Anyone who’s looking to start an online business will eventually hear the term, “The money is in the list!” Email marketing software is crucial for a successful online business. First, if gives you a way to communicate with your customers. Second, it allows you to market to your customers and get those valuable repeat customers.
For the last couple of months, I’ve been researching auto responders (as they are also know), and learned a few important things for anyone looking into email marketing for their business.
- Choose wisely. Your email list is potentially the most valuable thing your business will have. Remember, that list is of people who actually chose to type their name and email address so you can send them awesome stuff. These are your customers, repeat customers, and will refer you to their friends for more customers.
- There are two big players: Aweber & MailChimp. There are other great products as well, but these are the top players. Aweber is the largest and is known for their analytics, targeting and tracking features. MailChimp is more prettier, more user-friendly, with great templates. Actually you can’t go wrong with either choice.
- Changing list providers is a pain in the ass. While it’s technically doable. Switching providers will result in losing people on your list. The problem is that when you switch from, lets say MailChimp to Aweber, each person on your list will have to click an “agree” link in the new email from the new provider. Not everyone will do that and ultimately you will lose subscribers during the process.
- Free is not an option. You get what you pay for in this case. A free service is ok for a small blog or to play with. But free services can’t handle large volumes of email, have poor anti-spam features, or don’t have tracking or marketing tools like the big names provide.
- There is a rumor out there that MailChimp bans affiliate marketers. That’s not actually true. They allow affiliate links, just not ones on their blacklist. For more info, check out this article from the horse’s mouth: http://kb.mailchimp.com/article/does-mailchimp-ban-affiliate-links. It pays to read the terms of service no matter who you do business with. Just don’t abuse any policies and lose your list.
I really can’t go wrong with Aweber or MailChimp. But with all my research, I’m still on the fence. Aweber is popular and powerful, but I really how MailChimp designed their product. So I’m digging deep and am going to trial both services. Aweber has a $1 for the first month deal and MailChimp is free up to 2000 subscribers.
While I didn’t choose them, I do want to mention a WordPress newsletter plugin called Wysija. It’s a great option if you want a DIY type approach that you manage yourself right from WordPress. If your list gets big, they even have options to integrate with a couple autoresponder services too. Check them out at: http://wordpress.org/plugins/wysija-newsletters/
Do you use an autoresponder? If so, I’d love to hear your comments. I’ll be making my “big” decision soon…
… and soon after that I’ll be smiling big as I get my first subscriber. Can’t wait!
From Aug 6 through Sep 5, I’m participating in The Suitcase Entrepreneur’s 30 Day Blog Challenge. Every day, for the next 30 days, I’ll be posting about a new topic of the day about building my own online business. I’m looking forward to learning new tips and trick for my new blog, Livermore Rocks! So join me on my quest as I take on the 30 Day Blog Challenge. Enjoy -Kirk