I’m here to share some reasons why GetResponse is my email marketing tool of choice. That isn’t to say that there are not other great providers out there. There are! This is a personal journey.
Hopefully it provides you with some features to look for in your own providers, which can help to validate the decision you may have already made.
First, some background on parts of my journey that are more recent. I have been participating in P.J. Hulle's annual List-a-Palooza 90-day list-building challenge. P.J. really knows her stuff and also knows how to bring in valuable guests to teach you different aspects of the list-building process. Another thing about Ms. Hulle is her positive attitude and how inspiring she is! (A lot like Ms. Ileane!).
Here is an interview I had with P.J. Hulle. She lets us get to know her, but also shares about her list-a-palooza and her email marketing tool of choice, Infusion Soft. What I found especially helpful is her reference to her favorite aspects of the email marketing tool (which is expounded on in another interview that we had). Here is my Interview with Abby from GetResponse
I am here to share the reasons why I left MailChimp, for GetResponse. Be sure to visit the sites, tutorials, and reviews (some of which are linked above), for more information on some of the others so that you can create your own comparison of email marketing tools.
My Move to GetResponse
My first email marketing provider (at least in the more recent past) was Vertical Response. I think I chose them because of price. It wasn’t free, but it was a great pricing model for send-whenever-you-like versus a monthly fee.
When using Vertical Response, creating the email templates became such a chore. When it took me four times as long to modify the content that I had already created on the site, to get it ready for the newsletter, I realized that I needed to find something that was more conducive to appealing designs. In other words, email templates that were a breeze to use.
The obvious solution (based on the newsletters I had received from associates) seemed to be MailChimp. After all, they had really appealing designs. I still believe that MailChimp has appealing designs, but I was sort of left with a “What do I do now feeling” after signing up for MailChimp. Everything seemed to be there but what I really wanted was more of a hand-holding experience. That is odd for me because usually I don’t want that, but MailChimp felt like a blank screen to me.
I'm sure that Vertical Response and MailChimp work well for some people and maybe they have even improved since I left, but I was already on to a new direction, toward GetResponse.
As many of you know, I do interviews. I have several web shows and also SocialWebCafe interviews. During one of those, I interviewed Abby Hartz, the face of customer support over at GetResponse. It is really hard not to fall in love with Abby. She is so approachable, knowledgeable, sweet, and real! See for yourself, in the video, below.
[tweet_box design=”box_04″]Email lists with 10% or more unknown users get only 44% of their email delivered.[/tweet_box]
Here are five of the aspects that made me decide that GetResponse was the right email marketing tool for me.
This is a strange feature to list as a reason that I switched to GetResponse. I mean, why would I give up MailChimp (free with a small enough list) to move to GetResponse (that isn't free)?
There is something about paying for a service that gets someone moving. It is really easy to procrastinate when you are not paying for something. I’m not saying that free isn’t a great place to be, but it depends on what is free.
If it is a free book that has no contribution to the bottom line in my business, then yeah, procrastinating is ok. I could save the reading of that book for a time when I am on vacation, basking in the sunlight on the deck of a cruise ship. But, when it comes to list building and how important that is to a business, then procrastination is not a good thing.
If you are well disciplined and procrastination is simply something that does not exist in your life, than a free service like MailChimp may be an option for you. But, even in that case, eventually, when your list gets larger, even the free option isn’t free anymore. (Somehow, the phrase, “Nothing is ever free” comes to mind…)
One last comment on price is that we sometimes (and actually should!) look at a product or service in terms of what we are getting for that cost. One thing that impressed me was that GetResponse was a bit less expensive than some other services, but also, when you login to GetResponse, you are met with a plethora of opportunities to learn how to do email marketing and how to use GetResponse to do just that. It is a case of that feeling of getting more than what you paid for (more on that in the training section, below).
Triggers and Segmentation (next section) are a couple of things mentioned by P.J. Hulle, when we were chatting about her preferred service provider. So, being the type of person that wanted to be sure that I wasn’t missing out on the party, I went to research how that fits in the GetResponse world – and it does!
