The InfoPreneur AutoResponder Challenge, er, uh, Contest

Before I get into the details of the challenge (Actually, I’ve turned it into a Contest Now), for those of you who are completely new to Email Broadcast and Autoresponders, I want to direct your attention to my 2 favorites:  Icontact & Aweber.

Aweber – Pros:  One of the industry leads email solutions providers.  Has easy HTML optin forms and a wide variety of them.  Easy to use.  Great tracking.  Statistics.  Many folks use them.  Cons: Ummmmm….Double Optin.  Ok, to be politically correct so the email marketing thunder voices don’t come down hard on me…Confirmed Optin requirements.  Is this a bad or good thing?  Overall, I think it is a really good thing.  My ONE and only biggest hangup, and why I switched away from them:  They require confirmation for an API request, even if the people are already on your list.  THIS boils my blood, and it was killing my “product delivery”.  So, I switched.  I’m absolutely set on my product delivery platform and will not change from it.  So, the autoresponder system had to change.  It’s not the product delivery systems fault, it is Aweber’s for not allowing the remote API’s (even if they are confirmed) to be added to other lists.  Aweber also provides unlimited emails, and broadcasts (not # of contacts dependant).

IcontactPros – No Need for confirmed Optin.  Can take an Excel spreadsheet list you have, and import them right into your autoresponder list.  Works seamlessly with my product delivery/payment/affiliate/membership site system. Cons: Not as many bells and whistles as Aweber. Doesn’t have the same entry/exit pop-ups available within the system.

I know Million Dollar marketers who use both, and others.  For me, and my goals, for now Icontact won out.  Down the road, if Aweber would ever come to their senses, I would probably switch back to Aweber.  One of the big concerns I had was “email deliverability”.  After enough checking, I felt I was still safe with Icontact.  Who knows.

Anyway, back to the Challenge.

The InfoPreneur Autoresponder Challenge

With all the talk about email marketing (Matthew’s post) lately here on the site, involving some great posts and comments (Kiesha’s post), I see a need to throw out a challenge to all of you.  PLEASE, consider this a friendly, competitive Kick in the Pants…If you care to join in on the fun, that is 😉

What: Create an email account and autoresponder series if you do not have one (Again, if not try Aweber or Icontact).  If you do, add to your existing campaigns if you need to.  I want at least 15 messages built into your followup system.  Do 3 or 4 with content, and then 1 promo of some type where you make money.  Do another 3 or 4 with content/pointing to content/ and the 1 promo, etc.  But you need 15.  I’d recommend spacing them out every 2 days or so.   The goal is for new subscribers to trust you.  You get an opportunity to communicate with them and show them what you got.

How: If you don’t feel you have any new content to create or share with your readers, THINK AGAIN.  You do! You just need someone to open your eyes just a little bit, and you’ll begin to see the light and have some bells go off in your head.  Also, some of the secrets I’ll be sharing in our upcoming webinar series will surely help also.  So, I’m going to needily steal some of the content I posted in a comment a little while ago, and place it right here:

– Find some youtube videos that you find are really helpful.  Provide links to them.

– Find statistics that may help validate that you are an expert in your chosen niche.

– Email them to an “about you” page where you showcase all of your craziness, and the pictures/videos showing your are human.

– Offer them a free ebook in email format – simply spread it out over 10 different mailings or something.

– Find some ezinearticles….remember to give proper credit where it’s due.  No need for thievery here.  Remember, as InfoPreneurs we run our businesses Above board.

– Compile a list of 10 Frequently Asked Questions, and then answer them 1 by 1, over 10 different mailings.

– Make a 5 minute audio discussing a topic of concern.

– Highlight some things about your site, show your readers how to get more great information from you.

– Tell you readers where or how they can get EVEN MORE information from you if they like what you have.

– Send a promotion of one of your pals (or yourself) every once in a while.  You are in it to make money, and if something has helped you, or if you found it to be of benefit, chances are your readers and viewers will find it helpful also.

– Get some PLR material and “freshen it up”.  I’m not a big fan of using PLR as your own stand alone product.  But you can synthesize that stuff like crazy and come up with some information packed videos, audios, etc.

