The 5 Best Email Autoresponders for Your Website

Hey there Sea Changers… hope you are all well! In a recent post I discussed some ways that you can monetize your website including the advantages of the cultivation and management of email lists to promote sales opportunities to your readers and followers. Today I will expand on that to outline the best email autoresponders for your website. We will have a look at:

  • What they do
  • What they don’t do
  • How much they cost
  • Who they are best suited for

So, if you feel you are ready to get yourself setup with an email list, then grab a drink and a notebook and let’s dive right in:

Note: if you know the ins and outs of what an autoresponder is and just want to read about the ones I have chosen, use the table of contents below to jump straight to the applicable section of this post.

What is an Autoresponder?

In short, an autoresponder is a fancy name for an email management or marketing program that allows you to:

  • Create and grow email lists.
  • Setup automated email campaigns to your email list.
  • Customise email traffic to different customer segments based on their behaviours, interests and interactions with you.

The advantages of setting up an autoresponder include:

  • Build an ongoing bond with your readers.
  • Allow for direct marketing to your list without them having to search for or re-access your website.
  • Maintain ongoing engagement with your readers over a longer period of time.
  • Offer extra ‘problem solving’ value or assistance.
  • Boost revenue via increased reader exposure to your affiliate links.
  • The ability to promote ‘member only’ discounts and products.

At the end of the day, the main reason that these are so effective is that once you have set up your campaign, emails are sent to those who subscribe to your list automatically at preset time frames or dependent upon their online behaviour – e.g. Whether they open your emails or make a purchase etc.

The 5 Best Email Autoresponders for Your Website - mailbox

Email lists

Email lists are simply your database of client records that you send your emails to. The amount of information contained within these lists will differ dependent upon which autoresponder you use but obviously the minimum information required here is their name and email address.

The important thing here is that each person who is added to your list is done so after they have subscribed – usually via an opt in form. I cannot stress this enough – you must entice your readers to subscribe to your list and hence give you permission to send them emails. Otherwise, you are spamming them which will not only tarnish your reputation, but can get your autoresponder account terminated.

Many programs will ensure that you are not spamming your list by asking you to implement a double opt in. This means that once a reader enters their information within your website, they are then sent a confirmation email for them to action before they are added to your list.

How do you get them to subscribe?

In current times when internet users are becoming more and more hesitant to enter their email addresses online for fear of being inundated with another raft of messages, simply asking someone to join your list is not often very successful. People may however be more likely to enter their details if they are receiving:

  • A newsletter – ongoing access to promotions, special information and other ‘secret’ stuff – this will need to be good however or your unsubscribe numbers will be skyrocket.
  • Something free – such as an e-book, book, trinket or merchandise etc.
  • Something helpful – instructional ‘how to’ guide or checklist etc.
  • Personal assistance – special assistance from yourself that general readers to your site do not receive.

I am not saying that this has to be expensive, but you will have to make it worthwhile for someone to enter their details into your opt in form.

Email campaigns

The 5 Best Email Autoresponders for Your Website - newsletterOnce you have started to grow your list, you can start your email campaigns. An email campaign is an automated set of emails that is delivered at set times or in response to certain behaviours. An example of a common campaign might be:

  • Once subscribed – Welcome email.
  • 2 days later – followup to give a bit more information about you and your website.
  • 4 days later – a special offer or discount for new members.
  • 5 days later – an email sent to anybody who has not opened any of the previous emails asking if there is anything they are looking for or if they are ‘ok’ – the header here is critical as it needs to prompt them to open the email.
  • Weekly – weekly promotion, offer or information.
  • Monthly – newsletter etc.

This is a very simple outline and probably a good place to start. Email campaigns however can be much deeper and more complicated depending on the behaviours you are trying to extract from your readers or the information you are trying to give. In fact, many mature campaigns can have a number of lists or segments and campaigns running at any given time. A segment is part of a list that has been isolated for specific reasons such as online behaviours, purchases or even geographical or personal differences such as location, age or gender.

