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How Paula Rizzo took an idea and turned it into an email list of 13,000+ subscribers using AWeber

Paula Rizzo was apartment hunting in New York City. She knew what she wanted in her new space, but she kept getting distracted by non-essential amenities like wine refrigerators. (Although the term “non-essential” is up for debate.)

To make her life easier, she made a comprehensive list of everything she needed in an apartment. Her list helped her score the perfect place. It also sparked the idea for Paula’s business, List Producer, and her book, Listful Thinking.

13,000+ subscribers and growing

Paula started her blog before she wrote her book to gauge interest in the topic of list-making. Her first task? Making a list, naturally.


“I started putting blog posts up. I learned how to use social media. I wasn’t using email in the beginning, and a friend said, ‘You’re crazy, you need to start getting email addresses.’”

Using email sign up forms

To grow her email list, Paula added an inline sign up on her website – This form was created using AWeber’s sign up form builder. So when someone signs up to receive her List Making Starter Kit, they are instantly added to one of her email lists in AWeber. 

Sign up form on

To create a sign up form in AWeber, Paula followed these steps:

1 – In the Pages & Forms drop down menu, select Sign Up Forms. Then click Create a Sign Up Form

Set up sign up form in AWeber

2 – In the drop-down menu choose whether you’ll be adding this sign up form to your website or to a landing page.

Drop down menu for sign up form in AWeber

3 – Choose a template

AWeber sign up form template gallery

4 – Add any information you’d like to collect from your subscribers.

Asking for new subscribers’ first name and email address is usually the best choice here, though you can also ask for their zip code or other special information if you want. Just remember: The less information you ask for, the more likely people are to fill out the form.

Add custom field to sign up form in AWeber

5 – Name your form.

Name sign up form in AWeber

How Paula used her sign up form on her website

Paula also started guest blogging on other sites in order to drive traffic to her website.

“I started writing guest posts for sites like Entrepreneur that have more traffic, so I was able to get more subscribers. I set up campaigns just for subscribers from the websites where I guest posted to welcome them to my website.”

She also added links to her List Making Starter Kit on her social media channels.

Paula Rizzo promoting lead magnet on Twitter

Lists and automation to the rescue

When Paula first started her side gig she was also working as a television producer. She didn’t have a lot of time to run her business. So to help manage her time, Paula decided to use email automation to build relationships with her audience.

“It’s tough when you have a full time job and a side gig that you love, because you want to work on that side gig all the time,” she said. “It’s really fun, but it’s also a struggle to balance and manage them both. Email has been amazingly helpful to grow List Producer. It’s quick and you can do it on the go.”

1 – Organizing her subscribers with lists

To help keep her email messages organized, Paula created multiple lists in her AWeber account – one list for each reason someone signed up. 

Her lists include:

  • a blog list she uses to send her latest blog posts
  • her email course list with the people who purchased her Take Back Your Inbox course
  • a list just for people who have bought her book

Her Take Back Your Inbox course is a lead magnet she uses to help grow her email list. It is something of value she provides her subscribers in exchange for their email address.

Because her subscribers on these lists have all had different interactions with List Producer, Paula makes sure to send them content they’ll be most interested in. For example, Paula sends people who bought her book content that builds on what they learned in the book.


“In the book, I have a specific URL where people can sign up for my list,” she said. “They can access special templates I’ve mentioned in the book. I’m able to target them in a different way than people who have read the blog or signed up for the email course list.”

To set up a new list, Paula just went to the List drop-down in the upper left-hand corner of her AWeber account and selected “Create New List”.

How to create new list in AWeber

2 – Saving time with email automations

A big time-saver for Paula has been the use of email automations in her AWeber account. She sets up email campaigns that automatically get triggered based on specific interactions.

One of those campaigns is the fulfillment of her List Making Starter Kit. When a new subscriber signs up to receive this kit on her website, an email is automatically sent thanking them for signing up and delivering the List Making Starter Kit.

Paula Rizzo automated email for her lead magnet

Paula can just sit back and let the power of email automation do its thing. This allows her to concentrate on what she does best – writing amazing content.

To set up her automated email in AWeber, Paula followed these steps:

1 – In the Automations drop down menu, select Campaigns, then Create Campaign

How to create email automation in AWeber

2 – Select a pre-built automated campaign or start from scratch with a Blank Campaign

Choose a template campaign or start from scratch in AWeber

3 – Give your list a name

Give automated campaign a name in AWeber

4 – Indicate what will trigger (start) the campaign. It can be when people first subscribe or based on a specific action based on a tag.

Determine how automated campaign will be triggered in AWeber

5 – Used the drag-and-drop icons add her email(s) and timing for when she wanted those emails sent.

GIF showing how drag and drop campaign builder works in AWeber

Want to get the same results that Paula got from her email marketing?

Then get started for free with AWeber. You’ll have access to all the tools Paula used to build her list of 13,000+ subscribers, plus access to 24/7 customer support via phone, email, or chat. 

We also have an in-depth knowledge base where you can get an answer to any question about AWeber, a blog that shows how to use AWeber and stay current with digital marketing best practices, and hundreds of video tutorials to show you exactly what to do.

Email marketing is still one of the most effective digital marketing tactics, and it isn’t hard to do! AWeber can provide you with all the tools and support you need to grow your business or your side hustle. Get started now.

Learn more about Paula

Discover the early mistakes and achievements Paula had as she began her business. And learn how email marketing became a huge part of her continued success.

The post How Paula Rizzo took an idea and turned it into an email list of 13,000+ subscribers using AWeber appeared first on AWeber.

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