Money for Nothing, Autoresponders for Free?
Autoresponders should be an important part of an online marketer’s lead generation and customer contact strategy. Yet, most Internet newcomers (“newbies”) hesitate to pay for third party services. People on tight budgets are drawn to the ‘no-cost’ option, i.e; free autoresponders, but is it an alternative worth investigating? After all, why not save hundreds of dollars per year? Fair enough – numerous options are available, and some free autoresponders may prove reliable enough to get your list-building off the ground.
…Let’s have a look.
Several web hosting companies supply free autoresponders with your personal account, so this should be your first option. Normally, it’s a straightforward procedure to get things up and running using the web host’s control panel. One advantage of using your webhost’s free autoresponder is the absence of advertising. Some subscribers object to reading banners or extra ad copy in addition to your messages, so giving them one less reason to hit ‘Unsubscribe’ is welcome.
Beyond your web host, you can investigate other free autoresponder software and services online. A cursory search reveals thousands of articles, reviews, and recommendations on what autoresponders to choose. Unlike web host autoresponders, these services will place ads in your outgoing messages. Understandable, because that’s how they make money, in the form of “top sponsor” or “bottom sponsor” ads. You have no choice but to accept them – even if they compete directly with you or distract your prospects!
Have a look at paid third party services that offer a free or “light” autoresponder version. As established businesses, they may in position to leave sponsored advertisements off your messages and satisfy most of your immediate autoresponder needs. However, be assured that non-paying subscribers will not have access to its more robust features. Nevertheless, testing this type of service is a great way to evaluate a company before committing to a paid trial or upgraded service.
If you are committed to using a free autoresponder, be aware that it will likely impose a limit on your list size. In fact, the best way to judge your autoresponder needs may be to use a free service until your list surpasses a certain size. From a bottom line, business point of view, “list profitability” should determine whether paid or free is right for you.
A free autoresponder is preferable to having no autoresponder at all, even if your list is small and you have the added burden of dealing with spam complaints. Conventional wisdom suggests that they are suitable for newbies, at least until they’re ready to take their businesses to the next level. Still, you should base your decision on tangible criteria, e.g.; the role autoresponders play in your overall e-mail and relationship marketing strategy. Some marketers concurrently employ free autoresponders for limited, list-building campaigns and paid services for true income generation.
Rahul Majumdar is an Information Marketer specializing in article marketing, list-building, and digital product creation. Sign up for more of his insights here.