Soap Opera sequences

One of the most popular email automation methods is call the Soap Opera Sequence. Developed originally by Russell Brunson of ClickFunnels fame, it is a sequence of story telling and product promotion emails that gives you the ability to quickly and effectively build a rapport with your reader list.

Some don’t like these sequences however as they do advocate sending daily emails for the first 7 to 14 days but it has fast become one of the most successful email marketing processes within the online world.

What are the best email autoresponders

There are literally hundreds (maybe thousands) of email autoresponders available out there that may be useful to you. Some are free, some require a once off purchase, others a monthly subscription and some a mixture of both. Obviously I cannot cover them all so I have chosen a small percentage of them to discuss here based on:

  • What the majority of the top marketers use
  • Surveys and questions asked within the Wealthy Affiliate platform
  • Research into online reviews and feedback
  • My own personal use

Read on for an outline of my top 5.

Mailchimp

The 5 Best Email Autoresponders for Your Website - Mailchimp page1

Mailchimp is user-friendly autoresponder that is probably the best option for new users and affiliate marketers due to its ongoing free option – Up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. Mailchimp’s major functionality includes:

  • Email list creation and management with multiple template options.
  • Drag and drop email editor.
  • Autoresponder service – choose from 4 campaign types including automated timings and triggers.
  • Opt in form creator – popup, website and mobile-responsive forms – double opt in available.
  • App integration to allow linkage to other online tools (such as WordPress, ClickFunnels, Social Media and most Marketplace and CRM programs).
  • Subscriber management – build separate lists and segments for greater market targeting.
  • Campaign tracking – open rates, bounces etc.
  • Email split and multi-variant testing.

Pros

  • Great free membership allowing for new businesses to take advantage of a solid autoresponder without cost.
  • Highly effective segmenting features.
  • Solid anti-spam email delivery processes to ensure that as many of your subscribers get emails to their main inboxes as possible.

Cons

  • Campaign builder is not as intuitive as it could be
  • Many of the templates require significant adjustment due to plain font and colour schemes.
  • The language used by Mailchimp to describe its functions differs from most other autoresponders .
  • Pricing plans can be confusing with some of the best features only available to Pro subscribers.

How much does it cost?

The big advantage that Mailchimp holds is its Forever Free Plan. This plan is totally free forever until you reach the threshold of up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month making it perfect for new businesses. From here you will jump to an unlimited email send arrangement with tiered payments based on the number of subscribers you are sending to:

The 5 Best Email Autoresponders for Your Website - Mailchimp prices

And finally, you have the Pro edition which adds $199 to your subscription price for richer functionality including advanced segmentation, variated testing and premium support.

Prices outlined are $USD.

Comments

I have used mailchimp extensively in my businesses for small automated campaigns. It does take a little time to master its slightly unintuitive functionality but email receipt rates are fantastic. For a free option with rich functionality, it is hard to recommend against this option.

Note: Mailchimp does have some fairly stringent requirements around the Affiliate Marketing Industry and the use of Affiliate Links – click here for more information.

To set up your free MailChimp account click here

Aweber

The 5 Best Email Autoresponders for Your Website - aweber screen

Aweber is a very popular web-based autoresponder service with a rich coverage of functionality including:

  • Email list creation and management.
  • Drag and drop email editor.
  • Autoresponder service – build campaigns including automated timings and triggers.
  • Opt in form creator – popup, website and mobile-responsive forms – double opt in available.
  • Access to over 700 categorised email newsletters templates .
  • App integration to allow linkage to other online tools (such as WordPress, ClickFunnels, Social Media, Marketplace and most CRM programs).
  • Subscriber management – build separate lists and segments for greater market targeting.
  • Campaign tracking – open rates, bounces etc.
  • Email split testing.

Pros

  • Extensive and highly responsive support processes including via phone, email and live chat.
  • Competitive pricing.
  • The ability to send unlimited emails on all plans (plans are limited by subscriber numbers)

Cons

  • Overly basic reporting features and no integration with Google Analytics.
  • Many of the templates are quite basic.
  • Font selection is limited to the usual ‘safe’ fonts such as Arial, Times New Roman, Trebuchet etc.
  • There is no ability to include or exclude multiple segments when sending some emails (i.e. you will need to set up separate lists with separate emails for multiple segments).

