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Hosted Versus Owned Autorespondent Software

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Now that you've decided to go with autorespondent software to increase efficiency at your business and increase your abilities to reach your customers, you have to decide if you want to buy your own autorespondent software or go with a hosted autorespondent software configuration.

Hosted autorespondent software

If you are interested in hosted autorespondent software, then you sign up with a company that runs the autorespondent software on its own server.

The company operates and maintains the software program and you pay them to use it. As a subscriber, you have a service agreement that will specify the abilities of your autorespondent software configuration.

You may be able to send only a certain number of messages per month. Or you may be limited in the number of people you'll be able to email at one time. There may be limits on the size of the emails you're able to send.

Or you may be able to send only HTML or only plain text messages. You need to be clear on exactly what your autorespondent software agreement entails so that there are no big surprises at an inopportune time. 

Another thing about going with a hosted autorespondent solution is that if something goes wrong with the server or the software itself, it's the hosting company's problem to fix.

That's not to say it won't have an impact on you, but it won't be your job to determine the solution and get it implemented. While you may have slightly less freedom, going with a hosted option, you'll have less obligation if something goes wrong with it.

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Owned autorespondent software

If you are interested in owning your autorespondent software, it will be installed on your own server. You'll have much greater freedom in the type and frequency of your messages.

You'll also have the freedom to configure your autorespondent software to meet your company's needs completely. You can send as many messages as you like every month without having to pay extra if you go over the allotted amount.

You can email any number of customers. You'll have the freedom to send HTML and plain text email messages. You will have to install it yourself, or hire someone to do it for you.

The same with configuring it. If you need to make changes to the configurations, again, you'll have to do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you.

And if something goes wrong, either with the software or the server or something else… it's on your dime. You are responsible for fixing the problem.

So while you have greater freedom, you also have greater responsibility with installing your autorespondent software on your own machines.

So you see, there are strong differences between hosting your own autorespondent software package and paying another company to host the autorespondent software package for you. There's no real right or wrong answer.

It pretty much comes down to your business's needs and your level of comfort with the technical details (or your ability to pay someone to come and take care of it for you).

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