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Which Autoresponder ???

Newsletters, Ezines & e-Courses: From capturing email addresses to capitalizing on your mailing list - Join us here to discuss weekly newsletters, autoresponders and Email Marketing in general...

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Which Autoresponder ???

Postby Steevg » Fri May 12, 2006 10:30 pm

Hi guys,
hope this is the right place to ask this question, I've done a search on the forum but so far no-one's asked exactly this question . . .. so here goes:

I'm new to all this, but have quickly realised the importance of an autoresponder, I'd prefer to use one which I have some degree of control over, and these by the looks of it, tend to be web based (on the owners hosing site).

I'm running an AppleMac (OSX) and wonder if anyone has recommendations about which systems/autoresponders are better than others.
I'm not a programmer, but feel that I could probably install a standalone system - given some of the info I've read to date.

I guess (to be honest) I'm not a fan of monthly outgoings either, and so would prefer a "pay-once" system with ongoing support from the product owner - if possible.

Also, is it going to be possible to set up one of these so that, regardless when the subscriber signs up - they get the response in order from number 1 to the current update?
I just got Harveys latest newsletter and noticed it's Issue 70 - could I ensure my subscribers start from 1 at any time in the future ???

Ok, so that's my cards on the table - I (humbly) await your barrage of comments!

Thanks in advance.
Steve
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i see your problems...

Postby calvinchin » Fri May 12, 2006 10:55 pm

Hi Steve,

I know how you feel... I was in your position years ago. :wink:

I have my own site, I was able to setup a simple autoresponsder in my
site to get subscribers.

Many times, my site down, and my messages was not able to
deliver to my subscribers. And some times, the message is
not delivered in the urgent time frame required.

I need to keep on check out the upgrades available from the autoresponder
provider, and normally that's none. The support is terrible on the autoresponder
bugs and problems.

With the above experience, I finally looked for outsource solution. And now
I'm using a superior, high-end, super-fast, reliable autoresponders. The
support is great and the features are upgraded as required even
without my notice.

My messages are delivered within seconds, and I can focus on preparing
more campaigns to my subscribers.

I'm not suggesting anything to you. This is my life experience and you
can judge which method you prefer.

I know you can get autoresponders script easily. However, the time
needed to set it up, make it continue running smoothly, and time
to support and bug-fixing, could really kill your business.

So far, most of the premier autoresponders service provider charge a
monthly fee. However, you can try to negotiate with them on a long
term better price deal.

Just my idea. :wink:
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Postby Steevg » Sat May 13, 2006 3:49 am

Calvin,
many thanks for your valued input to my query.
It has certainly given me something else to think about, I hadn't considered what would happen if my site went down to be quite honest!
Would you mind disclosing who you are using for your service, there seems to be about three "BIG" one's and I'd like to see who's using which one . . . . and why?

Thanks again, an excellent point of view, I look forward to your response.

Regards,
Steve Green
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Postby Lynn Terry » Sat May 13, 2006 3:23 pm

Hi Steve,

You can read my thoughts on 'Choosing an Autoresponder' in this thread:
http://www.selfstartersweeklytips.com/f ... php?t=7867

I am using Aweber myself, and LOVE it. It was the best switch I ever made. Yes there is a monthly fee, but I've found it to be well worth it. The delivery rate alone for starters. But I can host as many mailing lists and autoresponders on the one account as I like, so I use it for all of my sites for the same price. And yes, you can set up scheduled autoresponders that send out messages in order regardless of when a person subscribes.

As you'll see in that thread, I dont like going with my hosts mailservers as they tend to be 'blacklisted' more often than not. I am also skeptical about using anything my ISP might deem as "bulk email" going through their server - or anything that isnt double optin.
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Postby Steevg » Sat May 13, 2006 10:45 pm

Hi Lynn,
yes I was searching through the SSWT forums earlier, and found the thread you pointed to, very informative, and as a result I think I've decided to go with either Aweber or GetResponse.
At this time I'm inclined to go with Awber, simply because of the feedback I'm getting from this and other forums. I don't think there's much difference between the two, so I guess it's a matter of trying and finding out - I also like Aweber's 30 day free trial - didn't see that on the GetResponse site!

I know I should be asking Awber this - but as a member, can I unsubscribe anytime (ie: not give 30 days notice) and what happens to my mailing/opt-in lists if I do this?

Thanks for the feedback - I've also subscribed to your Aweber blog page too - find it full of interesting stuff!

Regards,
Steve
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Postby Bina Omar » Sun May 14, 2006 12:29 am

Hi Steve,

I'm with Lynn on this one. I really like Aweber. I used to have an account
with GetResponse. They have quite good features as well. The one thing
about GetResponse though (from what I've read) is how they have a free
account option. And this increases the rate of spam mailings from this
domain.

I've read that it's easier for your mailings to get through when you're with
Aweber.

