What is an autoresponder?
An autoresponder is a software application that allows for the advance creation of a message sequence, and then the messages are delivered to subscribers at predefined intervals. Most people are familiar with signing up to receive an email newsletter that arrives weekly, or an email course that delivers a new training segment every third day, etc. There are sophisticated email autoresponders that incorporate multiple features and tools that are designed to enhance direct marketing, as well as basic email autoresponders that simply send a single automatic reply to tell the sender that you will be out of the office. The Site Steering Direct Contact Control Center is a unique, full featured autoresponder that is capable of sending email, SMS, MMS, and voice broadcast messages through a single message sequence.
What do you mean by multimedia messaging?
Multimedia messaging is simply the ability to send different types of media as a message. For example, the Site Steering Direct Contact Control Center is a unique, full featured autoresponder that is capable of sending email, SMS, MMS, and voice broadcast messages through a single message sequence. That's multimedia. Other brands of autoresponders are mainly one dimensional, capable of delivering only a single media or message type. All things considered, including price, you should not settle for a one dimensional autoresponder.
What if I am new to online and mobile?
We may be biased, but there probably isn't a better platform for you to get started with. With Site Steering, you can get started with an inexpensive Direct Contact Control Center account and build your online and mobile marketing business at your own pace. If you have compared the prices and features of one dimensional autoresponders, we think that you'll agree that the Site Steering multimedia autoresponder platform will provide you with the overall best value, as well as being extremely easy to learn and use.
Why is SMS/MMS marketing important?
- In 2013, over one billion smartphones were shipped in a year for the first time ever.
- Some 5.1 billion out of the 6.8 billion people on Earth own a mobile phone.
- Around 98 per cent of all SMS messages are opened, but only 12 per cent of Facebook posts and 29 per cent of tweets are read.
- Some 80 per cent of consumers haven't received SMS marketing messages from their favorite brands.
What are message credits?
A package of message credits are included with every account and are recharged each month. Each SMS, MMS, and voice broadcast message that you send uses message credits. Since each of these message types vary in cost to send, message credits, or fractions of message credits, are how we charge for multimedia messages. If you ever run short of message credits before your monthly renewal, you can purchase packages of non-expiring additional message credits directly through your Direct Contact Control Center. Email messages do not use message credits, so you can send as many email messages as your account allows.
Which account do I need?
The account that you need is a matter of preference, based upon your needs and goals. Each account includes the Direct Contact Control Center control panel, it's just a matter of which features and capacities you need or want. Even the most basic and inexpensive multimedia autoresponder account includes everything that you will need for managing your lists and sending multimedia messages, including a package of message credits that are recharged each month. Additionally, you can add phone numbers and message credits to your account at any time.
Upgrades and downgrades
Account upgrades are easy, downgrades are a bit more difficult. For example, each phone number in your account will allow you to set up a single mobile autoresponder, capable of delivering multimedia messages. Let's say that your current account has three phone numbers and you want to downgrade to an account with one phone number. There is no way to transfer the subscribers from two of the mobile autoresponder lists to an account that is only capable of supporting a single mobile list. One solution is to backup your subscribers before downgrading, thereby eliminating the downgrading problem of the two extra mobile subscriber lists. A better solution is to simply select the account that you think you will need, in terms of your current and near future needs and goals. You can add phone numbers and message credits to your account as you need them, thereby making any downgrade as easy as it was when you added the extra features. If your business grows to the point where you want a single large account, please Contact Us for our enterprise account pricing.
Why is voice broadcasting important?
- Voice broadcasts reach more people for significantly less money than direct mail or traditional advertising.
- Voice broadcasts add personalization and urgency, not found in other marketing methods.
- Complete message delivers to voicemail if recipient does not pick up.
- Increase subscription and/or renewal rates.
Direct Contact Control Center Questions
Why do you use phone numbers?
That's a great question. The answer is three-fold. One part of the equation is speed of message delivery, another part is cost, and the other part is the number of keywords. Short codes can deliver SMS/MMS messages at a rate of 30 messages per second, phone numbers deliver only 1 SMS/MMS message per second. You can add as many phone numbers to your Site Steering Direct Contact Control Center as you need to support your list size. Using the "Send From All Numbers" feature you can increase your message delivery speed to short code delivery speed with only 30 numbers, but if you have more than 30 numbers you can deliver messages faster than a short code delivery platform. Short codes cost thousands, and most people end up with shared short code platforms, which unfortunately usually limit the available keywords to only one or two without paying extra for more. The Direct Contact Control Center allows for an unlimited number of keywords per phone number, and since every multimedia account includes at least one phone number, each account can create vastly more keywords. Finally, the cost of a Direct Contact Control Center account is a fraction the cost of a short code, and substantially less than the cost of a limited feature shared short code. The Direct Contact Control Center can be scaled from a minimal cost platform with robust features to a system that can out-perform short code delivery speed with a few clicks, whenever you need to add more horsepower.
How do I transfer my lists to my account?
