Doing it manually instead of an autoresponder?

41 replies
Hey guys,

I've been trying out different email autoresponders and looking at what everyone has to say on the forums.. it seems that email marketing is getting harder and harder, and the auto responding services are being sent to many peoples' spam folder.

what about doing it manually? why can't you just have the form submit their name/email to you, and every morning you add the new guys to your list? then you can manually email them all at once from your own email client? why does nobody do this?

Matt
#autoresponder #manually
  • Profile picture of the author PhilippaWrites
    It's because doing it your way, new subscribers will have to start right in the middle, having missed months or years of content. With an autoresponder, everyone starts from the beginning, sent in a planned and orderly way.
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    • Originally Posted by PhilippaWrites View Post

      It's because doing it your way, new subscribers will have to start right in the middle, having missed months or years of content. With an autoresponder, everyone starts from the beginning, sent in a planned and orderly way.
      Yip, this is correct. Also your delivery rates will be higher with an autoresponder as they have a much better setup to get through spam filters.
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      • Profile picture of the author thebitbotdotcom
        Originally Posted by PhilippaWrites View Post

        It's because doing it your way, new subscribers will have to start right in the middle, having missed months or years of content. With an autoresponder, everyone starts from the beginning, sent in a planned and orderly way.
        Originally Posted by TBInternetMarketing View Post

        Yip, this is correct. Also your delivery rates will be higher with an autoresponder as they have a much better setup to get through spam filters.
        Honestly, I have to say, in response to these two comments, I have never, not once completed anyone's autoresponder series.

        I either unsubscribed or never opened up the following emails because of the fact that I simply don't learn through the "drip-feed-let-me-bring-you-up-to-speed" methodology.

        As a consumer (and I am speaking only as a consumer so please don't take this as any type of attack) I believe that you should be able to tell me everything "up front". It is not up to you to "decide for me" how fast I can digest information. As a consumer, I am quirky and impatient and I want everything "now". To deliver anything less is insulting and I have the attention spam of a five year old.

        I do sign up for newsletters but only if I feel that they will be delivering "up-to-the-nano-second" cutting edge information...news basically.

        If I detect anything that even remotely or passively hints at a drip-fed autoresponder series, then you just ruined all of your branding efforts with me, possibly indefinitely.

        That's just me. I am only one data point. Every niche and its traffic is different. This stuff is WAY too dynamic to pin generalizations on.

        Do I pull this off perfectly? Heck no! And I'm not claiming to. Far from it. I still have a long way to go, if I can even get there. But I will say this. If you're going to pull off an autoresponder series, you're going to have to seriously over-deliver on the quality end in terms of copywriting and engageability and and put an irresistible hook at the end of each email (something I have never seen) if you are going to keep and convert subscribers and not come across as a filthy/greasy internet marketer.

        Just my two cents...which is probably worth more like zero...LOL!
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  • Profile picture of the author Softlayone
    Simple; nobody do this because there is to much work involved
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Fullman
      Originally Posted by Softlayone View Post

      Simple; nobody do this because there is to much work involved
      Dunno about the CAN SPAM stuff. I've sent emails to multiple-thousand recipients from Gmail, no worries, when my AR had some 'unscheduled maintenance'.

      I'm more inclined to agree with the above point. Too much work. Because this is the easy life, innit?

      Cheers,
      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Gamermatt
    I wonder if it's easy to make a program or something for your own email autoresponder... :/
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    • Profile picture of the author Channing
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Gamermatt View Post

      I wonder if it's easy to make a program or something for your own email autoresponder... :/
      Dude. Here is a link to a video tutorial about how to set up your own autoresponder on your server (hosting account - whatever the f**k), using a free autoresponder script.

      I do believe this is what you want.

      http://dl.dropbox.com/u/44136186/Ins...rOwnServer.zip
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  • Profile picture of the author BDubbels
    I've never tried this method but I think the two roadblocks you'd run into would be delivery and compliance.

    While many of the regulations go unenforced, it is important to abide by them because many of the providers have the specifications built into their anti spam filters (unsub link, physical address, etc).

