Email Marketing Made Easy #16 - Practical Considerations When Choosing an Autoresponder
So far we have extolled the virtues of an autoresponder and how to use its power to market your business online but where do you get them, how do you choose one? To help your decision making process I have provided some general pointers and technical information to make sure you make an informed choice, allied to a summary of the tips we have learned so far. Where to Get them - There are four main sources:
1) ISP - For basic autoresponder needs such as merely sending a single message response you can probably use the free autoresponders that usually come as part of your website hosting package. If you require more sophisticated autoresponder functionality than a simple single response, you require a professional autoresponder software or service.
2) Free Autoresponder Service -In general, the services are provided free usually in exchange for advertising - that is, many of them place advertisements in your responses. Some providers also offer two versions the free cut down one and the more powerful commercial one. The service is hosted on the provider's server meaning you don't have hardware or software to maintain.
3) Commercial Autoresponder Service -Usually offer more functionality and control than free systems and they don't have any advertising. As with the free autoresponders the service is hosted on the provider's server meaning you don't have any hardware or software to maintain. There are two main types of commercial Autoresponder:
a) Autoresponder Software- You buy the software and install it on your own server. This solution requires that your host supports the necessary features and requires more work/knowledge on your part.
b) Autoresponder Service- Here the autoresponder software resides on another server and you simply subscribe to the service. This is by far the most common method used and although it generally works out more expensive it is far easier to set up and more flexible. If you are new to Autoresponders the most popular provider is undoubtlyaweber who offer a 30 day trial for only $1.
4) Your own autoresponder Software- Here you have complete control and responsibility for the hardware or software. This should only be considered for very large sites and for very technical webmasters. As with most services on the Internet the level of functionality provided varies greatly between providers and so it pays to research a few before selecting one.