How To Pick The Best Email Autoresponder Service or
Software For Your Business
What They Are ... How To Use Them ... The 3 Main
Types ... All The Important Features ... The Best Picks ... The #1 Secret For
Generating Leads ... & Why Autoresponders Are The Best Way To
Maintain Constant Communications ...
Everyday, new ideas and methods for online business and marketing show up on the Internet, but email
autoresponders still stand out as the most important marketing tool on the Internet. Nothing else lets you maintain consistent communications
and constant contact with your customers and simultaneously save your time as well. Furthermore, many of the better
autoresponders even have services to help you get traffic and build your customer list.
What Is An Email Autoresponder?
An email autoresponder is a webserver-based software application that sends a pre-written sequence of emails (text or HTML) according to a pre-defined schedule when someone joins (or is added to) your email list. For example, if you have written four emails, you can tell the
autoresponder to send the first email as soon as someone joins your list, and then send email #2 two days later, email #3 the next day, and the 4th email six days later. Some
autoresponders also let you send an email out to everyone on the list anytime you wish; this is called a "broadcast".
There are many ways to use email autoresponders and lots of features to consider when selecting your
autoresponder. However, the benefits can be summarized as providing a way to provide consistent communications
and constant contact with your customers, employees, suppliers, etc. as well as impromptu messages. This is important for several reasons:
- First, it has been proven many times most potential customers will not make a purchase until they have seen you and your sales message seven times on average; this is true for both online and offline sales. By writing a sequence of at least seven emails, you can remind your customer you and your product or service exist; this ensures they don't forget about you or where they saw that product or service that caught their eye.
- Secondly, it costs a lot more to get a new customer than it does to keep and cultivate an existing customer. So, if you catch the eye of a potential customer, you can keep in
constant contact with him via a sequence of emails automatically, and
save yourself time and increase your sales simultaneously. Just imagine the time an
autoresponder will save you versus trying to keep in touch with thousands of potential customers manually.
- Finally, it's much easier to send a single email to your entire list of customers
via an autoresponder broadcast to announce a new special offer, new service, or just say "Happy Holidays" than via just about any other media. Assume you have a thousand existing customers on your
autoresponder email list; compare the time and money it would cost to mail them all a written letter or holiday card versus drafting an email and broadcasting it to all of them simultaneously.
Autoresponders can be used for many different applications: a sequence of sales messages, training or mini-courses, and special alerts just to name a few.
There are many important features to consider before you invest in one. One especially important example is cost; most
autoresponders offer a competitive initial cost (usually less than $20 per month),
but the costs can skyrocket as your list grows or if you want to add different campaigns (i.e., sequences of emails). Since these concepts are fairly comprehensive, additional articles on these specific topics and more are available at the link provided below.
In today's competitive market, customers are inundated with advertising and keeping customers has become extremely difficult. If you have an online presence, whether your business is an Internet business or you just have a supplementary presence on the Internet,
you need an autoresponder for your business. It will help you acquire customers, keep your customers, cut your expenses, and increase your revenues. Find the best
autoresponder for your business, and get one today.
An autoresponder is the #1 secret for successful online
Autoresponders will automatically inform, train, and remind a potential customer he needs your product or service. They do this by sending a series of pre-written emails based on a schedule you define in advance.
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3 Types Of Autoresponders
There are basically three types of autoresponders: free, professional (i.e., paid for), and your own
software. Later in this article, I will present what I consider to be the best of each type and
why. There are obviously pros and cons for each type.
The primary advantage of free autoresponders is they are FREE. However,
free autoresponders usually have three significant disadvantages: (1) they limit the number of subscribers you can have on your list, (2) they limit the number of messages you can use per campaign. And (3) they insert advertisements in your messages.
Your second option is to use professional autoresponders. In my personal opinion, this is the best option for most online marketers.
Pro autoresponders tend to offer all the best features with zero maintenance and installation issues and no extraneous advertisements. This frees up your time to focus on marketing and product development. The primary downside is the cost ... which varies widely. We will discuss this more in a moment, and I will show you how to get your professional
autoresponder for free.
