Many businesses and bloggers who just have started their own email newsletter or ezine take it for granted that their emails get delivered to all recipients. Indeed they are very surprised when they find out very soon that reality is quite different.
Did you really expect that your email message gets delivered to all — for example — 5,000 subscribers all the time, did you?
Your email marketing service provider might advertise with a deliverability rate of 95% or more, but that's not the full story. Those figures are in most cases based on hard bounces when the sender is notified that the email is not being accepted by the recipient because of an invalid email address or the sender being blocked. Those instances are rare nowadays.
The truth is many email messages are simply being lost!
They are filtered out by corporate firewalls or large ISPs (like Yahoo, Hotmail, or Gmail) without informing the sender or recipient about this fact. In some cases your message is pushed into the spam folder even when your spam score analyzer indicated, “this message doesn't look like spam at all.”
What an email autoresponder does can be explained very easily. Once a new subscriber has joined your email newsletter, your autoresponder service will send messages which you have prepared over time.
An autoresponder has many useful applications
Martin signs up for an email course about expanding his vocabulary on Monday. For one month he will get 5 emails a week with new words and their meaning.
All you had to do was to prepare all messages for the complete course once.
Andre signs up two or three weeks later, but on a Thursday. He will receive 5 messages on the following days, have 2 days off and will receive 5 messages again.
You will notice the difference between Martin and Andre. Martin has off on the weekends, Andre doesn't.
Of course, Andre doesn't need to read his emails on the weekend, but let's say he decided to read his course on Monday evening, he will find 3 emails from you. The daily course for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.
Now my favorite email marketing service provider AWeber has solved this problem very elegantly.
To return to my example from above. By setting the send window for the follow-up messages of this email course to Mo-Fr you can make sure that Andre and everybody else who did not sign up for the course on a Monday gets their rest on the weekend.
What applications and examples can you come up with that utilize this new feature?
Let us know, leave a comment.
In case you are not using AWeber for your email marketing already. I think it's the perfect time to give them a try.
Recently many — especially — small business owners asked me how to chose a good provider or software for email marketing. A good reason to write a blog post about this topic. Read below what I have told them.
A permission based list of email subscribers is the most valuable asset you should build with your online marketing efforts. So what are the right tools to get started with. Technically you have three choices:
(1) Sending your email promotions yourself with desktop software.
(2) Sending your emails with server based software from your servers.
(3) Outsourcing to a trusted email marketing tools service provider.
When using (1) or (2) you will find yourself quickly involved with technical issues and you will run into all sorts of restrictions and limitations due to various anti-spam measures. Getting your emails delivered is not only a technical issue anymore. It has become a matter of trust between email service and Internet service providers. (Thanks to all those reckless email spammers.) Sending your email campaigns using a reputable service provider increases the chances that your emails are delivered and protects you from having your own email server or domain blocked as a result of false spam complaints.
It might look more inexpensive to make a one-time purchase for software that handles all your future email campaign needs compared to choosing a service that charges $30 a month. But in reality you will pay a very heavy price for trying to be cheap.
Any good email marketing service provider will take care of the issues that ensure your messages get delivered into the inbox of your subscribers. They also will make sure that their service is up-to-date technically and follows legal requirements like the CAN-SPAM act.
Yesterday some members of my newsletter received a message with a broken link in it. That message was not supposed to be sent out. Instead of apologizing with another email, I write this blog post and explain, how you can avoid a similar faux pas.
Don't mess with your autoresponder follow-up series
Autoresponder follow-up messages are sent in defined intervals to someone, who has just joined your email list. Such a feature as provided by a sophisticated email marketing service tool provider like AWeber is used for various purposes. Some series are scheduled with a daily email for a week others with a weekly email for a year. For example:
A 7 day, 30 day, 4 week email course
A series of affiliate promotions
Pointing readers to older, but valuable blog posts or other resources
Before starting to change your existing series of messages that is already in use, beware that there are 2 types of operations:
AWeber.com (AWeber Communications, Inc.) is one of the most recommended service providers for email marketing.
For three reasons:
They are devoted to maintain one of the highest email deliverability rates of more than 99% in the industry. That makes sure your messages have the best chance to pass spam filters and block lists on their way to your subscribers inbox.
Essential email marketing features are included without hidden fees.
E.g. Newsletter broadcasting, signup forms, autoresponders, sign up per email, HTML templates, 24/7 easy to use admin interface, unsubscribe and bounce management, various reports, and …
Very competitive and affordable rates.
19.95 $ a month for unlimited email campaigns
with up to 10,000 subscribers.
Well, that one has become history.
Now, AWeber confronts potential buyers with 69.00 $ a month for the same service (unlimited email campaigns for up to 10,000 subscribers).
At first glance that looks like a price increase of a whopping +246 %.
But let me step back for a second and look at this in detail. (Conclusion: AWeber is still a bargain!)