An autoresponder is quite simple actually. It’s a computer program that is set to automatically answer any email that is sent to it. It’s capable of a whole lot more but in a nutshell, that’s what it does.
How It Works
For the purposes of internet marketing the autoresponder is programmed with visitors emails that will be sent out at controlled intervals to the people who choose to join your mailing list. They do this by entering their email address in a sign up form on your website.
The use of a signup form and an autoresponder service is the best way to begin building a list of subscribers, these are people who are interested in your subject and would like to hear from you again. These people are your potential customers.
What is Aweber?
Aweber autoresponder is the top rated and most popular email marketing system available. Get Response is the second most popular.
There are some free services out there that will (to a point) do the job of Aweber or Get Response for free.
Free Autoresponder Services
Mailchimp and Mad Mimi are two available email marketing systems that will work. These services are fine as long as you read their terms and agreement thoroughly and are prepared to follow their rules.
Mailchimp says in its terms and conditions that you cannot promote any affiliate products (among several other things).
So, this applies to all of us that have joined affiliate programs for any product. If you are promoting someone else’s product then you cannot use Mailchimp.
I found the Mailchimp dashboard to be quite arduous and hard to figure out. It was not user friendly at all.
If you have the available funds then Aweber is the only way to go. Check it out here.
Email with Manners
When the internet was young and just emerging, people were learning to grasp its power. It was kind of like the Wild Wild West of days gone by, a little bit chaotic and quite lawless.
There weren’t a lot of rules or government bodies trying to reign in the anonymous cowboys and their activities.
This allowed for a lot of questionable products and scams to be delivered by the millions to unsuspecting email users. They accomplished this by using mass email and aggressive spamming techniques. For a while people were being barraged by tons of unwanted email.
The problem was it was never clear how you got the email in the first place or even who it came from. It was always difficult to unsubscribe from a list. This was done to keep you on the list as long as possible of course.
Rules and control measures began to emerge which brought some laws into existence to stop the tidal wave of unwanted garbage and inappropriate emails.
Services such as Aweber protect the receiver of these emails by creating the permission system.
This is where the “Double Opt-In” requirements were created. Instead of just one click to sign up for a list, you had to receive a second “confirmation” email and click to confirm that you chose to join that list. It was then that you were added to the selected mailing list.
It’s now law by the CAN-SPAM Act that all commercial emails contain the address and contact information of the sender, have a double opt-in feature and must present an easy to find, visible link to unsubscribe from the list at any time.
This two step control measure has really made receiving email a much more pleasant experience. Spamming of course still exists but it’s much more under control than it was.
At first this double opt-in system seems like a pain but it is actually a blessing for the publisher (website owner) because it creates a more focused mailing list of interested people. It’s better for the subscriber because they are shielded from all the general online spam.
It’s better to have a small list of primed, potential buyers than it is to have thousands of names on a list, who are people that just delete your autoresponder message when it comes in.
Instead of having hundreds or thousands of names on a list that don’t care about your subject matter, you’ll end up with fewer names but much more qualified customers who are far more likely to buy. This works much better than ramming emails down peoples throats.
The best part of the autoresponder is that it can be programmed to send your personally written emails to your interested customers on a predetermined schedule. You only have to set it up with your initial emails and your autoresponder system will handle the rest.
Aweber can also be programmed to automatically send your blog posts to your list. This is called a “Blog Broadcast” and it automatically sends the post to the mailing list. It’s a time saver for the publisher.
This is a great way to maximize time usage and keep in personal contact with your subscriber list, as time goes along you will develop an interactive relationship with your readers.
Do you use an autoresponder? Which one?
Do you love it. Do you hate it?
Leave a comment below and tell me your experiences with it.
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