Ever since I wrote my post on Why I Chose MailChimp Over Aweber I’ve had several people ask me about what other auto-responders I had tried out. Before I get into that there is something you need to know about me. I hate to shop around, I feel its just a waste of time. If I find a product or service that I like I just go out and buy it. This surprised the heck out of my wife but she’s used to it by now. It’s like when we needed a new car,  I knew how much I wanted to spend so when I found a car that was within the budget I bought it.

In the case of auto-responders I wanted one that was free and so I was pleased as punch when I found MailChimp. The only reason I looked any further was because Ben brought to my attention how they wouldn’t allow affiliate links to be used in campaigns. Read the above post to find out how you can use affiliate links with MailChimp as long as it’s done properly and in a non spamming way. Once I had found that I could use affiliate links the search stopped, but just I thought it best to post my results of the other two I had tried out.

List Wire

List Wire is the brainchild of Gary Ambrose. This auto-responder is completely free, forever, no matter how big your list grows. A word of warning though, the sales pitch starts from the moment you land on the home page where you will see a rather entertaining video where Gary uses a sales pitch to promote Listwire as well as trying to sell you some of his other products. Nothing wrong with that as that’s what online marketers do.

So, knowing full well I would be signing up for a list that would more likely than not fill my inbox with offers, which it does on a daily basis, note to self to unsubscribe, I signed up. After using MailChimp I found Listwire to be cumbersome and that it lacked the features I was used to. I’m a person that likes things to be easy to use and my personal opinion is that Listwire lacked that. Perhaps if I stuck it out it would have become clearer but I wasn’t prepared to do that when I already had one that was so easy to use.

Auto-Responder And Mailing List Manager

One other option I had thought about was to have my own auto-responder. I was sure that somewhere out there I would be able to find a way of having my own auto-responder thereby having complete control and never having to pay anyone for having a list. I came across the Auto-Responder and Mailing List Manager. That link will take you to their home page where you can either try the free unrestricted Lite version or opt to buy the Pro Version for around $74 for one domain. Needless to say I opted for the Lite version.

I downloaded AMLM, unzipped the file and uploaded it to a directory on my Wassupblog domain. The installation instructions are quite simple but there were some technical problems with the installation. I found the solutions to the problems quite easily in the forums, and apparently it only occurs with the Lite version. One would have thought though that they would have resolved those issues even with the Lite version as it makes the whole product somewhat suspect.

Anyway, I got it to work and all and all it is pretty simple to use. You can send plain text as well as html but unlike MailChimp that has professional templates ready for you to use you have to design your own. You can produce your own subscription box of which this is a sample. Take note that although this box is fully operational I will not be using this as a list were you to accidentally sign up. If you want to join my growing list you’ll find the real form in my sidebar over there on your right.

Name: *

Email: *
Country: *

While it does all the basic stuff you would want from an auto-responder it lacks some of the features, which even at such a short time, I’ve become accustomed to with MailChimp. Having said that you may still want to trial the free version, who knows, you may find it adequate for your needs.

Edit: I just tried to unsubscribe from Gary Ambrose’s list and got the following message.

WARNING! You are canceling your List Wire account!

Please read this short message before you continue!

If you remove yourself from this list you will also be permanently, and irreversibly canceling your List Wire account, and any sub-accounts you have under the username, sire!

If you choose to continue the unsubscribe process, you will no longer have access to any of your lists, sub-lists, prospects, messages, and any other data stored with List Wire.

Unsubscribing will also cause all of your subscription forms, squeeze frames, followup messages, and tracking links to stop working immediately.

To keep your List Wire account, and continue using our services, you must remain on this list and continue receiving our promotional messages. Simply close this page, and take no further action.

If you are absolutely sure that you wish to continue with the unsubscribe process, knowing that you will be canceling your List Wire account, and permanently losing access to all List Wire services and data, you can remove yourself from this list by clicking link below.

Needless to say I went and unsubscribed. Lucky for me there was nothing for me to lose. I just thought you should know in case you were thinking of using Listwire.

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