Auto-Responders

What is an auto-responder?

Well as the name suggests it is an automatic responder. It automatically sends a response to the person who contacted the specified email address.

Why do we need them?

As your business begins to grow, you don't want to have to spend all your time composing and replying to the emails you will be receiving.

This is one of the first jobs you need to automate.

It is a known fact that people generally respond to your advertisement or email on or after seven viewings. So to keep the prospect open to your product you need to keep in contact with them.

There are many auto-responder scripts available on the market and many of these are free, so you would just need to upload them to your hosting account and set them up.

There are also several companies that will carry out this service for you - for a fee of course. So is it worth paying for one of these companies or should you just load your own script and do it all yourself?

When starting out a lot of marketers do not realize what is involved in email marketing. There are major ISP companies that will only allow their members to receive emails from known marketing company's.

So as a new person sending emails you may find them being blocked by the recipients ISP once you reach a certain number of mailings per week or per month.

The fact that these recipients have asked to receive emails from you does not matter to the ISP providers who do this.

It is basically a service the ISP's provide to their customers to cut down on the spam the customers receive.

So straight away you are likely to not reach all your intended recipients because the ISP's are going to treat you as a spammer.

There is of course a way round this and that is not accepting customers from the ISP's known to carry out this practise, but as at least one of the ISP's is a major market player then you are losing potential customers for your venture.

Also if you run your own auto-responder service you will have to deal with all the non deliverables and the bounces. Unless you have a very understanding ISP or hosting account you are likely to be blocked for your excessive email usage.

All the ISP's I have ever dealt with put in their terms and conditions that the free email accounts they allow you are to be used for personal email only. You accepted the terms when you signed up with them so you won't be able to complain when they shut you down.

And don't think they won't. You wouldn't be the first it has happened to and I doubt if you would be the last. If you did not read the terms and conditions when you joined your ISP I suggest you go and read them before you start sending out too much email.

A lot of those using the internet seem to sign up for things using false details either by accident or on purpose. Every time you send an email to one of these incorrect addresses the email is going to come straight back to you as there is nowhere to deliver it to.

As your business grows you could end up spending several hours a day just sorting out your email problems, so to overcome this I think you should sign up with a professional auto-responder company.

There are several on the market but the most used one is Aweber and this is followed by Get Response.

Both of these companies have business accounts with the ISP's who block mail, and by doing this the emails coming from their IP address(es) are not blocked.

This means you are not going to break the terms of the agreement you have with your ISP, and you are not going to be inundated with undeliverable emails.

As I mentioned these services are not free, but personally I believe the cost to be well worth the service received from these companies.

Once you have signed up for an autoresponder you will have access to as many separate auto responders as you choose.

They do take a bit of getting used to but after setting up a couple of lists you will soon get the hang of it.

You need to put the messages that you want sent out into the autoresponder. You can set the frequency of emails from daily to any set time you want. You also have the ability to broadcast an email to one or more of your lists. This again can be preset to send out at a specific time and date or it can be sent immediately.

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