    Info on compliance:
    CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Delivery Den: How Canada’s New Anti-Spam Law Will Affect You | OfficeAutoPilot
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  • Profile picture of the author ItsChrissy
    Hi Matt

    I'm sure there are people that are doing this, but once your list starts getting to any size it will become very time consuming.

    The idea behind the autoresponder is so that any time anyone joins your list, as long as it's set up correctly, it should be fully hands off at least for the first couple of emails (or more if you set it up that way).

    You can then concentrate on doing other things - automate and outsource are the best ways to grow your business.

    Chrissy
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    • Profile picture of the author Genycis
      Originally Posted by ItsChrissy View Post

      Hi Matt

      I'm sure there are people that are doing this, but once your list starts getting to any size it will become very time consuming.

      The idea behind the autoresponder is so that any time anyone joins your list, as long as it's set up correctly, it should be fully hands off at least for the first couple of emails (or more if you set it up that way).

      You can then concentrate on doing other things - automate and outsource are the best ways to grow your business.

      Chrissy
      I'll piggy back off of Chrissy's post as it is very true. I started it this way when I first put up my sites. The website editor I was using had a subscriber box, but, it doesn't have the ability of creating an autoresponder series. So, what did I do?

      I literally created a way in my Yahoo email (don't ask me to explain because it's difficult to and I'm surprised I did it for so long before getting my autoresponder) that would allow me to know who got the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd emails (I could only do three as it was too much to keep up with). I did it manually earlier on when I was only getting 2 or 3 subscribers a day. When it started increasing, I found it very time consuming. Keep in mind I was doing this for not one, but both of my merchant sites.

      After awhile, I kept searching for an autoresponder. Tried Get Response and they were good until they changed things around and increased prices (especially with me just starting out on a merchant site, this wasn't very practical spending for someone that wasn't starting out making many sales to the sites), so I looked around. I finally wound up making a few sales in one day and with that, I decided to invest the money off of those sales into another autoresponder. Thought of AWeber, but wanted something else instead.

      I found AutoResponse Plus and after debating for several days, took the plunge and bought it. I think I had paid $147 for it. They installed it on one of my sites, but the purchase granted me 10 domains total, so I read and set it up on my other site myself.

      This was a few years ago. I've been happy overall since then, and I couldn't be more happier with NOT having to do things manually ANYMORE! lol! Though every autoresponder has its little issues or learning curves, this one I was able to learn easily (probably since I also had an understanding of it having had GetResponse before). I set up my autoresponder series and I believe in the next week or two, it helped increase sales a bit further and paid itself off within the first month of my having it.

      I would never go back to manual after having tried it once. It's too tedious and time consuming and having to keep up with excel sheets or knowing who you sent #2 to, who needs #1, who should get #3 and making sure you don't accidentally send #2 to someone who was already on #3, etc. Yeah, I think I'll stick with my AutoResponse Plus autoresponder. Good luck though with manual... It's rough, I've done it, trust me it's rough. lol
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      • Profile picture of the author Gamermatt
        Originally Posted by Genycis View Post

        I'll piggy back off of Chrissy's post as it is very true. I started it this way when I first put up my sites. The website editor I was using had a subscriber box, but, it doesn't have the ability of creating an autoresponder series. So, what did I do?

        I literally created a way in my Yahoo email (don't ask me to explain because it's difficult to and I'm surprised I did it for so long before getting my autoresponder) that would allow me to know who got the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd emails (I could only do three as it was too much to keep up with). I did it manually earlier on when I was only getting 2 or 3 subscribers a day. When it started increasing, I found it very time consuming. Keep in mind I was doing this for not one, but both of my merchant sites.

        After awhile, I kept searching for an autoresponder. Tried Get Response and they were good until they changed things around and increased prices (especially with me just starting out on a merchant site, this wasn't very practical spending for someone that wasn't starting out making many sales to the sites), so I looked around. I finally wound up making a few sales in one day and with that, I decided to invest the money off of those sales into another autoresponder. Thought of AWeber, but wanted something else instead.

        I found AutoResponse Plus and after debating for several days, took the plunge and bought it. I think I had paid $147 for it. They installed it on one of my sites, but the purchase granted me 10 domains total, so I read and set it up on my other site myself.

