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Should I Have An Autoresponder On My Blog?


A student in our coaching club asked me recently, “should I have an autoresponder on my blog?”

It seemed like the real question was “should I host an autoresponder on my blog?”

Now, I’m not a very technical person so the thought of self hosting my own autoresponder sends chills up my spine.

Why would I want to, even?

Autoresponder services are staffed with career IT techs who spend their entire careers working on this technology. 

They spare no effort making sure that when you get subscribers to your email list, they’re going to have their email messages delivered properly, on time and on schedule.  They spare no effort on your behalf keeping your messages out of your subscribers’ spam folder.

If you’re a techie sort of a person that feels totally competent hosting your own autoresponder, then that’s great.

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Otherwise, if you’re a blogger that has all he/she can do to keep good content rolling through your site, then I’d suggest you use a paid service for an autoresponder.

There are lots of good ones out there.  

Aweber, Mail Chimp and Get Response are just a few of the bigger ones that come to mind rifght away.

Personally, I like SendReach.  I think they’re in a class by themselves, and are a next generation autoresponder that is breaking new ground in email management and delivery.

But that’s not what this article is about, really.

The key to blogging successfully is building a responsive, loyal subscriber list.

And the key to leveraging this list into the foundation for a strong and profitable blogging business, is rooting it securely in a dependable autoresponder.

There is really nothing more important to your blogging business than your autoresponder.

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That’s why you need to turn this aspect of your business over to the pros who can best handle it.

Your job is making sure to create emails that are valuable to your subscribers.

That means you need to spend the biggest part of your time writing and compiling emails that your followers will look forward to receiving.

You need to make them actually want your emails, not just put up with them begrudgingly.

To make sure you’re running this part of your business right, you need to be on your autoresponder every day figuring out how good a job you’re doing.

In other words, what is your click-through rate and your open rate?

Which lists are performing best, and what are they responding to most?

This is the stuff that really drives your email marketing strategy.

I’ll be joining Donna in hosting our next Whirlwind Success “VIP Club” live event on exactly this topic.

We call this training event “Email Marketing Fire.”

That’s because we will demonstrate exactly how to set your new, cold, stale and unproductive email lists on fire!

Make email marketing the center of your business, instead of a passive, casual part of it.

If you’re ready to take your blogging business to the next level, then get ready to ignite your email list.

You can Register Here for “Email Marketing Fire.”

Whatever you do, make sure that email marketing is not a casual thing in your online business. 

It is, in fact, its heart and soul.

The harder you work on this part of your business, the more successful you will be.

So, back to the question: “Should I Have An Autoresponder On My Blog?”

The answer is an emphatic “Yes.”

Whether you host your own autoresponder (good luck), or use one of the many excellent autoresponder services available (highly recommended)… just do it.

Don’t try to take shortcuts, and don’t cheap out with some third rate approach.

And above all, learn to manage your autoresponder to the max.

Whirlwind Success VIP Club

It should be the first thing you tend to every single day as your sit at your computer to begin your business day.

“Should I Have An Autoresponder On My Blog?

What do you think?

You know I always love reading your comments.

How much a part of your business is your autoresponder?

David Merrill 101
I'm an Internet Marketer and Online Marketing Coach. My students learn no-nonsense, power strategies and techniques to build solid blogging and internet businesses. David Merrill+

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38 Responses to Should I Have An Autoresponder On My Blog?

  1. Erika Mohssen-Beyk February 13, 2015 at 10:34 pm #

    Hi David ,
    after starting to use an Autoresponder ,I can say
    you are very right ,It is enough work setting it up
    and self hosting one ,I am sure is trouble .
    Time is better spent to write good blogs or
    emails . It is not worth it to host one ,I think.
    I heard, often the emails are landing in the spam.
    Better to pay for the service .
    Thank you
    Erika Mohssen-Beyk´s last blog post ..Be Kind To Yourself

  2. David Merrill 101 February 15, 2015 at 12:05 pm #

    So true Erika, it’s one thing to host your own autoresponder on your blog.

    It’s quite another to make sure your emails are getting past the many layers of spam filters, and finding their way to the inboxes of your subscribers.

