To ensure you're in the know, an autoresponder is: a program that automatically generates a set response to all messages sent to a particular e-mail address. They do much more than that too.
A quality autoresponder allows you to design the look of the emails you want sent, and also allow you to design and send emails that aren't associated with any sort of response. I guess they call them autoresponders 'cause they respond automatically when you need them to.
These handy tools take a bite out of time (pun intended) by helping you manage emails to groups, or even individuals if needed. They're a viable asset for people who use email (especially in a professional capacity) newsletters when notifying groups of specific recipients, like church congregations or club members or organizations they might work with, and of course business owners. It keeps recipients information private and also allows for them to opt-out of receiving the emails if they desire.
When I first established flashPress I didn't bother with an autoresponder. I maintained with that until not long ago. Although flashPress is steadily growing in popularity among readers, it hasn't (yet) achieved having bazillions of subscribers, so for a good while I felt my Gmail newsletter was sufficient.
Later, I realized I needed more options than what Gmail provided in a service that wouldn't cause wallet-weeping, so I began researching for an affordable autoresponder that that could fulfill the following needs for my business.
It had to...
I investigated several email responders and went with those suggested by others within the indie biz community who have been where I am now. Meaning those who were still in the process of implementing their own business brand from their own platform. My brand is flashPress (and me, personally). My platform is this website.
(That last bit was to ensure you're caught up with the lingo. ☺)
The finalist was recommended by Michael Hyatt, a member of the indie biz community I have great respect for. He's, among several other things, a very busy blogger and vlogger who has more than 300K subscribers to his website-slash-cyber-office located at michaelhyatt.com.
I took a few days to get acquainted with MailChimp before deciding I could work effectively with it and also help some friends and colleagues learn to use it, if they needed an assist.
The research paid off and now I'm happy to report that not only is flashPress using MailChimp but several other indie biz owners are too. Here are a few of them whose business is similar to mine, in that (also among other things) they're pro-bloggers with busy schedules.
I'm sure there are others but these are the ones that come to mind that have obtained their own chimps within the last few months. If you're curious, have a look at their sites and maybe you'll consider getting your own chimp. ☺
MailChimp offers customizable templates that you can save, so you don't have to build a new one each time. It manages multiple subscriber lists and thus far works well with my SumoMe Smart Bar. When new guests arrive and subscribe via the Smart Bar, once they enter their email address the smart bar sends their information to MailChimp who places them on the subscribers' list as well as notifying me (via my Gmail account) that someone new has signed up to receive the flashPress newsletter.
The chimp also lets me know how many subscribers open the emails it sends and how many of those who open it click the link in the newsletter to take them the latest edition of flashPress. It sends me daily stats and for a further compilation of statistics I only have to visit my dashboard on the the MailChimp site.
You can get the same services for up to 2K subscribers and/or sending up to 12K emails a moth, for free. How's that for awesome-sauce service?
The only drawbacks I've encountered with MailChimp's free service is the limited support for users with questions. To figure out how to work a couple of the MailChimp features I ended up engaging in some off-site research, but ultimately I found the answers I needed and now the chimp is working (so I don't have to), saving me time and performing splendidly.
To lend a hand with chimp-speak and user controls, I produced a short how to video on the On Story Street & flashPress YouTube channel. The video covers how to send an email to your subscribers' list using MailChimp. In last week's edition of flashPress, Kim Thompson (aka, Sunnie Day of Graceful Intentions) left a comment that she'd used the video herself to help her navigate through the mailing process with her own chimp and found it to be very helpful. That was good news for me and I'm happy to hear it helped.
The video is below if you'd like to have a look at it.
There are some realllllyyyyy good articles circulating the indie biz blogging community recently. These writers work hard to produce great content for you so I hope you'll click over and have a look at them soon as you have a bit of time.
That's it for this one!
God bless you, thanks for the read and see you next week!
The smallest tip goes the longest way--like a good cup of coffee.
marcoujor, Virtual Buskers Guild
flashPress is a totally free site, but, if you like it and would like to leave a tip, I'll surely put it to good use on things like food, clothes, fuel for my auto, soap to shower with, etc. I think those qualify for seriously good use. ☺
Thanks for your support of the indie biz community--Live long and prosper!
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