You might want to read my post about autoresponder service vs software
here:
http://www.webbriefcase.com.au/2005-11/ ... -software/

About unsubscribing as a member (which I take to mean cancelling your
service), I would think that Aweber would make it fairly simple. There's
nothing in their knowledgebase that suggest that you need to give them
a 30 day notice or anything like that.

Aweber gives you the option to download your subscriber info.

Hope this helps,
Bina.
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Postby flensborg » Sun May 14, 2006 2:23 am

I started out maintaining a list in Outlook Express - it was a pain to maintain.

Then I moved on to one of the free autoresponder services available - which drove most of my emails into the spam filters of too many ISP's.

Then I went with software installed on my own domain - this would stop working from time to time when my host upgraded perl or php for instance.

Finally I made the move to Aweber - and I'm staying here :-)

/Henrik
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I see...

Postby calvinchin » Sun May 14, 2006 3:27 am

Hi Lynn,

Thank you for your autoresponder topic, this is another good case
of why looking for autoresponder service.

Also, Bina, I read your topic, and left a feedback. :wink:

Steve, do reply to us of your experiense with GetResponse. :D

Thank you.
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Postby Steevg » Sun May 14, 2006 5:12 am

Calvin (and all who posted),
Actually I'll be going with Aweber to see how that works out for 30 days.
I like their layout and the live online support.
I have this kind of online support with my hosting company and it's very fast and professional.
So I'll let you know how it goes.

Regarding the other stories . . . . . . I've been on other forums and read similar problems with "DIY" Autoresponders, scripts, AR's on your own hosting sites & on your own computer etc. etc. . . . . . in fact I think there's enough material to write another eBook about Autoresponder Horror Stories. This has ultimately helped me decide to go for an Autoreponder provider, as opposed to anything else on offer.

Suffice to say the feedback has been invaluable, and has certainly put my mind to rest.

I guess it's summed up by asking the question:
"Do you want a professional result for your newsletters and follow-up emails, or just one which "will do"??"
And in my case, I'll need the professional result.

Thanks again everyone for your input, hopefully others looking in to this post will have gained some valuable knowledge from the experts.

. . . . . I certainly have.

Regards,
Steve Green
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Postby Lynn Terry » Sun May 14, 2006 9:52 am

I'm glad you found it helpful, Steve :D . I think a lot of us have tried different things over the years, figured out what works and what doesnt - and why. It's nice to be able to share that information and save others from the same frustrations.

steevg wrote:I know I should be asking Awber this - but as a member, can I unsubscribe anytime (ie: not give 30 days notice) and what happens to my mailing/opt-in lists if I do this?


I actually had a second account with them for about a year, and was able to cancel it without any problems. And you can backup your lists anytime you like, so you will have a current copy on your hard drive if you choose to switch or cancel or whatever.
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Postby Steevg » Mon May 15, 2006 2:59 am

Thanks Lynn.
I'll sign off of this post for now, and see how Aweber works out.

Will probably be posting elsewhere soon as I'm in the middle of trying AdWords for the first time.
I just bought Perry Marshals eBook "The Definitive Guide to AdWords" so better get reading.
From what I read this is THE way to get that little bit of extra income we all need from time to time.

Thanks.
Will speak later no doubt.

Have a great week everyone.

Regards,
Steve
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Postby Steevg » Mon May 15, 2006 3:10 am

Oh Lynn (or anyone else please) I forgot to ask!
I'm busy working on my first 10 newsletters to send out via Aweber, is there a simple way to format them for 60 characters wide?
Currently I'm using MS Word (for Mac). I'm using the Column tab at the bottom of the page to see how many characters I'm on, then manually hitting return at 60 characters or earlier.
Any advice here for an easier solution?

Thanx
Steve
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Postby flensborg » Mon May 15, 2006 4:58 am

steevg wrote:I'm busy working on my first 10 newsletters to send out via Aweber, is there a simple way to format them for 60 characters wide?


The HTML-version of your newsletter will automatically wrap text, so you definitely don't want to put any hard returns in the original text.

At the top of the Text-version in Aweber there's a button called "Wrap long lines" - just click that, and Aweber will wrap your text for you.

/Henrik
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Postby Steevg » Mon May 15, 2006 5:18 am

Hmmm,
Henrik . . . . OK I bow to your knowledge, but I've been reading about email text not appearing the same on every computer due to differences in formats, page sizing etc. etc. So the recommendation is to ensure your email/newsletters etc. are formatted to a maximum of 60 characters.

I've just found an excellent formatting facility on the web.
It's F*R*E*E too - check it out here:

http://www.formatit.com/index.html

Hey, and I can use it too (Mac user) Will wonders never cease?

Any other comments welcomed on this subject.

Thanx
Steve
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Aweber wraps at 67 characters

Postby flensborg » Mon May 15, 2006 1:30 pm

I just did a small test, and found out that the "Wrap long lines" feature in Aweber wraps at 67 characters.

So if you want your email to wrap at anything other than that, then you need to pre-format it.
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