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Autoresponders Can Be Harmful To Your Wealth

By Charles Hopkins Published 01/2/2008 | Computer
It is an indisputable fact that the hard working autoresponder has been and most likely will remain an integral tool in any marketers toolbox. However, just as with any "power tool," this one needs to be used with caution. This is especially true in today's Spam conscious marketplace.

Autoresponders exist in a number of different forms with various levels of product options. In it's most basic form it can be found in the cPanel. Here it really only performs the basic function of responding to a received email. One can easily set it to respond, or send a return message automatically to any incoming email. Even in this most basic form this can be a very useful tool.

More complex versions can be found in what are referred to as paid third party autoresponder companies. These companies provide very complex systems that perform many more functions than just responding. They are able to store data to compile extensive mailing lists. Provide form code software to allow the placement of opt in forms on websites. Allow the choice of single or double opt in registration to various lists.

They offer the ability to send any number of delayed follow up messages to an entire list or to portions of any given list in either text or html or both. Allow a given list to be achieved or activated at will. All these and many more features are available today with any good autoresponder company.

A third version of autoresponders is in the form of various software programs that can be purchased outright and installed on a domain. With this system one can operate a fully owned and controlled autoresponder.

The last form of autoresponder is a type that is provided by some hosting companies as a part of their hosting packages. These have traditionally been full-featured autoresponders capable of performing very advanced functions.

It is in the latter two types of autoresponders where the most potential of harm to your wealth as mentioned in the article title lies. It is not necessary to go into the major problems that have arisen in the past several years because of Spam issues. You are most likely aware that a single flame or Spam complaint against you can get your ISP, (internet service provider), or your hosting account instantly cancelled. You are guilty until proven innocent and in most cases the burden of proof lies with the individual.

Hosting companies and ISPs have zero tolerance for Spam complaints. This is necessary from a business standpoint for these companies because a complaint to an individual automatically affects many others. How can this be?

The general public is not aware that at these companies these accounts are hosted on servers. Servers are the computers that "serve" up the websites that you "browse" for from your computer or laptop. There are normally many hundreds of accounts on any given server. These servers have a dedicated IP address. A single complaint from any one account can block the IP for that server thereby effectively shutting down the server and blocking all associated accounts.

When this occurs it becomes the burden of the company to have their staff contact the proper authorities and assure them that the offending account has been removed so that the server IP can then be unblocked. This can be a time consuming and expensive activity.

In addition, unknown to the general public, many ISPs will block any emails coming from companies with IP addresses suspected of sending out large amounts of email. If your autoresponder account is on one of these IP addresses you may think your emails are being delivered when in fact they are simply bouncing. This is a tremendous loss to your business.

However the third party paid autoresponder companies mentioned above exist solely to provide a consistent and trouble free environment for your email lists. Their staff is highly trained to quickly and professionally respond to complaints and get them cleared as fast as possible. Because their only purpose is providing autoresponder services they are very good at making sure that your emails are delivered on time and with the highest rate of successful delivery.

When using these services, if the worse case scenario were to occur and you were to receive a complaint of a nature where your account would be suspended, then you would only lose your autoresponder account and not your more valuable ISP or hosting account.

The moral here is to give consideration to the loss of revenue caused to your business by using the wrong tools. In most cases if you will do the math you will come to the conclusion that the peace of mind, low monthly cost and increased delivery of your email will cause you to investigate the available paid autoresponder services.