While managing and optimizing users on an auto responders email list is similar and, to a degree, the same, as managing users and growing your list for a standard email marketing or newsletter program, there are some best practices to keep in mind. In this section, we'll cover the key points that you need to know in order to have a healthy auto responders email list that won't develop unsubscribe or email opt-out problems.

Acquiring Users for an Auto Responders Program

In nine out of ten ways, acquiring users for an auto responders email program is no different than acquiring users for a traditional email marketing program. You'll want to include all of the basic email acquisition practices, including:

  • Designing a great email submission form that includes a large, clear submit button, an assurance of privacy, and a clear value proposition
  • Using all possible sources for identifying and recruiting subscriptions to your email program both from existing customers and new leads
  • Establishing the value of an email address to you so that you know what to pay if you actively advertise in order to grow your email list

However, because auto-reply email programs can often be frustrating to subscribers when they sign-up and suddenly start receiving daily email, you'll want to be sure to provide potential subscribers with information to set their expectations from the beginning. When recruiting submissions to your email program, be sure to alert users:

  • How many emails they can expect to receive
  • How often they will receive emails

Most auto reply email campaigns include a high volume of emails, often sent as frequently as only one day apart. This can create spam complaints or opt-out/unsubscribe requests if you don't alert individuals to the frequency and volume when they join your email list. It is better to have a smaller auto responder email marketing list that does not unsubscribe or mark you as spam than it is to have a larger list that opts-out or marks you as spam and negatively impacts your sender reputation.

Removing Unsubscribe Requests from Your List

While, with a traditional email marketing list, you can often send an unsubscribe confirmation email and wait several days to remove an opt-out from your email marketing list, the same is not true of an auto reply list. Because most email campaigns send email every other day (in some cases daily), if you do not immediately remove an nsubscribe or opt-out request from your email database, the user is likely to receive more, unwanted, email from you. When this happens, you'll not only be flagged as spam and your sender reputation will be impacted, you'll also experiences customer service complaints.

Additionally, it's not recommended that you send any type of opt-out confirmation to an unsubscribed member of an auto responder list. These email lists can be more difficult to manage and keep healthy than traditional marketing email lists because users often become frustrated with the volume of email and unsubscribe or mark emails as spam. Such an email list often has a much more difficult time maintaining its sender reputation than a similar traditional marketing list would. With an auto reply email list, you don't want to risk that a subscription cancellation email after a user has opted-out further annoys the user and results in a spam complaint.

Auto responder email lists require more sensitivity to handling subscriptions as well as opt-outs due to the often more volatile and fickle nature of the list itself. While you should follow all of the strategies, techniques and best practices laid out in this section to acquire and manage users on your email list, you'll want to be extra careful with providing full information disclosure when users sign up and with quickly and efficiently managing unsubscribe requests when they do happen.

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