One of the activities you must focus on to be profitable online, is building and engaging with an email list. It’s much easier selling to existing customers and warm leads then it is cold visitors to your website or social media profiles.
Online marketers will often tell you that ‘the money is in the list’. It’s true but an important part of that is where you actually keep the list!
If you aren’t using a reputable autoresponder service, with great deliverability, then you might find that, despite your best efforts, your email marketing doesn’t work.
What is an Autoresponder?
An autoresponder is a tool that automatically sends a series of pre-prepared emails as the result of a certain trigger. Anyone who signs up to it gets those emails sent as a timed sequence based usually on when they signed up / got the first one.
These can be a great way to introduce yourself and really engage with your audience, by creating a series of emails with useful content, explanations of what you do and including some calls to action.
The same platform will usually also allow you to send what are called ‘broadcast’ emails, scheduled to go to everyone at a certain time.
Use a Reputable Autoresponder
It’s really important to use a reputable company otherwise your emails might not be delivered or, worst still, you might get lots of spam complaints, which will affect future email delivery.
Not all autoresponders are made equal – some are definitely better than others!
Avoid using self-hosted autoresponders! They usually don’t have the features and automation that managed services provide. They are usual available for a low one-time fee, which can make them seem attractive but it really is a case of ‘you get what you pay for’.
If you have deliverability issues, you will have to sort them out yourself. You’ll find that their features are lacking and customisation is difficult. And what you really need is a company investing in improving their platform and ensuring deliverability, which you usually only get with an ongoing subscription or yearly fee.
There are many providers to choose from and it can be hard to decide which will work best for you. As with many things, getting a recommendation can be a really helpful way to help you to decide which email marketing autoresponder to invest in. So, here is my recommendation for AWeber!
AWeber – My Recommended Autoresponder
I have been a customer of AWeber for over fifteen years and I’m also now one of their ‘AWeber Certified Experts‘. I love the platform, have always found it reliable and, in recent years, have been impressed with the developments that are constantly happening to keep them at the forefront of the autoresponder space.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of AWeber…
If autoresponders were animals, AWeber would be a dinosaur. It’s probably the oldest autoresponder of the lot and was around when online marketing began.
That probably explains why it’s still popular even though some of the latest email marketing platforms like ConvertKit and Active Campaign are very popular. T
Nevertheless, AWeber is still a goliath among the giants of email marketing and is a solid, proven and trusted autoresponder.
AWeber has a great pricing strategy. You can start on a free account, until you have 500 subscribers and, even then, the first tier of pricing is still very affordable. Go here to see the latest price options.
• Wide selection of forms and email templates
AWeber have done a grand job in creating over 700 email templates for your to choose from, giving you a great start and then allowing you to customise them to exactly suit your requirements.
• Free up to 500 subscribers
As already mentioned, you can sign up to AWeber for free and test it up to a limit of 500 subscribers. Most of the functionality is included too, including their 24/7 support. Of course you may want to try out the other autoresponder companies too, to give you a better idea of which one will work best for you.
• Has most of the features you’ll need
As the new autoresponders came on to the market in recent years, AWeber seemed to drop behind in terms of new features that they had. But that all changed and now they are constantly rolling out new functionality, eg tagging, segmenting, split testing etc, and showing how competitive they are.
• Generally easy to use
The AWeber interface is clean and relatively straight forward to use. I find it really logical and easy to navigate. And it’s a lot less complicated than Infusionsoft or even Mailchimp. The email and landing page design is all drag and drop to enable you to create custom emails in minutes with no coding required.
• Detailed reporting and analytics
This is one area where AWeber truly shines. They even have an app that you can download to analyse your stats.
• Integrates really well
AWeber integrates with hundreds of third party solutions ranging from PayPal to Zapier. You can see the integrations list on their website.
• Can use Canva
This is something interesting that we don’t often see with other autoresponders. You can use Canva within your AWeber interface to create images and so on. This is brilliant functionality.
• Integrates with your WordPress website
If you are using the landing page functionality within AWeber, you can add those pages to your WordPress website quickly and easily using a plugin that keeps the two synced, so as you change your landing pages, your website pages change too.
• Integrates with Stripe for on page selling
If you use Stripe, you can add ‘buy now’ buttons to your landing pages from within AWeber. So, you can easily start selling using your AWeber platform even if you don’t yet have a website.
• Great support
AWeber has great 24/7 prompt customer support, even with free accounts.
• Account migration
If you’re with another autoresponder and would like to move your lists, tags, subscribers, etc. – all you need to do is fill out a form and AWeber will move them for you. How easy is that!
• Free Stock Images
Make your campaigns / emails pop with a huge library of stock images that you can use for free.
• Knowledgebase and tutorials
AWeber has tons of articles and video tutorials to guide you so you’ll have no problem figuring out this platform. If you do get stuck, give me a shout!
• Good deliverability rate
The litmus test of any autoresponder is its deliverability rate – and AWeber does a good job here.
The main issue I have with AWeber (which doesn’t stop me using and recommending them!) is that they charge for subscribers who are on the subscribed and unsubscribed lists. It means we have to be efficient in deleting unsubscribes every so often but it’s still a hassle.
Should You Get It?
I really recommend signing up for the free trial here and giving it a go to see how you get on with it.
It is a very competitive industray and most autoresponders and constantly updating their features, which in many cases are similar. What is impressing me about AWeber at the moment is how innovative they are being. Creating a way for newbies to sell from their landing pages, without needing a website, is genius in terms of getting people going quickly with a quality product.