As I mentioned, getting started can be a bit overwhelming and the reason is because of what you see on this slide. It seems that everybody has something to say about who to go with, who’s the best and what you should use first.
Getting Started – Choosing Providers
So what I’ve done is I’ve simplified it and given you this handful of providers. They’re everywhere right? But the best way and the quickest to get started is by using, out of all of these, just these three: AWeber, MailChimp and GetResponse.
If I had to sort them, of course GetResponse is at the top because that’s what I personally use and promote. AWeber and MailChimp are just as good but GetResponse, I find it to be the easiest and most powerful, meaning I can pull off more with less clicks and less tricks.
AWeber integrates with everything, I mean AWeber is known as the workhorse in the industry which just works and it works with everything.
MailChimp, although it has a great integration and their user interface is very user-friendly, a lot of people that sign up with MailChimp because it’s free. MailChimp is one of the only providers that lets you get started for free and I believe you can build a list up to maybe 2,000 people. You cannot send emails to them or anything but you can build a list and then when you’re ready you can sign up for an account with them.
So those are my 3, that narrows it down. You can close your eyes and pick any one of them, start it out and you’ll be good.
Like I said, I personally use GetResponse. I have an AWeber account too, I started with AWeber so I don’t have any quarrels against any of them. I’m not one of those guys who says use GetResponse, AWeber is trash, MailChimp is trash. It all depends on your business and how you structure it and how you anticipate using email marketing.
Rick: So if we take free out of the equation, what kind of business would use GetResponse instead of AWeber? I mean what are the distinctions that would help somebody make it a decision?
What Set’s AWeber, MailChimp and GetResponse Apart?
Chris: One of the reasons I’m moved to GetResponse is that creating newsletters and emails is a lot easier. Meaning they had a lot more visual aids to do that because I set up a lot of accounts but I don’t manage them. So people need to be empowered to go in there and make an email, use a theme or template I should say easily and get going.
I found AWeber just did an update that has kind of raised the bar for them but before then, AWeber was more list-driven, you had to know where to go within a sublist and once you figured out you had it.
Sending Emails to Segments of Multiple Lists
Another thing with GetResponse, and this is for more advanced marketers like myself, is that it has what I call dynamic segmentation which means I can send and email broadcasts to multiple segments in multiple list. What that means is that if somebody is on a webinar list and then somebody’s on my ebook list and I want to send a broadcast to a specific group involved, GetResponse allows me to do that as well as some other advanced segmentation features. So that’s why I say g that for etting started, any of these will do because the real difference comes from specific business needs and if you don’t need that high degree of marketing per sé, any one of these will do.
What “Free” in MailChimp Get’s You
Rick: A current MailChimp user points out that you can actually send emails to your list with the free MailChimp account, it’s just that that’s a limited number of emails that you can send.
Chris: Yes, it’s limited and I should say, the last time I checked with my MailChimp account, I had to integrate my Amazon S3 service account because the data of the email had to be posted somewhere because MailChimp does not host that data for free so maybe they changed that. And also, the AutoResponders in MailChimp are not activated for the free account.
And the AutoResponder is if you were delivering an ebook, you will not be able to automatically send them an email once they opted in to download that ebook. Ideally yes, you can send out free but the level of effort that it would take to do that, you might as well just get a paid MailChimp account at the end of the day. I’ve seen free work better for people who wanted to acquire leads.
Switching Between Providers
Rick: And somebody else points out the complexity or the difficulty of switching between platforms. For example, if you develop a list in MailChimp and then decide you want to take it to AWeber, that requires you to send them out an opt-in again to allow them to opt-in to your AWeber account. AWeber doesn’t just let you import email addresses and create a list.
Chris: You’re correct and that’s another area where I like GetResponse. GetResponse actually does. That is a great point to bring up because once you do have a list in one of these providers, it is a task to move it over and not more so because you have to do a double opt-in. That’s a great point because anytime you ask somebody to opt-in again, you’re going to lose subscribers, there’s never a 100% converge.
So what I found is that in AWeber, actually all through a single opt-in, you just have to get authorization but when I move from AWeber to GetResponse, I saw that firsthand that I was able to import the email addresses without asking them to opt-in again. And since I already had good reputation in their mailbox with my email address, I didn’t see any delivering rates drop.
However, something that I didn’t look at is that AWeber tracks how people come into your email marketing funnel and I lost that data because it was just an active site so everybody that had downloaded an ebook or came into a webinar, AWeber has all of those tags associated with my context so when I went to GetResponse I lost all of those tags and I realized that my segmentation took a hit. So that is a great point that if you do have an idea of maybe getting more detailed with your marketing, I would recommend GetResponse
But as I’ve said for the most part for most business owners AWeber, MailChimp, GetResponse does what it needs to do and at the point where you realize you needed to do more it will be very early so you’ll be able to make the transition early instead of later where your list is in the thousands.
Speaking of cost, the average cost to get started can range anywhere from $0 to $30 a month. That would give you a range of anywhere from 500 – 2,500 subscribers and what you want to look for in that cost per subscriber base is that you can one, send unlimited emails but 2, if they do limit your emails, you’re going to want to know how many.
