Why We Intentionally Don't Include An Autoresponder in Membergate
As nice as it may sound to have autoresponder functions built in to your software, there are very good reasons why you want to avoid that.
It is the reason we intentionally don't include it in Membergate. Large quantities of "tip of the week" emails from your own email server would be quite risky. This is due to the strong crack down on spammers. A large tip of the week list will inevitably lead to an occassional complaint of the email being spam. AOL and Gmail (Google Mail) for example have "Report Spam" buttons right next to the delete buttons. Not every knows or cares about the difference between the two.
If the autoresponder is built into your software, those complaints are pointing at your web site's unique IP address as the offending party. Once enough spam complaints come in (legitimate or not), it is very easy for the IP address of the sender to be "blacklisted".
That essentially means that none of your emails will get through to that service. It won't be just your tip of the week emails not making it through. Any email you send including confirmations, receipts or correspondence.
No Reason To Risk It
By having an external service provide the tip of the week, your emails are sent from that service's IP address.
That is what is being recorded as having sent the email. Some of the autoresponder services have good cooperation with large ISP's and take measures to ensure that the maintain a high delivery rate of emails. Some of the more reputable services maintain policies which keep their IP addresses from being blacklisted. The end result being that your emails actually get delivered.
The bottom line is, you don't want to risk being blacklisted. If that happens then none of your email confirmations, receipts or attempts to email from your site will be effective. By using a 3rd party service to send your tip of the week, you are much less likely to get your emails banned.