Autoresponder Buyers Guide
Autoresponder Buyers Guide: The definitive guide for choosing the best autoresponder service provider. Here’s how to make the right autoresponder choice.
Choosing the right autorepsonder for your email marketing campaigns and strategies can be quite the daunting and exhausting task.
The good news is, choosing the right autoresponder doesn’t have to be that way AT ALL.
- while there is no shortage of email marketing providers in the market
- there are only a handful that will actually serve you the best in your business
The difference between autoresponders can be the difference between profits or pain in your business.
It can be very hard autoresponder service providers once you get started so it is very important that you start off with the proper autoresponder service.
In this guide I will make the decision making process fairly easy and straight-forward for you.
This post will layout the most important features that should dictate your decision process.
The criteria I will be using to rank each autoresponder will be based on:
- Integration – how well it integrates with other 3rd party solutions
- Segmentation – ability to send highly targeted emails
- Automation – perform functions based on subscribers actions
First let’s discuss the 3 factors you should take into account when deciding on an email marketing platform.
3 Factors To Determine the Best Autoresponder
Email autoresponders come a dime a dozen nowadays and it’s really easy to get distracted by features that aren’t as important as others. For that reason I have created 3 factors that you can use as a guiding light when picking the right autoresponder.
How long the company has been in business is a HUGE factor to take into account. The longer the company has been in business the better rapport they have built with ESPs like Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo.
This simply means that the probability of your email getting marked as spam will be greatly decreased by sending emails from their server.
When picking an email marketing platform:
- look for how long a company has been in business first
- don’t choose any provider that has not been in business for at least the last 7 years
Perhaps this is the most important specification when deciding which platform to go with.
The effectiveness of your email marketing efforts will be greatly dependent on your ability to land in your subscriber’s inbox. A company that has been in business for a while will have pretty good deliverability. However, you want to browse around their site and ensure that they promise at least a 99% deliverability rate.
Increase your deliverability by choosing to have all your subscribers double-opt in.
Often overlooked, but you can tell a lot about the quality of service to expect from the quality of a service provider’s website.
- if the website is unappealing and hard to navigate before you sign up
- chances are creating and sending emails will be a clunky process
Ideally you want a email marketing service provider that has a nice, clean, and modern design and interface.
This will make creating newsletters and html based emails a breeze and make sure your not distracted by the tool itself. Most email marketing service providers offer a free trial or a 30-day trial fairly inexpensively.
Sign up for a free trial and test drive their dashboard before you make a final decision. If you can’t figure out the interface, more than likely you will end up paying someone else who does.
How Deep Do You Want to Go?
Now that you understand the 3 main factors to take into account when choosing an email marketing platform, the next question you need to answer is how targeted would you like to get with your marketing?
The level of depth you would like to go with your marketing will heavily determine which platform will suit your best for your business. There are really 3 levels of email marketing to understand. Below I have defined each level for you to be able to easily identify where you fall.
A beginner level email marketer is building a list because it was advised. They don’t really have a strategy for utilizing email marketing and do not know how to effectively grow their email list.
If they do have a list they are only using it to send broad email newsletters to their entire group without any segmentation.
Tools I recommend for beginners:
- Aweber – Free 30-Day Trial
An intermediate email marketer has a list and a strategy. They use email marketing to make and increase sales in their business. Their emails are usually not very targeted, but they do use segmentation at a fairly basic level to produce the desired results.
Intermediate marketers also have their autoresponder integrated with other 3rd party platforms to increase their conversion rates and get the most out of their email marketing efforts.
Tools I recommend for intermediate marketers:
Advanced email marketers send very targeted emails. They use segmentation (and/or tagging) to help determine the hottest leads in their funnel. They understand the importance of being able to measure the actions of every lead in their funnel with great resolution.
These marketers more than likely are using a CRM + email marketing platform to integrate all their marketing tools into one resource to maximize their profits and scale their business.
Tools I recommend for advanced marketers:
You may not be aware of the use for autoresponders in association with your online business…
Many people know that an autoresponder is a great way to thank someone for their purchase and offer them a confirmation of the order. You can also use them to create an E-zine or a newsletter. These are both great ways to offer those on your opt in list free information that builds a good relationship.
There are some different aspects you need to be aware of when it comes to using an autoresponder for an E-zine or newsletter though.
You will need to find an autoresponder that offers you the chance to use a broadcast feature, which AWeber does, for example.
This is because you don’t want this particular message to go out at scheduled intervals.
- that is a common feature that works well when someone new signs up for your opt in list
- because you want to have a series of messages that go out to them with enough time between each one
With the broadcast feature, everyone on the opt in list will get the E-zine or newsletter delivered to them on the same day. It won’t matter which e-mail they are set up for with the autoresponder in relation to the predetermined messaging sequence.
It’s also generally a good idea to have your E-zines and newsletters archived on your site as well for a number of reasons. For instance, this will allow individuals who missed earlier editions to go back and read the materials.
Other than that, one major difference you will use the autoresponders the same way as before.
Once you have completed the material for the E-zine or newsletter you will need to copy and paste it to the editor.
Next you will select your broadcasting feature that you want to use and everyone on your mailing list will receive it.
This is a very simple process to set up and it gives you the opportunity to reach a large amount of people quickly and inexpensively.
It is also important to rely on your autoresponder to manage your list for you. As the number of people on your opt in list continues to grow it will be more difficult to take care of manually.
- Using the autoresponder allows you to take care of requests for being removed
- or changes to e- mail addresses quickly and efficiently
Many autoresponders you can use for publishing an E-zine or newsletter also allow you to track the success rate so you can see how many people are going to your website as a result of the information they get from such materials.
It’s absolutely essential to realize that not all autoresponders offer you the same great features, so make sure you use one that is going to offer you the most benefits. Which is exactly why I’ve taken the time to lay out a bunch of options and guidelines earlier on.
So there you have it.
- the most straight-forward criteria in which you can use to select the email marketing platform
- that will best suit your business needs
There are many other reputable services out there that I did not mention and that does not mean that they are not good. From an online marketing perspective the tools that I have mentioned in this guide have been personally proven to me that they work and are some of the best options (if not the best) on the market today.