Today I read a great question regarding self-hosted email autoresponder servers. Here’s the question: “I have searched and have not found much information on ARP Reach. I am really interested in trying it out but I would like to hear from others using this service, if it’s worth the cost compared to Aweber, GetResponse, Mailchimp etc. I would also like to know if there are any other costs involved besides the one-time fee you pay for the software. I would appreciate the feedback, thanks!”
This is a topic I know a lot about. I once managed the email operations for a Fortune 500 company with a datebase of 50 million emails. Here we go…
If you want full control of your list and the technical challenges that come with it, get ARP Reach or Interspire Email Marketer. A lot of internet marketers and solo providers are being pushed to self-hosted because of shady emailing practices. I expect this to become more and more common.
To answer the basic question, there’s a lot of “behind the scenes” work and costs that go into creating a mail server that mails out directly to the internet. If you use a 3rd party SMTP service like Mandrill, Amazon SES or SMTP.com, the costs can go up significantly.
- Buy MyMail or MailPoet for WordPress ($39-$99), ARPReach ($299+) or Interspire ($495)
- Competent VPS/Dedicated hosting that will let you mail like a madman and provides reverse DNS. ($24.95/mth minimum…shared hosting will fail).
- Setting up SPF, DKIM and Feedback Loops.
- Managing SCOMPS, bounces, complaints and maintain list hygiene daily.
- Monitor your reputation and Senderscore. Pray you aren’t blacklisted or you’ll need a new IP and $$$ to get off the list.
- (Optional) Power MTA ($10k) or other MTA software to send out email quickly in large quantities (lists of 50k+).
- If you’re using GoDaddy and someone complains to them directly, you’ll need around $500 to get your domain back. It might have gone up.
So the hidden cost is “time” and the tools to get email delivered faster. Then there’s the cost of learning the new world of email marketing. A lot of people won’t pull this off unless they’re very comfortable with technology.
So here’s the final cost to run a list of 10k subscribers.
- Software $39-$495
- Host: $24.95/mth for 20k emails per day at HitDirector.com.
- Note: It takes 5 hours to email a list of 10k using your hosts EXIM software. So forget about “instant email” without an MTA agent and powerful hosting.
As you can see…it ain’t easy, but it can be done. And once it’s done right, you’re set with a business that can only be taken down by poor mailing practices. Software is critical to making your life easier. That why the good email systems cost so much.
Got questions? Ask in the comments.