Question & Answer, 02/11/15 Image


1.28 Aweber
2.49 Aweber Walkthrough
8.05 Mailchimp
9.02 Mailchimp Walkthrough
12.40 Get Response
13.20 Get Response Walkthrough

Hey, guys. Malisa here from Small Business Performance Coaching.

Today, I want to talk to you guys about e-mail auto responders. A question that we get asked a lot by people when they are first setting up their presence online is “Which auto responder should I choose?”

For those of you out there who are unsure about what an auto responder even is, basically it’s an online program that collects and houses your e-mail database, allows you to send an e-mail or a sequence of e-mails automatically, basically, when someone opts in to your list. It also allows you to send broadcast e-mails and newsletters to people who are on your list. Basically, it’s a must-have tool in the land of Internet marketing.

Before anyone asks, we use a program called Infusionsoft in our business. This is basically a bit more like the level up from an auto responder as it’s a CRM, which is a customer relations management program. Not only does it allow us to do everything that I’ve mentioned that an auto responder does but it also allows us to initiate sequences and do certain things based on customer behavior, meaning that we can trigger campaigns based on things like links being clicked, products being purchased, and things like that. That, again, is a whole different blog post.

We’re going to have a look at three of probably the most popular and I’d say the easiest to use base level auto responders on the market. We’re going to have a look at AWeber, MailChimp and GetResponse.

Let’s have a look firstly at AWeber. If you were to ask me, AWeber would definitely be my preferred auto responder out of all of the ones that we are going to look at today. I’ve chosen AWeber for a number of reasons.

I think it’s reasonably priced. I really appreciate the user interface. I think it’s really nice and easy to use especially for people who are new and haven’t really used an auto responder before. It’s really easy to pick up, and you can make nice, good-quality-looking e-mails and templates that are within your brand. It’s also really easy to integrate with other products, so if you’re using things like LeadPages, ClickFunnels, or anything like that, it’s really nice and easy to integrate.

Something else I mentioned about AWeber is that it does come with a 30-day free trial, and then I think it kicks off from about $19 a month – obviously cheaper if you pay for a quarter or a year upfront, but it’s quite a reasonable way for you to manage all of your e-mails and get yourself of a bit of an e-mail marketing list happening.

Let’s have a quick look at the AWeber user interface and see what it’s all about. This is your AWeber dashboard. From here, you can choose one of your lists, and you can start working on things for your particular list, or you can go in and manage your lists separately through this section here.

This will give you a bit of an overview of all of your lists, show you how many subscribers you have and things like that. You can create new lists there, and obviously, you can take back-ups and export all of your active lists, as well, so you can get Excel files if you need to use them for something else.

We’ll go back to the home section here and I’ll just walk you through it really quickly. Basically what you can create here is you can create a follow-up series. That’s if someone opts in to one of your sign-up forms, and you’ll see sign-up forms here.

If someone opts in to a sign-up form, you can trigger a follow-up series for them, or if they join up as a member for a membership program or something like that, you can set a sequence of e-mails up where they get sent out at regular intervals. You can have e-mail #1 come out straight away, e-mail #2 can come out three days later, things like that.

Then you have, obviously, your broadcasts. Your broadcasts are where you’d be sending your newsletter or something like that out. That is something that you specifically set up and send out for a particular point in time. You can schedule it to go out on a specific date and then everyone who is on your list at that date will receive the e-mail.

Going into your subscriber section, you can go in and you can manage your subscribers. This is just going to open the ones up for that particular page. You do have access to all of your subscribers there, but you can also go in and add subscribers or you can import subscribers.

A really important part for you if you are doing lead generation here is you can create your sign-up form. Your sign-up form – let’s just take a preview of this one – basically is where they enter their name and their e-mail, and you can customize those to be how you want them.

If you are integrating them with another program, there’s no need for you to make them look all pretty or anything like that, but if you do want to go in and edit them, AWeber has some really great templates that you can play with.

You’ll see here it brings up some templates for you. There are lots of them to choose from, and you can create your own templates, as well, so if you are doing something that’s going on your website directly, you can get it looking exactly how you want it to go on the website. That’s really cool also.

There is a whole heap of reports that you can choose in terms of open rates and stuff like that, so if you are looking at the stat side of things, it’s really great for you to use most definitely. I find this one of the most user-friendly ones too, which is really awesome. You can customize your own reports, too, which is also really awesome.

List options: again, that’s something when you’re setting up your list. You can choose custom fields for your list. You can get them to choose their favorite color or something like that – definitely really handy.

Something else that I really like about AWeber that I don’t think gets enough attention is that you can add apps to AWeber, and there’s a whole heap of apps there that you can connect to. For Facebook, for example, if you want to add an opt-in box to your Facebook business page, it will allow you to do so.

Like I’ve said just before, you can connect it with LeadPages, as well. Something also really great is if you’re taking payments by PayPal, you can connect it to PayPal and then it will automatically add them to a list when they make a payment for something.

It has connections to WordPress and OptimizePress, so you can connect those really easily. There is a whole heap of other ones there, as well, depending on what you’re using. If you have shopping carts and stuff like that, it’s really great for doing all of that sort of stuff.

Like I said at the start of this, it’s definitely my favorite program purely because of the integration with other things as well as how easy it is to use. In terms of creating a follow-up series or creating a broadcast, I’m just going to choose the drag and drop editor here for you. You can basically send out an e-mail in a matter of minutes, and you can personalize it and customize it.

Let’s just have a look at this. They’ve created a really basic one to begin with. It will customize it, so it’ll add the first name in. You can add an image to the top there. It’s really a matter of dragging things along. If I wanted an image there, I can add an image. You can really add anything you want pretty much into there, including videos and buttons if you’re wanting to do a direct-to-sale thing from there. The possibilities are really endless here, but that is basically AWeber in a nutshell for you guys.