    I say, let the pros do what they do best. You do what you do best, and that means, creating content and building engagement.
    David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..List Building With Video | Introducing Breakthrough Video

  3. WILLIAM O'TOOLE February 15, 2015 at 7:20 pm #

    Hi David

    Auto responders can help but i suspect most wont do it. Why? perhaps they don’t embrace social media perhaps it scares them.. Perhaps also people just don’t know what to write. It can be a hard thing to get their head over. It gets easier in time. If you have a large audience sure grab one..if you only have a few people on your list then perhaps do a weekly google hangout.

    WILLIAM O’TOOLE´s last blog post ..Unlimited Profits social Media

    • David Merrill 101 February 16, 2015 at 9:45 pm #

      People do get confused with the use of autoresponders, as you point out, William.

      It’s a learning curve, like all things, and it requires consistent effort. It’s not a quick rich method, for sure.

      But as you say, it does get easier over time, as you master the skills.

      Google Hangouts are another great way to connect with your followers, but there’s a big problem with that one. They need to show up… and consistently.

      You can use an autoresponder to effectively reach your audience 2 or 3 times a week or more. And it only takes them a few minutes to absorb your message, and decide whether or not to take the action you prompt them to.

      I’m sure you’ll never get people to a hangout that often, and the CTA becomes much murkier, too. So I rather think of them as two different worlds, but both are excellent methods of building engagement within your crowd.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Mentoring For Online Success

  4. Marquita Herald February 17, 2015 at 5:08 pm #

    You know the very notion of attempting to do the autoresponder thing myself is so over the top for me I actually had to reread the first part of your post to make sure I understood correctly! Totally on the same page when I comes to letting the experts handle the tech end of things. I am in the process of testing Get Response with a smaller list for one reason – the great deal they have on landing pages. If it works out then I’ll switch my core list, but for the very reasons you highlight in your post, I’m going to make darn sure before I make that shift. Thanks for the tips David.
    Marquita Herald´s last blog post ..Do We REALLY Need a Holiday to Remind Us to Be Kind?

    • David Merrill 101 February 21, 2015 at 11:41 pm #

      I like Get Response a lot, Marquita.

      I’d say you’re moving in the right direction. You might want to consider maintaining a primary autoresponder, like Get Response, along with a secondary one.

      In that case, you can keep your active list on Get Response, and as people become disengaged, move them over to your secondary service which would act like a holding bucket. When people re-engage from the secondary service, they could optin to one of your Get Response lists again.

      This is a strategy that keep your main list fresh and active, and keeps your open rates and click-throughs high.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..3 Ways Bloggers Make Money Online

  5. donna merrill February 18, 2015 at 10:36 pm #

    Hi David,

    Yes I do have an auto responder on my blog. I find that Sendreach is the best one I ever used. I like the platform. I also like how it looks…a more professional feeling.

    But actually I use 2, beside Sendreach, I use Get Response. I like to have two because if one has a glitch, I can always transfer to another.

    donna merrill´s last blog post ..When Customer Engagement Matters Most

    • David Merrill 101 February 21, 2015 at 11:44 pm #

      That’s a good strategy to use, Donna.

      I think we’ve all seen, especially in this last year, that no matter how big or how “reliable” an autoresponder service is… it can get hacked and your whole email operation can get shut down for a while. This can really wreak havoc with your business, especially if you happen to be in the middle of a big launch or promo when things go wrong.

      It’s always a great thing to have another service you can roll over to when you need it.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Should I Have An Autoresponder On My Blog?

  6. Lawrence Bousquet February 19, 2015 at 1:39 am #

    Everything I read says you need an auto-responder and email marketing is not dead. So yes it should be on your blog. The other thing that makes sense is if your going to spend money trying to get more traffic, the people coming to your site should have some action steps to take, to keep coming back.

    As with all learning, the ones who get past the fear (false evidence appearing real) are the ones who succeed.

  7. Chery Schmidt February 19, 2015 at 7:29 pm #

    Hello David! Yike the thought of hosting my own auto responder, well not this girl, I am using a fre service that i found InInBox and have so far just set up the first e-mail that goes out when someone subscribes.