        This was a few years ago. I've been happy overall since then, and I couldn't be more happier with NOT having to do things manually ANYMORE! lol! Though every autoresponder has its little issues or learning curves, this one I was able to learn easily (probably since I also had an understanding of it having had GetResponse before). I set up my autoresponder series and I believe in the next week or two, it helped increase sales a bit further and paid itself off within the first month of my having it.

        I would never go back to manual after having tried it once. It's too tedious and time consuming and having to keep up with excel sheets or knowing who you sent #2 to, who needs #1, who should get #3 and making sure you don't accidentally send #2 to someone who was already on #3, etc. Yeah, I think I'll stick with my AutoResponse Plus autoresponder. Good luck though with manual... It's rough, I've done it, trust me it's rough. lol
        Haha wow I can't believe you actually used to do that...

        How does AutoResponse Plus do as far as your open rate? Do your emails ever get sent to their spam box?

        EDIT: Nvm, I just read this part:
        "AutoResponse Plus is NOT a service hosted on someone else's servers where:
        Spammers on their servers get the whole service blocked by major ISPs and that means your email doesn't get delivered. Period."

        I think I'm just about sold already haha

        EDIT2: I just realized I could use this self-hosted autoresponder with my self-hosted content locker that I bought a while ago (i also use my self-hosted tracking202 to track offers ). It gives an option to have an exit button on the top right, so I can merely put an email opt-in form in the content locker pop-up. I have several websites that get lots of traffic, and I have no email list that I'm building! Time to get on it
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        • Profile picture of the author Genycis
          OH yeah, I did used to do it... it was a nightmare now that I look back on it, and that was with a lower amount of subs a day or week, so imagine. Oh, AND I had to make sure I spaced the emails out a bit at least, so you can imagine that headache as well! Lol!

          I just sent you a PM as well regarding AutoResponse Plus just in case you were considering it.

          Hope you resolve the autoresponder function regardless... and don't settle for something like PHPList as it is only a means of collecting email addresses, it doesn't have an autoresponding function (unless they've changed it since I last tried it some time back).

          Best of luck to you...
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          Genycis
          -- Absorbing & implementing. Need hip hop beats for your business needs? Hit me up!
          -- Posting my experiences and so forth with my own blog.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
    Originally Posted by Gamermatt View Post

    I've been trying out different email autoresponders and looking at what everyone has to say on the forums.. it seems that email marketing is getting harder and harder, and the auto responding services are being sent to many peoples' spam folder.

    what about doing it manually? why can't you just have the form submit their name/email to you, and every morning you add the new guys to your list? then you can manually email them all at once from your own email client? why does nobody do this?
    Your own ISP will have a limit on how many e-mails they'll
    allow you to send from your e-mail account at one time.

    Once your list gets bigger, you'll exceed their threshold
    and get blocked.

    That's just one reason why it's not a good idea to send
    e-mails from your own e-mail account manually - there
    are many other reasons too like CAN-SPAM, etc.

    With an autoresponder, you can build your list automatically
    and if you choose the right set-up and approach, you can
    get more of your e-mails in the inbox anyway.

    Part of the idea of having an Internet business is to use
    automation where possible and move away from unnecessary
    manual labor.

    Dedicated to mutual success,

    Shaun
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    .

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    • Profile picture of the author Gamermatt
      Originally Posted by Shaun OReilly View Post

      Your own ISP will have a limit on how many e-mails they'll
      allow you to send from your e-mail account at one time.

      Once your list gets bigger, you'll exceed their threshold
      and get blocked.

      That's just one reason why it's not a good idea to send
      e-mails from your own e-mail account manually - there
      are many other reasons too like CAN-SPAM, etc.

      With an autoresponder, you can build your list automatically
      and if you choose the right set-up and approach, you can
      get more of your e-mails in the inbox anyway.

      Part of the idea of having an Internet business is to use
      automation where possible and move away from unnecessary
      manual labor.

      Dedicated to mutual success,

      Shaun
      Thanks for this... I was thinking that might be the case.

