Top three email marketing services for affiliate marketers – affiliate programs.comIf you’re an affiliate marketer, you’ve certainly heard this before: you need to have an email list. An email list can be the difference between a good and great affiliate business.

In fact, online marketing consultant Mequoda suggests that as much as 30 percent of your subscriber base will typically make from 1 to 2.5 purchases from your list. When you multiply the commission on your purchase by the amount of sales you can make to the total subscribers on your list, it can add up to a significant return.

But managing an email list isn’t just about waiting around for commission checks to arrive. It requires hard work and knowledge of copywriting, graphic design, HTML and direct marketing best practices.

In addition, there is the technical challenge of managing your list with an email autoresponder service, which is an essential component of email marketing success. In a more advanced sense, your autoresponder will automate your email list building.

When a new person signs up to your service, they’re automatically sent an email explaining what they can expect next, or what to do next. And the autoresponder campaign that sends that message also compiles that contact info for use in your customer database.

To help you make a better decision when purchasing your email autoresponder, I’m going to talk about five features of an autoresponder that you’ll want to consider before signing up. And then I’m going to recommend three services for you to consider.

First, here are the five essential features of a great email marketing service:

1.HTML and Text Emails – A good autoresponder will allow you to send emails to your subscribers in both HTML and plain text. It will also make it easy for your customers to decide which version of the message they see.

2.Response and Open Tracking – Your autoresponder service should allow you to track your email campaigns, with unique URLs for each message and tracking when users open your HTML messages.

3. Unlimited Autoresponders – If you’re running more than one list, look for a service that allows you to have unlimited autoresponders.

4.Personalization – Choose a service that allows you to personalize your messages, adding the name of your customer in the message salutation and subject line.

5.Free Support – If you’re just starting off with email marketing, you’re going to need technical support. Make sure you don’t have to pay extra for it.

Now that you know what to look for, here are three email autoresponder services I typically recommend for affiliate marketers:

iContact – A popular feature of iContact makes it very easy to integrate your email capture form into your WordPress website. While iContact has a generous free account that allows up to 500 subscribers, some affiliates have reported issues with open rate tracking and deliverability with iContact.

Aweber – Without a doubt, Aweber is the most affiliate-friendly of the email autoresponder services. They have a reputation for great deliverability and a very easy-to-use interface.

Mail Chimp – If you’re looking for a great service that allows you to design your messages and easily share them via your social networks, check out Mail Chimp. They have a free account level that allows you to send up to 12,000 messages per month.

To make the best choice for your business, go to each of these services, check them out, and select the one that’s best for your needs. I know affiliates who run their lists off all three services, and they all perform well.

What are your opinions about email autoresponder services? Leave your feedback in the comments below!