The third option is to use your own autoresponder software. If you use good software, this is also a good option.
The price is a one-time expense, but you have to know a fair amount about software and fixing
it, and it can be really annoying and sometimes baffling when your Internet Service Provider changes settings without telling you.
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How To Select The Best Autoresponder For Your Business
Determining which autoresponder is best for your business starts with understanding how you plan to use your
autoresponder and understanding the various features available. Don’t worry if you don’t understand the features mentioned here; all the features are discussed in detail later in this article.
So, how do you plan to use your autoresponder, and what features do you value most?
Do plan to build a huge list? If you plan to build a huge list and cost matters to you (and I can’t imagine why it wouldn’t), you absolutely need an
autoresponder that does NOT limit the number of subscribers per email campaign and does not raise prices as your list of subscribers grows.
Do you expect to write one sequence of emails (a.k.a., a “campaign”) or do you plan to write more than one? If you think you may want more than three campaigns, you need to select a service with unlimited campaigns.
How many emails do you plan to have in your campaigns? Pretty much all
autoresponders let you have up to 10 emails per campaign. If you want more than 10 emails, free
autoresponders are not an option in most cases.
Do you need broadcasting? There is so much power in broadcasting, I would recommend you don’t second guess this one; just make sure you have it.
Do you have good computer programming skills and does your web host provider limit the number of emails you send per hour or per day? If you are uncomfortable with programming, prefer not to spend time on installations, or have any email limits whatsoever from your web host provider, you should avoid
autoresponder software you install and maintain yourself.
Some autoresponders also offer other advertising options such as FFA pages, banner advertising, ad-tracking, and guaranteed traffic which are valuable to your business. You should consider an
autoresponder that includes all of these features or at least the ones most important to you.
Are you interested in making additional money by referring others to join your
autoresponder service? If so, look over the referral commission opportunities.
Finally, all businesses strive to minimize costs. So you should also consider joining an
autoresponder service that offers override commissions if you refer others to join the service. Many such services essentially let you ride for free if you refer 3 new accounts. If you refer more than 3, or if your referrals make referrals, you can even earn money from your
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What Features Are Important In Selecting Your
Regardless of which type you choose, the important features are the same. The primary difference is which features are available for any particular
autoresponder. In this section, I will identify and briefly discuss the important features to consider.
Number of Campaigns:
This and the next three features are by far the most important to
consider. The number of campaigns is how many different series of emails you are allowed to create. For example, if you offer three products and/or services, you might need three campaigns (one to sell each product or service), or you might need six campaigns (one to sell each product or service and one to train your buying customers on each product or service).
Ideally, your selected responder will allow unlimited campaigns.
Number of Messages:
The service you select must have no less than seven messages allowed per campaign to be really useful. The good thing about this is I have never seen one that limits you to less than 10 messages; even the free responders typically allow 10 emails.
Ideally, your selected service will allow unlimited messages or emails per campaign.
Number of Subscribers:
Another extremely important feature is the maximum number of subscribers allowed per campaign.
This is one of the truly discriminating features of all three
types. Free responders tend to have a fixed limit on the number of subscribers.
Autoresponder software is typically NOT limited by the number of subscribers, but your web host probably limits the number of emails your account can send per hour which is effectively a subscriber limit for your software.
Even many pro responders have a virtual limit on the number of subscribers by charging you a monthly fee based on the number of subscribers (either per campaign or total across all your campaigns).
The ideal responder will allow unlimited subscribers per campaign with no increase in price.
Broadcasting is an important feature that allows you to send impromptu,
one-time emails to everyone on your list. As previously stated, this is invaluable for announcements, special offers, and just keeping in touch.
I would not join any service without the broadcasting
HTML is the language used to display websites, and using it in your emails tends to capture the attention of your customers better
than simple text emails. If you can build a web page ... or even just format text in Microsoft Word (e.g., bolded, underlined, and colored text) ... HTML is an important feature to consider.
