How to Select the Right Email Platform and Autoresponder Service
To build relationships with your audience it’s important to use email autoresponder services or software. There are out of the box solutions that are self-hosted (on your own server), as well as hosted solutions that you can use. Hosted solutions are the way to go because most web hosts don’t want you to send that many emails from your server, as it can run the risk of getting their servers blacklisted if too many people report you for spam.
Today, most services offer similar features. Often, it will come down to how easy it is for you to use, whether you’re going to hire an expert, and what your budget is. The ones chosen for this article are listed below. In additions to these services, we also suggest you look at Zaxaa (which we use here at BaerOnMarketing along with GetResponse) and Ontraport for more robust services including shopping carts, membership sites, and affiliate management.
This choice has a 30-day free trial, otherwise, it cost anywhere from 15 dollars to 250 each month for most businesses. If you have an extremely high volume of emails, more than 50,000 email addresses you will need to get quoted for prices. It does what you’d expect an autoresponder to do: allows for message personalization, campaign tracking, social media integration, template options for email and more.
They are the leaders in responsive functionality which is important in today’s mobile society. It has a super easy to use email newsletter editor which many customers love. Today, webinars are very popular ways to build a list and get more customers and Get Response is right on this trend with their webinar solution which is included in certain pro-level accounts. Unlike most offerings, they offer phone support.
There is a wide range of responsive email templates, the ability to split test, comprehensive segmentation options, and social sharing tools. They pride themselves on being simple and easy to understand. With the pro plans, you can make landing pages and integrate with webinars which make it great for building your list.
You can create automation workflows to help create responsive campaigns. You can get reports on opens, clicks, changes in preferences, completed transactions, birthdays, and if they completed a form or not. They also have “one-click segmentation.” With the metrics available, you can check per-user performance. This enables you to drill down into your customers’ behavior.
If you want an easy to use an autoresponder, this platform might be something you check out with the 30-day trial. Keep in mind that some features are disabled during the trial period.
One of the lower cost options, and easier to use choices, Aweber can cost from $19 dollars and up depending on how many subscribers you have. It works for bloggers, internet marketers as well as any type of business owner that wants to maintain a relationship with their customers and build an audience through list building.
Aweber has stood the test of time and continually seeks to make their service simple to use for the non-techie customer and technical customer alike. Aweber is a service that you can use simply or you can make it more complicated by using all the bells and whistles.
You can quickly build your newsletters with their drag and drop functionality, or you can build them with HTML, or even make a plain text email, it’s up to you how complicated you want to make it. You can set up autoresponder series easily using advanced scheduling. Making sign up forms is easy with their templates that are easy to customize.
Aweber has some integration features that enable it to work with Facebook, WordPress, PayPal, various shopping carts, and even Etsy. So, if you’re using any of those for your business, Aweber is ready for you. You can also create a newsletter from your blog posts automatically by connecting your lists with your blog. You can also segment subscribers and even target certain subscribers. There are beautiful analytic reports that you can interpret in a glance due to the option to look at them in graph form.
Aweber is one of the better choices in terms of autoresponders. It’s easy to set up, looks attractive, has a high deliverability rate, and is priced fairly.
Another excellent choice for an autoresponder service is Constant Contact. It creates good looking emails, requires no technical skills to figure it out, has a high deliverability rate, is easy to format, and you can send bulk mail without any issues.
This software is simple to use, priced decently, and has a lot of good features that marketers need. If you want something that’s simple, has beautiful templates, and has clear instructions, this choice might be a good one for you.
Customizable drag-and-drop templates that look good, the ability to send personalized messages such as welcome, birthday and even anniversary messages – all automatically after you set up the system are all features that make Constant Contact a good choice. The ability to upload your email list or collect new subscribers with forms makes it easy to build a list.
Constant Contact integrates with event marketing so that if you do a lot of events, this autoresponder will fit into your business model best. In addition, it integrates with social media seamlessly so you can post from Constant Contact right to your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.com.
With their list building tools, image library, and email editing tools, you’ll be able to make your business look professional and get results. You have a lot of tools at your fingertips to help you manage your emails, send auto responses and more, depending on which level of Constant Contact you choose to purchase.
Regardless of the size of your business, iContact can help you set up your autoresponder system. They can handle more than 5 million subscribers so they have what it takes to work with you even if you have a very small list or a very big list.
With iContact marketing automation software you can build easy to use workflows, set up autoresponders series, and set up segmentation the way you want to. With advanced tracking, lead scoring, and reporting it’s a solution to consider, if you want to make more sales.
While you may be focused on your autoresponder, an awesome feature that iContact has is the ability to monitor social media across all your chosen platforms. You can also initiate engagement within the platform which will make your email marketing even more effective. However, it still has all the features you’d expect from an autoresponder.
A neat feature is the ability to have more than one person signed into the account at the time working on different campaigns or if you’re collaborating on an email to send out. It has useful reporting features and has a high deliverability rate. You can post content to your social media too.
As you already know, Infusionsoft is an all-in-one solution that is hard to beat, although it can be complicated to use. Some users lovingly refer to it as “confusion soft” but they still use it because it has so many options including autoresponder features. Users believe it’s the best autoresponder solution out there.
We wanted to mention the special features that Infusionsoft’s Autoresponder offers. It has what you’d expect – opt-in forms, landing pages, a drag and drop interface, with no need for any coding knowledge or skills. They even allow for auto-population of fields between form and landing page.
As mentioned previously, Infusionsoft offers all the bells and whistles you’d expect and some that you probably don’t know you need yet. Since this software is built for medium to large businesses, it is feature-rich. You can create personalized email sequences that go out on triggers you define.
The campaign builder is impressive. By using a workflow, you can drag and drop the information you want to into the campaign builder easily choosing when to send out any email based on time, date, and other triggers such as consumer behavior.
Infusionsoft is an autoresponder solution that is inclusive of everything you need. Some people find it hard to set up but that is only because it does so many things. The more any software does for you, the more complicated the setup is, but most people seem to catch on fast to the autoresponder set up.
A much-loved autoresponder solution due to the beauty of the templates and frankly the dashboard in comparison to other solutions Mail Chimp is often a choice for artists and creative types.
All business owners need an autoresponder system to build relationships and increase revenue, but not all business owners need the features that affiliate marketers need for their email marketing campaigns.
If you are involved with e-Commerce then you will be super happy with Mail Chimp because there are hundreds of e-commerce integrations available for you so that you can keep communicating with your customers. You can send an automated welcome mail, recommend a product, give them a birthday discount code, and more.
If you’re on a tight budget, Mail Chimp offers you the ability to start small and make changes as your business grows. You can expand and contract, at will, as needed.
Mail Chimp is a good choice for any size of e-commerce business as well as for bloggers, authors, artists, and other creative types. Multi-user accounts make it easy to let your virtual assistant or partners collaborate on different emails and features.
Using an autoresponder platform is an imperative if you plan to have a long-lived and successful business. You must build relationships with your audience and keep in contact with those who have purchased from you to experience long-term success and this platform can help you tremendously and make you look good in the process.
Originally posted on Baer On Marketing
David Baer is founder of Baer On Marketing. Specializing in marketing funnel development & lead generation consulting and services. David has been marketing online for over two decades, with extensive marketing experience in theater, classical music, and wine, as well as digital product development. David lives in beautiful Portland, Oregon, with his wife and daughter.