How to Use Autoresponders
autoresponders are the most powerful tool to automate the process
of marketing products online, and in fact to do business online in
general. As I found when I started online, however, there is more
agreement about the need to use autoresponders than there is on
the specifics of how to use them.
As on virtually
any topic related to online business, it is possible to go into
great detail about how to use autoresponders. In fact, when a
person gets serious about their Internet business, this kind of
detail is necessary to separate yourself and your business from
the casual users who aren't serious about the use of
autoresponders to really make serious money. If you are to that
"make serious money" stage or want to get there, you need to check
out my comprehensive resource on
how to choose and use autoresponders.
is a place for a discussion of a more general nature on the use of
autoresponders. To state what may be obvious to some and
completely new to others, email autoresponders are special email
addresses that return a pre-stored message or set of messages in
response to any email sent to the autoresponder address.
Autoresponders are are available over a
range of costs and come in
different forms. A
moment's thought begins to reveal the power of this concept to
provide information on any topic to anyone, anywhere, instantly
and automatically. With that briefest of introductions, what are
the uses of autoresponders?
has information they want to be instantly available to anyone else
might well use an autoresponder, since many are available for
free. It could be information about a product you are interested
in. It could be instructions on how to use or repair a product
that you have. It could be an article about how to lose 30 pounds
in 30 days. Anything that can be be put into text (and with HTML
email, pictures or drawings also) can be sent by autoresponder.
Building An Opt-in Mail
Just as a
brick-and-mortar business loves to build a happy clientele that
keeps coming back to buy again and again, so online business want
to build relationships with visitors as well as customers so they will keep
coming back. Physical stores may ask their customers to provide
their name for a store mailing list which alerts them to special
sales, etc. The online mailing list is even more important than
the physical counterpart, because there isn't an online equivalent
to driving down the street and noticing a "Sale" sign in the
window of your favorite store. For an online business to compete
and survive, it is virtually necessary for the owner to build an
email list of people who have willingly given their names, with
the expectation that they will be advised about things they are
interested in. Building this list can be done several ways, but an
autoresponder or email list program with autoresponder functions
is usually the tool of choice. You need to be careful, of course,
in selecting the autoresponder for this purpose. Some are much
better suited to do it than others.
Following Up With Visitors
So you have an
opt-in email list started. What do you do with it? A list of
names isn’t much good unless you follow up with them about your
product offerings. Obviously the basic autoresponder function of
responding to e-mail messages isn’t of much value here. You need a
function that can send follow-up messages to addresses you already
have. And that is one of the additional functions of a good
autoresponder or an e-mail list program. It is often called the
‘broadcast’ function for obvious reasons – a message is broadcast
to all the addresses in the list at once. Again, not all
autoresponders allow this function, and some do it better than
multi-part courses is one of several methods to attract visitors
to your site. The course establishes you as an expert in some
field - even if you aren't! Any good information source can be
broken down into several parts and placed in autoresponder
follow-up messages, to be sent at whatever interval you choose.
This approach is often used as a sales tool. When the student
gains confidence in you through the information you have provided,
you can then present your product (hopefully related to the course
material) and hopefully gain a sale. You can advertise your free
course anywhere on the Internet. Included in your instant or
follow-up message would be an invitation to join your opt-in list.
Do you get the idea of the power of offering a free course?
shown that you need to present your product before a potential
customer several times to increase the likelihood of making a
sale. To do that, you want to give the potential customer a good
reason to send his/her e-mail address. Since he/she may not have
enough interest simply to ask for more information about your
product, you will want to offer some incentive, like a free gift
or service. Whatever the method, you want to get the potential
customer into your autoresponder message sequence, then, in those
messages, send your customer to your web site to make the sale.
This is a large
topic. If you are selling information products, you may want to
use autoresponders as the product delivery method. You can provide
after-sale support information such as FAQs (frequently asked
questions), thank-you messages, request for testimonials, etc.
There is really no limit other than your imagination to the uses
that autoresponders can provide in supporting your customer.
tutorials in this series:
Autoresponders - Where do they come from?
autoresponders - Should I use one?
Autoresponder follow-up messages - How to write them
to use autoresponders - Right and wrong times
Structuring an autoresponder series - How to!
Customer relationships - Grow them with autoresponders!
Spam problems? - Stop it with autoresponders!
Would you like
to expand your knowledge on the
areas discussed above?