Hopefully, that gets the brain cells churning with some unique fresh ideas to get your new autoresponder series in order.  If you already have one, maybe go back and freshen it up.  Were you getting the results you hoped?  Maybe you have Dead Links in there, or need to change your delivery up a little bit.

Why:  Ok, maybe this should be a contest or something, and I should offer up crazy values….  Basically, I just want to push you to make it happen.  Consider me your Drill Sergeant for this experiment. 😉

When: I’m going to give everyone until Monday, July 12th.  I’m being overly nice because I have a crazy weekend/week coming up.  So, I won’t march you to your death….not yet anyway.  On Monday, the 12th, I will make a new post where you can share with us your Results.  I will ask ALL OF YOU to place a link on a post back to where people can subscribe to your email list, or even a second list (if you’d like) and people can walk through your system.  They can see how your emails are setup.  They can generate some of their own ideas from what you’ve done.  I’m really looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with.


Ok, fine.  You twisted my arm.  I’LL MAKE THIS A CONTEST, and YOU all will get to help decide the Winner.  I’ll make the final decision, but will all of you to help sway my opinion.  What do you think?  But, don’t only do it for the contest…DO IT FOR YOUR OWN GOOD most importantly.

Summary – Do this:  Get an autoresponder series setup.  Setup your responder series to last 30 days.  We will all place our links on this site (I’ll create a new post) on July 12th – July 13th.  If you are on vacation…get somebody else to post it for you.  Everyone who joins will signup for everyone’s email autoresponder series on the 12th and 13th also, so we can see each other’s ideas and cast our votes, etc.  I will probably have you submit via the “contact me” form at the top of this site your favorite.  You can always unsubscribe later if you choose, but I think it will benefit everyone who takes part in this exercise.

So, What do You Win? Ok, ok, off the top of my head, here is what I’ll do for the Winner:

TheInfoPreneur Ballcap – Priceless :)

$99 Course on Buying Homes Owner Financed, by Me.  :)

How to Buy Homes without Banks! Tired of having a House Payment?  I don’t pay for mine. What’s it Worth?  It saves me from paying $1500 every month for my house.  At a minimum, you should be able to save $500/month if you use it.  That’s $6,000 over the next year.

So, at a bare minimum, if you choose to participate, you will get a link to your squeeze page from one of our blog posts, here.

That’s it.  If you have any questions, enter them in the comments below.  What do you think?  Contest is a good idea?  Bad idea?  If you all hate it, I’m open to bagging it.  I figure it’ll help propel all of us to do some housekeeping and take care of business, right ?  If you like this idea, please post about it, or Retweet, or Stumble.  Thanks!

Talk soon,

Brandon Yeager


PS.  Who knows…I may get crazy and compile your emails and all the results into some type of info product, so, your entry authorizes me to use your emails and ideas in a new information product.  Why not?  Should be some interesting results and takeaways that I may want to share with others.

Talk later.

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  1. Very cool idea, Brandon.

    This is just the kick in the pants I need to get my autoresponder series going. I send out emails every Friday to my email list, but I don’t really have a good strategy for emails and this is something that I have been meaning to do. You’re right, we have a lot to offer people, even if some times we don’t think we do.

    Karen´s last blog post ..Happy Canada Day-

    1. Hey Karen,

      You know, I too get bogged down with the broadcasts / posts, etc, but I need to get my game onto the autoresponders for this site, and the products I’ve setup, etc that way I can give value all the time to people. Set it once and it is communication on autopilot.

  2. Hi Brandon and TIP readers!

    How does MailChimp compare with the two autoresponders you mentioned? I’ve used it to create an Email newsletter for a client and it’s very intuitive – and free for the first 500 contacts.

    This comment isn’t a sales pitch for MailChimp (I’m not an affiliate) I’d just like to know if I”m missing out on something or if Iconact, for example, is a better alternative to MailChimp.

    Feedback welcome! Thanks!

    – Don

    1. I’ve never used MailChimp, so I can’t do a direct comparison. I just know most of the big folks use Aweber, Icontact, or some of the big dogs also use Infustionsoft’s email system. However, I heard Infusionsoft and GetResponse were GreyListed with somebody. Infusionsoft is just too expensive and too complex for my likes anyway. If I have to pay someone a couple thousand, on top of the large chunk of cash to get an affiliate/autoresponder/payment processor etc…I’m going to stick with what I’m using right now.
      I would wonder how the mailchimp deliverability rate is. That is one of my primary things I’d look at. Then, I’d look into what systems easily tie into mailchimp.

