The importance of email in digital marketing cannot be overstated. The inbox receives more regular engagement across board than any other medium of reaching customers. That includes social media too because although people spend a lot of time on it, they are less likely to find and engage with specific content. According to a study by HubSpot, more than half of internet marketers say that they get the highest ROI from e-mail marketing.
Although you’ll need various software and features for a successful e-mail marketing strategy, the autoresponder sequence is one of the most important. They are quite simple, in principle – a series of emails that are automatically sent out when certain preconditions are met.
Beyond that though, a well-executed autoresponder sequence can be a lot more. You can use an autoresponder to welcome subscribers or to pitch a product over a period. You can even use an autoresponder as a lead magnet, as with an email course or regular delivery of resources.
Regardless of the particular marketing goals you have in mind, having a solid autoresponder service will help you achieve them effectively. If you’re considering which one to get, you’re at the right place. In this article, we’ll go through the features you need to look out for and compare the best options you should consider.
Although there are a multitude of features which are present in autoresponder software, the following are the most crucial. In making your decision, you should focus on them to see which one is best for you.
It’s a good thing to have a large mailing list, but it’s even better if that list is segmented by characteristics. That would allow you to extensively customize your emails to suit those characteristics, thus increasing your open rates.
Segmentation would be very useful if you sell multiple products or services, for instance. You’d be able to tag leads by which products they had purchased or shown interest in. That way, instead of sending them a general email, you’d be able to send highly targeted messages based on their prior activity and location in your sales funnel. You’d get more sales that way.
Whichever autoresponder service provider you choose should be one that allows you to segment your lists simply and effectively. Most services (and all the ones on this list) allow you to segment, but there are marked differences in how efficient their processes are.
With the rise of AI and data analytics in various aspects of digital marketing, it’s no surprise that marketing automation is now a big deal in e-mail marketing as well. The auto responder you choose should be one that incorporates automation well.
With automation, you can create effective drip marketing campaigns, content upgrades, web push notifications and a lot more. You can also implement automated cleaning processes for your lists. That way, you’ll be able to remove people who are not engaging with your lists. You should be able to set custom parameters, depending on your goals.
No single marketing software can handle all your marketing needs. Whether you’re an individual content creator or a business, you probably have multiple software for different aspects of your marketing strategy.
To make the best of them, it’d be helpful to have the different software integrated with one another. That way, you can share information between them seamlessly. With that information sharing in place, it’ll be easy to take certain actions in different software based on your overall strategy without needing to manually transfer data from one marketing service provider to another for every campaign.
For your e-mail marketing, integration will help small businesses categorize and engage with your subscribers efficiently. Hence, it’s important to consider integration third-party tools when choosing which autoresponder service to sign up for. Some allow Zapier integration and others have the function natively, but it’s crucial to be certain before you begin.
As a business or individual, you’re likely concerned (and rightly so) about how much you’ll need to shell out for any specific tool.
It’s important to keep pricing in mind as you consider your options, but it’s more important to consider value as a bigger priority. Some marketing tools might cost more but give you more features and possibilities to boost your marketing and profitability.
With all that being said, it’s time to take a thorough look at the Best Autoresponders for your e-mail marketing strategy.
Although it came to the market recently, ConvertKit has become one of the most popular e-mail marketing services. A lot of the company’s marketing is targeted at bloggers and other content creators, as opposed to enterprise users. It has also seen a lot of use by the affiliate marketing community. Thus, their features are tailored toward those audiences as well.
The tool excels in segmentation, with more ways to tag your leads effectively. You can also access a variety of automation options to improve your engagement and open rates. For instance, you can use the conditional email feature for an amazing level of email customization. You can also set up auto resend broadcasts to target un-opens.
Getting ConvertKit will cost you $29 per month for the most affordable plan. That’ll allow you to grow your mailing list to a maximum of 1000 subscribers and send …. number of emails. The good thing is that they offer a 30-day refund guarantee if you’re not satisfied with what you’re getting.
This tool has been around for quite some time and is still a favorite among internet marketing professionals. It has an impressive array of integration options with third-party tools. Those allow you to connect AWeber with a slew of other services, sharing data to make your marketing efforts more effective.
If you run an ecommerce website, for instance, you can connect AWeber to your Ecommerce software to access more segmentation options. You’ll be able to create lists based on user activity such as which opt-in form they subscribed with, which links they clicked, which products they bought and a lot more. You can also integrate with WordPress, Facebook, and other social media and marketing platforms, PayPal, etc.
You can get a 30-day free trial period when you sign up. After that, the subscription prices range from $19 per month (500 subscribers) to $149 per month (25,000) subscribers.
GetResponse is also an SME focused tool, though it can be used by individuals or even larger companies. It features an intuitive interface that makes it very easy to create and design your emails. Even more advanced features such as setting up a push notification are easy to find and use.
