Email Marketing – Auto Responders

An email marketing auto responder is an online system where online businesses can make regular contact with their customers via email, be this to provide further tips and strategies to their customers about the product/service they have purchased in order to further their online business endeavours.  This is called email marketing.  Hence, the email marketing auto responder is simply the email platform you use to make this task relatively automatic. For example: The emails can be written in advance (similar to how you can schedule a Facebook post) and the system will send the email to customers at the designated time selected.  There are many and varied email marketing auto responders available and we will only discuss a few of them.

Many marketers will very proudly inform people "the money is in the list".  However, these same people tend to forget the other half of the equation, which is:

"Look after your list and ensure you provide increased value to your customers, so they become a customer for the long term".

When first starting your online endeavours a broad range of people will encourage you to obtain an auto responder service. This being, your broadband provider can limit the number of emails you can send out at the same time. The challenge can be there are a number of email auto responder services, so which one should you choose?  At (EDP) Every Day People Communications we have tested a range of email auto responder services over the years, so we thought we would provide you with the Pros and Cons of the various providers, for you to undertake your own research and due diligence.

Some Email Marketing Auto Responders are:

Mad Mimi:

Currently we are using Mad Mimi for our email marketing efforts.  Whilst the system is rather basic at present we have decided to put Mad Mimi through it's paces as we require to ascertain whether for the time being this is a good alternative as an auto responder.  It does take a wee bit of getting used to as the terminology they use is rather different to the normal auto responders.

Pros:

  • Free version up to 100 emails.
  • Unlimited campaigns can be developed and sent.
  • Email campaigns can be scheduled in advance.
  • There is a range of integrations, including third party integrations to support and assist your endeavours including a range of well known content relationship managements systems; as well as Facebook.
  • There are 3 plans:  Free, Pro and Jumbo.  Check out the Pro plan (especially the drop down menu) because you can gradually increase your plan as the sizes of your email marketing lists increased.  - Avoid being fooled into paying for 10,000 contacts (which is the default setting for the Pro version) when you are nowhere near having lists of this size.

Cons:

  • One has to wrap one's head around the different terminology that Mad Mimi uses as opposed to other auto responder providers.  For example the list is called "Audience".  Same thing - different terminology!
  • The templates are rather basic however there are some small options available.

Get Response:

Get Response

Get Response is a highly reputable email auto responder provider and one of the easiest systems we have found a person can you use.  They are American based, however, do have excellent support and also excellent online information.  We keep coming back to Get Response at various times, after testing out other platforms and still find this one of the easiest systems to use.

Pros:

  • Have a broad range of templates that can be used, including seasonal or special events.  You can take a template and massage the template to fit your needs and save the new template for future use.
  • Emails can be scheduled and you can also select that the email is sent in the time zone of your customers, which is a very handy feature if you have customers world-wide.
  • You can create relatively easy squeeze (or landing) pages from a range of templates and/or again change a specific template to brand your business.
  • It is very easy to either upload or download your email contacts via a CSV file to save on your computer.
  • Whilst we haven't personally tried their webinar platform, this is a plus if you want to communicate with your customers via webinars either to provide additional tips and strategies to your customers.  (Available from the Pro Package onwards.)
  • They offer a free trial period so you can test out their system for yourself.
  • There is a range of pricing plans in order for you to start small and increase as your business increases.
  • You can integrate the Get Reponse platform with your Facebook Fan Page account.

Cons:

  • There really is not any major cons with Get Response.
  • You will need to be aware of the currency exchange as all prices are in USD dollars and not the currency of the country you reside in.
  • Each plan has a maximum limit of email contacts and if your customer base becomes large you will need to upgrade your plan.
  • Can be a wee challenge to integrate with your WordPress site or blog.

TrafficWave

TrafficWave

TrafficWave is an interesting choice.  Whilst we have tested this system, we found that the features are very basic, which is understandable in a sense, because this provider offers unlimited email contacts as part of the flat price monthly plan.

Pros:

  • Offer a 30 day free trial to check out their system.
  • If your customer base is large, this provider might be suitable for your business.
  • Provide a broad range of information to support your business email marketing endeavours.
  • The system is relatively easy to set up and use, however not as straightforward as one would hope..

Cons:

  • Whilst there are templates, the templates are relatively basic.
  • This provider sends copious emails to you as the account holder, which can become tiresome in itself, more along the lines of wanting you to promote their service and platform.
  • You will need to be aware of the currency exchange rates as the monthly fee is in USD dollars.

Aweber:

AWeber Email Marketing Auto Responder

We will be very honest and upfront here.  It has been many years since we have used the AWeber platform, hence, our information can potentially be considered out of date.  AWeber is a highly reputable email marketing provider, hence we have included them in our list of email auto responders because many vendors consider the AWeber platform an excellent platform to use.

Pros:

  • Offer a 30 day free trial.
  • You can customise their templates to brand your business and email marketing campaigns.

Cons:

  • At the time, we found this platform rather a challenging platform to use, however, if you can get used to it, you may find this platform will suit your needs.
  • This platform is the slightly more expensive platform of the platforms we have outlined.
  • You will need to be aware of the exchange rate as the monthly fees are in USD dollars.

GVO:

GVO Virtual Opportunities

This platform is more than an email marketing auto responder platform, providing a broad range of other products/services they really want their customers to promote for them.

Pros:

  • If you want web hosting also this might be the platform for you where you can combine your web hosting and email auto responder into the one account.
  • Gogvo are currently (at time of writing June 2016) in pre launch for their new webinar system, Meet Cheap.  Meet Cheap has been around for quite some years, however, clearly now come under the Gogvo business model.

Cons:

  • This is a challenging email marketing system to use.  Hence, you will need to take the time to learn this system.
  • The email marketing templates are minimal and cannot be fully customised the way you might like.
  • The monthly fee is the most affordable of all 4 platforms, however, you will also again need to be aware of the currency exchange rate as it is in USD dollars.
  • There are so many products/services, that it can become rather confusing and as already stated they really want to push their products/services to their customers and have their customers promote same.

Mail Chimp

Mail Chimp - Email Marketing Auto Responder

Mail Chimp has both a free and paid version.  However please be aware that if you use the free version for your online business endeavours you run the risk of Mail Chimp suspending your account.  Hence, whilst we have included this platform, we do seriously suggest you be very, very careful what you are using the platform for.

One Pro of the paid version is that Mail Chimp undertake the currency conversion hence you know what you will be paying in your country's currency.