Obviously, one of the most important thing in having an email list is having some kind of service that will allow you to collect email addresses and email those you collect.
There are two options you have when it comes to such services – hosted and self-hosted.
Self-hosted scripts won’t typically cost you a monthly fee, but they may cost you an upfront charge for the script itself. However, you may run into some issues that make you wish you’d gone with a hosted service.
First, with hosted scripts, you don’t have access to the whitelisted status that many of the hosted services have. This means many of your subscribers won’t receive your emails, and instead your messages will go to their spam boxes where they will probably never be seen.
Second, you will be on your own when it comes to dealing with spam complaints. When you are a member of a hosted service, they can handle spam complaints on your behalf. If you use double-opt in so that people have to confirm their request before they are subscribed, you will have extra protection in the case of spam complaints.
However, ISPs may not trust you when you tell them you have a double-opt in from your own script. It may be difficult to prove, and you may run the risk of having your hosting company disconnect your service temporarily, or your domain confiscated by your registrar.
Hosted autoresponder services are much safer to use. Not only are they typically whitelisted with most major ISPs, but they will work hard to ensure you are protected in the event that you have any spam complaints.
Popular Hosted Services
There are many different hosted services you could use, but each has their pros and cons. It can be difficult to decide which one to use when you’re confronted with dozens of different choices.
I’m going to give you a brief rundown of some of the most popular hosted autoresponder services so you can hopefully choose the right one for your purposes. Remember, if you choose the wrong autoresponder, you will either lose the subscribers you’ve already collected, or you’ll have to transfer them to a new service.
Transferring leads to a new service can be a major hassle. Unless you’re already well known with your new service, they may not want to accept your leads at all. And if they do, they may require you to ask all of your leads to reconfirm their subscription.
This could result in leads failing to reconfirm, which could result in a huge reduction in the size of your list. Obviously, that would cost you a lot of hard work building the original list. Thus, it is essential to choose the right service from the start.
GetResponse.com – GetResponse.com is very similar to Aweber.com, and they are Aweber’s closest competitors among marketers. They also have plans that will grow with your business. They used to be extremely reliable, but many marketers have noticed that their servers are a bit unreliable lately.
ConstantContact.com – Constant Contact offers similar services to other popular choices, but they also have a free trial. This way, you can try out their service to see if you’re happy with it. The main caveat, of course, is that you may feel forced into staying after the trial if you’ve built a substantial email list, even if you’re not quite happy with the service.
MailChimp.com – Mail Chimp is a newer service, and many people are turning to them because they offer a free service. While your list is small, it won’t cost you anything. However, there is a laundry list of topics they don’t allow, including affiliate marketing, promoting others teleseminars, etc, so you have to be very careful to ensure you aren’t breaking their terms. It would be very unfortunately to build a decently-sized list and lose it all because you failed to read their rules.
Then there is the one I recommend and use daily: aWeber. It’s the most popular autoresponder service among internet marketers. They have pricing plans that will grow with you, so you can pay less when you’re just getting started, and you won’t have to pay a higher monthly fee until your list grows. They are very easy to use, and are considered extremely reliable. I’ve had them since 2006 and even though I’ve tested others, I’ve learned to stick with what works best.
Ultimately the decision to self-host or purchase hosting is up to you. The one thing I suggest is read all the fine print and understand your options clearly when making a decision.
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