If you are unclear about what an autoresponder is let me describe it this way.
Your autoresponder is like a train that is traveling across the country. Imagine the passengers as your email list and at each stop, some will get off some will get on. Others yet have chosen to continue their journeys but opting for the more exclusive package ( more bells and whistles).
Along the way, messages are broadcast describing the countryside. The landmarks are pointed out along the way. The passengers are encouraged to enjoy the ride, look out the window and perhaps even get off at some stops along the way to experience things in real time. Some passengers venture up to the observation deck to be able to experience everything as they embark on their journey.
Your emails to your list are exactly that, the broadcast messages. They become your link to your list. Your Autoresponder is the platform that allows you to broadcast those messages.
The following is a short list of autoresponders.
- Get Response
- Autoresponse Plus
- Campaign Monitor
While the first six have been the “go to” for some time now, the others are an indication that more and more are being developed, promoted and used, which goes to show you just how vast the market has become.
Something you should both be happy about and concerned about.
Now choosing the right autoresponder for yourself can be just a tad overwhelming and in many cases, one does so simply because it is recommended by your coach or mentor.
Does that make it right for you? It doesn’t make it wrong.
You have to start somewhere and using the same autoresponder that your mentor or coach uses will more than likely enhance your learning experience.
If you are lucky, your mentor may have experience with several autoresponders and hence is able to work with you and recommend the best autoresponder for you and your business at this particular time.
Being able to communicate with your list is critical. Your chosen autoresponder needs to fit your business requirements. You may find one that you can stay with throughout however, you will probably experiment as you will find when your business grows, your needs will change. Your autoresponder or the current plan you have with your autoresponder will more than likely need to change.
It has been preached time and time again to the online entrepreneur that your money is in your list. But more than that it is building that rapport between your list, your contacts and hopefully your customers. Your autoresponder allows you to do this.
Is it foolproof? No.
That is why you need to understand your needs at the time you determine which autoresponder is best for you.
What are the factors?
Let’s start with the number in your list. If you have no list at the time or a significantly small list you may choose not to use an autoresponder right away. You may even create your own emails tailored to each individual you are contacting. Building your Know/Like/Trust with them. It will take time, but if your list is small and you have the time this may just be the answer for you to keep your costs down.
At some point, however, your list will grow. That is your goal after all. Eventually creating that nurturing individual emails may just become ultra time-consuming. You may be able to handle writing anywhere’s up to 10 maybe 20 tailored emails a day but what are you going to do when your list grows to 100 or 500 or 1,000.
You get the picture. While you need your list to know like and trust you, you may find getting to know them will get more and more difficult.
These are the several key things an autoresponder can do for you.
- allow you to create an automatic email sequence to be emailed to your whole list; while this eliminates most of your personal touch, the time you save is well worth the tradeoff
- schedule a periodic bulk broadcast when you have a special message to convey to everyone (create one and simply send to the appropriate list(s))
- integrate with other 3rd party platforms ( such as WordPress or ClickFunnnels)
- identify geographics ( where the individuals on your list are located)
- keep a record of when each person on your list signed up
- segment lists according to the lead page that led to the sign up: especially useful if split testing
- allow you to create your own lead page ( not available for some autoresponders while others may have restrictions but a handy tool just the same)
- segment your list even further; depending on your parameters each list may receive a different email follow up all relating to where they are in your funnel, or perhaps after they have answered a questionnaire you sent them what their needs are at this time.
All autoresponders allow you to create emails in advance and schedule their release to your list as they are entered hence the tag autoresponder. You still need to create the appropriate emails or have someone else do this for you. Remember the initial purpose of your emails is not to go for the “sale” but rather to get your prospects to know who you are.
Use your emails wisely. Those on your list have answered an ad because they have a pain point they want to resolve. Have your emails expand on this pain point then reinforce the fact that what you have (be it a product or service) can help them eliminate this pain point.
Which autoresponder might you start with?
As I mentioned, if you are being coached or mentored there may be a particular autoresponder that they prefer to use or recommend. That is okay, use them. The best thing for you to do is get started.
However, quite often you are left with the decision to choose for yourself.
When I first entered the online business world I was perplexed with all the terms that one heard such as landing page, lead page, lead capture page, opt-in page, and had no idea they were all the same thing. Shows you how green I was in this business.
Knowing I needed help with this whole idea of landing pages and emails I chose to start my personal journey using Get Response as my first autoresponder. Get response allowed me to create my Landing Page, link it to my appropriate list and start my email sequence. For me with my almost non-existent list very affordable.
Many others do the same thing: Infusionsoft, Leadpages, Sendlane – but at the time I felt GetResponse was the most economical and simplest to use at the time. The perfect beginner’s autoresponder.
As you grow, your list will grow beyond your wildest dreams you may need to change your original chosen autoresponder. Infusionsoft, Ontreport have developed some incredible tools that can help your business in ways you have yet to imagine. Remember as your business grows so do your needs, not just the needs of your prospects.
I mention this many times but find it is important to keep this in front of you. Like you, your business is a dynamic organism. It will constantly be growing, and not necessarily up. Sometimes it will branch off in several directions always reacting to the environment it is existing in.
Be prepared. Learn all you can and accept change. Just remember to keep your ultimate goal in front of you.
Related Video: Choosing Your Autoresponder