are free autoresponders worth it?

16 replies
I have a couple of related questions.

I occasionally see offers for auto-responder software, where you buy the software yourself (or it's free), you install it on a site, and then supposedly it takes care of all your auto-responder needs, for of course no monthly charge.

Are these programs worth it? How do they compare to the major A/R services that tend to charge a monthly fee? I'm assuming there is a gap in functionality and quality, but how big is that gap and is an ongoing monthly subscription worth it?


Separate question. If you just look for autoresponders, or contact management services, there are many options. I wonder why, aside from aWeber first, and maybe getresponse second, that I never hear of the rest of them mentioned in IM circles, like Constant Contact or Mail Chimp. These seem to do the same thing, give or take.

and, in this niche, why does aWeber stand out so much in comparison to the rest?
#autoresponders #free #worth
  • Profile picture of the author regska
    I've been using Aweber for 2 years now, and I'm really satisfied with their service.

    I can't make any comparisons or reviews with other services because I'm not familiar with some of their features and benefits, but Aweber really stands out especially if you're in IM niche.

    Go to Google and type in" aweber reviews" and you will see a lot of positive reviews about aweber, and you'll not regret in the future once you've built thousands of subscribers rather than get a free service.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheMagicShow
    Originally Posted by tsgeric View Post

    I have a couple of related questions.

    I occasionally see offers for auto-responder software, where you buy the software yourself (or it's free), you install it on a site, and then supposedly it takes care of all your auto-responder needs, for of course no monthly charge.

    Are these programs worth it? How do they compare to the major A/R services that tend to charge a monthly fee? I'm assuming there is a gap in functionality and quality, but how big is that gap and is an ongoing monthly subscription worth it?


    Separate question. If you just look for autoresponders, or contact management services, there are many options. I wonder why, aside from aWeber first, and maybe getresponse second, that I never hear of the rest of them mentioned in IM circles, like Constant Contact or Mail Chimp. These seem to do the same thing, give or take.

    and, in this niche, why does aWeber stand out so much in comparison to the rest?
    The big difference is the delivery rate, the big AR companies like aweber/getresponse get good delivery rates. If I was you, I'd invest $9.95 a month and start with getresponse and you can always upgrade your plan, as your list size grows.

    In marketing, they say that each list member is worth $1-$3.if you get 500+ and more on your list, then the AR will pay for itself in ten-fold!
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  • Profile picture of the author peter.max
    The consistency of Aweber's mail delivery is unmatched in our market. And it is easy and quick to use. This is also important to me. I use Constant Contant for more comprehensive email newletter delivery in offline markets. They are as easy as Aweber with opt in form. I use Constant Contant in offline businesses. I think Aweber evolved from the IM market requirements and Constant Contant from commercial newsletters. Two different perspectives, same use.

    The email delivery of free tools are questionable. I haven't used any free tools as my email lists are the currency of my businesses and getting 100% of my mails through spam filters is worth much more than the small cost of Aweber
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    • Profile picture of the author Martin Avis
      There are lots of times when using free software or services is perfectly fine. Open Office, WordPress, many of Google's tools, Text editors, graphics programs all come to mind as being free and essentially excellent.

      However, the one thing I would never, ever trust to a free solution is my subscriber list.

      As an email marketer (and anyone with a list is exactly that), your list is the most valuable business asset that you have. The cost of using a professional service to manage it, whether remotely (with companies such as AWeber, GetResponse or ImnicaMail) or on your own computer (using programs like AutoResponsePlus3) is tiny.

      Your list is way too important to compromise.

      Martin
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  • Profile picture of the author vinug
    Originally Posted by tsgeric View Post

    I have a couple of related questions.

    I occasionally see offers for auto-responder software, where you buy the software yourself (or it's free), you install it on a site, and then supposedly it takes care of all your auto-responder needs, for of course no monthly charge.

    Are these programs worth it? How do they compare to the major A/R services that tend to charge a monthly fee? I'm assuming there is a gap in functionality and quality, but how big is that gap and is an ongoing monthly subscription worth it?


    Separate question. If you just look for autoresponders, or contact management services, there are many options. I wonder why, aside from aWeber first, and maybe getresponse second, that I never hear of the rest of them mentioned in IM circles, like Constant Contact or Mail Chimp. These seem to do the same thing, give or take.

    and, in this niche, why does aWeber stand out so much in comparison to the rest?
    I think these auto-responders like aweber have trial period for one month or so for low rate. Try it yourself and decide whether its working for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tony Dean
    Constant Contact will kick you off their system if you send out Internet Marketing related emails.

    As for free software to run from your domain you may find the webhost will restrict you to just so many emails a day and no more. Some may say they don't allow it because it restricts the speed of the server.
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  • Profile picture of the author UTOBC
    I liked Aweber and still like it.... If you are not clear about it, just try it for one month-1$!
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  • Profile picture of the author JamesTWL
    Originally Posted by tsgeric View Post

    I have a couple of related questions.

    I occasionally see offers for auto-responder software, where you buy the software yourself (or it's free), you install it on a site, and then supposedly it takes care of all your auto-responder needs, for of course no monthly charge.

    Are these programs worth it? How do they compare to the major A/R services that tend to charge a monthly fee? I'm assuming there is a gap in functionality and quality, but how big is that gap and is an ongoing monthly subscription worth it?


    Separate question. If you just look for autoresponders, or contact management services, there are many options. I wonder why, aside from aWeber first, and maybe getresponse second, that I never hear of the rest of them mentioned in IM circles, like Constant Contact or Mail Chimp. These seem to do the same thing, give or take.

    and, in this niche, why does aWeber stand out so much in comparison to the rest?

