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What Is An Autoresponder?

Lots of people talk about auto responders and how you can use them to grow your business online. But what actually is an auto responder?

Quite simply, it’s a piece of software that enables you to send emails to people automatically. This doesn’t mean that it writes the emails for you and it doesn’t involve spam or sending unsolicited email. What it means is that you set up a sequence of prewritten emails that are sent out to prospects on your database at regular intervals.

The importance of this cannot be underestimated. Time and time again internet marketing gurus tell you that the money is in the list. This is not by accident. The online marketing specialists know that this is fact. The more people you have on a mailing list that is interested in your products or services, the more sales you will make.

You can use an auto responder to essentially send emails out to your prospect list, even when you’re not at a computer. What you do is you create, lets say, a seven part email course. Then you can set the intervals for the emails to, say, once a day and send them one part of the course each day. So you write the emails one time and then anyone joining that list will automatically be sent those emails for the next seven days.

This doesn’t matter if you’re online or if you’re away from the computer. They will get sent automatically. They also get added to the list automatically. And if they choose to unsubscribe, all of that is taken care of without you having to lift a finger.

The main benefit to using an auto responder is connected to the fact that the majority of people need to be told about a product seven times before they buy it. So I want to ask you, how many times are you telling your visitors about your product? Chances are it’s less than seven.

They’ll land on your homepage or somewhere else on your website and they’ll look at your offering, but the majority of your sites visitors will disappear. So unless you can get them onto an opt-in mailing list, either a course or free information that is of multi-part format, the chances are you will have lost them forever. You can use an auto responder to send these messages out to people with their permission convincing them and educating them about your product.

This is simply a form of permission marketing. People will give you their permission to receive emails in return for you giving them free, quality information. Do not load the messages with over-hyped sales pitches, but give them real quality information with a small mention about your product at the end.

What you’ll find is that people come to know you and grow to trust you over time as you send them more and more information. The longer you can maintain this relationship with them, the more likely they are to actually buy from you.

he beauty of this is that using an auto responder saves you the costs of printing, posting and packaging and enables you to contact and keep in touch with all your prospects around the clock without actually having to do anything.

Which Auto responder service is the best?

As an Internet Marketing Mentor I have frequently been asked this question. It is a question that to be perfectly honest I had no solid answer. After all who am I to judge which is the best? I have my own opinions on the services I have used but I have not used every service. So to find out I made a few surveys & sent them out to my list to find the answer.

 

In reverse order here are the top 6…

6. Mail Chimp

Mail chimp does have a “Forever free” plan available, which is cool if you are totally broke or if you just want to test what an auto responder is like. But it limits how many subscribers you can have & how many emails you can send. When your list gets too big for that type of account, you then have to start paying the usual price plan. Their free trial is one of the best out there but their service as a whole is pretty box standard.

5. Constant contact

The pricing of constant contact is fairly reasonable. They have most the features you would expect from an auto responder but also have some cool additional features such as online customer surveys (a bit like you would expect from survey monkey) & a handy little event management system to promote seminars, webinars etc. At the time of writing this article they offer a free 60 day trial to test the service.

4. Icontact

Icontant claim to have a deliverability rate of 99%. They have all the features you would need from an auto responder including a very cool list segmentation feature which allows you to send relevant messages to specific, targeted groups within your contact lists. Their pricing all in all is very similar to constant contact & mail chimp but there are more milestones in which prices change in accordance to list size.

3. Infusionsoft

Now let’s get one thing straight, those who use Infusionsoft absolutely love it! But it is much more than just an auto responder. It’s like a business in a box. On top of a very decent email marketing service, it is also a diary & calendar, it sends faxes, sms & direct mail, it is an affiliate management system, a shopping cart & payment processor, it creates orders & invoices and includes a whole host of other features too. It is the Guru’s weapon of choice.

So you are probably thinking if it is so great then, then why is it coming in at number 3 in your list? The reason is because of all the awesome features it comes with; it comes with a not so awesome price tag. This is for the seasoned, serious business owner who has a more than average budget. My advice to the beginner or newbie would be to just steer clear unless you know it is going to be worth the investment & good fit for your business.

As an all-round integrated business solution its number one no doubt about it, but as a simple auto responder it came in at number 3.

2. Get response

Get response have some pretty awesome features. They have a pretty advanced web form builder, split testing ability, really good video marketing options & they even have email to speech capability so your subscribers can listen to their emails! Their prices are more competitive than most & they are one of the most widely recognised auto responders so their deliverability rate is good too. All round it is a very good service.

1. Aweber

You guessed it Aweber were voted top of the list. Primarily having been in business for over 12 years means they have the best deliverability out there as they are such a well known brand. Their strict no-spam policy means email providers trust them. They are the market leaders for a very good reason. They have most features & capabilities that should be expected to come with an auto responder & not only that but right now they are the best on price too. It wasn’t always that way but today as I write this article they have the most competitive pricing on the market & some very flexible payment plans too. For these reasons it is the service which I personally use & according to my surveys, most of my readers do too.

 

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