How much does it cost?

Aweber offers a 30-day free trial with ongoing pricing plans as follows:

  • Up to 500 subscribers: $19 per month
  • 501 to 2,500 subscribers: $29 per month
  • 2,501 to 5,000 subscribers: $49 per month
  • 5,001 to 10,000 subscribers: $69 per month
  • 10,001 to 25,000 subscribers: $149 per month

The 7 Best Email Autoresponders for Your Website - aweber pricing

A 14% discount is available if you pay quarterly; a 14.9% discount is available if you pay annually. There are also some discounts available for students and not-for-profit organisations.

Prices are $USD.

Comments

I use Aweber for my websites due to its ease of integration and autoresponder capabilities. To be honest, for the price, it works well with my site and within my integration requirements for wordpress. It is also more tolerant to ethical affiliate marketing processes that MailChimp.

To set up your free Aweber trial click here.

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iContact

The 5 Best Email Autoresponders for Your Website - icontact page

Another very popular email marketing program is iContact. As with Aweber and Mailchimp, iContact has a full suite of email automation and campaign building tools including:

  • Email list creation and management.
  • Drag and drop email editor with inbuilt templates.
  • Autoresponder service – build campaigns including automated timings and triggers including survey tools.
  • Opt in form creator – popup, website and mobile-responsive forms – double opt in available.
  • App integration to allow linkage to other online tools (such as WordPress, ClickFunnels and most CRM programs).
  • Campaign tracking – open rates, bounces etc.
  • Email split testing.
  • Social media linkage.

Pros

  • Extremely responsive support.
  • Powerful social media integration tools.
  • The ability to send unlimited emails on all plans (plans are limited by subscriber numbers).

Cons

  • Limited contact import functions (unable to import from Gmail).
  • Limited segmentation functionality.
  • Limited storage space for imported images.

How much does it cost?

Free 30 day trial with some limitations on functionality. Pricing starts at $14 for 0 – 500 Subscribers and increases based on number of subscribers required.

The 5 Best Email Autoresponders for Your Website - icontact pricing

A 15% discount is available if you pay annually. There are also some discounts available for students and not-for-profit organisations.

Prices are $USD

Comments

The layout and functionality found within iContact is extremely intuitive and straight forward to use. To be honest, it is probably a little more intuitive and easier to use for newbies than Aweber or Mailchimp however its functionality, in my opinion, is probably not at the level of the others for the price.

To set up your free iContact trial click here

Get Response

The 5 Best Email Autoresponders for Your Website -Getresponse page

GetResponse is a function rich email autoresponder tool with added e-commerce and funnel capabilities. Its functions include:

  • Email list creation and management.
  • Drag and drop email editor with inbuilt categorized templates.
  • Autoresponder service – build campaigns including automated timings and triggers including survey tools.
  • Opt in form creator – popup, website and mobile-responsive forms.
  • Video email marketing.
  • Fully customisable landing page builder.
  • App integration to allow linkage to other online tools .
  • Campaign tracking – open rates, bounces etc.
  • Email split testing.
  • Social media linkage.
  • Automated funnel builder including webinar funnel.
  • Customer relationship management. (CRM) functions.

Pros

  • Funnel builder.
  • Powerful list segmentation tools.
  • Landing page split tester.
  • Extensive reporting and ROI Tracking.

Cons

  • Emails cannot be edited from within campaign builder.

How much does it cost?

Free 30 day trial with full functionality. Pricing then starts at $15 for basic functions and $49 for the essential plan (up to 1000 subscribers).

The 5 Best Email Autoresponders for Your Website -Getresponse pricing

An 18% discount is available if you pay annually and 30% for a two-year payment. There are also some discounts available for students and not-for-profit organisations.

The essential plan is required to access funnel and CRM functionality.

Prices are $USD

To set up your free GetResponse trial click here

Comments

GetResponse has more functionality than the others listed here so far and I find the interface simple and easy to use. If you are after just the email and auto responder functions then the pricing and functionality is on par with the others. Whilst the funnels do not have the power of built-for-purpose programs such as ClickFunnels, they are certainly adequate for basic use and smaller operations.

