Auto Responder Service or Software Program – Which is Best?
There are vital differences between available auto-responders and many a new entrepreneur have been caught in the snare of owning or subscribing to a less than desirable alternative to the best in the business.
Vital Differences in Automatic Responders That You Need to Know
I really want to spare you the headaches and the loss in income of having something less than the best to stay in touch with your customers, build your list, or market to your prospects. Switching partway through the game is just as hard as starting from scratch with automatic responders.
I’ve tried, tested, owned and tracked the results of far too many auto-responder software programs and services in the last 9 years of working online. I’ve also (when I used to keep a client base) had to clean up the mess that some of these inferior software programs and services create. Believe me it can be much worse than starting from scratch, losing your existing list, and feeling that you’ve wasted all your time up until you find the right service. You could potentially ruin your business reputation, have your website domain black-listed across the web, or be fined up to $10,000 USD for spam email marketing (even if you didn’t spam to begin with)!
So Let’s Get to the Differences in Automatic Responders
Automatic responder software could be set up to run on your web server or on your personal computer. Neither one is capable of doing the job correctly and both have the potential to cost you in time, trouble and fines.
The free auto-responder software that generally comes as part and parcel with a web hosting account is useless for marketing. They are little more than one message sent out in response to one message coming in. Let me tell you one message going to your potential customer will do nothing for your business.
Next we have automatic responders that are an add-on for an extra fee that is installed on your web hosts server. A little better because you can send out unlimited follow up messages, but again you leave yourself wide open to spam complaints and criminal charges (even when you aren’t practicing anything illegal).
Plus it only takes one irate wing-nut with an attitude to complain to your web host and you could lose your website, your database of customers and much more! If you think that you won’t have any customers like that ever, then take off the rose-colored glasses right now. I’ve had subscribers to an email course about raising chickens forget that they’ve signed up and wrongly accuse me of spamming. There are idiots and chemically imbalanced people in every market.
Also available are automatic responders that run on your personal computer. Although fully functional, they are not actually auto-responders in the true sense of the word (you can’t store messages to be sent at pre-determined times) – these are more manual than automatic. And a huge drawback is that the software uses your internet connection and your personal computer’s resources to send the mailing. Try sending an email out to 1,000 customers and see how long that takes you – I’m still pulling my hair out over those days (honestly the client made me do it and even though I was handsomely rewarded I was very happy to fire that client 6 months down the road).
What Works in Automatic Responders Then?
We’ve talked about what doesn’t work or has some serious potential ramifications, so let’s move onto what type of auto-responder does work.
First, I’m going to give you the bad news. The product that really works is a service. It has ongoing, never ending monthly or yearly subscription fees. You will never own it, but you will also never have to worry about upgrading or installing it either.
On the bright side:
- your computer is free to work on other tasks when your messages are being sent,
- if you follow the guidelines of your service you can never be charged with spam allegations or fines,
- your messages are sent, how often and when you demand,
- you don’t run the risk of having your domain name black-listed,
- and, if you use the service I recommend you’ll get more messages delivered to your recipients, less messages snatched up by a spam filter,
- and you can track which emails are opened, received, or acted upon.
I don’t care if you are a budding entrepreneur or a seasoned pro. In my tests and work there is only one choice.
Plus, once you learn the ins and outs of the automatic responder service you’ll never have to struggle over installing, updating, backing up a database or fretting over some new technology. You’ll have email and chat support past standard business hours and every aspect of your email marketing will be taken care of for you. All you have to do is get the subscribers, specify the mailings, and write the messages.
I’ve arranged for you to take the best in the business for a free test drive (see above at left). This will help you test the service without investing any cash but I urge you to never use a free automatic responder service. They are loaded with other people’s advertising messages and will make you look terribly unprofessional.
Automatic Responders and SPAM
Finally I just want to clear up the issues regarding automatic responders and sending, or being accused of, spam. There are laws that you must follow whenever you send an email (requested or not). No matter what type of email you are sending out, the anti-spam laws and guidelines set out by the Can-SPAM Act apply to you.
In order to be in compliance with these guidelines and laws, every commercial email that you send must include your name or business name, your full mailing address and service support number. You must also include instructions that will allow the recipient to remove themselves from your mailing list.
If you are ever investigated for sending spam you also must be able to prove that every email address on your list requested to be sent further information. If you can’t comply, you are quite literally breaking the law and could be severely fined or jailed.
This is precisely one of the top reasons I use the auto-responder service I do. They keep up to date on the spam laws and warn me on the spot if I’m attempting to send mail that doesn’t comply, as well as keep records of every email address in my account. Their name, their IP address, when they subscribed as well as automatically creating a link for everyone and anyone to unsubscribe in just one click.
It is protection at it’s finest without the headaches and legalities. They take care of it all.
If you’re now ready to start with an automatic responder service, take the free test drive I arranged for you. Or, if you’d like to know more, keep reading. The next post’s topic will showcase a few unique ways to profit with your auto-responder account.