      The whole thing with autoresponders that everyone eventually finds out, is that it’s a good idea to plan right up front on what you are going to be doing (info products, ecommerce, affiliates, payment processing, etc). Looking at the whole system and planning on where you want to be/will be 6 months or 12 months down the road seems to make the most sense to me. I also wouldn’t let cost (or free for up to 500 contacts) affect my decision between any of these (other than Infusionsoft). Like I said, if there are scripts involved in setting something up…not my game.

      The cool thing with IContact and Aweber is they offer a trial period also. Try it for one month and see if it suits your needs. That being said, if you use Aweber and want to change to Icontact later…you can rather easily. Versus, if you start with Icontact and want to change to Aweber later…might as well plan on starting back over at zero. You might get 20-30% of your “list” over to Aweber with confirmed email addresses if you are lucky.
      Just my thoughts.

      Anyone else want to chime in ? I’m all ears.

      1. I agree with Don here and really the subject of my own post. Do you really only want to have 500 readers? If you’re buiding a house. Start with great foundations and the rest will follow. The same is true on the platforms you use to build your business and your blog.

        I’m not saying Aweber is cheap at $19 but it certainly isn’t expensive.
        Matthew Needham´s last blog post ..How to start a business in your spare time

        1. Hey…absolutely want more than 500 on list. not even a question.
          So, are you saying MailChimp is better than Aweber? I’m all about checking them out…signing up for the free account, etc and testing etc.
          If they have single optin with list importing…I’ll listen even closer. :) Sorry Aweber….you lose me right there.

        2. Entering this a little late after reading about it in Matthew’s Wednesday Wisdom piece but I just wanted to add that with Mail Chimp, you’re not limited to 500. The first 500 are free and after that it becomes a paid system. I personally think that’s a win-win situation because it allows you to grow your list for free and then expand as necessary.

          Mail Chimp also has a lovely little iPhone app. Just thought I’d throw that in for our iPhone King 😉
          Eleanor Edwards´s last blog post ..Filling up your cup

  3. There is one more example email you could send… Ask a Question!

    For example, below is an actual email that Pat Flynn (from Smart Passive Income) sent to his subscribers. It’s actually pretty cool, and I’m sure he got some great responses from it. Hopefully he won’t mind me copying and pasting it here. :)

    Subject line: I have a really quick favor to ask you…

    I hope all is well!

    I have a quick favor to ask of you, if you don’t mind.

    I’m always looking for excellent, inspirational content on the web to help me with my business, but searching for GREAT material can be hard, especially with all of the “weeds” out there we have to filter through.

    So, I’m asking you for help…

    What awesome or totally inspirational articles/blog posts have you read lately that you think I should take a look at?

    I know you’ve visited some sites that I haven’t, which is why I’m asking you for help. So, if you don’t mind sharing, feel free to reply and I’ll take a look.

    If it’s your own content, that’s cool too. I can’t possibly keep up with what all of my readers are publishing online, so now is your chance to show me some of your stuff, if you have anything you’d like to share.

    Anyways, I really appreciate your help. Keep working hard, and remember what your goals are, because we often forget why we’re doing what we’re doing each day.

    Until the next newsletter…Cheers!


    1. Richard,
      Great idea and thanks for sharing. I’m pretty certain Pat would be humbled to have that posted, so I wouldn’t worry about that too much. He seems like a very genuine, good guy. Leon Aldrich just mentioned his site to me the other day and I checked it out for the first time. Very nice. I like his style.


  4. The contest is a good idea and something that I know will definitely learn a lot from. I am slowly but surely building my list and am somewhat lost on how to manage and what to send to my list.

    I have a question, will those that don’t enter still have the opportunity to opt-in to the contestants list to see what they have come up with? I’m really looking forward to what people come up with as I need a lot of direction on this myself.

    Anna Haller´s last blog post ..Do you wANT to succeed

    1. Hey Anna,

      Of course. :) That will be one of the perks of everyone getting to post their optin link on the post. Is anyone out there digging this Challenge? Is anyone in? Or should we bag it? Just checking.


