The fact is that Office Autopilot is overkill for the typical solopreneur or blogger. Not only that, it starts at $297/month and that, alone, puts it out of most people’s reach.
But, it is possible to combine a few solutions together in ordet to get a “light” version of Office Autopilot. For example, for CRM functionality, you can use something like Batchbook or Highrise. However, the fancier email marketing capabilities were still exclusive to the more expensive solutions.
The good news is that things are shaping up. And, if you’re using Aweber, there is a brand new tool called AW Pro Tools which will give you some pretty powerful features that many would hope Aweber would have baked in… but doesn’t. Pro Tools works directly with your Aweber account via an API connection, so it is very easy to add these powerful capabilities to your existing Aweber account.
One of the many reasons I’m switching to OAP is that it has tagging. So, what is tagging?
Tagging basically means that I can assign, well, tags to subscribers. Tags are like little keywords that describe the subscriber and allows him/her to be included into list segments based on their actions.
For example, if I were to send out an email to my list about AW Pro Tools itself, I could set up a trigger which would automatically tag anybody who clicked on the link. So, if a subscriber clicked on the link for AW Pro Tools, the system would auto-tag them with a tag of your choice (say, “awprotools”). From then on, you know that that subscriber had expressed interest in the tool. Not only that, that subscriber is probably more interested in email marketing tools than somebody who didn’t click that link.
Using tagging in a smart way, you can divide your list up into a bunch of different segments. When you have a particular thing to bring to their attention, you can only email the people who are more likely to be interested in that and spare the rest of them the frustration.
Moving From One List To Another… Based On Clicks
So, let’s take the above example where I promote AW Pro Tools to my list. If they click on the link, they’ve essentially raised their hand and expressed some interest.
Now, wouldn’t it be powerful if I could then send them a followup series of emails about various features of AW Pro Tools? See, many people don’t buy right away. They want to learn more about it. Now, sending those emails specific about AW Pro Tools to the entire list would be pretty annoying to many. But, not to those who were interested.
With AW Pro Tools, you can set up a “smart link” which directs over to anything you want. If your subscriber clicks, you can automatically copy or move them to a different email list. This allows you to send them an entirely – and specific – series of emails.
Moving Lists When A Sequence Has Ended
What if somebody subscribes to an autoresponder sequence and then reaches the end of that sequence? In most cases, that means they’re just not going to hear from you anymore. OR, they’ll get too much email.
An example of this is my 30 Day Blog Transformation Challenge. That is a 30 day email sequence. When they’ve reached day 30, they just stay on the Challenge email list. Problem is, when I go to send out a broadcast to my general list, if I include the Challenge list in that, then those people who are still taking the Challenge will then receive more than one email from me in a single day. That’s annoying, right? With Pro Tools, I can specify that when they’ve gotten Day 30, they’re automatically MOVED to my general email list. Then, when I send a broadcast, I only send to my general list. I don’t have to separately send a different email to a segment of my Challenge list.
Not to mention this will reduce your Aweber bill. Having one person on multiple lists still counts as multiple subscribers as far as Aweber’s billing is concerned.
Daily List Backups
Most of us never remember to back up our email lists. But, it is an important element of security for your business. As the saying goes, sh!t happens.
AW Pro Tools will automatically back up your lists for you. You no longer have to remember to go in and manually export the list, then download. Just one less thing.
This stuff is pretty cool. Personally, I think AW Pro Tools is a prime candidate to be acquired by Aweber and built right in. It really SHOULD be built right in so that Aweber can be more competitive with the likes of Infusionsoft or Office Autopilot.