For 500 people they allow you to send 2,000 emails a month, well that lets you know if you’re going to email your list you can only do that 4 times a month so you need to consider how often you want to send emails. Thankfully, AWeber, GetResponse and MailChimp, I don’t believe they have limitations on how many emails you can send to your subscribers but that is something to look into if you’re looking at solutions outside of that.
So that’s why I kind of summed it up to those 3 providers for email marketing. It kind of takes the complexity out of choosing because I want to make it as easy as possible.
As I mentioned, there’s 2 formats, text-based or HTML-based.
Text is exactly what you see, it’s short sentences split up with lines with a call to action in the form of a link.
HTML-based are more like newsletters so weekly, monthly, bi-weekly newsletters where the format doesn’t change but the content changes. So this devotional HTML newsletter here has the “Donate” box and it has some other boxes on the site, that’s always there but the content on the left side is the only thing that changes.
Ways to Use Them
This HTML-based is more used for branding purposes and I’ve seen it used more widely for newsletters that are not sent out frequently whereas text-based is more flexible. I’ve seen people send text-based newsletters out daily or weekly but the HTML is more visual with their call to actions. The text-based is of course the blue minx but they’re more easily optimized for your mobile devices as well as desktop devices.
Rick: You know the nice thing about text-based is that they seem more personal. That’s the system that I use and one thing I’ve observed is that people mistakenly believe that I actually just sent the email to them because it says, “hey Rick, we’re doing such and such tomorrow morning, you can sign up for that down here”. It looks exactly like just an ordinary personal email. I may have sent it out to 3,500 people but people still look at it and consider it to be a personal communication with them just because it’s exactly what it looks like.
Chris: Yes, yes, I agree wholeheartedly. I mean I get your emails, of course, and it does have that feel. That is a big piece of the personalization, is that it just gives you a level of depth in marketing that you really can’t get anywhere else. Not in direct mail, not in Adwords, you just can’t get that so that’s what I really like to do.
How Often and What to Publish
You may be wondering how often will you publish and the type of information you will publish. This is important because consistency is key to your success with email marketing. I see it all the time. I’ll join a list and won’t hear from the guy and then like 2 months later, I get an email and I’ll say, “Who was this guy?”. I can’t even remember why I initially got on the list.
And you don’t want to do that, you want to train people to see you on either a week, daily, weekly or monthly basis. And then let them know that every time they see you it’s going to be a value so that’s why it’s important to think about what kind of information will you publish. You don’t want to send the email just because you can. Don’t do that. You want to send it with an intent, a target in mind of what you want to happen, some information you want to get to them and do that consistently.
Rick: And what’s wrong with somebody getting an email 2 months from now and not remembering who you are?
Chris: The only thing wrong with that is that they may unsubscribe. And what I like to call it, it causes them to do work and the work is it makes them think again whereas when they’re familiar with you and your brand, they get the email, the only work that they have to do is opening it because they’re used to seeing your name and they trust your emails. When I get emails months later from people who have not established that brand recognition or that rapport with me, I’m always confused, “Why did I opt-in again?”, and I either don’t open the email or I’ll just unsubscribe.
Rick: And one other thing that happens is that people will mark that as spam. They don’t recognize the sender, they assume they’re getting it because they’re getting spammed and they use their email client to mark it as spam. I and if they’re using an online email client like Gmail, Google collects that information and you run the risk of being tag as a spammer. Google is really good at spam detection and you run the risk of getting yourself toss into spam.
Chris: Yes, which affects more than just that person that marked it as spam.
Rick: It affects everybody you get sent an email from Gmail.
Chris: Exactly, you are 100% accurate, that fact is a great segway into the process and as I’ve said this is an intro course so we’re taking it from the basics.
Using Double Opt-ins
There’s 2 ways that people can join your email list and that single opt-in and double opt-in. For the sake of simplicity, we’re just dealing with double opt-in today because what the double opt-in does, especially for people getting started, is it removes a lot of room for errors.
The double opt-in is another word for permission-based email marketing which means you can’t send somebody content until they verify that they gave you permission. And how that looks is that you’ll see a web form, you’ll fill it out on somebody’s page and then you check your email. There you’ll get a confirmation email and in that email will be a link that you’re supposed to click to give permissions. And if you don’t click that link, then you will never receive emails from that person because clicking that link activates your account on their email list per sé.
When you click that link it takes you to a “Thank You” page and a lot of people use the “Thank You” page to deliver the content that they promised on the opt-in. And what’s happening in the background is as they’re visiting this “Thank You” page and they are either downloading or getting access to a video training or something like that, there’s a “Welcome” email being sent.
Now, this is your autoresponder working and this is what I was mentioning with MailChimp, that it’s not possible on their free account, you will not get that automatic “Welcome” message on the free account.
Anyway, this is what happened after they clicked that confirmation email, you send them to a “Thank You” page and you say, “Hey, thank you for joining. Here’s what I promised you, click the link and it’s yours” or they play a video or something like that and then there’s a “Welcome” email sent. And this “Welcome” email is key because it’s your first personal point of contact with your new prospect.