Okay, I hear you… Loud and clear.
GetResponse is down again. Or AWeber is down again. Or either is just not behaving like you want them to.
Here is what you should do about it:
Have a backup plan.
I’ve heard several marketers talk about how they actually are signed up for more than one auto-responder. But that’s not the solution.
And I’ll tell you why.
Second Auto-Responder Subscription?
Several of my colleagues have told me how they are subscribed to both GetResponse/AWeber and a second auto-responder, but they still whine when GR/AW is down, because they can’t mail out.
Because there are several problems with this scenario:
- If one auto-responder cost a lot monthly, then two cost even more.
- You have to constantly keep a fresh backup… but… if you backup from AW/GR, then you cannot just import into another auto-responder. Most don’t allow that. So you’ll end up with very unhappy receivers who might already have unsubscribed. And you cannot mail your fresh subscribers either.
Basically – that sucks!
No, I have a better alternative.
And you might even want to skip GR/AW when you feel comfortable with your new solution.
Self-Hosted Auto-Responder – Oh No!
That’s what I said the first time I heard about self-hosted auto-responder last year.
I’d been there, done that, and I was NOT going there again.
I remembered the terrible story of my auto-responder running wild, sending the same mail 17 times to my subscribers.
They almost tramped themselves to death to get out of there and unsubscribe.
But then I found out something extremely important.
The next generation self-hosted auto-responders don’t use your web host for sending mail. They can have their own system set up and use Amazon SES, Sendgrid or Mandrill.
That made me interested, and I actually bought Sendy, which I used for almost one year.
Lately I switched to arpReach which has fabulous features.
Just as an example: This morning I mailed out to those people who were subscribed to two of my list, and who were not subscribed to two others, but had received my mail earlier and hadn’t opened it.
That’s how laser targeted you can go. Well, in fact, you can go much more into detail than that, if you want.
The one question I’ve heard the most, when I happily told people about my system that was online while their big ones were down was:
– How reliable is it?
– What about the deliverability?
Well, the nice thing is that you’re not bound to use one service. If the receive rate is too low, you can switch to an alternative.
I started with Amazon SES, but they closed my account without warning or even a message, because I got one complaint from a subscriber (who’d used double opt-in, the jerk!).
Then I switched to Sendgrid. They have a lite version, where you can send as few or as many mails per month as you need, and you only pay for the ones you send.
But they often ended up in SpamCop’s useless filter, and my mails weren’t delivered.
So I switched to Mandrill, and they are very reliable. Excellent statistics, too.
So How to Use This Self-Hosted Auto-Responder
If you’re scared of switching totally just like that, then I recommend you do the following… once GetResponse or AWeber is back online.
Take a backup of your lists – daily!
This is easy to do in AWeber. I have no idea how it’s done in GetResponse though.
Then set up your self-hosted auto-responder – and I recommend you get arpReach – it’s by far the best!
When you’re having problems with AW/GR next time, then import your updated lists and mail through your own auto-responder.
That way, at least you can get your mail out.
Yes, you’ll still lose all new subscribers, who cannot sign up through the forms from AW/GR, of course.
There’s nothing to do about that – before you totally switch away from them.
You don’t have to move away from your main auto-responder (GR/AW), but you might already be questioning this:
– What are the advantages of self-hosted auto-responder? And what are the disadvantages?
– You’re independent. You decide whether or not you’ll allow yourself to import a list from another auto-responder.
– Price: Much cheaper than a traditional auto-responder. I paid a one-time payment for the script and then around $4 monthly for sending mails.
– Features: With arpReach you have some awesome features I haven’t seen with AWeber.
– You’re on your own (more or less). If your site is down, your site is down, and you have to take care of it.
I signed up with AWeber in 2007. I left them June 2013. And I haven’t looked back since.
I highly appreciate the freedom I have with my own self-hosted auto-responder, and especially with arpReach I get so many fantastic features, I really enjoy.
I understand, though, if you’re scared of taking this step. Or if you anticipate a lot of work. In that case I suggest you take it step by step.
Get your self-hosted auto-responder.
Get it installed (check arpReach – they often offer to do this for free).
And then use it – in case. Or when 😉
The money you invest can easily be made back just by one day one of the traditional big auto-responders are down.
Just saying 😉
Check arpReach here: http://malka.im/e/arpreach