Triggers are those things that can be “triggered” by actions or events. For example, when a subscriber signs up for your newsletter, there is often the confirmation email, allowing them to click and be sure that they want to subscribe (and that it was really them that entered the email address on the form) and there is also an opportunity for a “thank you” email after they have confirmed their subscription. These are action-based triggers.
Another type of trigger is based on events (i.e. data in the profile). These would be emails that you could send out based on birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Isn’t it great that your email marketing tool can handle all that for you, so you don’t have to do it manually?
One other area, related to triggers, is the use of a third party service, like Zapier, to carry out the trigger. For more information, please see the related article, below.
Here are some great articles, curated by the GetResponse team, on their blog, that tells you how to set up triggers and ideas for triggers that will help you in your business:
- Triggered Emails: Do You Know These 21 Profitable Techniques?
- Step-By-Step on Creating Event-Based Triggers (i.e. Birthdays)
- Zapier Integration with GetResponse
Segmentation is where you are sending specific information to subsets of your list. It is very well described in the resource links, below. P.J. Hulle also described it in our chat when she mentioned that she used it to segment between those who were (or had) participated in her list-a-palooza and those who had not.
By segmenting, you do not have to sound redundant (or annoying) to those who have already purchased your product or service. However, with properly configured segmentation, you don’t have to sacrifice the subtle sales pitch to those who have not yet purchased your product or service.
Here are some resources to help you with list segmentation:
- 3 Segmentation Recipes that Boost List Performance
- Are You Getting the Most of Your Email Segmentation?
- List Segmentation [PDF]
Phenomenal (and Responsive) Designs!
I am not a designer. I am a developer (among other things). What that means is that I can do creative things with PHP and with the database and change up how my sites deliver content. However, when it comes to the design and looking pretty, that is not as high on my list of skills. That was the main reason I switched from Vertical Response to MailChimp. It was because I wanted the done-for-you designs.
One of the reasons I subsequently switched from MailChimp to GetResponse was that their interface allowed me to have more control on the design. You see, I seem to always want to tweak and that is what GetResponse allowed me to do. They provide awesome templates and I can still tweak as much (or as little) as I like.
Also, the designs are responsive. If you are not sure what responsive means, or why you should care, GetResponse provides a great article on that very topic. Whatever email marketing provider you choose, you will want to ensure that they provide responsive designs so that your mobile visitors have a pleasant and rewarding experience reading your newsletters (and other email marketing content).
One of the key reasons (as I mentioned above, under “price”) that I stick with GetResponse and what keeps me from wandering over to the competitors to check out what they have, is the training.
This isn’t stale training. What I mean is that it is not like GetResponse put together a bunch of training modules and then left it at that. No, they have a rigorous schedule of adding new training content, as well as their awesome customer support. How do I know this? I have interviewed Abby Hartz three times and that lady is one busy lady with the webinars and the recorded videos that she does for GetResponse.
If that isn’t enough, there is the GetResponse University, with 30 days of step-by-step training on how to use the application for your email marketing needs.
Remember how your teacher (or parents) would get upset with you if you didn’t finish and turn in your assignments? (Not that that ever happened to me. J ) Well, it is not like that with GetResponse. There is the gentle encouragement to follow the 30 days, one day at a time, but if you are unable to do it, you can pick up where you left off at any time. It isn’t like the training expires because you missed one day. This is helpful for those of us busy entrepreneurs! It also gives you that feeling of receiving even more than what you thought you were getting when you signed up for GetResponse.
There are many more reasons why I love GetResponse, but this list will get you started. Ultimately, it is up to you and this article provides you with some features to look for in any product or service you consider for your email marketing. In addition to all of the reasons, writing about GetResponse is a pleasure after the amount of time Abby Hartz has shared with me, telling me about the product. It is contagious and one can’t help but catch her excitement and positive attitude – simply put, that says something about the company.