While many people focus on social marketing, email marketing is still a powerful business building tool. In fact, dollar for dollar more businesses enjoy a higher ROI with email marketing than social marketing.
One of the keys to a strong email marketing campaign is an autoresponder that fits your needs. If your email marketing is becoming time consuming, your system isn’t working for you or you’re just getting started with email marketing, a good autoresponder service is essential.
Your Autoresponder’s Job
The job of an autoresponder is to make your email marketing not only easier for you to manage but to also provide a better experience for your subscribers. For example, some autoresponders allow you to send both text and html messages. Your subscribers can choose which type of message they’d like to receive. When comparing autoresponders, make sure you have this option.
Visually Interesting and Value
The ability to upload images, embed videos and other files is a feature that can help you create visually interesting and more valuable messages. Not all autoresponders off this ability. Templates make it easy to create a unique format for your messages while working within a framework. Conversely, it’s also nice to have an autoresponder service that allows you to create custom formatting.
The ability to schedule email messages and to create follow up messages and broadcast messages should be a feature that any autoresponder provides. If you happen to come across one that doesn’t, skip it.
Data to Grow Your Business
Analytics are a must as is the ability to split test. Again, the job of your autoresponder service goes beyond scheduling. It needs to make it easier for you to build your business and analytics are one of the tools to help you get the job done. Look for systems that integrate with your other technologies and marketing tactics. For example, if you use Facebook then it’s great when you have an autoresponder that integrates with Facebook and includes share buttons in your messages.
Growing Your List
Evaluate the cost based on the current size of your list and how big you believe your list will grow. Some autoresponders assess their monthly fees by the size of your list. If you have a list of 999 then your account may be free but if your list is 1000 it could cost you $30 a month.
Finally, take a look to see what they offer in terms of list management. Can you create an opt-in form? Do they support different opt-in processes and can you customize your opt-in and follow up messages to match your brand voice? Choosing your autoresponder can take a little time but it’s well worth the effort, when you can focus on strategy and not worry about the technology.