There was a question asked on one of my earlier posts, Affiliate Marketing: Develop And Maintain Your List – FIRST, that asked for the list of tools and resources that I used or recommended. So I decided to discuss the ONE tool that I think all Affiliate Marketers should have.
The most important tool to have is an Autoresponder, or an Email Marketing Tool. You need to be able to communicate directly with ‘your list’. Even if you don’t have a website, you can still be building an email marketing list. All you need is the right system is place.
There are a few ways you can create and manage an email marketing list and I’ll discuss a few of those here, and my take on the Pros and the Cons.
Manage Your Own List
There are several ways to manage your own list from using your local email address book and local email client, like Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird to running software on webhost (like phplist or Parabots).
Running your own email marketing tool may be inexpensive to run however, I find the disadvantages typically outweigh the advantages (particularly if you aren’t particularly technically minded).
The Issue With ‘Do It Yourself’ Solutions
I see two big issues with ‘Do It Yourself’ solutions.
The first one is that you have to manage and resolve the problems – if you are even remotely technophobic, this is a BIG concern.
The second one is that all mail ends up coming from your servers. If a receiving ISP assesses your messages as SPAM, you will not be able to email anyone through their services. This is one big headache.
As business people, is it a good use of our time dealing with these types of issues – if they can be avoided?
This is my preferred option – and I am a technical person! There are many third party Email Marketing Solutions that provide a high level of service for, what is ultimately, a reasonable fee.
This is my preferred option because they handle the headaches of making sure the mail servers are working, there are (theoretically) no limits on the number of messages you can send each week and they tend to work with the ISP’s to ensure mail deliverability.
These services tend to always be improving their services, and as subscribers we benefit from that almost immediately.
Most 3rd party Email Marketing services will provide you with Follow Up and Broadcast emails. They will also, generally, allow you to choose customized email templates so that you can brand your services with your own look and feel.
Personally, I use AWeber as my Email Marketing service and I don’t think twice about it.
Outsource All Of It
There are many service providers, like myself, who will take on your entire email marketing management and amortize (spread) the cost over a larger group.
This probably raises a whole heap more questions in your mind, than I’ve answered – and that’s not a bad thing – if you need help ‘getting clear’ on the best option for you, feel free to post your questions in the comment area or visit my website and request a free 30 minute Affiliate Marketing strategy consultation – it’s my pleasure.
In my next article, I’ll discuss how you encourage your site visitors to join your list and what to do once they’ve joined.