In my many years’ experience in affiliate marketing, I realized one thing: timing can also be everything. That goes with following up leads on your mailing list and sending the right email at the right time. For that, you need an autoresponder.
For this article, I will talk about:
I hope after you read this post, you have a better idea of which of the options is worth your money.
What are autoresponders?
Fact: communication is key in any business, and it’s just as essential in affiliate marketing. But many often fail in a crucial step in lead management: follow-up.
According to HubSpot, waiting for five minutes to do it with an online lead could already decrease your ability to make the first contact by as much as 10 times!
One effective option for communication is via e-mail. The data compiled by Oberlo revealed that email marketing can give you a return of $42 for every dollar you invest. That’s such a huge ROI, don’t you think?
To run a well-oiled email marketing strategy, though, you need a mailing list to attract subscribers. Usually, this is where the problem happens. You cannot expect to send each individual a personally crafted email.
To automate the process, you can use autoresponders. These are services or platforms that allow you to send newsletters and emails to your hundreds of subscribers. You can customize each correspondence by using the available or uploading your templates.
You can also determine triggers for these mails. For example, the autoresponder will send a “thank you” note every time someone successfully signs up to your mailing list.
Pros and cons of autoresponders
Above are what I believe to be the pros and cons of autoresponders. However, I still think that, in the end, the effectiveness of the platform depends on you.
No system is perfect. But with these questions in mind, you are in a better position to choose which of the many autoresponders is ideal for you.
Compare 4 autoresponders
At its core, autoresponders share a lot of common features. Let me highlight some of them:
But each can also have distinct features that make them stand out. I would like to focus on them to help me better compare these autoresponders.
Hands down, ActiveCampaign is one of the most comprehensive autoresponders I’ve ever seen. If you’re an affiliate marketer willing to invest and commit to email marketing, this is the right choice.
It integrates relevant services that include:
Analytics is a big part of most autoresponders. However, big data can also be overwhelming to deal with. It’s easy to waste your time on the information your business doesn’t need.
ActiveCampaign provides you with a system to help you make more intelligent decisions based on your interaction with leads and customers. One of the sub-features is Predictive Sending, where the platform delivers the right email at the right time: when recipients are the most engaged.
Facebook custom audiences
At Facebook, users are not only socializing—they are also connecting with different brands. According to company reports, ad impressions rose by nearly 40% in 2019. It means more people are engaging with businesses.
However, with so many members and types of leads on social media, not everyone is on the same stage of the sales funnel. ActiveCampaign can help you in this area with its Facebook Custom Audiences feature.
Different vertical solutions
ActiveCampaign also curates its features according to users and their needs. For example, if you’re an affiliate marketer, you can add more value to your audience when you also become a reseller of the brand. It benefits you and others.
The company offers customizable solutions for agencies, bloggers, higher education, and e-commerce businesses. You can also pick according to your desired objective, such as to manage contacts or convert leads to sales.
ActiveCampaign offers four pricing plans all paid either monthly or yearly:
The actual prices depend on the number of contacts you have and the interval of payment. For instance, the Lite version would cost you $15 a month or $9/month when paid annually, but these are good for only 500 contacts. The more contacts you have, the more expensive any plan can get.
The Lite version is the most basic of them all, and it comes with so many limitations. You cannot even take advantage of phone support. This is more ideal for those starting out with their email marketing campaigns, focusing on building up the mailing list and connecting with leads.
Meanwhile, the most popular is Professional, which can already give you the best features and a few bells and whistles. However, it comes with a hefty price tag at $129 monthly (paid yearly) or $159 per month for only 500 contacts.
Does ActiveCampaign have a free trial? Yes
ActiveCampaign is best for many affiliate marketers since the solutions and features are scalable, but the new ones can expect a learning curve. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the many functions.
Aweber positions itself as a simple email marketing autoresponder, and based on experience and observation, it stands by its name. It isn’t loaded with many features, but whatever it offers seems well thought out and vital.
Easy design options and functions
As mentioned, autoresponders already come with lots of templates, but for me, Aweber has mastered design. Powered by artificial intelligence, you can customize your mails and even landing pages in a jiffy.
Aweber also uses a drag-and-drop function, which means you can rearrange the parts according to your liking. You can also automate newsletter publications, such as publishing your latest blog posts.
All these are incredibly helpful for newbies who may find even using autoresponders challenging and difficult to understand. The drag-and-drop editor is a feature found in other platforms, so the learning curve is lower.
Concierge migration services
While others limit customer support (ehem, ActiveCampaign), Aweber extends it. The concierge migration services means their staff will take care of moving contacts and campaigns from one autoresponder to another. That’s probably the most convenient way of introducing yourself to the tool more so to Aweber.
