Which Autoresponder To Use?
Aweber, iContact and GetResponse are three of the most popular autoresponder options for small to medium-sized marketers.
What are the benefits and drawbacks of each?
Who should you use?
This article will shed some light on each service to help you make your choice.
In general, the costs of each service are all on par. AWeber tends to be slightly more expensive than iContact and GetResponse, though just by a few dollars a month.
Each service tiers up their costs based on how many subscribers you have. It’s important to note that AWeber counts unsubscribed leads as subscribers that you have to pay for. If you want to really get rid of a lead, you need to delete them from your database.
AWeber has the strongest reputation in the industry for deliverability. There are both benefits and drawbacks to this.
The clearest benefit is that your emails have the highest chance of getting delivered. That said, iContact and GetResponse both have top-notch teams of email managers who stay in constant contact with ISPs to ensure their mail gets delivered.
The downside of high deliver-ability is AWeber’s pickiness with how their email system is used. They have to be very stringent to ensure that no spam is being sent through their system, which unfortunately can sometimes bar you from genuine marketing activities.
Adding Outside Leads
AWeber and GetResponse both don’t allow you to add outside leads, even if they’ve double-opted in to a list in the past.
If you’re moving from an existing database to a new email system, you basically cannot move to AWeber or GetResponse as a result. If you run in-person events and need to add leads from people who sign up on paper, you also can’t do this by AWeber or GetResponse.
IContact allows you to import outside leads.
Who Not to Use
Never use your shopping cart’s email system to manage your email lists. 1ShoppingCart for example has a pretty bad reputation for deliver-ability.
Even self-hosted shopping carts like Zen Cart have their limitations. For one, the emails are sent out from your server, whose IP address could have been used for spam in the past. You also don’t have the benefit of having a team helping you ensure that your IP isn’t getting blocked.
Always use an outside system for your email list management for best deliver-ability. The only exception is Infusionsoft, which will give you a dedicated IP and server.
Another service to avoid for internet marketing is MailChimp. Though many marketers are attracted to their “first 500 subscribers free” offer, their mandatory double-opt in will cost you a lot of money in the long run.
Though they have a solid reputation, unless you’re willing to lose as much as 60% of your list to double-opt in, you shouldn’t use MailChimp.
These are some of the pros and cons of the various services. As you can tell, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to which email service to use. Weigh the pros and cons and make your own decision.
Writing Your Welcome Autoresponder
Your welcome auto responder is your crucial chance to make a first impression on your reader. If you have a great welcome message, subscribers will read it, be impressed by the quality and continue to open your emails in the future. With a poor welcome message, they may very well never open your emails again.
Before we go over what makes a great welcome message, let’s go over some all-too-common mistakes that people make in their welcome messages.
What Not to Put in Your Welcome Message
First of all, never send a welcome message that basically just says “Thank you for joining.” When you do, you’re wasting valuable on-screen real estate by saying almost nothing. You’re also wasting your reader’s time.
You should also NOT sell in your first email. Selling in your first email immediately gives a poor impression and may very likely burn out your subscriber right then and there.
These two points really go without saying, but many email lists – as many as 50% in some markets – make one of these two mistakes. Do not send content less first emails and do not send sales emails as a welcome message.
What Makes a Great Welcome Message
First of all, you’re welcome message needs to have stellar content in it. This content can be right in the email, or it can be a downloadable report, MP3 or hidden web page on your site.
The content should be some of your best. Remember, this is your chance to make a first impression. Whatever tips, advice or expertise you have to offer your readers, put as much of it up front as you can.
In addition to having great content, it’s important to let users know what to expect in the future. What kind of content can they expect in their mailbox? How often will you mail them? This first email is a great place to set expectations.
Finally, set them up for the next email. Finish off with a bang by telling them what your next autoresponder message will be about. Make sure to use benefit-driven language so they know exactly what’s in it for them by opening your next email.
If you can get a subscriber to open a first email, read a report and open the next email, you’ll most likely have a reader for life as long as you provide great content and don’t oversell.
The basic formula is this.
The first email sets up expectations for future emails, while providing valuable content right up front and demonstrating that you really know what you’re talking about. Set the impression that they’ll get something of value by opening your emails, by delivering high-value content the moment they get your first email.