Using Free Autoresponders

If you’ve looked at the prices of autoresponders that
are available online, you may have decided to search
for and use a free autoresponder for your marketing
needs. Using free autoresponders is acceptable in
certain situations, and in the world of Internet
marketing, any autoresponder is better than not
using an autoresponder at all!

Your first option for a free autoresponder should be
the one that comes with your webhosting account –
if you have a webhosting account. These
autoresponders can easily be set up through the
control panel of your website, and they do not
contain advertisements from the autoresponder
company or webhosting service. If you do not have
a hosting account, or your hosting
account does not include autoresponders, there are
other options that you can pursue.

There are many free autoresponder services to
choose from. These services are free, because the
company makes their money by placing a small
advertisement in each message that your
autoresponder sends out. These advertisements
may appear at the top of your auto responses, or at
the bottom, depending on which company you use.

Many paid autoresponder services offer a free version
as well. These free versions may or may not include
advertisements in the outgoing messages. These
lighter versions of the paid autoresponders typically
do not include many of the powerful features of the
paid versions. But if you don’t need the more
advanced features, this is a great choice.

Most free autoresponders have a limit on the number
of subscribers you can have. Many people start out
with the limited free versions, and then upgrade to
the paid versions once their lists are large enough
to exceed those limits. Many marketers don’t feel
that the expense of the autoresponder is warranted
until the list that they are building is turning a profit.
From a business standpoint, this makes sense.

As the owner of a business, you are the only one
who can decide whether you need a paid
autoresponder service, or if a free one will do the job.
If your list is small, a free autoresponder should do
everything that you need it to do, but as your list
grows, you should definitely consider upgrading.
However, having the small advertisements that the
free services place in the outgoing
messages may present a problem if the ads
compete with what you are trying to sell. They may
even pose a problem if they do not directly compete
with your product or business. Again, this depends
on what you are trying to accomplish with your
autoresponder.

Using Autoresponders Responsibly

In today’s world of unsolicited email and spam laws, it is extremely important that you learn to use your autoresponder responsibly. Autoresponders make our lives much simpler, and they are very powerful marketing tools, but if they are used in a way that they
are not intended, they can quickly turn your life into a nightmare!

First, never add people to your autoresponder mailing list that should not be there. If they have requested information from you, they
should automatically be added, and you should have a ‘double opt-in’ method in place to make them confirm that they have
requested the information. This serves to protect you and them.

Each autoresponder message should include a link that the recipient can click that will automatically remove them from the mailing
list. Without this link, you will be breaking the spam laws, and you risk having your website, your ISP service, your email, and your autoresponders shut down!

We all want to build a list of a million people, but you must do so responsibly, and it does take time. Don’t get in a hurry and break
all the rules and laws in an attempt to build a large list. This will only result in losing your list altogether!

Using an Autoresponder to Publish an Ezine

There are many uses for an autoresponder. One
such use is the publishing and distribution of an
ezine or newsletter. Since autoresponder services
usually are set up to send automatic responses to
the people on the list at certain intervals after they
sign up, setting up an autoresponder to send out an
ezine can be a little confusing.

Depending on the service or autoresponder that you
are using, you will need a ‘broadcast’ feature. The
broadcast feature works essentially the same as the
autoresponse feature, with one big difference. The
messages are not sent out at intervals. The
messages can, however, be scheduled to go out on
a certain day, which has no bearing on when the
subscriber was actually added to the mailing list.
Broadcast messages are ‘one time’ messages that
are only sent to your current mailing list. People
who sign up for your list after the broadcast has
been sent do not receive it, unless the specifically
request it with an autoresponder address, which
you must set up.

Using the broadcast feature of most autoresponder
services, you can simply go and either type your
newsletter, or copy and paste it into the editor, then
choose to send the broadcast to your entire mailing
list. More advanced autoresponder services will
usually have broadcasting features.

Using an autoresponder to maintain a mailing list
and to distribute a newsletter is a wonderful idea.
Your subscribers can easily opt-in, or opt-out, and
all of the distribution is handled for you, based on
the schedule that you set. List maintenance can
become very difficult without the automation that
autoresponders provide. You can write each issue
of your ezine or newsletter well in advance, and
have it delivered to your mailing list, no matter
where you are or what you are doing. That is the
beauty of automation!

Since all past broadcast and autoresponse
messages are saved, you can easily refer back to
old issues, or allow people to request past issues.
You can also use the tracking feature throughout
each issue of the newsletter to determine how
many clicks you are getting for the various products
or websites that you promote in your ezine.

If you have not yet purchased an autoresponder or
signed up with any autoresponder service, make
sure that you inquire about the broadcast feature
first. Not all autoresponders or autoresponder
services have this feature, and as your marketing
progresses, you will find that this is one of the most
useful features of the service or program.