Before answering what is the best email autoresponder? Let’s just quickly explain what an email autoresponder is and why you need one.
An email autoresponder is a piece of software that is hosted outside of your website and allows you to a) collect email addresses and b) set up emails that automatically goes out to people who send you their email address. You can also set up emails that go out to people on your email address list on a regular or one off basis.
Why do you need one ?
You may have read or heard the term, “the money is in the list” This relates to your email list. You can have 1000s of followers on social media but have no real way of contacting those people unless you want to private message each one individually. No one has time for that and besides it will be perceived as spamming.
All of the Social media platforms could disappear in the blink of an eye or change their rules and you could lose all of your followers, just like that…. ouch! Don’t think it can’t happen because it does.
Who remembers when everyone used MySpace? If you do then, where is it now ? And if you don’t remember, well you wouldn’t as it has disappeared off the face of the earth.
Your email list is your own. People on that list have willingly given you their email address, usually in return for some kind of Freebie and they expect to hear from you. Do not go buying email lists. These people have never heard of you and will ignore your emails anyway and you will be a spammer. Never be a Spammer.
So your email address list will be people who have willingly given you their email list in return for something ( your offer or Freebie) your autoresponder will then send them the goods that you have created. These people will also expect to hear from you again ( but not too often, at least not to begin with ) This is the beginning of your relationship and trust building with these people. And that is why the money is in the list. People buy from people they like and who offer them value.
Used properly your email list will become your best asset. So you want to choose a good autoresponder to make sure your email list is serviced properly.
What Autoresponder should I choose ?
There are many factors involved in choosing the right autoresponder for you. Price, Functionality, Ease of use, Customer support.
I am going to give you an overview of the four best autoresponders on the market, any of which I would recommend for different reasons. Obviously there are others out there. I’ve tried a few really bad ones myself, based mostly on cost and naivety and I am not going to recommend them here.
Aweber has been around since 1998 and has made a real name for itself in the market.
It has a 30 day free trial and then costs $19 a month up to 500 subscribers. The cost per month does go up to $29 a month up to 2500 subscribers and then $49 up to 5000 subscribers. The costs per month continue to go up as you get more subscribers but by the time you get this far, I would hope you were making good enough use of the service to be making more than enough money to make the cost negligible anyway.
In terms of its functionality it has over 700 email templates to choose from and uses a drag and drop system. It has the ability to create a RSS feed so your subscribers get your new blog posts, straight to their inbox. It has unlimited storage for images and has 6000 + stock photos you can use in your emails. It also has sign up forms you can integrate into your site.
The ability to segment your list is also available. This means you can target specific people based on why they gave you their email in the first place. It will also allow you to split test those emails. This is something we should all do so we can assess what works and what doesn’t. Aweber also has a full analytics system to allow you to see which emails are opened, acted upon, etc.
Their customer support is excellent with the ability to call, email them or use live chat. They also allow for full integration of other services, you may use, like PayPal and leadpages. They even have 3 different apps you can use for emailing on the go. So if you are often working on the hoof (travel bloggers and busy mom bloggers spring to mind) then this may be really helpful to you.
The best feature of Aweber to me personally is that you get full access to all of their services no matter whether you are on the free trial or the most expensive package. If you want to check Aweber out click here.
This is probably lesser known in the market but does have some advantages and disadvantages over Aweber. It’s a choice thing really.
Pricing is slightly cheaper than Aweber at $15 per month for up to 1000 subscribers rather than 500 but the next price point jumps straight to $49 a month up to 5000 subscribers. They do offer an 18% discount if you pay for a year in advance and 30% if you pay up front for two years. This does bring their prices down very competitively if you can pay a large lump up front. They also have a free months trial.
In terms of its functionality, it has the same drag and drop approach and has over 500 templates to choose from. It also has the sign up forms you can integrate in to your website but it also includes landing pages which Aweber does not. Landing pages are essentially sales pages which will integrate with your auto responder. You definitely need them. With Aweber you would need to get leadpages or clickfunnels separately but they do integrate with most autoresponders and many bloggers do go with either of these as they are solely landing pages and will give you more options.
They do offer over 1000+ stock photos and also the ability to host webinars which is a definite plus for me. Whilst I am a reader, I am aware that videos are preferred by many people today.
What you do need to be aware of is that the cheaper plan up to 500 subscribers only gives you basic landing pages and no access to webinars. The $49 Plan gives you their advanced landing pages and webinars with up to 100 attendees. The webinar attendees increase with the higher priced plans.
Their customer support is done via live chat or email but they do seem to have a very organised and transparent customer relations team. They also have full integration with more services than any I have heard of as well as the usual PayPal, shopify etc.
What I am most impressed with is that they have email courses on all aspects of landing pages and autoresponders. You can get these for free if you give them your email address….. lol. If you want to check them out click here
Mailchimp is probably the best known of the autoresponders. It was the one that I went to after using some disastrous ones because I didn’t know what I was doing. I went to it because it is free to use up to 2000 subscribers and it made sense to me not to spend anything before even having a mailing list.
You can only send up to 12,000 emails on the free plan, which may seem like loads but as your email list grows that soon gets eaten up. For unlimited emails it is $20 up to 1500 subscribers, $25 for up to 2000, $30 for 2500 and $35 up to 2600. Why the extra $5 for a 100 subscribers I don’t know. They also have a $199 one off payment for pro features and you can pay per sent email. If you ask me their pricing structure is not very transparent above 2600 subscribers.
It doesn’t have split testing but has just introduced landing pages. It’s templates are very basic and it is quite hard to work out how to create the emails but I got there eventually. It could just be me but it is not that user friendly and it’s trainings on how to do things are quite jargon laden. For someone more tech savvy than me it may be a lot easier than I thought.
They do have pop up or opt in forms that you can embed in your website. It can also be integrated with other platforms and is quite popular for e commerce.
You should also know that there is no customer support with the free service. Though their customer service may be excellent if you are a paid member. If you want to check them out click here.
Probably not as well known as Mailchimp but it does offer a forever free service up to 1000 subscribers. It then goes up to $10 a month for up to 2500 subscribers and then $20 dollars up to 5000. So this is a relatively cheap option for anyone.
Its functionality is easier to use than mailchimp in my opinion. It also uses drag and drop with a choice of templates, though these are quite limited. You can have pop ups and landing pages. It offers A/B split testing and will give you campaign reports. It also has recently included an IPad app for emailing on the go. It offers a large range of products you can integrate it with so it does have most things covered.
Its customer service is by email only but they do have comprehensive and easy to understand training to get you started. If you want to check out Mailerlite click here.
I think with all things it is about weighing up the pros and cons with each autoresponder. In my opinion if you are serious about growing your email list, and you should be, then either Aweber or GetResponse should be your choice. The only difference is whether you want your landing pages included with your Autoresponder (Getresponse) or you want to use a dedicated landing page supplier separately (Aweber)
If money is an issue and you don’t mind transferring your email lists over at a later date then my suggestion would be Mailerlite as it is easier to use than Mailchimp.
I hope you have found my review of autoresponders useful. Obviously there are others on the market but any of these four will not see you go wrong in creating your email list.
If you have experience of any of these or want to suggest others you have found useful, just leave me a comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.
With Grace and Gratitude
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