Everyone in online marketing uses an autoresponder; however, for affiliate marketers, the choice isn’t so obvious.
Some of the leading autoresponder software like MailChimp and Mailerlite has an ambiguous policy towards affiliate links and including links to even big affiliate networks as JVZoo and Clickbank can get you banned.
‘The money is in the list’ as all every experienced Internet marketer knows. So how do you actually go through and decide which autoresponder is best for you as an affiliate marketer?
I run and have sold different web assets, which mainly monetized through affiliate marketing. And I went through personal research for the best autoresponder for affiliate marketing so that you don’t have to look at each one for yourself.
Keep reading our breakdown of the best autoresponder for affiliate marketing.
What is an Autoresponder?
An autoresponder is a tool which helps you sending automated messages to your email list. If you’re an affiliate marketer, I guess that you worth your time and don’t want to miss hours you could spend instead in nature or with your loved ones.
A reliable autoresponder will help you not only to set your automation so that you know you’re making money out of your email marketing campaigns on autopilot, but it will also help you track the analytics of your campaigns so that you know what’s working and what’s not.
Email marketing is all about building a relationship with your new subscribers, so it’s crucial to look at metrics such as open rates and the actual deliverability that the autoresponder software you’ve chosen provides. Keep in mind that less email delivered means less money for you.
Benefits of Using an Autoresponder for Affiliate Marketing
Converts website visitors into subscribers
An autoresponder software can be used to build opt-in forms and newsletter forms that are displayed on your website. They can be used to collect names, email addresses, and sometimes, additional information from visitors who want to subscribe to your email list.
The cog that makes your sales funnel work
To succeed in affiliate marketing, you need to be persistent. This means building a sales funnel that takes your subscribers down a convincing buyer’s journey. 42% of salespeople give up after the first ‘no’, and…get this, only 8% persist until they get a ‘yes’. To stay within that 8%, you need an autoresponder tool to automate your conversion-focused emails.
Helps to build a relationship with your subscribers
Building a rock-solid relationship with your subscribers is essential. This will help them establish trust in you, and the products and services you eventually recommend to them. Remember that not all subscribers will be ready-to-buy, so you need to nurture them to that point. 96% of the visitors who find your website are not ready to buy, but they could eventually convert after some time.
Keeps you top of mind for subscribers
Remember that your subscribers are also being targeted by other affiliate marketers and brand promoters. Your messages should put you at the top of their minds, so whenever they need for one of your offerings, your brand is the first one they recall.
Provides analytics to measure results
Your subscribers may not give you direct feedback, but with the right autoresponder tool, analytical reports might be all the feedback you need. These tools can be used to measure your email opening rate, how subscribers engage with your email, affiliate link clicks, and so on. This information can help you monitor your campaigns, and decide on which ones need to be reviewed.
These tools can perform the duties of a small-size marketing team through automation. The monthly charge of these autoresponder tools is nothing when compared to the salary, workspace rent, and other fees that will come with hiring a team for the job. The software also cuts out the need to micromanage other people and review employee performance.
How to Choose the Best Autoresponder for Your Business
1. Look out for the features you need
The different autoresponder tools offer similar features, but they all have unique features that make some users loyal to their software. Before you pay for any software, ensure that their functions are in line with what you need from an autoresponder.
2. Use a free trial if available
Free trials are usually offered to give you a hint of the benefits, and convince you to make a purchase. Take advantage of that. Give your preferred tools a test drive, and see how they align practically with your affiliate marketing needs.
3. Easy-to-understand user interface
This is especially important for beginner affiliate marketers. If you’re not familiar with marketing software interfaces, then you might want to start small. Choose software with an easy-to-understand interface. Some software requires completing an online course to understand their functionalities, and you may not have the time (or budget) for these lessons.
4. Compare pricing with your budget
As expected, you probably have a price range in which you can comfortably make a monthly or yearly payment for an autoresponder tool. When you narrow down your options, compare pricing to see which works best for you. It could be a hassle in the future if you start building your database with expensive software, and have to move all the data to a cheaper software.
Why Some Autoresponder Services Don’t Like Affiliate Marketers
If you’ve searched around for autoresponder recommendations, then you’ve probably heard that some autoresponder tools have banned affiliate marketers. Two common services are MailChimp and MailerLite. They believe that affiliate marketers do not have a real relationship with their subscribers, and could be sending unrelated offers to people who have no interest in them. However, they allow regular website owners to include affiliate links as recommendations to their subscribers. This isn’t really a problem, as there are other quality autoresponder services that are available (and even optimized) for affiliate marketers.
