I’ve used most of the major email delivery platforms over the years. In GetResponse, I think I’ve finally found one that works for me, and at the right price.
The Autoresponder Carousel
The first time I used an autoresponder service was way back in 1998. The one I used then was so obscure I can’t even remember the name. I think it was MailStation, or something like that, It included paid advertising in your emails even if you paid for the service. Both for the autoresponder service itself, and other third party advertisers. Worse still, you had no control over who got to advertise in your newsletter, and received none of the profits.
Since then I’ve used Postmaster (both online and self-service) mail daemon, and more recently Aweber, Constant Contact, and Mailchimp, among others.
I used Mailchimp for my own list for years, because I keep a small list and don’t really do that much with it. A few months ago, I started to find their service a little too clunky and restrictive, so I switched to ConvertKit.
The ConvertKit Experiment
And to be honest, if you have a list over 3,000 or so, and you’re in frequent contact with them, ConvertKit is a great option. It’s subscriber-centric – meaning it treats the email address, rather than the list as the basic element. That’s a huge advantage over a lot of the older services for several reasons I won’t get into here. It has some automation, and it makes writing an entire email sequence simple and seamless.
But it just wasn’t for me. For one, with a small list, it’s overpriced. Even the company themselves will advise you not to use their service if you have less than a few thousand subscribers. Two, although it has automation features, the interface to get them working is far from intuitive. It’s downright frustrating and makes you jump from screen to screen, from list to tags to forms etc. to set up a workflow.
That said, they’ve made improvements in the few months I’ve been with them. I expect them to improve even more over the next year or so. But for now it’s a learning curve, and a headache I simply don’t need.
Finally, although they do have landing pages and forms, it’s really still just an email platform. The landing pages aren’t pretty and have some quirks. And although they have some useful support material, such as how-to videos and guides, it’s really just about using their platform.
So on Wednesday, I took drastic action. I exported my list and cancelled my account. Most other suppliers, when you cancel your account, will leave it to run to the end of your current subscription period. Often they even hold your data for a while in case they can tempt you back. ConvertKit simply delete your account and all your data the moment you confirm your cancellation request.
So there I was, with a list and no provider to upload it to. With no working email capture forms on my site. Nada.
Well, it wasn’t quite as bad as that. I have a product or two on Gumroad, and that collects emails of buyers, even if it’s a free product. But at some point, I had to decide where to go next with my list.
The GetResponse Solution
So today I signed up for GetResponse. I haven’t used it in years, and the last time I did, it wasn’t much different to MailChimp. My, how times have changed.
I didn’t sign up for the pretty email templates, which I have very little time for. I want to talk to people, not dazzle them with pretty pictures and layouts.
Nor did I sign up for the fancy form options, or even for the landing pages, which are far superior and remove the need to use an external service.
No. I signed up because:
- Packages start from £10/month, which you can save even more on if you go for pre-pay options. That makes it easy for anyone just getting started, or who runs a smaller list (quality not quantity) to dip a toe in the water and try it out at a low cost.
- They have webinar integration, surveys, and a much more user-friendly automation interface, making them so much more than a simple email management platform.
- There’s a comprehensive training program, which you can take over 90 or 180 days, depending on how much time you want to spend on list-building. But it doesn’t just cover list building. It covers lead magnets, platform building, and social media, even webinars. So in 3 months, you can go from a complete newbie to industry expert, and build your online presence in a systematic, guided way. From as little as £10 a month.
Bottom line? If you don’t have an email management system in place, consider signing up
for GetResponse. If you do, check them out
, and see how they compare to what you’re already using. You might be pleasantly surprised. I know I was.