Building a list: Getting started
The first thing you’ll need, of course, is an autoresponder service. You may have one already, but if not, let’s discuss what you should look for in a provider, and which ones are the most popular.
The first criteria most people look for is the price. It’s true that there are some providers that are free, but there are a couple of issues to consider when using a free service.
First of all, free providers are usually only free up to a certain number of subscribers. After that, some of them can be just as expensive as other providers, if not more so. Thus, it’s important to know exactly how much you’ll be charged once your account is no longer eligible to be free.
Second, the free providers are sometimes lacking in features compared to the more popular paid services, so you might later find that you’re missing some functionality that another provider could give you.
Third, some of the free services have a lower deliverability rate than some of the others, because they aren’t whitelisted by common ISPs like the big-name providers are. This means a lot of your emails could go into peoples’ spam boxes, making your emails essentially useless.
If you don’t mind any of these issues, free providers can be a great way to get started. You can always download your list and upload it to another provider later if you are unhappy with the one you choose.
A couple of the most popular free autoresponder providers are listed below:
Features are obviously another very important factor in choosing an autoresponder provider. In the beginning, you may not know which features you’d like to have, but eventually, you might like to have some of the more advanced features like A/B/ split testing, advanced tracking, etc.
Some good features to look for:
• Attractive email templates that are easy to customize.
• The ability to segment lists.
• The ability to import and export lists.
• Integration with social media or e-commerce platforms you use.
• Spam scoring.
• High deliverability.
• Tracking and analytics built-in.
Ultimately, you’ll have to decide which features are most important to you in order to make sure a provider has all of the features you’re looking for.
Depending on which market you’re in, you may be concerned about being sure you’re complying with your provider’s terms of service. And some providers are much more lenient than others, especially when it comes to markets that are considered high-risk or taboo, such as adult entertainment, or anything related to alcohol, firearms, or drugs.
Even some erotic romance authors have had their accounts shut down by certain providers, and all they were doing was sending out emails about book releases.
So if you’re in a market that some people might have issues with, be sure you read the rules of a potential provider carefully before you sign up, and make sure their rules aren’t going to conflict with the purposes you need to use it for.
Here is a list of a few popular autoresponder services you can look into: