Basics of Autoresponders
There's a Myriad of Auto responders out there to choose from, however only a handful truly deliver. Bare in mind while choosing a provider, that it can turn into a real $#&*@! of a chore, should you decide, or need to switch platforms somewhere down the line, so choose wisely.
Also, this tutorial is not meant to cover the specifics of email marketing and networking, however I have provided with a few tips, to get you started.
Who are the major players?
Aweber, MailChimp, iContact, and ConstantContact are but a few. That's not to say they're the best, or all that well priced. There are many more on the market, in fact the one I use isn't on the list.
One provider which you should read up on before joining is MailChimp. It's not all that friendly toward affiliate email marketing, and from what I've been reading lately, it will kick you off without notice. So just a heads up, make sure you conform to their latest policy changes. User Beware.
If you care to take the time, and do the research. you'll be pleasantly surprised at the options, tools offered, as well as big differences in pricing, For instance, do they charge for "un-subscribers"?
Another main option you should strongly consider, is a double opt-in. Which will be covered in the upcoming section.below.
Single or double optin form, what's the diff?
Let's begin with the single opt-in.
When someone visits your website, fills in your opt -in form, with a single opt-in, their email is added your list of subscribers, and automatically begins receiving your newsletters or whatever else you have set up. There's no need for them to confirm that they've subscribed.
The double opt-in
After a visitor fills out your "subscribe" form, they are prompted to go to their inbox, click the link in the automated email sent, as to confirm that yes indeed, they did subscribe to your mailing list.
Only when they've confirmed that indeed they have subscribed, are they added to your mailing list.
Single vs double opt in.
Obviously it's much easier to simply fill out a single opt-in box and you're done, you're subscribed, no more hoops to jump through. Top it off most, recent studies show a loss of about 20% subscribers when using a double opt-in, as your subscribers have to go to their email, and click your confirmation link. Isn't the reason we have opt-in boxes to increase our user base, get more subscribers? 20% is a heck of a lot.
Seems pretty clear cut, doesn't it?
if we take into account all the fake or misspelled emails, add to that the fact that a "single step opt-in form" is more vulnerable and receives more spam, scams and bots, the scale begins to tip towards the double opt-in option, and the 20% gap between the two options quickly begins to close.
My own opinion on the subject
A large list containing a lot of useless subscribers is not as valuable as a smaller one, where subscribers actually click through your emails. It also greatly contributes to preserving the integrity of your email list.
I hope this has been helpful, and before we move on to installing your opt-in box, I highly encourage you, if you feel the need, to bookmark this tutorial, take an hour or so, and brush up on the subject.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below, I'm always happy to to jump in and help, or just to say hello.
See you on the other side :)