  5. Love the contest Brandon.

    @ Richard, Pat in one of his first of the autoresponder series asks, what topic/s you would most like him to write about in a future post. This is great, because he gets ideas for writing, but also readers/subscribers get there input.

  6. Great idea Brandon. In fact scrub that. Brilliant idea.

    Get’s everyone going. Personally I think every 2 days is too much, but for the benefits of the trial, then why not.

    I’ve got 6 in my auto responder series, but I’m thinking of changing that and now is as good a time as any to do that.

    Matthew Needham´s last blog post ..How to start a business in your spare time

  7. Hey Brandon,

    Super-awesome idea man. I think mailchimp is a good idea, but it’s really hard to design opt-in forms. and the default mailchimp form looks very ugly.

    “if you use Aweber and want to change to Icontact later…you can rather easily. Versus, if you start with Icontact and want to change to Aweber later…might as well plan on starting back over at zero.”
    I’ve to agree with you, and that’s why i’m not using aweber.
    And ya getresponse is another good alternative.

    Really great idea brandon.

    Thanks for sharing this great Post.

    Dev | Technshare´s last blog post ..3 Solid Reasons Your Blog Is The Perfect Launch Pad For Your Business

    1. Well…i have a contact request into MailChimp checking them out…but I saw a blurp about only allowing double optins….
      I want people to be able to enter a name and email, and automatically:
      – give them access to a membership site
      – send an email with the info
      – go to a one time offer
      – have their contact info dumped into an autoresponder account
      All this….by entering a name and email one time.

      It is the most seamless way to do it…and Aweber (and it appears Mailchimp) does not do that. I’m not saying it’s the only way. There are 10,000 ways to skin our product deliveries out. So, just some thoughts.

      So, I’m going to stop investigating mailchip for now and keep plugging with IContact for now. If they get back to me and tell me they get do it seamlessly, with single optin via API through my nanacast sytem…I’ll check them out.

      Thanks for the feedback on the optin forms and default form, etc, also.

  8. Hey, Brandon!
    So I want to join but I do not want to be hitting my subscribers every couple of days. Can I join with less than 15, just for the feedback? I think once a week is more than enough for me at this point in time. More than that I risk loosing the few subscribers I have…plus its a do to others as I want them to do for me. I unsubscribe to those sending that many emails unless they have super awesome content…Anyways, just wondered if I could link my series just for some feed back… This IS a good idea I just have qualms about mailing my list too often :)
    Gurl´s last blog post ..My Favorite Posts- Week ending July 2

      1. Hey Eleanor,
        No problem. I am way fine with everyone setting it up to however they would like. Email as you feel fit. :)

        PS. When you say “charity signups an email every 2 days”…I’m not sure what you mean. I understand the 2 day part. :) How about charity signups?

        Just curious. 😉


        1. Sorry, didn’t explain that very well. I’ve got two sites, both of which I need to do an auto-responder series for. There’s my happiness blog, Heaven and El and then the charity blog, Give A Brick.

          I’d like eventually to offer a daily smile in an email for Heaven And El but for Give A Brick, we’re about relationships and community so I don’t think I’d feel comfortable sending them an automatic email every couple of days.

          Actually, I forget that you don’t know about Give A Brick. James was our inspiration for getting going on Twitter and daily blogging. You should come and say hello one day, especially so when we get our new site. It’s going to be awesome 😀
          Eleanor Edwards´s last blog post ..I have a dream Now where have you heard that before-

          1. El,
            got it! thanks for clarifying. I love the title Heaven and El. That’s good. really good!

            Ok, charity…makes sense. I agree…you’re right. That definitely seems like it would be more of an “event” driven email campaign. I mean, I’d definitely set one up from the get-go and gets the people in tune with what you do, some of the events you’ve covered, what you are about, etc. will drop by.

            Also, let me know when revised it up online. would love to check it out.


    1. Hey Matthew, awesome. I actually updated 3 of mine yesterday to be pushed out to 10 days long. I’m going to add to another today. I hope everyone else is working on there. While heading to the YMCA this morning, 2 more cool concepts struck me to throw in there.

      Good job! It’s not bad, once you start them, is it?


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