Transferring your existing list to your Site Steering Direct Contact Control Center account is actually quite simple. Many people are concerned that they will lose subscribers because the subscribers won't reconfirm for a new list, even if they are disgusted with and overcharged by their existing autoresponder provider. Nothing could be further from the truth if the majority of your subscribers are legitimate followers of your brand. List building is a constant process anyway, with a constant ebb and flow of new subscribers and unsubscribes. If you do your job well, and deliver what your subscribers want, your list will grow. This is especially true of mobile lists; two or three wrong moves and the subscriber removes himself/herself from your list more quickly than clicking a link in an email. So, assuming that you have a good relationship with your list, here is the proven formula to transfer your list:
- Send a notice from your existing list provider to inform your subscribers of your intention to move the list to a new provider.
- Send a second notice from your existing list provider to inform your subscribers of the exact date that the move to the new list provider will begin AND offer an incentive for them to reconfirm.
- Craft your confirmation required message so that it is obvious that this is the message that you have been telling your subscribers about.
- Import your subscribers into your Direct Contact Control Center.
- When they confirm, deliver the incentive that you promised.
The subscribers that reconfirm are the core that are worth keeping.
How do I . . . ?
When you first create your account you will have the opportunity to download the User Guide. The User Guide will walk you through initial setup and detail virtually every feature. You should make sure to download the User Guide at your earliest opportunity and save it, so that you can refer to it when needed. We have also created an on page help system. At the top of most pages you will see a help icon. Click that help icon and a screen will open with help for the exact page that you are needing help with. If you cannot find the answer in these FAQ's, the User Guide or the help pages, you can create a support ticket directly from your Direct Contact Control Center.
What is the Spam policy?
You should review the Site Steering Terms of Service for the complete Spam policy. Our email service is completely CAN-Spam compliant and we have integrated opt-in and opt-out features into our SMS/MMS and voice broadcasting autoresponders as well. All message types require opt-in to your lists prior to receiving messages from you. While we believe that we have integrated opt-in and opt-out features that comply with regulations in the areas that we serve, you should proactively learn about the regulations in your area and insure that you are compliant in your local area. As a platform provider, Site Steering is not responsible for your activity and we are committed to honest and legal message delivery.
Can I send broadcast messages to my list?
Yes, you can send multimedia broadcast messages to your subscribers. You can select to send the message instantly, or you can schedule the broadcast for a later day and time. Additionally, you can select broadcasts to send to specific Groups associated with your autoresponder.
Which countries are serviced by Site Steering?
As of January 1, 2016, you can select phone numbers for and deliver SMS, MMS, and voice broadcast messages in the United States and Canada only. There are no geographical restrictions for email delivery, which means that email will be delivered world-wide.
What are the SMS/MMS deliverability rates?
United States: 99% Canada: 96%
Does Site Steering have email only autoresponder accounts?
Yes, Site Steering has a number of email only autoresponder accounts, including two Free email autoresponder accounts. All email only accounts have access to all of the mobile features menus, however, you would need to purchase phone numbers and message credits to use the mobile features. The free accounts are a great way to get started with email marketing and easy to upgrade when you are ready. Click Here to check out our email only autoresponder accounts.
Does Site Steering have an affiliate program?
Yes, we have a great affiliate program. Please Click Here if you would like more information on the Site Steering affiliate program.
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How does the 21-Day guarantee work?
If you are not 100% satisfied with your Direct Contact Control Center purchase of one of the three (3) least expensive Account Types offered, within the first 21 days, we will be happy to provide a full refund - no questions asked. We do not publicly offer Account Types unless they are covered by the 21-Day satisfaction guarantee, so if you select an account that is offered on our web site you are covered by the 21-Day satisfaction guarantee.
Are extra phone numbers refundable?
No, the extra phone number packages are not refundable. You should set up your account during the 21-Day satisfaction guarantee and only add additional billable items after you know that the Direct Contact Control Center is right for you. If you do not have a large mobile list you probably don't need additional phone numbers anyway. A single phone number can deliver mobile messages at a rate of one per second, which is 60 per minute or 3600 per hour.
Are extra message credit packages refundable?
No, the extra message credit packages are not refundable. You should set up your account during the 21-Day satisfaction guarantee and only add additional message credits if you need them. If you do not have a large mobile list you probably won't need additional message credits. Each account comes with a set number of message credits that are recharged every month. You should purchase extra message credits only when you need them.
How do I cancel my account?
While we would hate to see you go, we do realize that some people will need to close and cancel their account. To close and cancel your account, click on Account Details, and then click on My Billing Subscriptions. Follow the instructions on that page for closing and cancelling your account. Closing your account is immediate and permanent, and cannot be undone. If you choose to close your account, please save a backup of all your subscribers before you close your account. We cannot recover your subscribers after your account is closed.
Are there partial month refunds?
No, there are no partial month refunds. This means that any time you close and cancel your account after the 21-Day satisfaction guarantee period, there are no refunds for any partial month of service that you might have remaining. For example, if you decide to close and cancel your account a day, an hour, or a minute after your monthly charge has been processed you will not receive a refund. Please pay attention to your monthly recurring billing date and avoid the situation shown in our example here.
Can I buy with PayPal?
Yes, you can select PayPal on the payment page and your charges will be deducted from PayPal each month. You can also use PayPal to purchase extra phone number and message credit packages. Whether you choose to use PayPal or a credit card, your monthly charges will be automatically charged to your account each month.
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