Auto Responders: Free vs Paid Service

By Ian Fernando

As you already know I have switched my email auto responder service to Aweber. I was having way too many issues with my prior service provider and need to upgrade. Now there is an issues with selecting an auto responder service. There are free scripts out there and then there are services which you pay monthly for.

I am writing this because Chad from CDF networks tweeted the other day "why use aweber over phplist (free)? are people just pushing aweber because of the affiliate program? need some input." Tweet!

I retweeted him back a short response "the only reason why I use aweber is because of mass mailing all my optins at the same time and getting no errors from my host" Tweet!

A lot of others jumped in and helped Chad make his decision. There are free ones out there which can be used but there is an issue especially if you are using a shared hosting. If you have a dedicated hosting then there is really no issues. There are deliver ability issues, optins, hosting issues, etc.

When I first started with email marketing and list building, I had a free service and I enjoyed my list growth. As times pass and my list kept growing I started to get penalized by my host; they even assumed I was spamming people because of the load the free script was producing. As I got more errors and incompletion I decided to look for another solution. My host was even charging me after X amount of mails sent I had to pay X amount. This definitely was not reasonable and I found a cheap service which will do what I need.

Let Us Quickly Break Down Free vs Paid:

Free Auto Responders

  • Free Auto Responder Scripts are Free +
  • Deliver ability rate is unknown -
  • Shared Hosting can cause issues with webmaster and host -
  • May have to pay host for load times -
  • Host can assume you are spamming -
  • Limited storage size -
  • Easily import thousands of emails +
  • None of these issues with dedicated hosting, maybe deliver ability +

Paid Auto Responder Services

  • Deliver ability rate are better +
  • Can't be accused of being a spammer (verified optins) +
  • No limit to storage size +
  • Limit to email list growth, after X amount of emails you have to pay X amount extra -
  • Monthly payments -
  • Importing emails can be a hassle -
  • Dedicated customer support +

That is a quick comparison between a free and paid version. Each comment is ended with either a + or a -, giving you a helping hand in deciding. These comments are of my own opinion. But there are other circumstances with choosing Free vs Paid, you need to ask yourself if you are new or experienced. This can play a big part if you want to pay for a service or not.

When I first started I was being frugal and didn't want to pay for anything. With list building I downloaded scripts (phplist) to do my list building and email marketing. I was happy with it and though I did not have the 'nicest' list but I did have a good handful. I was a noob then and did not want to pay for anything nor was I an expert in producing good free reports or generating a good email campaign. I was not going to pay for services for something I am not that great at.

Now, I am still not an expert BUT my list is getting bigger and demands more dedicated servers to send emails out without any errors or hearing lip from my host. I need to make sure the deliver rate is 100% or close to it. I also have multiple campaigns for PPCs and free reports that i generate to help grow my list. I email and create new emails to update my readers and subscribers of new updates or even new releases that I see. With Aweber I am not hassled about making sure I am not spamming my subscribers. Aweber is very strict with the can spam act and they abide by it very heavily.

It really boils down to is if you can generate a good amount of subscribers and emails. If you can generate a good amount of subscribers, I recommend getting a paid service such as aweber. Aweber is cheap especially if you pay yearly, which I have done. You get the dedicated support and a strict service which abides by the Can Spam Act strictly.

Free scripts are great but what will your web host say?

Ian Fernando
Involved in the internet space since 2002 and have been through the ups and downs of this online industry. I am a traveling digital nomad, media buyer, online strategist, and many more online titles.

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