An autoresponder is a tool that automatically sends a series of emails to subscribers.
Now, why would you want to set this up?
Because, once it’s setup, it will deliver content to your subscribers in a fairly “hands off” manner.
What Can You Deliver?
Anything that you want delivered over time and anything that is “standard issue”.
- Sales funnel content: You can send the lead magnet, rapport building emails, and then go in for the close.
- Sales content: You can send emails that drive action and promote products.
- General content: You can send general emails that are informative, helpful, and/or entertaining in order to keep the relationship fresh
- Online course: You can “drip feed” a course to your subscribers. For example, produce a 15 day course, and each day automatically send an email with the day’s lesson in it.
- Milestone emails: When a subscriber has been a subscriber for X number of days, you can congratulate and thank them with a discount.
I do not recommend you go completely hands off. Keep an eye on your email. If people ask questions, make sure you respond to them.
- List: A collection of email addresses. For example; a list of subscribers to your site.
- Series: The sequence of emails that are automatically sent to your subscribers.
- Segmentation: Categories of subscribers within individual lists. For example; segmentation based on gender, age, product purchase, links clicked, emails opened, pages visited, etc. Some autoresponder tools can even pull social media data for more thorough customer segmentation. Note: Different segments can also have different series.
- Events: What starts an autoresponder. More on this below.
- Opt-in (form): How a subscriber initially joins an email list.
All autoresponder tools are a little different. Some have more “events” and features than others, but most have what I have listed below.
- Join: When the subscriber first joins your email list, a welcome email can automatically be sent to welcome them to your list. This first email normally delivers the lead magnet.
- Length of subscription: How long the subscriber has been on your list. For example; once the user has been subscribed for 3 days, send this email. At 10 days, send that email.
- Date: Emails can be sent based on date. For example; birthday, monthly or annual payments reminders, appointment reminders, etc.
- Product purchase: Emails can be sent based upon the purchase of a product that say thank you or to recommend complementary products (upsells). Or, emails can be sent to remind people that they have items in their cart (cart abandonment).
- Opened/Didn't open an email: Emails can be sent based upon whether another email was or wasn't opened. For example; you send an email that has time sensitive material and the subscriber doesn't open it. You could then, automatically, send another email with the same time sensitive content so they don’t miss anything.
- Clicked/Didn't click a link in an email: Like the opened/didn't open email – emails can be sent based upon whether a link in another email was or wasn't clicked.
- Visited a web page: Emails can be sent based upon which pages a subscriber has visited. For example; if a subscriber looks at a page concerning one of your products, you could then send an email full of content about that product in order to help sway their purchase decision.
Basic Autoresponder vs CRM Tool
There are literally thousands of options when it comes to autoresponder tools. These options range in price anywhere from free to $1,000+ per month.
A basic autoresponder tool costs about $20/mo and it will have most, if not all of the features and functions mentioned above.
The more expensive solutions tend to go by the name of a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool and they usually start at approximately $200/mo.
The difference between a basic autoresponder and a CRM is that a CRM has a lot more features. Many try to be a “one-stop-shop”. Many will host websites, landing pages, sales pages, etc. Many have their own built-in payment processors that allow you to accept payments through them. Many track a lot more client/customer data and allow you to do lead scoring. Many track employee activity and production. Some have built in phone systems. And, plenty more features.
It all comes down to what you need.
If your main goal is to automatically send emails and have the features and functions listed above, then, more than likely, a basic autoresponder will suit all of your needs.
Popular Autoresponder Tools:
Basic Autoresponder Tools:
- ActiveCampaign: Great autoresponder tool and the one we use at Crazy Eye Marketing, payments start at $9/mo.
- MailChimp: Another great autoresponder tool. They do offer free plans, but in order to get the autoresponder service, payments start at $10/mo.
- Aweber: Another popular autoresponder tool. Starts at $19/mo.
- GetResponse: Another popular autoresponder tool. Starts at $15/mo.
- Constant Contact: Another popular autoresponder tool. Starts at $20/mo.