    I actually do need to work on this as well, right now I don’t even have an offer HEHE Yes i know this is not the correct way, But I am taking action.. Well Sorta Anyways.

    I have never heard of SendReach before, perhaps after vacation it will be time for me to get serious about building my list and will take a look at this.

    Thanks for sharing. Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt´s last blog post ..Can You Really Make Money Online From The Comfort Of Your Home?

    • David Merrill 101 February 21, 2015 at 11:57 pm #

      It would be great to start building your list, Chery.

      It really takes your business to a new level.

      I wouldn’t worry so much about which autoresponder to use, any of the major ones are good. I’d just make sure to find a way to start emailing my list and building a business.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..List Building With Video | Introducing Breakthrough Video

  8. Miriam Slozberg February 20, 2015 at 2:22 pm #

    I would never host my own autoresponder, I use Trafficwave and I am very happy with them. Great delivery rate and double optin is a must for them. No issues with spam, so it all depends on if you really can handle hosting your own autoresponder and understanding the risks that come with it. Let the pros handle it instead I say.
    Miriam Slozberg´s last blog post ..An Overview of Gratitude with Lisa E. Papp

    • David Merrill 101 February 22, 2015 at 12:07 am #

      I actually know some pretty big email marketers who ran their email campaigns through their own autoresponders and got burn badly when they lost their subscriber lists.

      Even if you know your stuff, as these folks do, you can’t beat a totally professional autoresponder. Their entire business is to protect your list and deliver your messages.

      I can’t imagine why people try to save a few dollars with this, since it really is the lifeblood of your entire business.

      Thanks for visiting, Miriam, and thanks for recommending Trafficwave. It’s another good service people might like to check out.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Building An Online Business

  9. Andrea Ansari February 20, 2015 at 4:06 pm #

    Hey David, yes, super important topic about the autoresponders, I wish I had started with a good one (not a free one) from the very beginning so I didn’t have to switch.
    Andrea Ansari´s last blog post ..[Case Study] How To Get Super High Email Open Rates!

  10. Joan Harrington February 20, 2015 at 7:10 pm #

    Hi David,

    Excellent post on how important it is to have an autoresponder on your blog 🙂 Tons of value you have outlined and gives me something to really think about in regards to my own autoresponder, which I have recently just starting building over again 🙂 Thanks for these tips!
    Joan Harrington´s last blog post ..4 Copywriting Formulas from the Masters

    • David Merrill 101 February 22, 2015 at 12:10 am #

      Good luck with your autoresponder, Joan.

      Email marketing is so important to building a sustainable online business, and is certainly the best method to monetizing your blog.

      It surprises me how many people think they can just maintain their blog from day to day, but never build a list on a good autoresponder.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Do You Want To Rank Page One On Google?

  11. Monna Ellithorpe February 21, 2015 at 7:27 pm #

    Hi David,

    This was a new one for me. I’ve never heard of someone hosting their own autoresponder. No way I would do it.

    You are right. An autoresponder is important enough not to worry about the few extra nickels and dimes to have your list cared for by professionals.
    Monna Ellithorpe´s last blog post ..Is There Money Hidden In Your Computer?

  12. David Merrill 101 February 22, 2015 at 12:15 am #

    You’re not the only one who hasn’t heard of hosting your own autoresponder, Monna.

    But it’s actually become quite trendy, especially among big bloggers with large lists. They stand to save a lot of money by sending emails directly from their blog, but there are many many challenges in doing this.

    I certainly don’t recommend the method for anyone, certainly not for people without deep technical and IT know-how.
    David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Techmare on Elm Street

  13. Jacs Henderson February 22, 2015 at 5:58 pm #

    Wild stuff to host your own autoresponder…. it seems that way to me!

    I enjoy techie stuff, but I hear what you say David about the messages are the heart and soul, and I would prefer to focus on the customer aspect in my business.

    I think it is important to build up a relationship… and feel your readers will enjoy what you have to say because of that rather than not bother to open or appreciate.

