Why do I need to send Newsletters through an Email Autoresponder Program?

I get this question often.  When a business owner starts to send newsletters (or any email to a list of people) in the beginning they want to just use the email program they use for all email.  It will save them time (setting up a new program and list) and it is just easier since they already know how to use their existing email program.  Although these statements are very true it will cause problems down the road.

Reasons to use an Email Autoresponder Program

  • Spam laws are very clear – you need to allow people the option to opt out of your list themselves – without needing to contact you.  This is not possible through a regular email program.
  • Separation from your domain – this also has to do with the spam laws.  You want a wall between your domain and your marketing emails for your protection.
  • Protects your domain from being blacklisted
  • Future marketing – as your list grows you might want to segment that list and send specific marketing messages – this is very easy to do with an email autoresponder program.
  • Track your opens and the engagement of your list
  • Save time by automating
  • Increase your delivery rate – email sent through autoresponders have a higher rate of delivery
  • Many more reasons

My biggest concern for my clients is the CAN-SPAM regulations  - the laws that protect consumers from spam.  For each and every violation of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, a business or person engaging in commercial emailing can be fined up to $11,000. (Source)  Hosting and domain sellers that allow spam through their email systems can be fined as well as the original sender (according to one that I spoke with) so they cover themselves by deleting the offender.  This happened to a psst client that basically lost his domain address because of people reporting spam from the domain.

Domains that send spam are also blacklisted so that no emails get through.  I have seen this happen as well.  It is very hard to get your domain approved again for sending email.  It also hurts your business if NO emails get to their destinations.

Since the law is very unclear it is very important to protect your business by only sending list messages through email autoresponder companies.

  • MailChimp – this is the one I use and am most familiar with.  MailChimp is free for list building up to 2000 people.  If you use the autoresponder feature there is a fee.
  • ConstantContact
  • iContact
  • Awaber
  • VerticlResponce

These are the big players in this industry.  There are others as well but these are the well known companies.  They are all similar in how they work.  You create a list and a form to add people to your list.  Then you put the form on your website, in Facebook, or any other place that allows on the Internet.  When someone fills out the form they are automatically put onto your list.  If they want to unsubscribe they can do that without contacting you, and the autoresponder program makes sure you do not send them email again – ever.  This is one reason you want to choose a program and stay with it.