      Now I'm just on the lookout for the autoresponder service with the least amount of emails getting into spam folders... i tried imnicamail but the beginning emails always get sent to spam in gmail :/
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  • Profile picture of the author TopKat22
    Originally Posted by Gamermatt View Post

    Hey guys,

    I've been trying out different email autoresponders and looking at what everyone has to say on the forums.. it seems that email marketing is getting harder and harder, and the auto responding services are being sent to many peoples' spam folder.

    what about doing it manually? why can't you just have the form submit their name/email to you, and every morning you add the new guys to your list? then you can manually email them all at once from your own email client? why does nobody do this?

    Matt
    This is not even feasible if you are planning on scaling this up and adding other niches.

    Plus, I doubt that it would increase your open rates or help you much.

    And that time could be much better spent creating a new site, getting backlinks, writing articles or a lot of other things to get you new sites, more traffic or more sales.
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  • Profile picture of the author ericbryant
    You can get some plugins for Outlook if you're a Microsoft kind of person, to throttle sending per hour and manage lists, send out time-released content. As said, it is A LOT MORE WORK and really not worth the trouble. AWeber, the best. MailChimp, free. Try them?
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    • Profile picture of the author Gamermatt
      Originally Posted by ericbryant View Post

      You can get some plugins for Outlook if you're a Microsoft kind of person, to throttle sending per hour and manage lists, send out time-released content. As said, it is A LOT MORE WORK and really not worth the trouble. AWeber, the best. MailChimp, free. Try them?
      Mailchimp doesn't allow affiliate links
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  • Profile picture of the author ScouterGuy
    I am really looking forward to the new release of ARPReach from the Autoresponse plus guys. They have been saying for some time its going to launch, so hmm I hope it will and that it is not just a scam. Other than that, I dont know.. I kind of enjoy building up my own systems and working on the backend, but outsourcing the actual tech work if that makes sense

    What solutions have you looked into?
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    • Profile picture of the author Gamermatt
      Originally Posted by ScouterGuy View Post

      I am really looking forward to the new release of ARPReach from the Autoresponse plus guys. They have been saying for some time its going to launch, so hmm I hope it will and that it is not just a scam. Other than that, I dont know.. I kind of enjoy building up my own systems and working on the backend, but outsourcing the actual tech work if that makes sense

      What solutions have you looked into?
      Cool... I haven't heard of ARPReach before!

      I haven't really looked into any solutions other than mainstream autoresponder services like aweber and imnicamail... that's why i posted here
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    • Profile picture of the author Genycis
      Originally Posted by ScouterGuy View Post

      I am really looking forward to the new release of ARPReach from the Autoresponse plus guys. They have been saying for some time its going to launch, so hmm I hope it will and that it is not just a scam. Other than that, I dont know.. I kind of enjoy building up my own systems and working on the backend, but outsourcing the actual tech work if that makes sense

      What solutions have you looked into?

      Lol at scam... do you mean with the transition to ArpReach? Or AutoResponse Plus altogether? I have them (have had them for a couple of years now).. probably the best savings on an autoresponder system I've had. I paid I believe the $147 back then for it... and I've been able to use it on three different domains (I still have 7 domain slots left before I need to extend my license to more domains). I like it though. I know AWeber will probably still be the best altogether, but as far as I know, it's worked pretty well for my merchant sites and has helped me make some sales too as a result. It's more than paid for itself since I bought it, so I can gladly say that I use it and have not been scammed at all.

      I felt exactly how you did when I first looked at the site, but took a gamble on it anyway (not typical of me to gamble that much nonetheless)... and I'm glad I ditched GetResponse and went with ARP. With the 1k+ subscribers on one domain, the 3k+ subscribers on my other domain, and the third slowly starting to build subscribers, can you imagine what I would've paid per month on AWeber or GetResponse or VerticalResponse or others? I'd be gouging my eyes out at the bill! lol
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      -- Absorbing & implementing. Need hip hop beats for your business needs? Hit me up!
      -- Posting my experiences and so forth with my own blog.
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  • Profile picture of the author yesacpow
    Well you could do it manually if you are:

    1. Planning only only having a handful of persons on your list.
    2. Spending hours everyday sending out email.
    3. Keep a tack of the amount of persons who signed up, when they signed up, which emails to send them etc

    As you can see, if you want to make a lot of money and build a huge list of subscribers, you can NEVER do it manually no matter how hard you try. There are only 24 hours in a day and you can only get so much done!


