Using a WordPress Autoresponder Plugin
As you progress in the internet marketing business, you will come to realize that the real money is in your email list that you will accumulate over time. However when people first start out, they struggle with getting a good branding with a good website. Most that start out don’t have a budget to put into a monthly expense for an Autoresponder, so using a WordPress Autoresponder plugin is actually a less expensive option.
My Reason For A WordPress Autoresponder Plugin
Granted many Autoresponders now offer the first month free but in reality it will take most newbies at least 3 to 4 months to start seeing an income. So that puts you into paying for a service that isn’t giving you a return of investment, (ROI) for a few months or longer.
I started off looking for a free WordPress Autoresponder plugin that I could use on my website. I ran across many that didn’t actually do what I wanted. There are quite a few that can collect email addresses and that isn’t a bad thing. And many that will send out a reply once someone has signed up but most of these require the visitor to register to your site.
I wanted to collect their addresses and send a thank you for signing up to my newsletter without them having to register to my site. I wanted the ability to send a series of emails over a period of time after signup and to send newsletter blast from time to time.
I also wanted the ability to integrate an opt-in box with a WordPress Autoresponder Plugin. This started narrowing down my options of free or inexpensive plugins or so I thought. I knew a complete free Autoresponder would be limited in features so I started looking for one that I could afford and could do close to what I wanted.
So my goal was to find an Autoresponder that would collect email addresses, send an instant “Thank You” reply and the ability to use “double opt-in” to lesson spam or fake email addresses. I wanted one that would then send out a series of timely follow up emails and I could use with my choice of opt-in boxes.
The Autoresponder I Found
I found a WordPress Autoresponder Plugin called BroadFast, they had a free version and a paid one. At the time it was only $37 and it was mine forever although it come with a one year support with free upgrades within that year.
Later they became Arigato and the program increased in features and technology. It had the ability to create emails in Text and HTML or both at the same time. It came with bounce management and the ease of setting up a list and campaign was incredibly easy.
I had tried a few of the big names for the month they were free. Trying to figure out how to setup their list and campaigns was a nightmare and I will tell you why.
A list is just that, it is a list that you create but it gets filled up with subscribers as they sign up to it. You can also add subscribers to it manually if you already have a collection. The list is what controls the default sender, the option for a single or double opt-in and where to redirect the subscriber after sign up. It also give you control over setting up your unsubscribe message.
Then you have the campaign, this is where you create your email messages and the times and intervals you want them sent out after a visitor signs up. You also have newsletters that you can assign to a list. So it is really simple, you create or have a list, assign a campaign or newsletter to it and you have made the connection.
All of these big named Autoresponders do not make it that easy to understand. They love their wizards and start you constructing your first campaign through steps that don’t follow logic. It seems to be all about creating forms and following through a maze to get it to run. Arigato is pretty cut and dry and not hard to understand at all.
I am not saying don’t go with a service but if you have never ran an Autoresponder before and not sure how the process works, Arigato might be easier in the beginning. One of the best of the big named Autoresponders to start with is Aweber. One of the features they have I love is that it can send your campaign messages in “Multipart Emails” . This is a great feature because there are still some out there that cannot receive HTML emails. This means you are losing potential buyers.
This is the best WordPress Autoresponder Plugin you will find out there, you pay once and use it forever. There is very little if anything it can’t do that the big named Autoresponder can do. You can schedule newsletters, import or export email list. Manage your bounced email addresses and get the reports you need to track your email marketing.
Using the provided code or short code, you can create subscription opt-in’s anywhere on your pages you want. So if you wanted to create a post or page talking about what your visitors will get by signing up to your newsletter and you would like the opt-in box to be within your writing, you can do it. Although using another plugin called Magic Action Box Pro combined with Arigato, you can create beautiful opt-in boxes anywhere on your pages or post you like.
You get fully responsive sign up forms that work on any device. This WordPress Autoresponder Plugin integrates with Contact Form 7, Jetpack Contact Form and Ninja Forms. It really doesn’t require any top level of technical knowledge, although if you know some, then the more you can make it do. But out of the box gives you more than you need.
The support is great, they always respond inside of a work day, there are videos that show you how to set it up and use it. The best part is that there are no monthly fees, it is yours forever.
A Little On How To Use An Autoresponder
As I mentioned above, the way I have been using it is by going in and setting up a list. I usually name it to what product or newsletter or post I want to send out. You can import email addresses into the list if you have some. The nice part about having an Autoresponder plugin is that you do not have to worry about silly rules and regulations set by your service provider. Of course you want to stay ethical and not spam people.
Then I setup a campaign which this is the part that contains your sequential emails that will go out on a schedule after someone subscribes to the list it is assigned to. The list actually can send out an instant reply after someone subscribes but usually you will set the first email in your series to go out immediately after signup. After these are setup, get your opt-in box out in front of people to sign up and watch you email list grow.
A list is usually set to a certain niche of a niche so to speak. Say if your niche was golf and you talked about and sold various types of golf equipment. You then write a blog about how great Nike Balls are and offer more info on the balls along with a free incentive for those that signup to your newsletter. Your list could be named golf balls so that is your niche within a niche.
Now the advantage here is that you have created a list that pertains to specific part of what you are promoting. So every time you want to promote a discount sale on golf balls or release information on them, you now have a list of people that are interested and you can send them that information with newsletters.
For the most part, setting up an Autoresponder is the same no matter if you are using a WordPress plugin or using an online service. There are just different procedures between the programs, some are easy and makes sense and others are cumbersome.
Pros and Cons
With Arigato or any other WordPress Autoresponder Plugins, you can do with it as you want and set it up the way you want.
There are no monthly or yearly fees, you buy it or use a free one and it is yours forever.
You have access to the HTML code that can be used in many opt-in forms.
Shortcode is provided to allow you to place opt-in forms anywhere you like, in a widget or on a page or post.
The only limit to how many emails you can send out per day is set by your hosting provider.
Email Bounce Management
You get open rate, active emails and unsubscribe reports.
With Arigato, you can send your messages in Text and HTML at the same time
Arigato allows HTML messages, so you can design your own emails or templates with an HTML Generator and send out some fancy pages. There is a free HTML Generator you can use called HTML5 or this free WordPress plugin that creates beautiful pages called Elemenator
If you want to keep support for Arigato, you do have to pay for it once a year, it only comes with one year support and free upgrades.
There are not that many form templates to choose from like you get with most online services.
You are limited to how many emails you can send in one day by your hosting provider, however online services also have their limits. If your Hosting is a small one or you are paying for the minimum, you could be limited more than you want to be.
If you want to tweak things beyond what comes out of the box, you do have to have a tiny bit of technical knowledge but nothing beyond simple instructions or watching a YouTube video can’t solve.