6 Best AutoResponder for Affiliate Marketing
We’ve covered everything you need to know about choosing the best autoresponder for affiliate marketing. Now, here are the top 5 recommended autoresponder software based on personal experience and feedback from other users.
1. ActiveCampaign (Our Top Pick)
In 2020 I started using ActiveCampaign for all my projects that monetize with affiliate marketing.
The reason why I started advocating for this tool, like many other important names in the affiliate marketing industry is that ActiveCampaign is unbeatable when it comes to marketing automation and autoresponder features.
Its website visitors tracking (which tells you what pages on your website your email subscribers have visited), among the other tools included in the price, will give a competitive edge and a better understanding of your customers.
It’s automation features are simply unbeatable, with functionalities accessible to both beginners and more advanced users.
While some users may find ActiveCampaign slightly more intimidating (at least that how I’ve felt) than other tools, the ready-to-use templates will make your experience smooth.
To sum up, when you choose your email autoresponder, switching costs are high. You’re likely going to continue using the same tool for the entire lifetime of your business because it’s time-consuming to switch. That’s why you want to use a solution that can support both at the start of your business and in the long-run.
While other tools might be easier to use from the beginning or even slightly cheaper, ActiveCampaign is the most reliable solution on the marketing and the return on the investment from its advanced features will repay the choice in the long-run.
It offers a good quality-price ratio as it comes with an outstanding number of features. Differently from its competitors, GetResponse offers a basic sales funnel builder tool included in the price, which makes this solution all-in-one and easier to integrate with all your marketing activities than other tools.
While the interface it’s clean, deliverability is impressive, and the autoresponder has high-level analytics even in the lower tier. However, the overall set of features of GetResponse it’s clearly inferior to ActiveCampaign.
It is surely a good solution for that I would recommend to beginners due to its quality-price ratio and the fact that it’s an all-in-one solution with which you can start selling your products online without any additional software.
GetResponse offers 4 packages: Basic, Essential, Professional, Entreprise.
It starts at $15/month per 1000 subscriber for Basic and $1,199 for Entreprise.
Starts at $450/month per 100,000 subscribers for Basic, and $1,199 for Entreprise.
- Automation tools and features are very extensive.
- The Basic option is cheap and offers most, if not all, the features an affiliate marketer might need.
- Generous discounts when compared to competitors.
- ‘Autofunnel’ feature allows for even more centralized management of all e-commerce activities.
- The integrated webinar feature is excellent.
- This software provides a split testing feature for better research and results.
- It can double as a CRM tool (customer relationship management features are provided).
- It allows for a single and opt-in email subscription.
- It provides better data segmentation than most- targeting niche subscribers is easier.
- Landing pages can be created using the software (on the higher-priced plans).
- Emails are responsive and can be previewed on a smartphone before sending it.
- It provides 30 days of free trial without credit card details.
- Reliable customer support.
- Data capture forms can pop-up anywhere on your website, and this can be frustrating for users.
- Although CRM is impressive, it can’t be used as a standalone CRM tool yet.
- Designing emails using the drag and drop feature can be tricky.
- RSS and HTML email templates are limited.
- The package structure might confuse a user into paying for more than what they need. The features available + number of subscribers can be confusing.
- Only Professional and above packages have access to DKIM authentication.
- Phone support is no longer provided.
A veteran online marketer built SendLane, so I knew I would have found a better understanding of what’s the business model that you and I might run, and in general, it has shown more flexible with affiliate campaigns, in fact, it is even integrated with popular affiliate marketplace like Clickbank.
More popular software like MailChimp can work excellent working with big eCommerce and corporations, but the needs of these companies are way different than the ones of an affiliate marketer.
The pricing of SendLane is another positive point. If you’re a beginner, it offers basically the same features of more established software but at an affordable price range.
The deliverability has been high for affiliate campaigns too.
SendLane offers 3 packages: Growth, Marketing Automation Pro, and Enterprise/Agency
- Growth starts at $35/month for 1,000 subscribers
- Marketing Automation Pro starts at $125/month for 5,000 subscribers
- Enterprise/Agency requires a quote for 25,000+ subscribers.
- It is more affiliate friendly because it was created by affiliate marketers who understand industry-related needs.
- Allows for workflow automation to personalize emails for each contact on your email list.
- Tracks website engagement to retarget users with promotions such as abandoned cart messages.
- It provides multivariable segmentation to target niche groups with specific messages.
- Web forms can be integrated into landing pages and emails.
- Provides event tracking to track the customer journey.
- Real-time reports and other essential analytical reports.
- Integration with essential platforms such as Zapier, WooCommerce, Shopify, and more.
- When compared to the competition, they don’t offer as much value for the price they charge.