Constant Contact

The 5 Best Email Autoresponders for Your Website - constant contact page

Constant Contact is one of the oldest email autoresponders in the market with all of the features of its rivals and a few niche type tools such as event management and social media advert creation. Other than that, its functions are similar to those outlined previously in this post such as:

  • Email list creation and management.
  • Drag and drop email editor with inbuilt templates.
  • Autoresponder service – build campaigns including automated timings and triggers including survey tools.
  • Opt in form creator – popup, website and mobile-responsive forms.
  • App integration to allow linkage to other online tools .
  • Campaign tracking – open rates, bounces etc.
  • Social media linkage and ad creation.
  • Event management campaign builder.

Pros

  • Event management and social media ad builder
  • Responsive support services

Cons

  • User interface is a little dated and ‘clunky’.
  • Price is a little high compared to other services.
  • Credit card is required for free trial sign-up.
  • Limited segmentation capabilities.
  • Split testing is limited to the subject line only.

How much does it cost?

Free 30 day trial with full functionality. Subscriptions then run as follows

Email

  • Up to 500 subscribers: $26 per month
  • 501 to 2,500 subscribers: $58 per month
  • 2,501 to 5,000 subscribers: $84 per month
  • 5,001 to 10,000 subscribers: $121 per month
  • 10,001 to 15,000 subscribers: $250 per month
  • 15,001 to 25,000 subscribers: $289 per month

Email Plus

  • Up to 500 subscribers: $58 per month
  • 501 to 2,500 subscribers: $90 per month
  • 2,501 to 5,000 subscribers: $122 per month
  • 5,001 to 10,000 subscribers: $161 per month
  • 10,001 to 15,000 subscribers: $250 per month
  • 15,001 to 25,000 subscribers: $289 per month

The 5 Best Email Autoresponders for Your Website - constant contact pricing

A 20% discount is available for not-for-profit organisations.

The Email Plus plan is required to access Event Marketing, coupons and a few other Email addons.

Prices are $USD

To set up your free Constant Contact trial click here (credit card is required)

Comments

This is an older system and probably a little expensive when compared to the user experience capabilities of the other programs. It is however a workable program that allows for effective management of email campaigns. The Event Marketing functionality and the ability to create FaceBook and Instagram adds from within are what sets it apart from the other programs.

Note: I have read in a few reviews that affiliate marketers have had their accounts shutdown after sending emails with affiliate links. I however could not find anything on the Cnstant Contact site in regards to disallowing affiliate links. Many autoresponders allow affiliate links as long as they are not the main purpose of the email – i.e. the email must be helpful – such as a newsletter etc.

My Recommendation

To be honest, if you are looking for a good email autoresponder then any of the 5 listed above will do the job for you. If you are not in the affiliate marketing game then I would probably recommend MailChimp. I have used it in the past and found it effective. I have gone with Aweber personally due to my affiliate marketing requirements and have found nothing within it to date that would make me move away from it. It also contains its own affiliate marketing program which is a plus.

So, in short, I would go with the following:

  • General email autoresponder – MailChimp
  • Affiliate marketing autoresponder – Aweber
  • Autoresponder with basic funnels – Get Response
  • Autoresponder with event marketing – Constant Contact.
  • Autoresponder with basic functions for those that are not as technically savvy as others – iContact.

Conclusion

Ok, so there you have my top 5. There are many others out there so if you have a good experience with one of them please comment below and I would be more than happy to check it out and add it to this post. Would also love to hear about your experiences with any that I have outlined here. Have I missed anything or is there anything you feel I should highlight? If so, again, please comment below.

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Until next time

Have fun

Paul

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2 thoughts on “The 5 Best Email Autoresponders for Your Website”

  1. Very engaging discourse you have up here and zone that would definitely help a lot of newbie affiliate marketer like me. I do receive newsletter a lot from websites I had subscribed to before and now that I do own a website too, I am more acquainted with how and what needs to be done to achieve success building an email list. I heard about aweber from my uplines and reading about it here has helped simplify my knowledge on it and its features.

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