You’ve probably heard the name before and I’ll just be clear: it’s not an out-of-office reply. They are actually a brilliant bit of online software that is designed to generate a mailing list via the use of a capture form on your website or blog. Each person that signs up to your mailing list receives a series of pre-written emails within a time frame predetermined by you. (One every day, every two days, every week…) You can also set it up to automatically deliver your latest blog post via email, as you can with RSS. Or you can publish an email or newsletter and post it to your mailing list at any time.
There are many autoresponders available and they all work basically in the same way. Two big differences between them is the price, of course which is usually a monthly fee, and the size of the mailing list the autoresponder can cope with. With most autoresponders the price goes up depending on the amount of people on the mailing list. Another consideration is the scope of capture form designs. I’ve tried AWeber, Getresponse and Traffic Wave. Traffic Wave is the only one to fix their monthly fee, no matter the size of your mailing list. It also has an amazing affiliate offer. I’m not an affiliate for Traffic Wave, but in my opinion it is one of the better ones. I am however an affiliate for Listwire which was my personal choice, mainly because it’s free. It’s very clever the way Gary Ambrose makes his money: check it out and see if you can work it out because there’s no advertising, unlike many of the other free autoresponders. One drawback of Listwire is the limited capture form designs, although I found a way around this was to design the form in Photoshop first and then load it into Listwire as a JPG file. I will publish a tutorial on how to do this in a later post, but I found that it was a good solution without the need to be an HTML programmer.
Most autoresponders work in the same way but can be a little tricky to get your head around at first. And again my next post will be about how to use Listwire. Most autoresponders offer a one-month free trial so it’s a good idea to check a few different ones out and see what suits your needs best.