View Full Version : Can anyone recommend a good free autoresponder program

August 18th, 2009, 02:29 AM
Hi Sylvia

First sorry no I can't recommend one, but my two cents on this (which is only based on my experience for the past 2 years) is that you get what you pay for or don't pay for as the case may be.

I am all for saving a buck, and as a result I have learnt many new skills on my IM journey, but my advise is that if you can afford it use a GOOD service, I am not currently using aweber, but now that my lists have grown so much I will be joining aweber this month on their annual membership as this offers the best value for $.

Trying to save money has often cost me much more in the end, not all the time but in some things.


Lynn Terry
August 18th, 2009, 10:48 AM
Hi Sylvia,

Aweber is a Mailing List Manager, which includes: mailing lists, autoresponders, blog email notification lists, etc.

I dont recall the resource you are referring to, but you can still access the content from the original forum. It is all archived here:


I have used several over the years, but nothing ever compared to Aweber. Everyone I know ultimately ends up at Aweber too, and it's a real pain to move your lists... so if I could recommend anything at all it would be to START there to avoid the trouble of moving there once you already have a growing list.

When you move a list, you generally have to get them to opt-in again, to comply with CANSPAM and with the list manager's policies. That usually results in a ~10% retention rate. It's not worth it to start building, only to lose about 90% of your readership when you do move.

You can set up a free trial with Aweber through http://sswt.aweber.com

Hope that helps.

robert adams
August 27th, 2009, 12:24 AM
I am curious as to what the problems of moving your list are.

If the autoresponder you are using has the ability to export the list as csv, and the one you are moving to has the ability to import from csv, then your list members will never know that you have moved to a different list software/provider.

I have heard that the problem with using your own script is about getting delivered and getting your domain blacklisted because of spam complaints etc.


August 27th, 2009, 07:23 AM
Hi Robert

Not all services are the same of course, but my understanding is that when you move a list, you still require your list to re-opt in (if that is a term) and so when you ask them to do so that drop off rate reduces your list.


August 27th, 2009, 09:13 AM
I don't know of a free service anymore. I'm using aweber now, but I've avoided it in the past.

Some hosting accounts have a mailing list manager in your control panel. But, it's not very reliable at all, and if I remember correctly doesn't offer you a way to keep track of what's going on with your list.

There are some less expensive autoresponders like iContact available as well if it's just the price that is turning you off at aweber. (I can't even remember how much it is....)

Another option depending on what you're trying to do is to create a blog, setup the feed through Feedburner, and add the option to subscribe by email. Then you just post important updates on the blog. It's not as effective as having a regular mailing list, but it is free and works okay for some things.

robert adams
August 28th, 2009, 12:07 AM
I was not really talking about "free" services. I was talking about installing good autoresponder scripts on your own server.

I am not sure I understand why you would have to ask your current members to optin again just because you moved to something like aweber from running your own script.

Is that a requirement of aweber?
It certainly would not be required from the actual script point of view.

You can import members to and from any decent AR script without the members ever knowing you started using a different service to email them from.


Lynn Terry
August 28th, 2009, 08:11 AM
Yes it's required by most for CANSPAM compliance, unless you can PROVE that every single subscriber already went through a double opt-in.

The problem with using your host is that most hosts get easily blacklisted, killing your email deliverability rate - and they will NOT jump through hoops to fix it. Aweber stays on top of things like that, because that's their business.

The problem with using your own server is that you can get shut down by your ISP once your list grows to any significant size. I saw this happen to a friend of mine more than once.

August 28th, 2009, 12:23 PM
I use get response and love it. It costs less than aweber but it is not free. It also in my opinion has some other features aweber does not have and is easier to use. Like the others have said though you do get what you pay for and I do not recommend free. Get response is aweber's biggest competitor.

August 28th, 2009, 03:05 PM
I don't know of a free service anymore. I'm using aweber now, but I've avoided it in the past.

I just realized that I worded that badly LOL See what happens when I'm in a hurry? I sound like a babbling bum .... :p

I avoided it because I didn't want to pay the cost of it .... I wasn't interested in "lists" that the gurus talked about. I've since learned that a reliable mailing list is much more useful than just a sales tool!

September 12th, 2009, 10:26 PM

You need to be aware the web hosting companies need to protect their servers and IP addresses from spamming. And because of that, they need to control what their clients can and cannot do.

Most web hosting companies have restrictions on emails like you only send 100 emails per hour or something like that. So when you run your own autoresponder script on your own website, that is a problem.

Another thing is delay. I don't really know why, it could the rules that the web hosting set in their servers. Sometimes a blast that you do today, you can expect the subscribers only to receive it days later. Yes, sometimes almost a week later.

Then, there's also the issue of deliverability.

You need to check your IP address that it's not being blacklisted in spam database like Spamhaus, etc. And also for best deliverability, you need to implement certain things on your web server and domain DNS. These are like Domain Key, SPF, etc... In most cases you don't have access to implement this on your web server, unless you took a dedicated server from the web hosting. And a dedicated server is a huge cost already...

Because of all that... I just recommend a hosted solution...

While most people here are on Aweber, I am on GetResponse. And they just released a new version, which absolutely great. You have my "GO" on GetResponse if you want to use that.

Alright, I hope that helps ...