emails that you receive, it’s quite easy to do so using the “Sent Mail” option in the admin area of your AWeber account. From there, you can click on the “Inspect Mail,” then click on the button next to “Labels” in the toolbar. Doing this will create a new label for all the emails that you’ve received so far. You can now click on the “Save Labels” button to save all the labels that you’ve created.
So, in summary, all you need to do to create a dynamic contact list is: