Email marketing is alive and well. Indeed, with the imminent death of Google Reader right around the corner, email marketing might even be more relevant than ever, giving you a fantastic opportunity to reach out to a targeted audience with your message and hopefully make a few bucks along the way. However, you must first build that audience and, when you do, your message has to be both attractive and well-targeted.
There are several services on the Internet that allow you to maintain a mailing list, but as you’ll learn over the course of today’s review, the feature set offered by GetResponse could be among the most robust in the business and it is offered at very competitive price points.
What Is GetResponse?
GetResponse is designed to be the “world’s easiest email marketing” platform, providing not only for the ability for you to maintain a mailing list, but it also comes with several integrated features and utilities to make the platform that much more powerful.
For instance, GetResponse recently launched Autoresponders 2.0 to make your auto-response campaigns that much more powerful. These autoresponders are great for a variety of applications and purposes, because you can use time-based messages or action-based messages. If you are running an online coaching program, for example, you may use a “drip” style format so that your subscribers get new content on a regular basis. The time-based email cycles include advanced timing control (including support for different time zones), drag and drop order management, and unlimited messages per day.
Action-based messages may be more appropriate for something like a sales cycle. Let’s say that someone subscribes to your list and follows through to buy a particular product. This can act as a trigger to initiate a different set of mail-outs than if someone did not buy that product. The great thing is that this is all automated. Set it once and it’ll keep going with minimal maintenance required.
The Landing Page Creator
You have to get people to opt into your list before your email marketing efforts will have any impact. There are separate tools for creating a landing page from scratch, but one of the included features of GetResponse is its landing page creator. There are tons of templates and near infinite customization options.
The templates come in a range of different styles and even each individual template will usually come in about three different color schemes. You can then dig in to customize the look, feel and content of the landing page itself. What’s nice is that not only can you easily embed the created landing page on your own site, but there is a built-in utility to export this for your Facebook brand page, creating a new tab for that purpose.
Drag and Drop Email Creator
Intricately related to the landing page creator is the email creator. You could design your own HTML newsletters or just do plain text, but the drag-and-drop functionality here makes it easy to design a professional-looking mailout for your list.
As with the landing page creator, the email creator also starts you off with a range of different templates with several possible color schemes. Then, you enter a drag-and-drop web-based designer that is reminiscent of the recent wave of WYSIWYG webpage creators that you may have seen.
Each new “block” typically occupies an entire row of content. So, using the example above, if I wanted to have that image left-aligned with some text wrapping around it to the right, I would have to pick the “text and image” block. I can’t, as far as I can tell, simply drag the existing block of text to the right of the existing image. I can, however, resize and crop the image. Interestingly, GetResponse also comes with a sizable catalog of licensed images from iStockPhoto for you to use too.
Going further, there is also an “inbox preview” tool for you to see how your newsletter would render under several web-based clients like Gmail and Outlook.com, as well as desktop email clients like OUtlook 2010, Thunderbird 3 and Apple Mail 5.1, among many others. It will even preview how your email will look on Android, iPhone and iPad.
How Much Does It Cost?
Having a good looking landing page and attractive newsletters is great, but you still want to have the strong backend to make your campaign as effective as possible. To that end, GetResponse also includes social sharing buttons, email intelligence (analytics and tracking), a list booster tool, a form builder, a QR code generator, multimedia studio, spam checker (to see if your message gets caught in spam filters), RSS-to-email support, online surveys, split testing and more.
Given how robust and comprehensive GetResponse is for email marketing, it’s also nice to see that they are reasonably priced too. The most popular plan is $25 per month for up to 2500 subscribers with an 18% discount if you prepay for one year in advance (that works out to $20.50 per month). You can also step down to the $15/month plan for 1000 subscribers or ste up to the $65/month plan for 10,000 subscribers. Both of those are eligible for the annual discount too.
The dashboard may be a little intimidating for novices, since GetResponse lets you do so much, but the video tutorials are helpful and email marketing can inherently be complex. If you’re looking for powerful email marketing software that’ll get the job done, GetResponse is well worth considering.