I find the easiest way to use HTML is to build your email as a web page in Microsoft FrontPage, and then click the HTML tab and Select All. Then copy it and paste it into the HTML message field of your
autoresponder service. Be sure to send yourself a copy of the campaign so you can ensure your formatting translated properly.
Importing & Exporting:
The responder you select should have the ability to import and export your customer
list. Importing is important for adding customers by hand, and exporting is important to backup your customer list in case the computer system fails. Make sure you choose your
autoresponder service carefully since most services will not let you import from another service due to spamming concerns.
I think every autoresponder under the sun offers personalization, but verify this before you buy one.
Personalization means you can enter wild card fields in your
emails, and the system will read that field from your customer data and insert it in the email (preferably in both the body and the subject of the email).
For example, if your prospect name is John Doe, the responder will insert John everywhere you use the wild card field, **FIRSTNAME**.
NOTE: The personalization fields are different from responder service to another. So be sure to read the instructions for your service before using this feature.
This is another really important feature. I recommend you send an email or call the customer support for any service you are considering before you buy just to verify they are responsive. I have not used customer support very often, but when you need it, it is very frustrating when you get no reply for several days.
Make sure it is unlimited and free; Run away - do not walk - from any service that charges you for customer support.
Spam Check Analyzer:
At least one professional service offers the Spam Check analyzer feature. First, you write your email and then run it through the spam analyzer.
The spam analyzer will highlight any words or phrases likely to get classified as junk mail
by a spam blocker. This is a nifty feature, but most services do not have it.
NOTE: You can get independent software that will analyze your messages before you import them into your
Track Email Open Rate:
This is a slick feature that tracks how many of your emails are actually opened and compares it to when people drop out of your sequence. A noticeable drop-out trend can flag you to take a look at the email where most people get out so you can assess why and then correct the problem.
This is a really nice feature where you can refer others to the responder service and you get compensation for
each referral. Some of the professional services are essentially free after you have sponsored three
referrals. You can even make a monthly profit if you sponsor enough referrals. The best plans offer substantial referral compensation on multiple levels; in other words, you get compensated when people you refer sponsor others.
Lead Generation or Capture Pages:
When you create a campaign, your autoresponder should allow you to create a sign-up form you can put on your web page(s).
This is the primary way you will get people on your customer list. Every responder I
have ever seen provides this feature.
Email Registration Links:
Some services (generally only the pro versions) allow you to embed a simple link in an email that will automatically add customers to your list when they click on the link. This is a nice feature not available on all
Some pro responders allow you to purchase leads to add to your campaigns. Some services also offer other free ways to get sign-ups on your email campaigns. This is always a nice option to have.
Works With Your ISP:
An ISP is your Internet Service Provider (i.e., the company that provides your Internet access). I have only seen two pro services that offer this free service. Basically,
what they do is work to keep ISPs from blacklisting emails sent from the
autoresponder company domain name.
For example, my autoresponder service works with ISPs to keep emails sent from their accounts from being blocked as spam. This is a fairly rare, but very valuable service.
The last, but certainly not the least, feature I am including here is the price. Prices range all over the place primarily because
many of the pro services charge per campaign and/or by the number of
subscribers. Some of them can cost thousands of dollars per month for very large customer lists. However, you can get the exact same service, and in some cases much better service, with much lower cost providers. Once again, however, the trick is to
assess cost versus # of campaigns, # of messages per campaign, and # of subscribers allowed.
WARNING: Be sure you check out all these features
before you sign up for an auto responder service. You Do NOT Want to
switch responder services once you sign up; it can devastate your
business. The reason is it takes time to build your customer list, and
most responder services will not let you add customers to their
service unless you can prove the customers asked to be on your list.
This means if you switch companies, you will normally have to start
over building your customer list.
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In this section, I will present a few ideas on how you can use autoresponders for your business. I'm not going into depth on any particular idea; I just want to throw the ideas out for you to think about.
- Create a sequence of sales letters for your product or service
for a tool for generating sales letters designed for autoresponders; this is a nice tool for only $7 if you don't like writing or you prefer not to invest the time)
- Create a sequence of follow-up emails to deliver your product download links and bonuses
- Create a training sequence for purchased products.
