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How to Set Up Downloads in Exchange for Opt-in Email Address

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A member wants to create a catalog of secure download documents with opt-in forms that will require visitors to provide and verify their email address in order to download a report. He wants a method of having several downloadable products, each with their own opt-in form. We discuss using Aweber to manage the email opt-in and verification and then using tables or other HTML for setting up the download catalog.

Incidentally, users of WP eStore can now set up free downloadable “products” that go through its secure download system. If you are already using WP eStore then this function makes creating such a catalog much easier.

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Video Transcript

Rick: Let’s see, I think your microphone on your side must be turned off so I’ll go ahead and read your question out loud and leave your microphone on. When you chime in, I will know it’s working. So the question is, “I want to make a page like this with reports that people can download.” And the page…that’s  http://hosted.cbpe.com/66283/resources.aspx. Okay, and so you’ve got this different reports that you want to download and if you do that, it takes you to a place where you enter your information.

Okay, so probably the easiest way to do this John, is to use a AWeber or MailChimp or one of the auto responders to gather the address information and then to deliver a download link. Now the reason why you want to use an auto responder rather than say, doing this yourself, is because you stand a much lower chance of being marked as a spammer when you use an auto responder. The spam folks you know, spam algorithms make a general assumption that if you’re using one of the reputable system for sending an email that it’s not spam because it plays itself so well. Anyway, you decrease the chance that your email is going to get caught in spam. And so that’s the best reason for doing this.

And so if you use something like AWeber… let’s go to my AWeber account for a moment. AWeber.com. AWeber has this ability to have a place on a broadcast email or on an auto responder email so for example, follow up email. In a follow up email, you can add… let’s just go ahead and look at this follow up email. On this follow up email, you can easily add a link here to a place on your site that would allow them to download the file and then all you have to do is name the folder on the site where you’re holding it. Or actually, you can just use the media library to upload the file.

But then all you would do is – that little button here, this button would take you to a particular sign up page and you’d end up with a sign up page really for each of these individual reports, right? Unless you’re going to give them access to all the reports with one sign up which maybe, makes sense. But this takes you to a sign up page. So they’ve got Financial-Stability-Your-Resolution.aspx but if we choose Freezes in Foreclosure, yes. They’ve got a sign up page for each individual report that they have and so, that’s what you’ll do also. You have sign up page with its own sign up form for each one of those things. And if you go to my videos, you will see that I have the whole thing on how to use, it’s Lesson 14: Add email marketing. It shows you have to use AWeber on how to create on broadcast form and how to create the list and how to create the sign up form and all the rest of that stuff. So all of that should be there for you without any problem at all. Let’s see… I’m going to see if your microphone is working yet, John?

John: Good to meet you anyways.

Rick: Yeah, great chatting.

John: I’m learning in the site and everything so I really appreciate it. So if I do that, will I be able to make like the vertical list like they have with the delivery report on top of each other like that? If I do the AWeber thing?

Rick: Yeah, because that’s not dependent on AWeber. This is the AWeber part here. It’s the collecting the information and it is then giving them a download link once they give you and confirm their information. That’s the AWeber part. This part is not AWeber. This would just be a… you know, you can do a table.

John: I don’t know how to do tables.

Rick: Well a couple of weeks ago though I did a… I answered a question about a table plugin. I think it’s WP tables reloaded and all you would do is use that to create essentially a 3-column table as many pieces as you want. In column 1, you put your little image, in column 2 you put the information, in column 3 you’d put your link. And then that link would link to the specific page that had AWeber sign up form on it. And so that’s the AWeber part. AWeber will handle capturing the email address and delivering them a link so they can download the report. And this takes them to their… takes them directly to the AWeber sign up form. And it wouldn’t have to look exactly like that, right? I mean you could just as easily put a graphic image you know, beside the paragraph of text in the text editor. I also have a video on how to align text and images in the text editor and I believe that is under using WordPress Intermediate Tutorials – Aligning Images and Text. I’ve got a video on that. So you could do something sort of, I mean I’m not actually doing it this way myself, but something that looked… oh, I have to log out in order to see that version. I’ll just log out, log out. So in order to see you know, this, you can easily put a graphic image into the paragraph and then there will be a link down there that you could click that would take you off to the page rather than the table.

