Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Free Autoresponders: What Are They Worth?

If you are serious about earning money with affiliate marketing, it is a good idea to use an autoresponder. Since I am always on the look-out for freebies, I have decided to run a few tests and check whether it is worth using free autoresponder services.

I found a list of Free Autoresponders on FreebieList, an excellent resource for freebie hunters like me and I signed up with Freeautobot two weeks ago. I wanted to create a Squeeze page (so I could collect a few names and email addresses) directing people to an affiliate link but since I didn't know how to create a secure email capture form, I had to use the one provided with a free autoresponder service.

I haven't yet had the time and leisure to create an email campaign, I just stole (legally) the emails from another program I signed up with (don't ask!) and started putting FreeAutobot to my own little test:

- FreeAutobot's email messages are advertisement free: but as soon as you sign up to the autoresponder service, you receive a series of emails praising the merits of their autoresponder programme. Also, anytime I login to my FreeAutobot account, I have to endure those annoying pop-ups before I can access my account. I guess the fact that they advertise to you and not your list should be a plus, but it is very annoying: this will certainly not encourage me to upgrade.

- My email spam filter blocked my first email from FreeAutobot! Definitely not a good sign. If you want the people on your list to get your emails, you must ask them to add your email address (I haven't figured out yet if this should be your real email address or the email address you get from FreeAutobot when you open an account with them) to their email contact list. People being people, not all of them will do what they are told; in fact, I would be surprised if even 10% of the people you managed to get onto your list did this. When you are doing an email marketing campaign, you know that not everyone will buy from you; if only a minority actually gets your emails, you are doomed to failure!

- The point above should be enough to discourage you but I found another element I thought I would add: FreeAutobot only lets you create one list! You can only run one email marketing campaign at a time, which could be a big problem if you want to promote several products at a time. And what if you decide to promote a potty-training e-book when you have finished promoting your gardening tips e-book? I guess you could open a new account for each campaign so that your lists don't get mixed up but with what I have seen so far, I think I will try a different free autoresponder instead.

So far it looks like in relation to autoresponders, you get what you pay for but I will keep on experimenting and see if I can find a better quality free autoresponder.

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