- Customizable options in the landing page builder are limited.
- It costs more than GetResponse but has fewer features.
- The free trial requires your credit card details.
Aweber is one of the first autoresponder ever born on the Internet, and it has been used by affiliate marketers for decades now.
However, besides the big promises, after I’ve tested it, I felt frustrated by the fact that fewer customizations are allowed than with another autoresponder. The deliverability is also not at its best.
On the right side, it is straightforward to use, and that’s why it is positioned as a beginner software. However, I wouldn’t recommend it as it has too many limitations for my tastes.
$19/month for 0-500 subscribers
$29/month for 501-2,500 subscribers
$49/month for 2,501-5,000 subscribers
$69/month for 5,001-10,000 subscribers
$149/month for 10,001-25,000 subscribers
- It offers an easy-to-use interface that can be understood quickly.
- It provides a large selection of templates, so your website forms and emails can be designed to look as unique as need be.
- Compared to other similar services, Aweber has more extensive customer support. They were also awarded the 10th Annual Stevie Award for Sales and Customer service.
- The pricing is reasonable for any marketer with a small budget.
- It allows importing several file formats- XLS, XLSX, TSV, CSV, TXT- which might contain email address to be added to your automation cycle.
- One key feature is the option to choose between subscribing people on a single or double opt-in basis.
- It integrates with a large range of software tools. Top of the list is WordPress, PayPal, Drupal, Salesforce, and more.
- Email templates are responsive to all types of devices. They can also be created using web fonts.
- A wide selection of analytical reports.
- A free trial is available.
- Aweber is not the cheapest option available considering lower-priced alternatives offer even more features.
- Some templates appear dated in terms of graphics quality.
- Multiple segments cannot be included or removed when sending an email.
- The RSS features are quite poor and not easy to edit.
Free for up to 100 subscribers
$49/month for 102-2,500 subscribers
$99/month for 2,500-5,000 subscribers
Requires a quote for 5,001+ subscribers
- The free plan unlocks all features as long as the subscriber list stays below 1000.
- It provides a visual workflow builder which makes email funnels easier to create.
- It provides a reliable CRM platform.
- Uses tags and events to segment subscribers into target categories.
- Allows tracking for visitor behavior and can trigger automatic using this data.
- Provides notifications on expiring links- a helpful addition for promotional links.
- Provides opt-in form design and integration to the website.
- Allows for multiple domains under one account and payment plan.
- It provides integration with other services such as WooCommerce, Shopify, Zapier, Stripe, JustUno, and more.
- The email templates provided do not offer multiple editable sections.
- A/B testing feature is available but is not as optimized as with other software options.
- Analytical reports are trickier to navigate and understand.
- Requires some additional code writing to unlock advanced features.
ConvertKit position itself as the go-to autoresponder for bloggers and solopreneurs.
While ConvertKit offers a wide set of features, its autoresponder has fewer overall functionalities than ActiveCampaign while the cost it’s more or less the same.
ConvertKit loses in terms of features and pricing also compared to GetResponse, which includes a sales funnel builder not available on ConvertKit.
$29/month for 0-1000 subscribers
$49/month for 1001-3,000 subscribers
$79/month for 3,500-5,000 subscribers
Requires a quote for 5,001+ subscribers
- Subscribers can be categorized using a tag-based system.
- Dynamic emails can be created using merge tags.
- The visual automation builder tool is extensive and has a simple-to-use interface.
- It provides templates to build different types of forms.
- A landing page builder is also available (although it is quite basic when compared to a standard landing page).
- Analytical reporting is presented in an easy-to-read format.
- Reliable customer support is available.
- A/B testing is available, but the feature is limited.
- Restricted level of customization for forms and email templates. They can’t be personalized as with competing for software.
- Although analytical data is available, it is limited.
Wrapping Up: What Is The Best Autoresponder for You?
The autoresponder tools mentioned above all have their strengths and weaknesses, but they are all reliable tools that affiliate marketers have used to build businesses successfully.
The best option is ActiveCampaign. By merely navigating the dashboard of this software, it is easy to see that its developers have a good understanding of seamless automation.
ActiveCampaign is designed to self-command with little input from the marketer. It also provides more features that can be found on other autoresponder software. From hosting webinars to deploying Customer Relationship Management, it can all happen on one platform.
I’ve also received and read a lot of feedback on the quality of their customer service, and this is an essential feature for affiliate marketers. Any downtime on your email marketing has to be fixed quickly because time lost could mean a loss in revenue.
Finally, ActiveCampaign has a plan for beginners starting at a very low price point, so that you can gradually grow your business while using this software.