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I have been testing auto responder platforms recently. For various reasons, I wasn’t happy with the ones I had been using and decided the time was right to investigate what is available.

For those unaware, an auto responder is one of the most important tools used in online marketing. It allows people to sign up to your list from a number of different avenues, such as an opt in form on a website, a tab on your Facebook page, even a QR code. Once this data is captured, you can then automate your auto responder service to communicate with your subscribers by way of sending them an email.

A typical scenario is as follows: A visitor lands on your website and discovers they can subscribe to your newsletter or that you are offering something of interest to them (this can be anything you like, anything you think your subscribers will find of value). In order to access the information, they enter their email address (and any other variable you set, such as name, telephone number etc). This data is sent to your auto responder service, where it is captured and added to a list that you have previously created. The auto responder then automatically sends them the information they have requested.

A savvy online marketer will then use this list to his advantage and communicate his brand and even products through regular contact with subscribers, hoping that once a relationship has been built, he can potentially make sales from his list.

However, not all auto responders are alike. Some are very good and some less so. Many have become incredibly strict within their terms and conditions, whilst others struggle to get a high rate of inbox deliveries (email marketing is an INCREDIBLY difficult thing from a technical aspect, never mind the regulations that control it).

I have tried many platforms. Aweber, Mail Chimp, Get Response, GVO, Constant Contact. Each one had pro’s and con’s.

I particularly liked Mail Chimp because it was probably the most professional to use. But sadly, they seem to have a major dislike of the online marketing community (and in particular certain sections of it) and the risk of having my account blocked was too great to bear. Aweber is perhaps the simplest to use, but again, they have started to crack down on users recently.

I am still using GVO, which I must admit is without doubt my favourite of ‘all the others’. It has great inbox deliverability (amazing actually) and will cater for all types of online marketing (within reason). My only issue with it, is that it ‘feels’ plastic. Now I accept that isn’t a) the best description and b) probably fair, but here is my reasoning.

One of the things I loved about Mailchimp (and Get Response too) was their platform itself. The back-end so to speak. Everything about it was professional, it looked and behaved like someone had put the time and effort into developing it. It was a pleasure to use. GVO on the other hand, feels like the budget was blown before they realised that the backend needed building and it was therefore thrown together for a bargain basement rate. As I said, that probably isn’t fair (and I am absolutely 100% sure it’s not the case), it’s just that it ‘feels’ like it. My other gripe with GVO is integration, especially social media.

We all know (or you should) that Social Signals play a HUGE part of your online footprint. They are being used more and more and are now even a huge ranking factor within SEO. But GVO doesn’t exploit any of this.

SendReach

And that brings me nicely onto SendReach. The brain child of well known Marketer Chuck Mullaney, SendReach has just exploded into the IM space.

With over 2 years of development (and rather a lot of cash), the resulting platform is impressive to say the least.

Testing has shown that inbox deliveries are unsurpassed by any other auto responder and the back end is a dream to use. It’s simple interface is a piece of cake and it looks and performs like a million dollars.

One of my gripes about Constant Contact and Mailchimp was that although they are beautifully ‘put together’, they are not the easiest to use. SendReach solves all that by harmoniously blending functionality and design into a fantastic end result.

However, there is more to SendReach than a simple auto responder and design. It integrates the social media beautifully, with a whole host of entry points, including Facebook and Linked In. You can even choose Google, MSN and GoToWebinar integration too. Most entry points have multiple choices, from integrations, direct coded buttons and QR codes (remember to make your Thank you page mobile optimized if using the QR code).

On top of all that, you can import your lists from another platform into SendReach without having to send your subscribers another opt in message. This is done by raising a ticket at the support desk and telling them which list you would like to import and from where. As long as the list is clean and has been contacted recently (with bounces and unsubscribes scrubbed), you are good to go.

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Finally the price! Actually, it’s pretty good indeed. It’s not the cheapest available, but it’s far from the most expensive either. The entry point is $10 per month for upto 500 subscribers with unlimited sending. As your list expands, you can subscribe to a larger package all the way up to 100,000 subscribers for $450 per month (nb: if you have 100,000 subscribers, you can definitely afford $450 a month!). Compare this with Aweber which starts at $19 per month and Get Response at $15/month (all be it for more subscribers) and you can see it’s pretty comparable.

But what isn’t comparable is what SendReach can do and how it performs. That is what truly sets this auto responder out from the rest – by a long, long way.

Take a look at Sendreach at www.SendReach.com

 

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