How To Set Up PayPal and Aweber To Work Together

I’ve seen a couple of questions recently about how to combine Aweber and PayPal.  The person asking the question wanted to be able to get their buyers to also subscribe to their list, so they could follow up with them effectively.

This is one of the best ways to build a sustainable online business and, since one person’s asking, there are probably others who’d also like to know! So heres my approach…

The first thing I work out, before I even start thinking about creating lists and Paypal buttons, is the process.  What process do I want my visitors to go through?

This is important for a number of reasons:

  1. You want your customers to have a positive experience on your site
  2. You want to make sure that they buy and they join your list
  3. Defining the process will dictate the urls you set for your Aweber and PayPal confirmation pages.

In defining your process for this situation, there’s probably one major question you need to decide on:

Do you want your customers to opt in to your subscriber list before they buy your product or after?

It’s up to your personal choice as to which but, whichever you choose, there’s one important thing to keep in mind:  there must be a good reason for them to opt in.

So find that reason.

The most obvious is so that you can keep them updated with newer versions of the product, or product upgrades, which are included in the price.  But, depending on what you’re selling, there may well be others.

Again, though, there must be a compelling reason for them to opt in.

OK, so back to the process.

I generally prefer to get my visitors to opt in before they pay and collect the product.

This is because, if they’ve made the decision to buy, they’re in an open frame of mind and want to get through to their product.  Therefore, they’re more likely to opt in.  That’s my theory, anyway!

So here’s the process I generally use:

Step 1:

Visitor lands on my page and my stunning sales copy persuades them they want the product.

The first step I want them to take is to opt in.  So my copy tells them that, in order to benefit from the lifetime of free upgrades which come as part of the price, they need to give me their name and email address so that I can email them out as they become available.

So they opt in.

Step 2:

Because I’ve defined my process and know that I want them to opt in and then go to the payment page, my Aweber code contains the url of the page on which my PayPal button sits.

You define this url during the process of specifying the information for the Aweber code.

So, after opting in, my visitor is taken to my PayPal payment page.

This page thanks them for opting in, reminds them that they’re going to get free upgrades for life and alerts them to the fact that they’ll receive a confirmation request.

They’re told that they need to click that confirmation request or I won’t be able to send them the upgrades.

This page also tells them that they’re almost ready to download/complete their order of the product but they need to complete payment first.  To do that they need to click the PayPal button.

I also tell them that if they don’t have a PayPal account that doesn’t matter – they can pay with their credit card through PayPal.

Step 3:

They click the PayPal button which takes them through to PayPal where they make their payment.

Because I’ve defined my process and know that after payment they need to go to the download/order completion page, I’ve defined the url of that page in my PayPal code.

As soon as the payment is made, PayPal automatically re-directs the buyer to my download page (or order completion page).

Step 4:

When the buyer gets to my download page they’re thanked for their business and given step-by-step instructions on how to download their product.  The download links sit on this page.

If it’s not a downloadable product then this page simply thanks them for their business and tells them that their order has been confirmed and will be delivered in whatever the delivery lead time is.

So that’s the process I use.

But, if you wanted to get them to pay before asking them to opt in, then you would need to reverse the order and place your PayPal button (instead of your opt-in form) on your landing page.

The PayPal button code would contain the url of your opt-in page, so that after paying they would be taken straight there (instead of your download page).

And the Aweber code on your opt-in page would contain the url of your download page (instead of your PayPal button page).

One reason I prefer to get them to opt in first is that, once they’ve paid, most people just want to get to their product.  If, after paying, they’re taken to an opt-in page, rather than the product page, they may feel that they’re being held to ransom and forced to opt in.

If this was the case they would probably feel irritated which, in turn, would make them less likely to trust and buy from you in the future.

Just my personal opinion – you need to follow whichever process works for you.

When you set up your Aweber opt-in form and your PayPal buttons you need to do so through those sites.  They’re both very intuitive, but in each case you need to make sure you define the url you want your visitors to be taken to once they’ve completed their action.

In both cases they will generate the code from the information you specify and you need to copy and paste that code into your page.

Both PayPal and Aweber have default confirmation pages and, if you don’t specify your own urls, your process will break down because the visitor will end up on a page that appears to be irrelevant.

Although this is a long post, combining Aweber and PayPal in this way is actually very straightforward.

The most important step, though, is to first define the process you want your customers to go through. After that everything falls into a logical sequence.

About the author: Martin has been working online since 2006 and focuses on two areas: 1) affiliate marketing and 2) designing and building websites based on WordPress. He has his own WordPress agency, and serves clients in Hong Kong, Australia and the UK.

What do you think?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Karin H. Nov 25, 2008 @ 18:04

    And then there is a third way: making AWeber the delivery vehicle for your (digital) products – the ultimate combinations between Paypal buy-button and AWeber.

    You do need a business Paypal account for this and tick the email parser in AWeber.
    You buy-button works as the AWeber webform – confirmation email from Paypal to you, the seller – goes to the AWeber list and your buyer ends up on your dedicated thank you webpage. After confirming the link on the first email Aweber sends out the product or download link arrives in their inbox: simple and effective.

    Karin H. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)

    Karin H.´s last blog post..A new hobby horse: Web 2.0 for community building or growing your business?

  • WealthyDragon Nov 25, 2008 @ 20:20

    Karin, hi,

    Absolutely – I could not have put it better myself! Thanks for filling the gaps!



  • Alison Nov 26, 2008 @ 6:03

    This is a great post and has made this whole process much clearer for me – and it is a process that I have been struggling to understand for quite a while!

    Thanks for your clear explanations – as always.

    Regards, Alison

  • WealthyDragon Nov 26, 2008 @ 10:28

    Hey, Ali,

    My pleasure and glad it helped! I do love your Midnight-Software-Mart blog – it’s the first time I’ve seen it and it looks great. Very well laid out and very easy on the eye!