    I do believe autoresponder relationships are a skill to manage, and the messages a skill to write, so I feel your “Email Marketing Fire” will be welcomed with open arms 🙂

    Jacs Henderson´s last blog post ..Shop With Jacs!

    • David Merrill 101 February 23, 2015 at 10:13 pm #

      Autoresponder messages are definitely a specific skill, Jacs.

      You don’t want to spend time, money and effort building a list without knowing the best way to convert your subscribers into loyal fans and repeat customers and clients.

      And, of course, it’s not a one off game.

      You need to be emailing your list multiple times a week, and you need to know how to do it. Otherwise, everything building up to that stage of your business will be in vain.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Blogging To Make Money

  14. Jenni Ryan February 22, 2015 at 7:25 pm #

    I think its important to have an autoresp;onder on your blog so you can capture those visitors and remind them of why they visited your blog.

    If you continue to provide value they will keep revisitng your blog and you keep building the trust.
    Jenni Ryan´s last blog post ..Success in Network Marketing

    • David Merrill 101 February 25, 2015 at 10:16 pm #

      That’s the key, Jenni.

      You need to “continue to provide value” with your autoresponder messages.

      That’s what keeps people coming back to your blog, and that’s what builds the bond of trust with your readers and subscribers.

      This is not a step to slip up on, for sure.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Do You Want To Rank Page One On Google?

  15. Kathryn Maclean February 22, 2015 at 7:32 pm #

    No chills for me David.
    I have had autoresponders before. I got a little carried away and had to many going .
    Now that I only have three blogs it would be more manageable.

    As I am more a writer than a talker, they make sense for me to use them to connect
    with my audience. Doing a Google hangout on a regular basis is a big deal for me.

    So ves I will be setting up more emails soon. Simpler ones.

    • David Merrill 101 February 25, 2015 at 10:18 pm #

      Good luck with setting up your emails, Kathryn.

      Whether you’re using your own autoresponder or not, the real key is to give value with your emails to continue building a good relationship with your subscribers, and gain trust with your prospective customers and clients.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..List Building With Video | Introducing Breakthrough Video

  16. Willena Flewelling February 22, 2015 at 8:09 pm #

    Wow, I can’t imagine anyone wanting to host his own autoresponder! With my former blog, I was promoting a mentoring system that had its own autoresponder. Most of the emails were already written and placed into the system, so I didn’t even have to write any myself unless I wanted to send one that was a little more personal and in my own voice. But with my new blog, which I’ll be using soon, I will need to have an email list and autoresponder. Thank you for the info!
    Willena Flewelling´s last blog post ..Week 19 – Friday the 13th

    • David Merrill 101 February 25, 2015 at 10:22 pm #

      Many people, Willena, who promote an affiliate system, as you did with the mentoring system, like the idea that the autoresponder messages are all written for them.

      But you really need to modify those messages in a major way in order to build your own relationship with your subscribers. You might want them to buy affiliate products and systems, but you need to have them connect with YOU.

      That’s why, even given the scenario above, you’re best off having your own autoresponder and your own list, even if you have to copy and paste pre-written messages into your own autoresponder.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..3 Ways Bloggers Make Money Online

  17. Emi March 2, 2015 at 12:08 pm #

    Hi David,
    I totally agree with you, if I have to do all this
    on top of everything is a little too crazy for me.
    And I do value my time, I’m using Aweber and
    very happy with it just set up everything and don’t have to think about it 🙂
    Thank you for sharing,
    Have a fantastic day!
    Emi´s last blog post ..How To Create A Clickable Image

    • David Merrill 101 March 8, 2015 at 10:26 pm #

      Aweber is a great system, Emi.

      As you say, it’s enough work just keeping the emails written and build those critical relationships with your prospects.

      You don’t want to have to obsess over the technology involved in getting your messages sent properly, skip around the spam bots, comply with anti-spam regulations etc etc.

      Let Aweber do all that for you, and they do it so well.

      You focus on the creative and social aspects of your business.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Building An Online Business

  18. Mark March 2, 2015 at 1:49 pm #

    Excellent points as usual David!

