Autoresponder Buyers Guide

autoresponder buyers guideIf you are selling anything on the net, you are most likely using autoresponders. If you aren’t, you are losing sales by the truckload.

If you are running a marketing campaign, you need an autoresponder.

  • Multiple follow-ups are essential,
  • personalization is a must,
  • and maximizing sales is the whole point.


You’ll find autoresponders in all colors and flavors;
This guide focuses on the features you need to look for when shopping for an autoresponder. Here’s what you need to look for.

1. Easy to use control panel for setting up and managing your responders :: If the control panel is difficult to figure out and the instructions are sparse, you risk sending out the wrong responses, in the wrong order to the wrong people.

2. Multiple responders at an affordable price :: One unit just won’t do. Even if you are only selling one product, you are likely running more than one campaign. Each campaign should have its own autoresponder. If you are paying over $20 per month for less than 50 autoresponders, you are paying too much.

3. Unlimited follow up messages from each autoresponder :: This really puts your business on autopilot. You can choose to send out follow up messages once a month, once a week, or once a day. Remember that it takes an average of 7 impressions before you turn a prospect into a customer.

4. Multiple send addresses :: This is a very handy feature if you have more than one online business. You can send all your autoresponder messages right from the same service and use whatever company name and address you wish.

5. Signature file :: Your signature file is one of your most effective FREE advertising spaces available. Make sure that your signature file is automatically included with each autoresponder message. Your autoresponder should automatically include your signature file the same way your email program does.

6. Filters :: This feature works the same as on your email. If you don’t want to receive mail from a specific address or addresses, simply filter them out.

7. Redirect pages :: Once your autoresponder has been clicked on, and your message is on route to its recipient, you can redirect your prospect to another page of your site, a thank you page, or a new sales page, perhaps.

The code for this service should be provided for you from your autoresponder service.

8. Form generator :: Having the HTML code automatically generated for a professional form takes all the hassle out of form creation.

9. Pop up email capture device :: Make it extremely easy for your prospects to subscribe to your newsletter, eZine, eCourse or eBook. With one click, your anonymous visitor is transformed into a valuable subscriber. Your visitor simply clicks “OK” on a pop up window and they are subscribed with no forms to fill out. This popup records the visitor’s real email address and eliminates the hassle of finding out that Super_Man@yahoo or Donald_Duck@hotmail are subscribed to your autoresponder.

10. Personalization :: Your response rate to your email will increase 30 – 70% by personalizing your messages. People are more responsive to email that addresses them by name and doesn’t look like an advertisement.

11. Easy to manage database :: Your autoresponder should give you access to a feature rich control panel which makes it easy for you to manage your customer lists. Functions such as easy list back up, manual subscription and removal, and the ability to keep separate lists in a single database, all make your life a lot simpler and save you time at the end of the day.

12. Simple import/export features :: This is very important when you are working with lists that you have developed over a period of months or years. The ability to import and export lists to and from other sources allows you to expose your current lists to new offers quickly and easily.

13. Manual add/delete function :: Since some email recipients have difficulty understanding the unsubscribe function that is standard with all autoresponders, you occasionally receive unsubscribe requests in your other email boxes. As a courteous, professional business owner, you need the ability to remove these people from your lists manually to avoid complaints. On the positive side, you also encounter visitors that ask you to subscribe them to your list, making a manual subscribe feature a necessity.

14. Ability to send a one off message to your lists :: Sometimes, you have information that applies to everyone on your lists. With a one off email message, you can alert all of your prospects and customers about an important event with one simple email message.

15. Message in text or HTML :: Although the vast majority of email users can accept HTML email, there are still some that can’t. By offering the capability of sending either plain text or HTML email, all your bases are covered and your email can be accepted by everyone.

16. Formatting :: Some autoresponder servers are not configured properly to send mail to all mail programs. If your formatting is lost, and your message arrives as one big block of text, the delete button becomes your prospect’s best friend 🙁

17. An affiliate or partner program that allows you to make a sideline income :: If you refer a few other people, you can cover the cost of your own responders and make a little extra spending money on the side. It’s a nice little benefit.

18. And finally, support :: If you end up with an autoresponder company that offers you little or no support, you could be stuck with a problem or question for a long time with no results. This may not seem like an issue now, but imagine if your clients suddenly start receiving your planned two-week campaign all in one day, over and over again! An autoresponder company offers a quality support feature, so this type of problem is taken care of immediately.

In today’s business world, the early bird gets the worm. If you are still marketing manually, you are leaving a lot of money on the table. It’s good for your competition, not for you.

(c)copyright 2002 Terry Telford

About Vic Bilson

Vic Bilson has been helping people for over a decade to launch an Internet presence and build an online business from their home or anywhere they have an Internet connection.