Autoresponder Software: Web-Based, Server-installed or Desktop – Which is Best?

Email marketing is much easier with autoresponder software however how do you decide what type to use for your business? Should you pay the monthly fee for a professional web-based autoresponder service, install a script on your own server or purchase desktop software?

Differences between a web-based autoresponder, desktop or server-installed software

1. Send email anywhere at anytime

A professional web-based autoresponder sends email from their servers rather than from your own computer or your own server. This enables you to send emails anytime from anywhere so long as you have a computer connection.

2. Online storage

Subscribers are stored in an online database that is backed up several times each day. You can create an unlimited number of lists then select which ones you want to send messages to. If you have a group of individuals that need to manage the lists they can each do this from their own computers. They don’t have to all be in the same place.

If software is stored on your computer you can only be able to manage your email campaigns from one computer (unless you install the software on multiple computers).

3. Reliability

The reliability of software installed on your computer depends if it is always running. If it crashes or gets a virus you may lose money because you can’t run your email campaigns. If you have an autoresponder script installed on your server and it crashes the same thing will occur.

4. Deliverability of emails

If you have a large list of contacts you want to make sure your email gets delivered to them. A web-based autoresponder service has established relationships with the major internet service providers (ISPs) such as Gmail, AOL, Yahoo, Hotmail, Comcast, Earthlink, etc.

If you use server-installed or desktop software you can’t guarantee your email gets delivered. You’ll need to establish ongoing relationships with all the ISPs. This takes time away from building your business.

5. Scaling email campaigns

When you only have a small list of contacts they are easy to manage. The problem is when your list grows. If you have server-installed software, your host may limit how many emails you can send each day. My host only allows 1000 emails per day. You also have to deal with spam complaints.

A professional autoresponder service allows you to send an unlimited amount of emails no matter what size your list and they’ll all get speedily delivered with no spam complaints.

6. Customer support

With desktop or server-installed software you are the one responsible to make sure everything runs smoothly. Trouble shooting problems takes time away from marketing your business.

A professional service has a dedicated team of people available to answer your questions anytime.

7. Easy to segment lists

When you build a large list you’ll want to separate potential prospects from people who have already bought your products. This enables you to target buyers with related products while warming up potential clients.

Professional autoresponders allow you to easily segment your lists and track how many people are viewing your emails and clicking on your links.

Even though you may save money up front with desktop or server-installed software you’ll regret it later if you need to manage multiple lists.

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From Herman Drost – Web Design, Hosting, SEO

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