I've been researching autoresponder options since I first started my internet business back in 2001. I went through six or seven autoresponder companies and had a lot of "hard knocks" which unfortunately cost me a LOT of time and money. It has been quite journey, to observe the growth of email marketing, the proliferation of spam, and then the sad failure of many internet businesses due to problems with autoresponder options and email marketing.
Autoresponders are also known as automatic responders, and you will find if you do some research on this topic that the entire landscape of autoresponder options has changed as the internet has matured. Due to abuse of this precious gift of email marketing, spammers have clogged everyone's email with unsolicited and even crude marketing offers.
Nowadays, everyone needs a spam filter or other email filter on their mail program. As a result, 27% or more of your WANTED email is now deleted or thrown into a spam folder before you even see it.
All internet businesses have suffered, especially those that use autoresponders. Nowadays email marketing needs to be done differently, and the most cutting edge autoresponder options offer flexibility that will allow you to offer several different ways to contact your prospects.
One of the greatest benefits of using autoresponders is that you can follow up automatically with your customers and potential customers. On the internet, building relationships happens through offering valuable information that your prospective customer needs.
Creating a newsletter, a blog, a free report series, an online course, or providing other valuable information in short segments, over time, builds trust with your potential customers or clients. This process is made simple by using a professional autoresponder.
Also, once you have a customer, an automatic responder is the perfect way to follow up with them.
Your decision about autoresponder options is one of the most important business decisions you will make. You will need to choose a reliable company to entrust your list to!
Your newsletter list is pure GOLD... it's where your income is! Start with a professional autoresponder so you can safely grow your newsletter subscription base.
If you end up having to move your newsletter list from autoresponder to autoresponder, you will lose subscribers, and you will spend a lot of time relearning how to use the new system as each service is different.
There are many autoresponder options and companies. I've researched a bunch of them and used 6 or 7 since 2001. Imagine if I could have kept my list in the same place since then? I estimate I've lost thousands of dollars because of my mistakes... I don't want you to suffer the same fate!
Some things are OK to scrimp on, but not your autoresponder. It is so important to have a reliable list service. Don't even think about using a free autoresponder, except as a test drive!
I had one autoresponder company crash their servers and LOSE my entire database list... AAARGH!! :-( Another autoresponder company went out of business. Another one sold every name in my list as leads to other marketers. Another one crashed their server and did not deliver email for months. Yet another autoresponder company went out of business!
I repeat, your email lists are a crucial aspect of your online income. Review your autoresponder options carefully and choose a reliable company!
Getting Your eMail Delivered
With the increase in spam, ISP's are starting to filter out even legitimate email sent by automated sources. For this reason, it is essential that you choose an autoresponder company that knows how to keep themselves off of ISP "spam" lists. Those autoresponder companies that have established good relationships with ISP's are more likely to have their emails allowed through.
Here's how to find out if the autoresponder you're using is blocked by ISP's. Go to http://www.dnsstuff.com/. On the top right you will see the DNS lookup which is where you enter the autoresponder domain name. The result will give you the IP address (this is not the same as the name server addresses NS1 and NS2), it will be the first one in the list.
Copy the IP address and then go back to http://www.dnsstuff.com. Paste the IP address into the top center field for Spam database lookup and then see what the situation is. The more red you see, the fewer ISP's are allowing mail from that autoresponder.
Keep in mind that legitimate marketers still get spam complaints, so even a reputable company will unfortunately have some blocking. Another thing to keep in mind is that some autoresponders send mail from several domains so you should check out all of the domains that email is sent from.
Our First Choice
We used to have several choices for autoresponder options , but those companies have all changed and no longer offer the services I need. Now I only recommend AWeber, the first of all the autoresponder companies. Initially when I was looking for an autoresponder, they were highly recommended to me, but at that time they had many limitations. In the old days they had only 7 follow up messages available, and they were one of the pricier services.
Now however they have become competitive with most other automatic responder companies, in both pricing and services. In addition, they have developed several unique and extremely useful features that help you to communicate even more effectively with your customers.
In my opinion, their greatest strength is that they have been around a long time and they are reliable. They have developed relationships with many major ISP's so your email is more likely to be delivered. A friend of mine was using Constant Contact, another and more expensive service, and 1/3 of the emails were not delivered! Since she switched to Aweber her emails are now delivered to all subscribers.
Aweber also recently added some major new features which cause them to stand head and shoulders above some of the other companies. They now have the capability to automatically create an RSS feed for your newsletter list. They also offer you the ability to automatically send email notices when your blog or RSS feed is updated. Most recently, they have created the capability for you to follow up automatically with your new customers, by integrating their service directly with your online payment processor, like PayPal, ClickBank, and so on. These features enable you to keep in touch with your customers and subscribers in a variety of ways.
Aweber sends mail from several different domains, and you can check their spam database report here. All autoresponder companies end up on this list unfortunately, and the spam report will change from week to week, but you will find the better companies have less problems.
The Aweber user interface is simple, quick to learn, and they have video instructions available to help you get set up. They offer unlimited autoresponders with an unlimited number of messages. Their pricing is based on numbers of subscribers within your database, rather than numbers of emails sent.
They have all the basic features a good autoresponder service should have, plus some extra RSS and blog features that allow you to create a newsletter list for your blog, and to also create an RSS feed from your email list. They also have toll free telephone customer service which is a VERY big plus nowadays.
If I were researching autoresponder options and starting out with a new autoresponder service, I would choose Aweber hands down over any other. I do wish I had started with them at first, as my newsletter list would be three times larger! I unfortunately lost many leads, and lots of income each time I had to move my lists.
If you are moving your autoresponder lists over to AWeber from another company, they will require even double opt-in subscribers to re-confirm their subscription yet again if you move the list into their service. This is standard nowadays for most autoresponder companies. I've used this service since 2005 and they have been reliable and offered excellent customer support. They offer a free test drive of their service which you can request here.
Autoresponders I Checked Out and Do Not Use
Autoresponders I Checked Out and Do Not Use
Autoresponders Options Updates
If you would like to receive occasional, brief upates when there are important changes or updates to email marketing or online autoresponder options, please join our Autoresponder Updates list. I send out updates occasionally, (usually just once a year!) depending on what is happening within the autoresponder world and email marketing world.