    Originally Posted by Gamermatt View Post

    Hey guys,

    I've been trying out different email autoresponders and looking at what everyone has to say on the forums.. it seems that email marketing is getting harder and harder, and the auto responding services are being sent to many peoples' spam folder.

    what about doing it manually? why can't you just have the form submit their name/email to you, and every morning you add the new guys to your list? then you can manually email them all at once from your own email client? why does nobody do this?

    Matt
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  • Profile picture of the author Gamermatt
    Thanks for the responses guys. I'm still evaluating by options before getting started with building my email lists. Here's a very helpful thread that I came across.
    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...esponders.html
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  • Profile picture of the author sureshots
    It's a known fact that emails will go to spam folders and the best way to combat this problem is to keep building your list! It's a numbers game!
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    • Profile picture of the author Jim Guererro
      Matt,

      Oh, I think people did try to create a system on what you've just said. But the day will come when the number of subscribers will overwhelm you. Which is a good thing because now you have more people to give your message too. But being in business requires recurring expenses. And I think the most basic business expense would be to have an autoresponder that is dependable. There are plenty out there for sure but beyond that, insuring that your subscribers are on your list for a reason, you need to nurture them.

      The overwhelming management task of insuring that all your subscribers get the messages you want can take up most of your day if you have a lot of them.

      So yes, some messages get sent to the spam folder but then most do not. I think it's just part of the business portion that we have to contend with.

      The good will outweigh the bad.

      So the bottom line is that you can work hard or you can work smart. Your choice.

      Jim
      Signature
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  • Profile picture of the author Gamermatt
    ok so after doing a ton of research... i found a bunch of different self-hosted AR options
    i was able to um.... download... "Interspire Email Marketer" (retails for 500 bux)
    I think this is the best self-hosted AR out there... from my research
    So... I just contacted godaddy (my hosting) about the limitations of how many emails I can send out if installed on my shared hosting account. I'll see how it goes... I might just buy a VPS for 30/month if I need to.
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    • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
      At a minimum, you'll need a Virtual Private Server to be
      able to send out e-mails from your own server reliably.

      Otherwise, if you're on a shared hosting package then
      your deliverability will depend upon the behavior of
      the other people who share your I.P. address.

      Interspire is a decent option but the best self-hosted
      autoresponder solution that I've found so far is
      ActiveCampaign Email Marketer.

      Their support is fantastic and they update the software
      regularly. I tested out Interspire a while back and found
      that their support was slow and reticent and that their
      software was buggy with infrequent updates.

      Dedicated to mutual success,

      Shaun
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  • Profile picture of the author Claire Koch
    if you decide to go with an autoresponder on a shared server make sure you include your name, address, phone number in your emails. Can Spam demands that you do that.

    If you get targeted for spamming while using that type of autoresponder your web host will close your account and no amount of begging will get it open. Its very emotional when this happens. So keep a copy of your email list on your own computer at all times.

    You can always buy a new webhosting account and reinstall the autoresponder and put the list back in.

    Please don't take this personally but people get shut down time and time again for sending emails.

    I suggest you quit worrying and buy an autoresponder elsewhere. Email gets stuck in filters thats how it ends up in spam folders. WORDS cause this not autoresponder companies. I promise. *0)

    I use list wire because its free and owned by the ambrose framily. They've been online since the 90's and know what they are doing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Gamermatt
      Originally Posted by Claire Koch View Post

      if you decide to go with an autoresponder on a shared server make sure you include your name, address, phone number in your emails. Can Spam demands that you do that.

      If you get targeted for spamming while using that type of autoresponder your web host will close your account and no amount of begging will get it open. Its very emotional when this happens. So keep a copy of your email list on your own computer at all times.

      You can always buy a new webhosting account and reinstall the autoresponder and put the list back in.

      Please don't take this personally but people get shut down time and time again for sending emails.