    And I really like the point you shared with the top paid autoresponder services, having
    in many cases, career IT pros, whose sole purpose in life is to see to it that our email
    messages get delivered consistently and as trouble free as humanly possible!

    And that most certainly free’s up our time to focus on the other equally important
    tasks of running our businesses!

    Excellent points! And thanks so much for sharing them!
    Mark´s last blog post ..So What Powerful Marketing Message Can You Possibly Learn From The Classic Movie Cool Hand Luke?

  19. Lillian De Jesus March 8, 2015 at 8:54 pm #

    Hi David,

    I never would have thought to host my own auto responder. That’s just crazy talk to me! LOL Seriously MailChimp, Aweber, ConstantContact, Infusionsoft all do great with auto responders. Do you have an auto responder that you prefer?

    Thanks for sharing,
    Lillian De Jesus´s last blog post ..A Beginner’s Guide To Share As Image – A Quote Image Tool

    • David Merrill 101 April 26, 2015 at 3:24 pm #

      I do have my favorite, Lillian.

      I use GetResponse. One of the reasons is that they allow single optins without jumping through hoops (even on API integration). They also have great features to drill down into your campaigns to see what’s really working or not.

      I like SendReach, too, but it seems to be in its infancy. I do use it some, though.

      I’m with you… hosting my own auto-responder is like “crazy talk” for sure… lol
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Blogging To Make Money

  20. David Merrill 101 March 8, 2015 at 10:31 pm #

    Thanks for joining the conversation, Mark.

    We’re on the same page with this for sure.

    No need to get involved in something so technical as email delivery. As marketers and entrepreneurs, we have enough to do with preparing the messages themselves, and making sure they hit all the points they need to hit, and direct our readers to take the targeted actions we require.

    We certainly don’t want to have to be overly concerned with the business of making sure those messages get delivered to the folks on our list.

    Thanks for stopping by, Mark.

    Always nice to hear from you.
    David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Mentoring For Online Success

  21. Christine Adindu March 15, 2015 at 2:20 am #

    Thank you for the info on autoresponder. It is a must have anyone marketing online. Unfortunately I am still coming across clients who do not have any. I wonder how do you connect with you leads? Part of what we do is educate people what is necessary as far as online marketing is concerned.
    The idea of hosting one, not for me I should say, hard enough with our schedule why add more when there are so many service available to do just that. It is hard enough doing the message sequence as it is. Thanks for the tip.
    Great info.
    Christine Adindu´s last blog post ..These Facebook Marketing Tips Can Really Make Your Business Take Off!

    • David Merrill 101 April 26, 2015 at 3:27 pm #

      Well, Christine, I think most of the people who don’t have autoresponders are those that don’t value building relationships with their prospects and even their customers.

      They look for sales, bank the commission, and start looking for more people to buy something. It’s okay if you’re just looking for some quick commissions, I guess, but to build a real and sustaining business… you’ve got to engage with people, and an autoresponder is pretty much essential for that purpose.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..3 Ways Bloggers Make Money Online

  22. Pinki Chaurasia April 7, 2015 at 12:25 pm #


    Wow, Great post.I was reading continuously this article I’m impressed!
    You describe all things in very good way.
    I like this video in your article.Thanks so much for putting together this useful post!
    Pinki Chaurasia
    Pinki Chaurasia´s last blog post ..How to Start a Blog And Make Money: Starting Successful Blog [Complete Guide]

  23. BG Jenkins May 19, 2015 at 7:01 pm #

    Hi David, Thank you for bringing the importance of email marketing to the forefront. I truly will say that it is my least favorite, but I will definitely be working on it now. Hoever, I do understand the importance of a list. Thanks for your insight.
    BG Jenkins´s last blog post ..Feeling Left Behind?

  24. Dr. Elise Cohen Ho July 8, 2015 at 3:16 pm #

    I do love the idea of an autoresponder but it needs to be used properly. It cannot be used in place of real communication.
    Dr. Elise Cohen Ho´s last blog post ..Product Review: Living Intentions Wild Berry Trail Mix

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