The next auto responder service that we’re going to have a look at today is probably my second favorite one. This is MailChimp. It does have some really great features. Basically, you can do just about everything that you can do in AWeber in MailChimp. Personally, I find the back end a little bit clunky, so when you’re trying to get around, it’s not quite as easy to always find things as it is in AWeber, but definitely still very user-friendly.

Something really awesome about MailChimp, as well, is if you have fewer than 2000 subscribers and you’re sending fewer than 12,000 e-mails a month, you can sign up for free. You won’t have access to quite everything for that, but you can very easily upgrade for I think it’s about $10 a month, depending on what it is that you need. That will help you with some automation features, so it’s definitely something to look into if you are just looking at using it to send out weekly e-mails or something like that or to get some lead generation happening and to collect those e-mail addresses.

Let’s have a look at the MailChimp dashboard. This is our MailChimp dashboard. As you can see, it still gives you an idea of your opens, and clicks, and things like that. It’s still broken down quite simply, the way that AWeber is.

Firstly, let’s have a look at your lists. It’ll give you how many subscribers and stats like that. Then it’ll go in and sort of show you your campaigns. Basically, the way that this works is you work from your list in particular. You choose your list, and then from there, you can choose what you do with your list, basically.

You can go in. Once you’re in the list, you can then manage your subscribers, you can add subscribers, you can organize your sign-up form, and do everything from there. It is a little bit different in terms of the way that it all works – still really user-friendly but just different.

In terms of your sign-up forms and stuff like that, you do have the ability to create your forms. You can create and embed things and design them the way that you want them to look. You can add your images and do all that sort of stuff the same way that you can with AWeber.

Then in terms of actually creating a campaign, this is probably where it’s a little bit confusing. You do your campaign separately to where you work on everything for your list. What you would then do is create your campaign.

This is where it allows you to choose whether you’re just going to do a single newsletter or whether you’re going to create a series of e-mails or something like that, bearing in mind that anything that has an auto responder in MailChimp is going to be part of the paid service, so you will need to upgrade for that. You can’t just use the free service so that they receive an e-mail as soon as they opt in to something. This then becomes more of like a newsletter type program.

What you do is you go into here. You choose your list then that you want to send it to. “Send to entire list.” Then from there, you’re going to go in and actually design it. You’ll name your campaign. There are a few more fields, but it does walk you through that. You do have the ability to personalize it and go through. I’m just going to call this “Test.” You’ll go through and do that from there.

It allows you to choose your theme, which is what’s really interesting here. This is probably something that’s quite user-friendly. This is quite intuitive in terms of doing that. Then it’s just a matter of dragging and dropping your images in and typing the same way that you would with AWeber.

Like I said, it is really user-friendly and really fun to use, not very dissimilar to AWeber. I think I just prefer the AWeber user interface a little bit more, but not saying that this isn’t a great program. It definitely still is a great program, but then when you are starting to do a few more complex things, that’s where you’ll notice the difference. You’ll also notice that it doesn’t offer all of the integration with different apps the same way that AWeber does.

The last program that I’m going to walk you through today is called GetResponse. GetResponse isn’t one that is probably quite as popular as either AWeber or MailChimp but it still has a 30-day free trial and it still has all of the same functionality that the other programs have, so it’s definitely one to play around with if you feel so inclined. When you do upgrade after the 30-day trial, it does start from I think about $12 a month. It is still around the same price range, so good to use as a bit of a comparison.

Let’s have a look inside GetResponse. Guys, this is your GetResponse dashboard. Personally, I find the dashboard a little bit busy. Again, though still very easy to use. The way that GetResponse works is it works based on campaigns. I guess you could say that each list is a campaign. You’re going in, you’re creating a campaign as such, you’re going to name your campaign, and you can either create a newsletter or an auto responder, etc.

Creating a newsletter is going to be nice and easy. They have an e-mail creator or if you know HTML, you can do that, just like with the others. We’re going to go into the e-mail creator. I’ll just show you really quickly how that works, so we can go from there.

Of course, you can choose a template already. This is probably why I don’t like this as much because it focuses more so on the templates than anything else, but again, you can see here, it is quite similar to MailChimp in that sense, that you can choose your columns and go that way. I’m just going to choose something really basic, just to give you a bit of an idea of how it works.

Now you’re basically in what they call the drag and drop. These are your blocks here, and you can basically drag them across to sort of add things as you go, much the same way as you do for MailChimp and things like that.

Forms are done separately here. Basically, you can use their builder to create your form. This looks a little bit different to the other two but definitely just as customizable. I’m just going to go with this one, and then from there, first name and e-mail. Again, I don’t personally find this quite as user-friendly, but it does definitely have the same functionality.

There you have it, guys. That’s three different auto responders that you can integrate into your business. In terms of which one you use, obviously, I can’t make the decision for you but I have presented them in the order that I would choose them.

AWeber is slightly more expensive per month, but certainly the functionality is very, very user-friendly and it does have the capacity to integrate with quite a few other apps. In terms of the longevity of your business and being able to keep up with your business needs as your business grows more, I definitely think that is a big plus for AWeber.

MailChimp is fantastic when you’re just getting started, particularly that you have got so much functionality for free with the free trial as opposed to just a 30-day trial that you get with the others. GetResponse, on the other hand, it does do everything that the others do. It just isn’t quite as user-friendly.

Those are my tips there for you. If you do have any questions, certainly post them in the comments below and let us know. If you’ve found this blog post useful, hit the “like” buttons at the top. Thanks, guys.

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