Autoresponder Services vs Autoresponder Scripts

We talk about building lists all the time. In Traffic Exchange Live we had a viewer who was going the in house route for sending out emails. There are pros and cons to doing it yourself or doing it with a service.

Auto-Responder Scripts

The biggest reason to use a script and run it yourself is complete control. I do this with StartXchange. I have certain features that I want to be able to do, that wouldn’t work if it was hosted elsewhere. I also don’t have to worry about variables that are out of my control when a third party is involved.

The problem is this comes at a cost. There are SPF records, DomainKeys, Sender ID, Reverse DNS, Abuse Feedback Loops, Unsubscribe lists, and bounce processing.. Just to name a few. There are also whitelists to be added to, dedicated ips, certifications, etc. It costs time and money, and it’s really easy to make a mistake that messes up your deliverability.

If you do it right and are on top of your game, you can get great results. I really love the results with StartXchange’s email deliverability. But if you do it wrong, you end up wasting all that time and money when you could be building a list. On top of that you aren’t likely to get good results unless your list is large and you are mailing fairly frequently.

Auto-Responder Services

With a service there are many of the same problems, but they are no longer your problem. If you go with a reputable service it’s all done for you. You essentially save your time and efforts for the other things in your business.

Of course there are some down sides. You are limited to what the system lets you do. That’s why in some instances you’ll have to go your own route. And you are affiliated with the neighborhood of the service you use. If they have a bad reputation, or weak security, it could affect you negatively.

So what should you do?

In the end for most of you going with a 3rd party is going to be the best choice. I personally do in house email for StartXchange for the specific reasons above. I then use Aweber for my blog because it has a blog broadcast feature.

And then everything else I use Traffic Wave for because it’s downright simple (and you don’t have to pay more when your subscribers go up). I even have a video tutorial showing how easy it is.

If you are like the guy who was talking to us, determined to do it yourself, it is possible. Just know that it’ll take work and research to do properly. Which some people are OK with. (hey I did it lol)

Never Ever Ever Send Emails Like This

The screenshot is difficult to see, but basically its the TO line being maxed out. This happens periodically, and for me twice this week, so I thought it would be a great time to remind everyone. Program owner or not, this is not acceptable. Essentially everyone see’s everyone’s email address. I’ll go over why it’s bad first, and then how to not send emails that way after.

It Increases Spam

I received a peice of spam from someone once.  I seemed to recognize the address but couldn’t remember where. I did a search and sure enough I found it in an email sent by Hacker Safe a year before. This email was from an affiliate manager who sent out an email to all the affiliates. Me and the spam originator were both in the TO field. I would have canceled my HackerSafe account but shortly after this person no longer worked for them. Whether or not that was the reason, I’m not sure.

It Increases Viruses

This is similar to the spam area above. Although spam some people may do themselves, typically viruses will scan your emails for other email addresses. Nothing like finding an email with a few hundred victims.

It’s a Violation of Privacy

We will not sell, share, or rent personal information to others.” Yeah that’s worded somehow in pretty much every Terms of Service/Privacy Policy. Accident or not, violating the privacy policy is a huge deal. If slip ups happen where it can be prevented sooo easily, then I wonder where else they are happening.

Average Joes: How to Prevent It

It’s simple. Put the email addresses in the BCC field. You’ll usually have to put your own email in the TO field, but the rest can go in BCC. In Gmail you just click the “Add BCC” link and bingo their’s the box!

Program Owners: How to Prevent It

Never Ever (repeat 10xs) send out mass emails with your email client. This is just setting yourself up for failure. Use a system like Aweber or have a script developed that sends out the emails individually. I recommend Aweber 200%!

What to do when it happens to you

Well I’m not really sure there is much you can do when a website breaks their privacy policy with you. I drop the program immediately and prepare for an increase in spam. What do you do?