Building an engaged list is the most important activity you can do to secure your long term success and yet you may have all ready fallen at the first hurdle! With building a list being such a crucial activity for your long term success its no wonder you are taking this decision seriously and with all the major autoresponder services being very similar in their range of services.
Your first hurdle is to choose just one of them.
I was told back in 2010 to go with Aweber which I did but I thought the grass was greener on the other side so I switched to TrafficWave which is a fine autoresponder for network marketers but not so for us Internet types thus I came back to Aweber.
Late in 2011, once again I saw a competitor and wondered if those who sung its praises were correct, so I switched to GetResponse but found them wanting in key areas, so I came back to Aweber. And that is where I am now, actually there are a few other services I tried but they are not worth mentioning.
So lets introduce Aweber, my autoresponder of choice, click on the following links to jump to the section that interests you most.
- What is an Autoresponder
- Aweber History
- Optin Forms
- Message Templates
- Subscriber Management
- Social Sharing
What is an Autoresponder
An autoresponder service enables you to automate delivery of date sensitive and registration date sensitive messages to people who have provided you with their email address, more commonly known as your subscribers. Let me also clarify a couple of terms in that explanation. Date sensitive messages are better known as broadcasts whilst registration date sensitive emails are more often called follow ups. It allows you to stay in touch with your customers and prospects at a schedule determined by you but crucially for long term success, a routine that suits your subscribers.
The Aweber Service
So why do so many marketers love Aweber? Despite being founded in 1998, Aweber has never grown fat and lazy, its still as pioneering today as it was back then. It now supports over 120,000 businesses, bloggers and entrepreneurs around the world in the pursuit of helping their customers to make the best buying decisions.
As they enter their 16th year in business, they continue to push the boundaries and remain up to date with the latest advances in technology and email reader preferences.
One current evolution that is changing the marketing landscape at the moment is mobile devices.
As more people use their mobile devices to read your messages its essential that like Aweber your autoresponder service delivers responsive messages, optimized for whatever device or platform they are read on.
Aweber does this via responsive message templates which allow you to either write your message online or cut and paste in a message written off line. The beauty is that which ever method you choose, this template will format the message to suit the device it is received on. Plus these templates are fully customizable which means you can make your messages truly unique and in harmony with your branding.
So you know its all about delivering great looking and engaging marketing messages to your subscribers but what else do you get with Aweber?
Aweber has a close relationship with all of the major search engines and ISP’s around the world which ensures your messages have one of the highest delivery rates in the business which currently stands at 98%. That is 98% of the emails you send using their service go into the receiver’s inbox what they do with the message after that depends of course upon your relationship with that person.
One of the biggest hassles of beginning to use any service is the learning curve to climb before you start to get the most out of your investment. Aweber understand this which is why they put a large emphasis on helping you to make the most of their service. If you want to know more about email marketing services and why Aweber should be your number one choice, click here to read more.
Now in my previous review, After Google Reader Where Next, I highlighted that using a newsreader is a great way to stay up to date with blogs and sites relevant to your industry. I mention this because, Aweber has a blog that contains some really great information on getting the most out of email marketing and I recommend you subscribe via your newsreader service, you can see what I mean here.
Unfortunately every online site and service is at the mercy of the hackers who from time to time take it upon themselves to decide who is allowed to be active on the Internet. Thankfully as Aweber proved during the attack in the spring of 2014, they have the resources to cope with and recover quickly from these types of attacks. This is another reason why you should go with a well established autoresponder service that has the support team to make such fast recovery possible.
If you ever find you cannot access your Aweber admin area then they have a resource where you check the health of their service, you can view their status here
Creating Your First List
Once you have registered as either a trial member for a single dollar or as a fully paid up new member the first tasks is to setup your first list and in the following video, I walk you through how to achieve this.
With your first list created its important that you immediately create the first follow up message before you forget.
This is the singularly most important message you will send out to your subscribers because its your first written contact with them and also its the message that keeps your optin or sales transaction promise by delivering what you promised.
This is the start of your email marketing campaign and these can be selected from a large range of template designs or from your own unique designs, this is the beauty of Aweber, they are quite happy to remain out of the limelight enabling your business to grow ever larger and more profitable without your autoresponder service disrupting the marketing flow.
How to add custom images to your optin forms
Their new and highly responsive message templates will allow your messages to be presented in the best possible way. You can even add your own headers, graphics and icons, as you can see below in one of my emails.
The most important feature of Aweber subscriber management to remember is that you pay for each subscriber registered in your account, regardless of whether they are still subscribed or not!
Thus its important to remove all unsubscribes on a regular basis because you can no longer communicate with or profit from them but you are still paying for them until you remove them from your account.
Of course the key to success in business is doing what works and dropping what isnt which is why their comprehensive suite of reports is so important. With these you can understand what your leads desire and what they do not want. My favorite reports are the message response, follow up response, form activity,
Thus to summarise they provide:
- Custom optin form designs allowing you to uniquely brand your lead generation.
- Templates and plain text message creation options to maximize subscriber engagement.
- 20 different email marketing analysis reports allowing you to identify trends in your marketing and focus on what is working for you.
- No limit to the number of subscribers or lists, you only pay for the subscribers you have.
The world and the Internet has changed dramatically since 1998 but as I mentioned Aweber are no laggards when it comes to new trends and opportunities. They now integrate many social sharing options into your email marketing service.
- Facebook and Twitter broadcasting, being socially active is an important factor and this makes that easy
- Automatic creation of message archives, no need to create or manage your own archive website.
- Viral marketing becomes easy with Tweet Me and Follow Me buttons in blended into your email message.
- Automatically notify your subscribers when you publish new content.
Now the one element that may make you nervous is the investment cost needed to start with Aweber. That is an important point to remember, selecting Aweber is a long term investment that may not show a return in the short term but in the long term, you will be glad you invested wisely.
However once your trial period has finished the table below illustrates what the investment going forwards will be
As you can see the price you pay is based upon your ability to attract leads into your business. The flip side of that of course is that you also need to increase your performance when it comes to providing solutions that your subscribers will buy.
So to Conclude…
You need to select an autoresponder service sooner rather than later and by going with one that has stood the test of time but is in no way resting on its merits you will have made a great decision if you go with Aweber. You can start today for just $1 by clicking the link below