An autoresponder series is a set of pre-written emails that will send automatically once initiated by a specific action, such as somebody new subscribing to your mailing list. The series can be set to send different emails at different intervals; a welcome email upon completing the action, followed by a promotional email of some sort a couple of days later, a different follow up email a few days after that, and so on. There’s no limit to the content that can be included in these emails, from special offers to information gathering. This is an invaluable resource to reach your audience with minimal effort. Here are some examples of things to include in an autoresponder series:
- An e-course with a new lesson every day. This is especially powerful if each new lesson builds on the previous lessons, and if you create anticipation for what’s to follow in future lessons.
- A series of how-to guides. If you teach your reader something new, you’re providing value.
- A series of promotions or special offers. Special offers aren’t great for relationship building, but if you told your readers to expect promotions when they signed up to your list, these can make an effective series.
- A mix of helpful content and related promotions. For example, if you’re selling an information product, you could share extracts from the product in your emails, followed by a promotional discount for that product.
There are some features that are an absolute must-have in an autoresponder, other features are unnecessary fluff. Here are some of the most important and useful features to look for when choosing an autoresponder.
- Unlimited Autoresponders – This feature is most important if you’re intending to have more than one contact list or if you have multiple websites. If for any reason you’ll need more than one autoresponder, this feature will save time, hassle and money.
- Unlimited Follow-Up Messages – This particular feature is an essential for anyone using an autoresponder. Having unlimited follow-up available allows you to be free to send as many messages as you’d like with no restrictions.
- Unlimited Message Length – Again, this is important to all users. Every try to fit a complete idea into a Tweet? Don’t limit your ability to get your message across on a character or word count. Always look for a provider that allows free range in messaging.
- HTML and Text – Good providers will offer both options for messaging and allow you to choose the best for your needs. The provider should also allow the message receiver the option of viewing an email in HTML or text.
- Personalization – All autoresponders have some sort of personalization option, even if it’s just a field for the recipient’s name. If you have a need or desire for a more personalized touch, you can find a provider that offers upwards of twenty or even unlimited custom fields. Anything you can think of can be custom, from location to occupation to personal interest.
- Import/Export – Another useful feature to have is the ability to export contact lists to a spreadsheet, as well as import a contact list. This helps keep information organized and you won’t lose it if you choose to switch providers.
Why Autoresponders are Essential
Autoresponders are invaluable as they save your most precious resource: time. I’ll cover a few more reasons to have an autoresponder below, but that’s by far the most valuable.
Here are some other benefits autoresponders provide:
- Easily build relationships – Autoresponders work round the clock, ensuring that follow up takes place immediately, regardless of the time. Since all emails are prewritten, you don’t have to spend unnecessary time responding to each subscriber or visitor personally.
- Get your best content to interested parties – Site visitors won’t always be able to easily find or access the best of your work. Autoresponders are a great way to publicize what you’re most proud of by including links and content in your emails.
- Survey potential clients/subscribers – You can gather useful information about your target audience preferences on products and services by including a short poll in an autoresponder email. It’s a quick and effective way to know what your audience is thinking and what they want the most.
- Useful metric on what is working (and what’s not) – With an autoresponder, you can easily track and see what emails are producing interaction and which aren’t. This can help improve your marketing strategy to better suit your target audience, thereby gaining new clients or subscribers.
Best Autoresponder Tools
Here are some of the best autoresponder tools on the market right now. Take a look and see which one best fulfills your needs.
HubSpot offers one of the most powerful autoresponder capabilities on the market. Especially if you’re using a combination of tools in HubSpot’s Marketing Hub, including the form builder and popup forms. With these tools you can easily set up auto-response emails to send upon form submission.
There are a variety of pricing options, including free, check out Hubspot pricing here.
GetResponse is a full-suite marketing platform that offers tools such as landing pages, webinars, and forms, but their most powerful tool is likely their email automation functionality. This is one of the best tools for an autoresponder series, especially if your series will concentrate on education.
Packages starting as low as $15, find your perfect fit here.
Klaviyo is well-known and loved in the e-commerce world, and they have some of the coolest email automation features, particularly for behaviorally triggered emails. It’s important to note, Klaviyo is built for e-commerce, so it’s relatively stock built for things such as abandoned cart emails.
Klaviyo offers a free tier, up to 250 email addresses. Check out this deal here for free.
MailChimp is the most popular email marketing service in the world, serving million worldwide. With simple, easy to use tools, Mailchimp will change the way your organization markets your organization on the internet.
Mailchimp has a ton of pre-made templates for easily creating all kinds of newsletters. Building a social media following? Share your newsletters on social media! MailChimp comes with all of the standard social media integrations.
Mailchimp also helps you track your results so you can check the responses that you receive from your clients. This gives you a better idea about how you can make changes to your campaign in order to get a more positive response for your page!
Available for free to those who have a mailing list of less than 2,000 contacts, check out the features and pricing options here.
For help setting up your free Mailchimp account, be sure to check out our blog Introduction To MailChimp: Step By Step Guide For Beginners.
ConvertKit is an email marketing platform built for creators, such as bloggers, podcasters, designers, etc. It is an incredibly useful tool for marketers who focus on inbound marketing, using automated emails that feel personal to boost your audience. This is accomplished by ConvertKit analyzing your subscribers, organizing them and sending highly targeted content tailored to their interests, location, and other data points. How cool is that?
For 1,000 contacts or less, pricing starts at $29/month. More pricing information here.
Autopilot is truly an intriguing automation software. Just like the name suggests you are able to put your marketing on, well… autopilot. Just create all of the assets, schedule them to go out, and you’re finished! But that really isn’t the best part. What is so amazing about Autopilot is its extensive reach across social media platforms. Listen (you know what I mean) to some of the social media integrations that Autopilot hosts: Salesforce, Mailchimp, Twilio, Slack, and way, way more. Keep in mind, this is all on top of the standard social media platforms Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
A little sneak peek for web developers like myself: Unbounce and WordPress integrations are coming very soon!
Check out the full list here.
Interested in using Autopilot for your marketing journey? Check out pricing here.
Constant Contact has been around for 24 years and is currently servicing more than 650,000 customers, if you were looking for any indication of how successful the platform is when it comes to email marketing. Constant Contact is both a powerful and intuitive tool, perfect for small businesses and startups.
One of the best features Constant Contact has is that it is already loaded with an abundance of email templates, many ways of uploading contacts, and gives users access to easy to understand learning materials. All of this helps you do your job more efficiently and without hassle.
Recently, Constant Contact has also integrated social media to its email marketing stance with its Social Media Playbook, a feature users will find quite useful in setting up and launching their social media campaigns.
For a well-rounded autoresponder series including an Automated Email Welcome Series and Automated Email Behavioral Series, your organization will need to purchase the Email Plus package at $45/month. However, keep in mind that if your subscriber list amounts to more than 500 contacts, the price will rise after the free-trial period. Check out the pricing chart here.
Take your time, finding the best autoresponder for your organization is no easy task. However, the journey has enormous rewards. Let us know if you found the perfect automation service by reading this blog. See you next week!