Why Buying an Autoresponder With Leads is a Bad Idea.

Having been involved in email marketing for a number of years, I often see many businesses and affiliates try to buy autoresponders who already have a large number of leads in hopes of immediately capitalizing on this “opportunity”. But I am going to explain why this is a very bad idea and a waste of money.

Before I get go any further, let me make 1 thing perfectly clear: Buying leads is a waste of time, money and it won’t lead to success! It doesn’t matter if you buy them through autoresponders, social networks (getting fans/likes) or other sources. This will NEVER work and I will explain why in this post.

Here’s some quick background information on this subject: There are many autoresponder (AR) programs available on the internet today. Some are free, others are not. But as a way to get more customers to register with them, many AR businesses have added an extra incentive: They promise that if you purchase their program, you’ll get a large number of leads with it. Leads are basically collected emails you can contact and sell to. In some cases, I’ve heard of places that claim they’ll give you as many as 100,000 leads with your purchase.

4 problems with autoresponders (AR) which already have leads:

1. The people who are on these lists for the most part did NOT consent to being there: Most of the emails the AR already have were attained via purchasing them from other third part companies. Say for instance, you buy something from a website, or maybe you signed up to receive some sort of information. Many companies who collect your email will give it away to other businesses who pay for it. This happens without your knowledge or consent.

Why this creates a problem: If you email someone with an offer on something, if they have no knowledge of your business or did not consent to receiving your information, they will most likely delete your email without ever opening it. I’ve seen it happen time and time again.

This is VERY similar to receiving phone calls from advertising companies. How many times have you ever been called up from someone advertising you something and actually took advantage of the offer? More likely than not you either hung up or asked them to put you the “Do not call” list.

The same thing will most likely happen if you use autoresponders with leads. You will be seen as promoting spam. In addition what will almost always happen is this:

2. Pretty much every email you send out to the leads from these autoresponders will land in junk/spam folders. Another dirty secret these companies do not want you to know about. I’ve personally experienced this through a business who purchased one of these AR with over 50,000 leads. I advised against this, but they went for it anyway.

They were very surprised when they received a 0% open rate. This was because every single email was landing in the junk folders of their leads. And this was happening because:

The emails they were sending out were providing links back to their site. ANY form of linking through these AR’s with lead services will automatically trigger the spam flag and make that email land in the junk folder. When was the last time you checked an email in a junk folder?

So in order to “bypass this”, the emails they sent out could not have any links whatsoever. It simply had to be a text email, no logo, no link back to the business and no real way of having the lead contact the business. This makes it almost impossible to work with this system and even if was manageable, it wouldn’t be worth it because…

3. These leads are NOT targeted leads: Imagine for a second that AR with leads were actually legitimate opportunities and that every email you sent out did in fact land in your lead’s inbox. Would the odds of success dramatically increase? No and here’s why:

Even if you have over 100,000 leads, the problem is that they aren’t targeted leads. Say you have a website that promotes weight loss products and you invest in one of these AR programs. How many people do you think out of those 100,000 would actually be interested in weight loss? In my experience less than 1%.

And even those who are interested in weight loss would not open up your email because of problem #1: They didn’t consent to it! This is why targeted leads are so imperative to run a successful email marketing campaign. People must consent to receiving information from you in order for you to successfully sell to them.

4. Autoresponders with leads are not only useless and counter productive, but they are also very expensive. Most of these programs will run you about $100 a month. And we’ve already established why they are a waste of time.

What is the alternative? I recommend sticking to basic auto responders. There are paid & free ones. I prefer the paid option, like Aweber because it is simple to use and you get quality service. Aweber only costs $1 for the first month & $19 for the first 10,000 leads you accumulate.

Obviously you won’t get pre-established leads with this program or for that matter any other legitimate ones, but you will be able to built a targeted email list with it. And that is what is most important.

Putting it altogether:

It’s much more profitable to have 10 leads who know exactly who you are and what you have to offer than if you have 1,000,000 leads who don’t know who you are or what you’re selling. Obviously I’m generalizing the numbers here, but the message is real. If you’re still in need of some sort of autoresponder, my personal recommendation is Aweber.

It’s the one I personally use and it provides a lot of benefits. Combine that with legitimate ways to collect leads and you have a formula for a potentially successful online business, with the key ingredient being proper guidance, which you find at my #1 recommended place to learn all of this.

So the next time a business offers you an autoresponder with whatever amount of leads, you know exactly what to do! I’d like to add that many MLM companies are also utilizing this sale’s tactic. MLM companies are basically pyramid type businesses who attract you to refer others into the system. They now promise you tons of leads if you buy their system and promise these leads will make you money easily. Don’t fall for this scam.

Where to go from here:

If you’re looking to get a successful email marketing campaign up and running, know that before anything else you will need to have a website up and running and consistent traffic visiting it on a daily basis. To do that, you need that proper guidance I talked about before. Without these fundamental components, there is NO point of getting any kind of AR. It’s just going to be a waste of money.

If you can get all of these fundamentals down, and it’s much easier than you think (it just takes time and patience), then you can truly see success. From there if you want to move into email marketing, that’ll be up to you, but you’ll already have that solid foundation set up which is what’s most important.

Have you had any experiences with these AR’s with leads before? If so, please share your experience/s and opinions on this subject below. I’d love to hear your thoughts!




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  1. Christina

    I worked as an email marketing manager for many years, and you hit the nail on the head. This is a very bad idea. These leads will never trust you to purchase from you (if they actually found your email).

    Not only that, because they haven’t consented to have you email them, you could get in big trouble under the CAN-SPAM Act.

    Great post that I hope others really listen to.

    • Vitaliy

      There are many Giles. More than you can imagine and most of them prey on local businesses who try to start up online. I’m not sure if what they do is intentional or not, but the facts are what they are.

  2. wheatstraw

    Hey thanks for the warning. That all makes really good sense. I think I’ll accumulate my leads the old fashioned way, huh. I’m bookmarking this site for future reference.

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