Once a small/home based business owner realizes the many benefits of using an autoresponder, the first instinct may be to find a free version and to try to incorporate it into your business. A free or self-hosted autoresponder may seem like a bargain at first, but when you find out how much you can’t do with it and the many problems they can cause, it seems more like a waste of an opportunity.
1) Preventing Spam
One of the primary reasons that people turn to a paid autoresponder is to ensure that the entire process is compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act. A good quality autoresponder service can keep your opt-in mailing list compliant with the current laws, keeping your business from facing any liability from inadvertent spam being sent out. A good, professional autoresponder will stay ahead of the latest spam laws and make sure that the service keeps you compliant with them.
The fees and ill will that sending spam can create is enough to sink a business. With a professional autoresponder, records are generally kept of who subscribed and when, making it easy to avoid any legal trouble if it should come up. If you use a self-hosted autoresponder, this is a legal liability that you have to shoulder al by yourself. This spam protection alone is an important service that any online business must have if they use an email marketing list.
2) Get More of Your Messages Delivered
Getting a long and targeted email list is a long process, but it won’t do you any good if your list members don’t get the emails you send out. Even if you are reasonably sure that most of your list members want to be on your list, a free autoresponder may still get your messages marked as spam by the major Internet services providers. Many free services are automatically blocked because the service provides little to no control over keeping its members from sending out spam. This means a lower delivery rate and less help to your business than would be possible with a professional autoresponder.
Paid autoresponders generally have arrangements with ISPs so that their messages are not thrown out automatically. They can make these arrangements by virtue of their professional status and larger reputation among ISPs, something that a self-hosted service simply can’t accomplish.
3) Advertise Your Business – Not Someone Else’s
Another problem with using free autoresponders is that the free services have to make a profit somehow. Often that is accomplished by adding advertisements into the marketing emails that are sent out. If you are using one of these services for your own marketing, your advertising has to compete with theirs. This can obscure your overall message and confuse your intended audience.
By choosing a paid service, you can create the message that you want your audience to read instead of one that will be interrupted by advertising that you can’t control. This keeps your message at the forefront- exactly where it should be for the maximum impact on your readers.
4) You are a business owner, not a system administrator
What is generating profits for your business? Managing content and nurturing customers or managing servers and email? Content and customer care are king for business owners. If you are not spending the vast majority of your time in these two areas your business is destined to fail no matter how great a job you do with servers and email.
The autoreponder we use and recommend has the following features that simply can’t be matched by free autoresponders or self-hosted autoresponders:
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