I love Aweber’s platform integrations since they help you maximize your leads. Interaction is essential when you want to move high-quality leads deeper into the sales funnel. Blog integrations help you build a mailing list platform fast.
You can add Aweber to the following applications (to name a few):
Aweber based its pricing plans to the number of subscribers you have:
If you have over 25,000 subscribers, you need to contact them directly. Also note that you can pay these plans monthly, quarterly, and annually. The price per month lowers if you choose the last two options.
As you can see, Aweber has a simpler pricing plan than ActiveCampaign. The features are also available for all plans. Perhaps the downside is you have no choice but to upgrade as your number of subscribers increases.
Does Aweber have a free trial? Yes
Aweber is awesome for new email marketers who want a simple but effective platform to use.
GetResponse feels like a cross between Aweber and ActiveCampaign. It has simple essential functions with a few bells and whistles for affiliate marketers.
One defining feature of GetResponse is its webinar function. As its name suggests, you can run it with potential leads and customers.
It’s a great tool when you are offering a high-end product that has a targeted niche or looking for affiliate partners. With this feature, you can integrate your mailing list throughout the webinar.
You can also run surveys and polls along with presentations. All of these can improve your engagement.
Now, I don’t think its webinar solution is as robust as Zoom or even Skype, but that’s understandable since this is just one of its core functions. It is not the be-all, end-all for an autoresponder.
Granted, most autoresponders allow you to make landing pages. But some do it better than the others, and GetResponse is one of them. For an affiliate marketer, a landing page is a powerful tool for conversion. Designing a landing page is fast and easy since you can choose among hundreds of templates.
Plus, with integrations in content platforms, such as WordPress, you have a professional-looking site to support your marketing objectives.
Abandoned cart emails
I particularly like the fact that GetResponse helps you design and send emails for customers who abandon their carts. The current rate is extremely high, which can translate into significant sales loss. With GetResponse, you can set up reminders or make a follow-up, which may eventually encourage a sale later.
GetResponse has four pricing plans:
You can also pay every 12 or 24 months, in which case you can save 18% and 30%, respectively. Prices can change according to the list size, although if you exceed your number of subscribers, you pay an extra fee without upgrading to the next plan.
Compared to ActiveCampaign, GetResponse prices are more affordable. The cheapest and simplest plan, Basic, will already allow you to publish Facebook Ads.
However, you need to upgrade to Plus if you want to run webinars with up to 100 attendees, and the plan costs at least $49 a month. Meanwhile, Zoom can already let you host the same number of people in its free version.
Does GetResponse have a free trial? Yes for 30 days
It’s ideal for affiliate marketers who want to maximize their webinars by linking them to email marketing strategies. It’s a better choice than ActiveCampaign if the price is an issue.
ConvertKit is an autoresponder for creators, which include bloggers and social media influencers. It positions itself as the email marketing tool for these people who want to build and expand their brand, eventually offering products and services to their audience.
Landing pages and signup forms
Since many creators work with several content management platforms, it’s not surprising that one of the strengths of ConvertKit is its beautiful designs for sign-up forms and landing pages. People say they’re superior, and I concur. But I think it’s also important since many creators rely on visuals.
This is an upcoming feature of ConvertKit, but the way it sounds it’s a promising and useful tool. The premise is that users can already integrate the autoresponder to ecommerce solutions. I know this isn’t exactly unique, but it could matter to its target market.
Autoresponders like Aweber offer a migration team, and ConvertKit also has one. What I do like is the fact that you can customize this service depending on the number of subscribers and the current autoresponder you’re using. This way, you get better value for your money.
It has one of the simplest pricing plans: Free and Complete, the cost of which depends on the number of subscribers and the billing period. For instance, if you have up to 1,000 subscribers, the Complete plan would be $29 a month or $24 a month (paid yearly).
The Free version already gives you the tools to run your email marketing campaign properly. These include 30+ templates for landing pages, unlimited traffic, and responsive designs for mobile.
However, upgrading to Complete will give you access to a migration team. You can also automate processes like email sequences, reporting, and visual funnels.
Does ConvertKit have a free trial? Yes, up to 14 days
It’s an autoresponder for affiliate marketers who are also creators, like bloggers and social media influencers.
Best autoresponders for affiliate marketing: conclusion
As an affiliate marketer, it’s not enough you generate leads - you need to take care of them, and autoresponders can help.
Here you can also read about the best tools for digital marketing and about the best affiliate programs with recurring commissions.
Most autoresponders work the same even if they have different target markets, but they can also offer distinctive features that can influence your decision. Based on these comparisons:
Hopefully, with these comparisons, you can make the right choice for your business.