    Hi tsgeric,

    Getresponse recently restructured their pricing plans where you can use it for free of up to 100 subscribers. In my view, i like Getresponse interface better and this is actually the deciding factor for me between choosing Aweber and Getresponse.

    Thanks,
    James
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    • Profile picture of the author Beverley Watts
      I agree with Martin.Avis, I would never trust a free solution with my subscriber list - it is far too valuable to me to risk using anything other than a professional service to manage it.

      I have been using Aweber since day 1 and have been completely satisfied with the service provided.
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  • Profile picture of the author cypherslock
    There is also Imnica Mail as a cost effective solution. True you don't get all the bells and whistles (such as templates) but it really depends on what you want). I've recently switched to GetRespose and love it. The interface and how easy things were to do was the deciding factor for me.
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    • Profile picture of the author tsgeric
      thanks all for your insights!

      No one here with experience with Mail Chimp? They are free up to 500 subscribers, and well, who doesn't feel like laughing when they see that chimp?
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      • Profile picture of the author fxprofitmountain
        I agree, the paid services are well worth it.

        Would you put your money in the bank or a sugar jar.

        Our lists are absolute gold, and it is nice to have a professional program to manage the lists.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary_The_Ace
    Hello all,

    Alright, I have a dog in this fight, so I'm going to chime in here...

    In the past, trusting your list to a free service was a bad idea, without question... but, times have changed.

    Let me give you a couple of examples.

    In the past, would you have put your videos on a free provider? Probably not, but now using YouTube is just a given. Same with vimeo, viddler, and hundreds of other FREE video hosting sites.

    Would you trust your content to a free service? Probably not, but now if you're submitting content, and NOT using free services like EzineArticles, ArticlesBase, and others ... you're in the minority. The same goes for the millions of people using free services like blogger.com, tumblr.com, etc.

    How about your images? Flickr anyone?

    In the past, if you wanted an analytics program, you either installed something on your own server (like urchin, or wusage), or you paid for an outside analytics program ... now, you can either go with Tracking202, or Google Analytics. Both free.

    The fact of the matter is, free is becoming more and more normal online, and while there still aren't many good choices when it comes to a free autoresponder service ... that will change here shortly too.

    Hardware costs are lower than ever, automation is much easier than it's ever been, and scripting languages are more powerful ... which makes running a free autoresponder service much easier than it's been at any point in the past.

    In terms of MailChimp, this has been discussed at length ... they do NOT want anyone promoting products as an affiliate, period. If you go with them, your list is a ticking time bomb.

    At List Wire, we're targeted to the IM space, and have no problem with you sending as many promotions, affiliate or otherwise, out to your lists. And, we're not going anywhere.

    I've been a member of the WF for longer than 99.9% of the people here, and have been in the IM space before it even had a name ... I'm not going anywhere, and neither is List Wire.

    Free autoresponders have gotten a bad reputation, and that reputation is deserved. The "don't use a free autoresponder" talk is mostly the result of following the crowd, and repeating what you've heard over, and over, and over again ... but like I said... that's based on the past.

    I know I have an uphill battle ahead, and almost a decade of negative history that other free autoresponders have created that I'm going to need to overcome ... but, I'm up for it, and I'll turn the tide.

    Give it about another year, and we'll be hearing ... "Most people say don't use free autoresponders, but that's not the only option anymore. I'd suggest you go with a paid option like Aweber, or GetResponse, but if you'd like to use a free service, check out List Wire".

    Then, in about two years I'm hoping we'll see... "It all depends on the bells and whistles you need. If you need Geo-IP based segmentation, it might be worth paying for a service, otherwise, the free services like List Wire will do the job just fine".

    Only time will tell I guess.

    And just in case anyone is wondering ... it's free, and there is NO option to upgrade. Free means free.

    -Gary Ambrose
    List Wire

    P.S. Before someone says something like "but I've heard of blogger.com, or youtube.com removing content, and closing accounts" ... Yes, that happens ... but that's going to happen on a paid service too if you're breaking their terms of service. People have had their aweber, and getresponse accounts closed, even though they were paid members ... that's going to happen, paid or not, if you're doing shady things.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary_The_Ace
    Hello again,

    Just one final thing ... everyone saying that the delivery rate is the reason to pay for an autoresponder service ... that used to be true. Email delivery is more of a science now, with known givens, best practices, and required protocols that must be followed.

    If you have the right knowledge, and follow through... email delivery isn't the mystery it once used to be.

    -Gary Ambrose
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    If you have an automated webinar in the IM, biz opp, or make money space, and if it already converts to cold, and/or paid traffic... I want to send free traffic, and free leads to you registration page, every single day, until it stops converting. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS NOW.

    P.P.S. Viral Marketing Doesn't Work ... Tell Everyone You Know! ;)
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  • Profile picture of the author cypherslock
    Gary, one thing you should have (I didn't see it) is newsletter and form templates. This is a big thing I think.
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    • Profile picture of the author Gary_The_Ace
      Originally Posted by cypherslock View Post

      Gary, one thing you should have (I didn't see it) is newsletter and form templates. This is a big thing I think.
      We're just about 5 months old at this point... and just getting started.

      That said, you're free to modify our forms if you'd like them to look more like your websites, and of course, we support full HTML emails, so you can style your emails to look any way you'd like as well.

      -Gary Ambrose
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      If you have an automated webinar in the IM, biz opp, or make money space, and if it already converts to cold, and/or paid traffic... I want to send free traffic, and free leads to you registration page, every single day, until it stops converting. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS NOW.

      P.P.S. Viral Marketing Doesn't Work ... Tell Everyone You Know! ;)
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