- Create a mini-course to help sell your product or service
- Create a special report you deliver via autoresponder (Click
Here for an example)
- Create a sequence of "Thanks for Buying" and "Let us know if you need any help" letters for customers who recently bought.
- Broadcast special offers, announcements, and/or holiday messages to your entire customer list.
These are just a few ideas; you are limited only by your imagination.
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We have discussed pretty much everything you need to know about autoresponders. Now, you can conduct an educated search for the best
autoresponder that meets your business needs. However, I have already done the research, and I have uncovered what I believe is the best of each type of
autoresponder for all businesses, organizations, and groups. My recommendations and justifications are provided below:
The Best FREE Autoresponder:
The best Free autoresponder is www.FreeAutobot.com
It is a bit cumbersome in that each campaign has its own username and it limits your subscribers to 10,000, but it allows 20 messages (more if you ask), and they don't ad other advertisements to your emails.
The best autoresponder Software I have found is called, "My
Autoresponder Pro". It's a really nice, powerful program for just $59.95 one-time cost. This powerful software offers the following:
- Unlimited campaigns
- Unlimited messages per campaign
- Unlimited subscribers
- Personalize your messages
- Broadcast messages
- Import and export your subscriber lists
- Generate HTML sign-up forms
- Use plain-text or HTML emails
- Free Customer Support (although you may wait several days for a response)
- No monthly fees
- And you can't beat the price, just $59.95
- It's even fairly easy to install and maintain.
The primary limitation is how many emails your web host allows you to send per hour, and it can be very annoying to track down problems which usually occur because your web host changed permissions. Nevertheless, if you are fairly comfortable with computers and software, you can
get your copy of "MyAutoResponderPro" by clicking
The best professional service I have found is the TrafficWave
autoresponder. TrafficWave, offers the best of all the features listed above except the Spam Blocker which I have only found at GetResponse. Aweber is also a popular choice, but Aweber costs more and limits you to 500 subscribers unless you pay more.
TrafficWave offers all this:
- Unlimited campaigns
- Unlimited messages per campaign
- Unlimited subscribers per campaign
- HTML and plain-text emails
- Importing and exporting your customer list
- Unlimited free customer support
- Email tracking
- Lead generation
- Email sign-up links
- ISP interaction
- Ad Tracking
- Free FFA page and Banner ad campaigns to help you generate more sign-ups
- A very lucrative referral program
- Monthly ad co-op opportunities to get referrals and build recurring income
- 30-Day Free Trial
All this for only $17.95 per month regardless of how many subscribers you sign up or how many campaigns you
create, and you can even try them out for 30-days for free. You can
click here for a complete listing of all the features TrafficWave
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TrafficWave Autoresponder - Click Here for
free overview report.
Fill out the "Free Report" box for a free mini-course on the
"Power of Autoresponders".
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I am absolutely convinced that TrafficWave is the #1 Best Choice for anyone that needs an
autoresponder. However, if you would like to check out the other 2 most-popular professional
autoresponders, you can click the links below:
How To Get Your Paid
Autoresponder Service For FREE
All you have to do to get your professional
autoresponder service for free is select a service that offers a
recurring monthly commission for anyone you refer to join the
For example, if 3 people join Trafficwave through your
affiliate link, your subscription to Trafficwave is free as long as you
have at least 3 sign-ups. In fact, Trafficwave uses a 3 x 10 Forced
Matrix which means if you refer more than 3, the next person you refer
is placed under one of the first 3 who joined under you. Similarly, if
people you referred refers others, they will go in your organization as
well and you will both receive a monthly commission.
You can receive commissions up to 10 levels deep which
means you can make $88,587 per month. This way ... not only is your
professional autoresponder subscription free ... but you actually get
paid for your subscription. You can read more about this (with
easy-to-understand diagrams) by clicking
Now you know that the Trafficwave
Autoresponder is the #1 Secret to Online Business Marketing Success
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