John: I like that too. So that’s… I mean ending up using a plugin right? I just do a little… are these pages or categories? You know like Start Building Your Website, is that a page or…

Rick: Well this links off to a page. But which is exactly what you will be doing too, right? You will be linking it off to a specific page that would have a sign up form on it.

John: Okay. Oh these are like little posts that you had.

Rick: Well again… oh if we go back like this?

John: Yeah. You know a page and there’s a post under each…

Rick: Yeah these are not teasers. This is actually constructed in my text editor and so these are not teasers although they kind of look like a teaser. But a teaser is one of these things, right? This is not a teaser. It was jut something that I built inside the text editor. If you come down here to using WordPress intermediate tutorials you know, How to Align Images with Blocks of Text in the Content Area is the solution to that. It’s the way to get those images on one side and the text on the other.

John: When you say ‘text editor’ is that a plugin or is that something that’s in the back end of WordPress.

Rick: No, it’s the text editor inside that back end of the WordPress. So if we come down here, go to backside and then in this case… I mean, it’s not going to look exactly the same for you because I have mine in 2 columns and that sort of stuff. But if we just run over to the…that is Video Tutorials. And look at it in the visual view, see that’s what I have going on here.One little image next to this paragraph and a little image next to that paragraph and so on and so forth.

John: I see. Yeah, I get it.

Rick: And so, well it just keeps going down like that.

John: Okay and then each image you have a link that goes to the AWeber page?

Rick: Yes. Each one of these, each image or each link itself or you know, there’s also… actually, I don’t think the image does link. I think the image just sits there, yeah. The image doesn’t actually link off to anything. It just sits there. The link is the text.

John: Okay, so I can do it either way. I can do like you did here or I can do the table.

Rick: Yeah, this is probably easier than doing the table unless you really want it to look like this.

John: No, it’s just getting the information to the folks, that’s all.

Rick: Well it’s probably easier to do it this way then.

John: I see. And you have a video for this one right?

Rick:  I do. That is the… I don’t want to change that page.  That is down here at the bottom, that’s Align Images and Text.

John: Alright, got it.

Rick: So we still… so does that wrap that question up for you?

John: Yeah. Basically, I gotta go learn how to do that and then sign up for AWeber account. I think that should cover that.

Rick: Yeah because you saw that we have a lesson on the AWeber thing too, right? Add Email Marketing.

John: The other thing, what I would need… if I do the AWeber and stuff, I noticed the AWeber plugin. Will I do that also? Is that separate?

Rick: Well, you know, I haven’t used the AWeber plugin because they just came out with that. I finished this video series like a month ago, I think. And well, I don’t know when I finished it but immediately after I finished it, they came out with their October 11…it’s been more than that. It’s been more than a month ago. It just seems like it was a month. But after that, they came out with that plugin and I haven’t actually tried that plugin so I don’t know what the answer to that question is. But I will take a look at it here. I’m probably kinda buried today but I’ll take a look at it tomorrow and see if I can, you know, maybe I’ll add a little part to this Lesson 14 so that we can see what that looks like.

John: Right, right. Yeah so the plugin doesn’t work unless you activate it and so I didn’t know what you did first. Did you sign up at AWeber first or you do that plugin?

Rick: Yeah, you sign up for AWeber first. What I show in this lesson is how to you know, insert those, create those forms and then insert those forms without a plugin.

John: I see.

Rick: I mean, they did the plugin to make it easier. Now whether or not you can have you know, if you’ve got 14 different reports, whether or not you can have 14 different widgets, each one linking off to a separate list, I don’t know. That’s the thing it would be interesting to find out. I mean it would really work if what you did was…is if it only went to a single list because if it only goes to a single list, there’s no way for you to give them a download link for only one report. You’d end up giving them a download link to the page that had all the reports on it and they can download whatever report they wanted. If that’s the way you wanted to do it then you could get away with a single list.

John: Okay, I’ll work on that all day and I’ll report back to you what I find out then.

Rick: Great and feel free to you know, I mean, if you work on it all day and you call later on this afternoon when I get the next one going you know, you can take it up again there so…

John: Alright, sounds good.

Rick: Okay?

John: Alright, thanks very much.

Rick: Great. Thank you, John. Have a good day, bye bye.

John: You too.

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