      I suggest you quit worrying and buy an autoresponder elsewhere. Email gets stuck in filters thats how it ends up in spam folders. WORDS cause this not autoresponder companies. I promise. *0)

      I use list wire because its free and owned by the ambrose framily. They've been online since the 90's and know what they are doing.
      I tried out listwire and tested it and found how he monetizes it... tries to upsale you to join other email lists (when the user confirms their email), which I do not want
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  • Profile picture of the author Jonathan Joseph
    Hi Matt,

    Depending on how many people you are emailing and what you're emailing them, then a pretty good choice would be to use mailchimp's auto-responder service. It's free for up to two thousand subscribers.

    Best,
    Jonathan

    PS. However they are no big fans of IM or 'make money' emails and may ban your account if they see those types of keywords in there.

    PPS. I like getresponse, and aweber. They are clean and organized.
    Signature

    Jon

    "Success comes when people act together; failure tends to happen alone." -- Deepak Chopra

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    • Profile picture of the author Gamermatt
      Originally Posted by Jonathan Joseph View Post

      Hi Matt,

      Depending on how many people you are emailing and what you're emailing them, then a pretty good choice would be to use mailchimp's auto-responder service. It's free for up to two thousand subscribers.

      Best,
      Jonathan

      PS. However they are no big fans of IM or 'make money' emails and may ban your account if they see those types of keywords in there.

      PPS. I like getresponse, and aweber. They are clean and organized.
      mailchimp doesnt allow affiliate marketing
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  • Profile picture of the author weebeastie
    Manually is so out of date - autoresponders keep you from being bogged down and you've got the time to be creative.
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    • Profile picture of the author wilsonljx
      The time that you spent to create your own manual list can use it on productive things.Creating a manual list is a waste of time since there is auto responder to increase efficiency. Creating a manual list may be easy in the beginning, when your list gets bigger, would you want to send it to the people one by one:confused:
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  • Profile picture of the author TallyDon
    what you can do is start manually and save the content. Once you have enough content for a year you can turn that into an autoresponder sequence and send an occaional email to existing subribers
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Email marketing and autoresponders still work. The issue is simply building up a LARGE list of people to market to. Once you have a subscriber base of around 5,000 leads... expect to see sales on a daily basis. Don't do it manually... it's grunt work to the 3rd power.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brenden Clerget
    Originally Posted by Gamermatt View Post

    Hey guys,

    I've been trying out different email autoresponders and looking at what everyone has to say on the forums.. it seems that email marketing is getting harder and harder, and the auto responding services are being sent to many peoples' spam folder.

    what about doing it manually? why can't you just have the form submit their name/email to you, and every morning you add the new guys to your list? then you can manually email them all at once from your own email client? why does nobody do this?

    Matt
    You'll get throttled by your ISP most likely.

    There are solutions that are PHP driven like PHPList that allow you to host it on your own server (Need a VPS or Dedicated server, between $40 an $200 depending on what you get) and then you can manage it yourself without paying them or relying on them. They're more flexible as far as interfacing with other things as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gamermatt
    It's amazing how many people respond to this thread without reading all the responses, haha. Perhaps just to sound smart/helpful and get their signature links out there?

    update: I actually stumbled across trafficwave, which apparently does pretty well in getting through to the inbox and not spam. I'm trying the free trial out to see how well it does
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  • Profile picture of the author Gamermatt
    Another update...

    I talked to my hosting (godaddy) support and they said im limited to 1,000 emails a day on shared hosting. Also, I tried installing a self-hosted AR and when I went to make a new cron job, I was also limited to it being updated every 1 hour, at the minimum (which isnt often enough!). So, I would have to buy a VPS for $30/month (minimum).

    So... I have decided to go with trafficwave. Good price (17 bux a month for unlimited everything), and none of my testing has shown any emails to go to spam
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    • Another service you may want to consider is iContact. I've used them and they are pretty good. They are whitelisted with the major providers like aol, etc., so less email ends up in the spam folders. I recommend them for high deliverability.
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  • Profile picture of the author hwyler
    It will be hard to archive a profitable list of subscribers.
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    • Profile picture of the author LRDavids
      I would find this task extremely tedious. once you start getting into 1000s of subscriber you will be worn out/burned out before you know it. this is just like building your house on sinking sand.
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