One of the first questions new (and even experienced) marketers often ask is: “What’s the best autoresponder service or email marketing tool?” Autoresponders and email marketing tools are some of the most important parts of your business. You use it to follow-up with customers. To keep people coming back to your site. To build loyalty. To make sales. Yet the answer is often not so clear cut. Do you want the highest deliverability possible? Do you want to import offline contacts? Do you want to integrate your list management with a shopping cart? Do you want to spend $20 a month or $500 a month? The answer to these questions all yield very different answers. Here are the top 10 autoresponder tools on the market, along with who they’re for and what they’re capable of.
Moonmail is great platform that utilizes Amazon SES – which means you are only paying for what you send (vs. subscribers in your account), making it at cost effective solution for small businesses. With a powerful drag and drop editor, deep analytics, and built-in heatmaps (so you can see what content is working) all under a clean and easy-to-use interface, it’s a excellent choice to scale your email marketing needs.
The flip side of that coin is specialization. Many operators believe that hosted email services are useful mainly to companies interested only in general-purpose email use and that any specialized application requires an in-house deployment. This might be true depending on the app but it might not depending on the capabilities offered by the hosted email provider. Email marketing is a great example. Some hosted email providers have special service suites aimed specifically at email marketers, many of whom can send out thousands of emails per month, focused not so much on communication as they are on marketing. These service providers deliver more than just volume, too, as they also offer custom email creation tools and sophisticated marketing and tracking metrics.
We narrowed down our list by eliminating vendors that don't specialize in email marketing campaigns or that don't work with small businesses. Next, we researched each provider by investigating its services. We considered pricing when available. After narrowing the list down to seven, we contacted each company's customer service department and posed as small business owners.
Within 24 hours you’ll then receive a personal email from yours truly, with your very own click tracking link. (We use ClickMagick and MCBP as they are the industry's leading click tracking platforms). You can then watch as your clicks come in with highly detailed statistics such as geographic location, I.P. address, device type, browser type plus lots more detailed information.
You can attach files up to 25MB and upload more than one at a time. Once they are attached, documents and images are displayed as thumbnails, so it’s easy to verify you’ve attached the correct files. When you receive attachments in an incoming message, these, too, are displayed as thumbnails so you can preview and sure they are safe to download to your computer.
Along with specialized uses for email, you should investigate how your users are emailing on a daily basis. Email has come a long way in 40 years and the way people use it has significantly evolved. That's important because it will impact the tools and features you need to look for in your hosted email provider's client software. Sure, Microsoft Outlook is still the most popular on-site email client, but a fast-increasing number of today's email users are opting for other email clients, such as Thunderbird, or all-web clients, such as Google's hugely popular Gmail. These clients can be very sophisticated and, depending on what your users are doing with email, they can have a big impact on your day-to-day business process.
Finding the right online marketing tools can seem like a difficult task. Luckily, the best email platforms offer an unlimited number of messages and progressive pricing packages. This means that your bills depend on the number of subscribers. So, if you are a small business with a few hundred mailing list subscribers, you will only have to pay a small monthly rate. Constant Contact offers great price points for small businesses. You can even find an email platform that offers free plans for those who need only a limited number of features, like Benchmark. If you are unsure what your needs are, you can opt for a pay-as-you-go plan.
For example, if you set up an autoresponder with an interval of 24 and you receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org at 8:00 AM on Monday, the autoresponder immediately responds to the message. If, however, email@example.com continues to email you throughout the day, the autoresponder does not send another response for 24 hours after the initial email (in this case, 8:00 AM on Tuesday). If firstname.lastname@example.org emails you again after the 24-hour interval expires, the system sends them an autoresponse.
Getting started shouldn't be daunting. Generally, you'll know right away whether you like a user interface (UI) or not, and most of the contenders we reviewed offer free trials so you can poke around before dropping any cash. Luckily, most of these services have modern-looking graphics and uncluttered layouts. These are not the complex business software UIs of yesterday. Be careful, though, as some free trials require a credit card. This means you need to be sure to cancel your trial before you're billed if you're not happy with the service.