Monday, December 19, 2005

Catching Names & Email Addresses

Wow it's working!

I'm making between $20-$40 dollars every day now. Yeah, I know, I can't live off of that, but it's going in the right direction, and I'm so excited!

What happened is I started doing two things right.

One I've talked about before in this blog. It is the need to capture your visitors information -- the first name and an email address will do just fine.

If you ask people for too much information, it becomes too much of a hurdle for them. Giving away their email address is hard enough. They know you will email them -- and their inboxes are pretty full allready. So you better have some good info lined up!

Trying To Do Everything Myself

I'm a programmer, so I thought: "I'll just find some php-script on the net and modify it to my liking, and I'll use that to capture email addresses and send out automated email. It's easy."

I've programmed an SMTP-server in my time, so I had absolute confidence.

Now the things is, finding a free autoresponder is easy.

Modifying it and setting it up is easy.

Creating a CRON-job to call the php-script that actually sends out the emails, is easy.

It is all easy.

Problem is, it doesn't work very well.

Tracking, Sidetracking, and The Anti-Spam Laws of California

The set-up I just described, works. It does capture names and email addresses. And it does let you personalize emails with peoples names and whatnot. It even sends out the emails.

But there, it stops.

There is an issue now, called deliverability. It has to do with spam complaints, spam filters, blacklists and whitelists.

The truth is, if you grow a list past 10 people, you will get spam complaints. Joe forgets he signed up. Anik dislikes what you write in the third email.

I even got a spam complaint for sending out the "please confirm your subscription"-email!

With free scripts or other do-it-yourself solutions, you most often will not know. You don't know if your emails reach the recipients. You don't know when there's an official spam complaint. You might not even know if you've been blacklisted by an anti-spam company.

Then, you don't know how many people open your emails. And you don't know how many click the links in your emails.

Man, are your blind!

Then, because of the extremely strict spam laws of California, a conglomerate of NSA, FBI & KGB agents burn down your house in the middle of the night.

So I stopped. I stopped doing it myself, I mean. I did some research and found that Awber had the best deliverability around -- 99.34%. And I can track everything, and set up unlimited autoresponders, and build several lists, and send broadcasts extremely fasts.

I've been using it for a couple of months, and it has already paid for itself.

You can try it yourself by filling in the form here.



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