It’s one thing to use article marketing to drive prospects to your website, but quite something else to persuade them to buy from you! Statistics say that you may need to present your sales message up to seven times before a prospect trusts you enough to part with any money.
So it makes sense to capture their contact details and send a series of informative messages telling them more about the benefits of your product. While this is good sense in theory, it’s impractical to do this manually for all but the tiniest business.
That’s where an auto-responder becomes an essential part of your online marketing tools, and it’s usually a good investment to pay a few dollars a month for an auto-responder. There are many good quality auto-responders on the market. The best-known ones are probably AWeber and GetResponse
In my career I have used several different packages, and usually found that the lower priced ones were perfectly adequate for my needs. After all, until your business gets well and truly off the ground you don’t want the costs of an auto-responder to eat too far into your profits. But now there’s another option: the ListWire Autoresponder is completely free.
It promised to be perfectly adequate for my purposes – a fully-functioning autoresponder, allowing unlimited prospects, unlimited broadcasts and unlimited follow-ups. With List Wire you can also create subscription forms for adding your own website, or blog, and the “SqueezeFrame” system allows you to add a subscription form to your website, even if you don’t know a thing about uploading webpages, editing HTML, or using an FTP program.
As I was already paying a monthly auto-responder cost, and hovering on the verge of having to upgrade to the next price level, it made sense to grab a free copy of ListWire to try it out.
I also had a requirement to started set up a list to sell a different product, so this was the ideal opportunity to test-drive the free List Wire and here are my findings to date.
Initially I expected to log-in and be presented with the usual “One-Time” offer to upgrade to a non-crippled product. These are a real annoyance to me. Before I part with money I’d like to try the product out. It always strikes me that the one-time offers are presented because the product is so bad you’d never pay for it after you’d tried it. Not always the case, but you know what I mean. Anyway, I digress….
At first I was a little wary, because there was a video from the author (Gary Ambrose) promoting his List Building course, and I was beginning to think “Here we go again”, but refreshingly I was able to continue without making a purchase and within minutes I was defining my first list.
Initial impressions – based just on creating a list and adding a few prospects plus a couple of follow-up messages – are that the software is fast, easy to use and does everything I want it to do so far. I found it intuitive to use and was up and running within minutes. First with a test message to a spare email address of my own, and then adding newly generated prospects.
One slight criticism is that it would be difficult to move an existing list away from your current auto-responder to ListWire because there’s a limit of importing 10 names per day, and the subscribers must opt-in to the list again. Obviously this is to prevent mis-use and spam, but it would be good to have a way round this for marketers who already have an “opted-in” list.
However, the flip-side of this restriction is that using a double opt-in process for all subscribers ensures your list is clean and protects you from spam complaints. List Wire also automatically takes care of sending your confirmation messages, handling removal requests, processing bounced and undeliverable messages, and unsubscribing prospects who might mistakenly mark one of your messages as junk, or spam.
I wondered what the publisher’s “angle” was for giving away such a quality product, and of course there is one. Firstly there is the offer of the course at initial login (as mentioned above), but secondly, when new prospects confirm their subscription, they are also presented with someone else’s adverts.
For this reason, although ListWire was a good product, I chose a paid Auto-Responder so that my prospects were NOT presented with any other advertising.
Quite apart from the fact that I only want my subscribers to see MY messages, I felt the third party adverts were especially confusing for readers in a non-Internet Marketing niche, when they were presented with adverts at the point of signing up to my list.
The cost of losing even one subscriber because of third-party advertising could far out-weigh the few dollars monthly subscription of the lower price paid Auto-Responder.