You can set time-based or action-based cues to customize your autoresponder sequence. For more complicated marketing campaigns, there’s a handy flowchart tool that makes it easy to visually customize your autoresponder sequence using a wide range of user actions. There’s also some automation included in the segmentation features. Issues such as double opt-in are automatically resolved, for instance.
GetResponse’s ‘Email’ plan which is at the low end will cost you £10 per month for a mailing list size of up to 1000. If your list is larger, the price will increase commensurately, up to £300 for a list that’s 100,000 subscribers large. For the top-notch ‘Enterprise’ plan, you’ll pay £999 for a 100,000-subscriber list.
When it comes to professional newsletter campaigns, iContact autoresponder is one of the foremost names in the industry. It has a functional design and a lot of useful features with which you can boost your e-mail marketing.
There are four design services in iContact – message conversion, message repair, template creation, and opt-in form creation. The marketing software offers a level of customization that you won’t get with many of the competitors. You can tweak the templates available to your satisfaction or create a brand new one. Either way, you’d be sure of getting an attractive design if you use the marketing tools properly.
In addition to the design features, there’s also a spam check feature which analyses your message and notifies you if it’s likely to set off spam filters. By fixing whatever issues are identified, you’d raise your deliverability rate significantly.
iContact autoresponder is squarely middle of the road when it comes to pricing. You’ll pay $14 for up to 500 emails and $117 for up to 15,000 emails. If you want the more advanced features, then the ‘PRO’ plan will run you $99 for 500 emails and $249 for 15,000 emails.
In evaluating Drip, the first thing you’ll notice is that they offer a completely free plan. If you have 100 or less subscribers, you can use drip to set up and send autoresponder sequences for free. It’s great for promoting your new blog posts as your audience grows. When your list is larger, you’ll have to subscribe to one of their paid plans which start at $48 per month. From there, you’ll pay more for more emails, as with other services. The prices are somewhat higher than others on the list, but they offer quite the suite of features to justify it.
Beyond the price, Drip excels in the areas of list segmentation and marketing automation. They focus on using tags and events instead of displaying a list in entirety. The events are like tags but more advanced. By integrating with other platforms, Drip segments your list according to specified user actions such as purchases, clicks. etc. Other autoresponder services offer similar features, but Drip’s is significantly more advanced and granular.
Another area where Drip stands out is in the extent and reliability of their support. They offer live chat support, specialized training, free guides, superb documentation, and even webinars. With that amount of information at your fingertips, it’s easy to get up and running with Drip.
If you’ve subscribed for more than a few opt-in forms, you’ll likely have come across the Mailchimp logo quite frequently. The reason for that is simple – Mailchimp offers an extensive forever free plan. The marketing platform is completely free as long as you have less than 2,000 emails in your list and send less than 12,000 emails per month.
The UI is straightforward and very intuitive. You’ll be able to set up your autoresponder sequence and begin sending emails in no time at all. There’s an email builder with myriad templates to help you design your email using a simple drag and drop interface. Regardless of the affiliate program or product you’re promoting, you’ll be able to find a suitable template.
You can also segment your contacts into groups or attach tags to them. If you’re sending emails to a worldwide audience, it’s possible to set up your emails to deliver at the same time in different time zones. Mailchimp is spectacular when it comes to integrations, especially when it comes to ecommerce. You can use WordPress, WooCommerce, Magento, Shopify, and many others.
Paid plans (which gives you access to advanced segmentation, send-time optimization, split testing etc.) begins at $10 per month for up to 500 emails.
Like MailChimp, Constant Contact autoresponder is also reputed for its simple, intuitive interface. It’s easy to set things up and create sign-up forms, manage your lists, contacts, templates, calendar and other components of your e-mail marketing strategy.
Apart from those basics, Constant Contact autoresponder comes with advanced email automation features and a wide range of integrations to suit any need. You can connect your account to your e-commerce software seamlessly, social media accounts (including Facebook ads) and many others.
Also, Constant Contact is renowned in the industry for the level of support which they offer to users. You can reach them by virtually any means, including phone calls, live chat on their website, email etc. The support also includes an extensive library containing helpful resources and documentation.
Pricing begins at $20 per month, but you can get a free trial of up to 60 days before you begin paying.
The seven email autoresponder services which have been analyzed so far are all capable autoresponder software. They can all be beneficial to your marketing strategy if used properly. Despite that, there are significant differences which would make them more suitable for certain use cases than others.
To be able to determine the best one for you, it’ll be crucial to carry out a thorough evaluation of the features via their websites. Where there’s a free autoresponder trial available, you should also consider signing up and trying out the features with a small sample list.
Overall, the way you implement the autoresponder software is going to be the biggest determinant of your marketing success. Whichever one you choose, be sure to take the time to learn the best practices of e-mail marketing. If you stay up to date with the trends and apply the latest info, you’ll be sure to make massive ROI on your e-mail marketing investment and efforts.
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