It is a company that stores your reader's email address and other pertinent information and allows you to send emails to your list.
These can be a weekly newsletter, frequent update emails, solo offers, or a series of auto-responder messages.
Let's look at a couple of different auto-responder providers and compare them. I hope this information will help you make an educated decision when it comes time to sign up.
All option we're discussing here is subscription services - meaning you'll pay them a monthly fee for their service, similar to your hosting costs.
There is a second option - a self-hosted autoresponder, which I do not recommend you, try There are all sorts of technical and legal hot waters you can get yourself into by hosting your autoresponder service.
Leave that to the guys that know what they are doing and sign up for a reputable Autoresponder provider. Here are a short list and comparison of a few of my favorites.
Aweber has been in the business of list building and providing auto-responder providers for ages. They have an excellent reputation and work hard to ensure their emails delivered to your reader's inboxes.
Over the years they've expanded and added a lot of features for list segmentation, testing and tracking, and list building templates. They offer a free trial if you want to check them out.
One of the significant disadvantages of Aweber is that they charge you for duplicates (same people subscribed to multiple lists of yours) and unsubscribes unless you go in and manually delete them. Since pricing depends on your list size, this can quickly add up.
MailChimp has long been the auto-responder darling of bloggers. It's easy to use, has a lot of functionality and some beautiful templates to make your newsletters and emails look just as pretty as your blog.
Like Aweber, charged for duplicate entries, and unlike Aweber, it is hard to segment your list and track to see what's working. If all you're worried about is one main list for your blog, MailChimp is an excellent option for you.
Auto-Responder Providers: If you want a little more functionality and data, and you want to be able to set up multiple opt-in forms, then this may not be the right choice for you.
ConvertKit is the new kid on the block that seems to give us the best of both worlds.
It's easy to use and has beautiful options like MailChimp, but with all the bells and whistles of Aweber.
Since it's developed by a professional blogger who was sure to include everything he'd want in an auto-responder service, this might work even better for you.
Auto-Responder Providers: The only downside here is that the company is relatively new and still small. Let's hope they make it and stick around for decades to come.
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